Azerbaijani, Turkish 'balaban/mey' musical instrument included in UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage

The multinational cultural element of "Craftsmanship and performing art of balaban/mey" jointly prepared by Azerbaijan and Türkiye was inscribed to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity, News.Az reports. 

According to the National Commission of Azerbaijan for UNESCO, the decision was made during the 18th session of the Committee for Safeguarding of ICH in Botswana.

Balaban (in Azerbaijan) or Mey (in Türkiye) is a centuries-old woodwind instrument made up of three parts: a body, a wide and flat double reed and a clip. The instrument is traditionally made of plum or apricot wood and coated with linseed or olive oil. Once dry, crafters drill several holes into the front of the body and one hole into the back. The sizes, number of holes and materials used vary according to the region. The knowledge, skills and techniques of crafting and playing Balaban are typically passed on informally within families through observation and hands-on experience, as well as through apprenticeships.


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