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 Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-10-27 13:16

I was in Romania recently and heard some recorded muzak in a restaurant, featuring something that sounded to me like a tarogato but much buzzier.

I expect a tarogato to sound like a woodier version of a soprano sax, which is pretty much what it is. This instrument had an altogether harsher sound, more like a shawm. I know that the word tarogato originally referred to a type of shawm, and was transferred to the "modern" instrument in the 1890s. Maybe what I heard was the old instrument, maybe a tarogato played in an unusual way, maybe something else entirely.

Any suggestions?


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2006-10-29 11:12


I think you have pretty much described the possibilities.

There is no way to know, without having asked the restaurant people about the performers. I have done this with mixed results - they may know exactly what is playing and bring you the CD case, and they may have absolutely no idea what is on their audio feed.

Some people get amazing sounds from clarinets and saxes. And there is also the possibility the sound was modified electronically, in which case it could have been anything.

Where were you in Romania?



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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-10-29 14:19

Hi Ralph

We spent the first week deep in the countryside near Fagaras, where we were riding horses. Then visited Brasov, where I heard this in a fairly upmarket restaurant. Our musical appreciation wasn't helped by the restaurant's preference to play two entirely different recordings simultaneously.

I know nothing about this sort of music and can't judge whether what I heard was authentic or deeply commercial.

We then moved on to Sighisoara and then Sibiu. Returned to ride more horses....had a bit of the moment I can play the clarinet but not the trombone; I'm due an operation on my shoulder on Tuesday after which I suspect I won't be playing either for a little while.

Enough chit-chat!


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2006-10-30 03:47

Hello David & Ralph,

Some taragot recordings I've heard from Romania can almost sound like a buzzy trumpet mixed in with the sax/oboe/clarinet timbre usually heard.

Sadly, I have no idea who (which region, etc.) plays this style, nor how they do it.

I can tell you that I've heard at least as many tone qualities in taragot playing as I've heard in classical clarinet playing. That's saying a lot because I've only heard maybe 5-6 different taragot players (all on record), and I've heard many many more classical players!


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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: fredd 
Date:   2006-10-30 11:02


Here is what I know about the different uses of tarogato
Romanian tarogato player use in general a configuration that makes their tarogato have a very big sound.
They use soprano sax reed, soft in general, and I have seen once that their mouthpiece is a bit modified. It is medium to large tip opening, They reduce the chamber size buy adding a piece of wood that makes the air going faster in the moutpiece. The result can sound almost like a "bombarde" (double reed instrument for celtic music, sorry I dont know the name in english!)

Maybe you heard this kind of tarogato playing.

In hungary, they use in general smaller mouthpiece with clarinet reeds (german cut), and very closed mouthpiece. They have a completly different sound, much more sweeter and round, more specific (That's my opinion!)

Hope this could help


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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2006-11-21 14:27

Might it have been some sort of zurna? The Kaba Zurna is apparently a longer and, obviously, lower-pitched zurna than many more frequently heard in Greek, Turkish and Bulgarian music. Not that the Kaba Zurna is Romanian, I have no idea whether any sort of zurna is very popular in Romania, but the restaurant might have been playing some Bulgarian or Turkish music. Or there is, for example, a CD featuring the Romanian pan-flute virtuoso Damian Draghici on which Tekbilek plays a low-pitched zurna. Possibilities abound............

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 Re: Like a tarogato but more buzzy?
Author: Mike S. 
Date:   2007-02-08 00:12

It could've been oboe and taragoto combined. I'm listening to and old Dumitru Farcas record( Yes, it's an old ine, but I like it), and there is a bit of oboe and taragoto together in it. This is a bit off-topic, but Romania is a really beautiful country to visit; i just went this past summer(as well as being born there), but the music there is awesome as well! But yeah, it could've been taragot and oboe.

Recorders(SSAT), piccolo/flute/alto flute, oboe, clarinets(Eb/Bb/bass), saxophones(SATB)

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