Play Brass? Going to War? Get Yourself a Carnyx.

English: Leichestown Deskford carnyx & reconst...
English: Leichestown Deskford carnyx & reconstruction. Museum of Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The carnyx is an ancient instrument, used in war to create sounds that would scare the enemy. These days the deep rumble of a jet turbine fulfills that role, but the carnyx sounds cooler. In the videos below, you’ll hear one of the foremost carnyx artists in the world, John Kenny, using lots of techniques like circular breathing, double tonguing, and vocalizations while buzzing/blowing. Detailed instructions for all of these techniques and more can be found in Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn, including a chapter on didgeridoo, another ancient trumpet that uses lots of similar techniques.

The first carnyx vid is a slideshow with the background music being the first piece composed for 4 multi-tracked carnices. Sounds pretty darn cool! Below is a video of the carnyx and John Kenny in action. I’d love to bust one of these out on Halloween night!

John Kenny: The Voice of the Carnyx

This Carnyx (played by J. Kenny) Has a Tongue

 

Back-To-School Specials On All Formats:

The Practice of PracticeBasic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music, by Jonathan HarnumSound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn

 

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