The duduk is a middle eastern double reed instrument dating back at least 1500 years. It has a very distinctive timbre and can be described as haunting, mournful, somewhat nasal, warm, tender and ancient. It is an instrument very close to the hearts of Armenians. It holds as much importance, if not more, as the piano and violin in the music schools of Yerevan.

The instrument is usually made of apricot wood, in the form of a simple holow pipe. It has 7-9 holes on top and a single one for the thumb below. The length ranges from 6-7 inches to 16 inches. The reed is large, flat and made of grass. It is considered to be a relative of the oboe. It is usually accompanied by at least one other duduk, dam duduk, holding a single tone.

The sound of this instrument should be familiar to many. It can be heard in several movies such as "The Crow", "The Last temptation of Christ", "Dead Man Walking" and "Gladiator". It's also used in the series Xena.

It is sometimes spelled as dudoouk and pronounced as doo-dook. In Turkey the instrument is called mey.

Recommended listening:


"Duduk" Vol. 3 of "Music of Armenia", Celestial Harmonies.
"Apricots From Eden", soloist Djivan Gasparyan.
Any other recordings by Djivan Gasparyan.

More modern:

The soundtracks to "The Last temptation of Christ" and "Gladiator" do a wonderful job of mixing of the duduk to more modern themes.