Traditional music from Sardinia: the launeddas

launeddas, SardiniaLauneddas are an ancient musical instrument of the Sardinian tradition: it is a wind instrument, made by three flutes of different sizes. It is played during both religious and laical events.

The origins of launeddas fall back in the old times, when Sardinian civilization had contacts with peoples from North Africa and Middle East, where similar instruments were in use. The first evidence of this musical instrument presence in Sardinia has been found in the bronze statue of Ittiri (nuragic era), representing a launeddas player.

To play launeddas it’s needed to use a special technique: the circular breathing. The musician has to breath in the air by nose while he breaths out by mouth. The result is a continuing airflow in the instrument.

A wonderful chance to listen at this instrument, is the sagra di Sant’Efisio which take place every year on the 1 May.

Launeddas player were always highly appreciated in the past. Nowadays there are still launeddas school: the most famous are those from the Cagliari area (Scuola del Campidano, Scuola del Sarrabus and Scuola della Trexenta) and the one from Oristano (scuola del Sinis).

Who is curious to listen at this ancient sound of launeddas, won’t miss the chance to hear it in the land and in the places where the music of this instrument echoes from centuries. Nothing better than an holiday in Sardinia to find out how launeddas sounds like.


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