Armenian Legend of the Duduk

Music: Apricot Tree, Djivan Gasparyan

Once upon a time, young Wind, who was wandering around the world, met a beautiful Apricot tree and fell in love with her. Kissing her spring petals and delicate leaves, he sang delightful melodies that soon spread far and wide.

One day, the Hurricane, the supreme ruler of all winds, heard those songs. Learning about the love affliction of the young Wind, he flew into a terrible rage and began to destroy all plant life on earth. When he reached the Apricot tree, the young Wind blocked his path:

“Mercy, O Supreme ruler! For this tree I am prepared for any sacrifice.”

The Hurricane bellowed: “May it be your way. From now on, you will lose your power of flight and you will never be able to take to the sky! Wait, on second thought, I’ll mete out a different penalty. I will leave you your wings, but as soon as you leave the ground, your beloved tree will die.”

The young Wind was satisfied. After all, he still had both his love and his wings.

When autumn came, all the leaves fell off, and the Apricot tree stood bare. The young Wind was no longer able to rustle lovingly through her leaves, and he became restless. All around him, his brothers fluttered, danced, played and called upon him to join them in their merry flight. Unable to resist the joyful call, the young Wind left the ground and flew towards his brethren. At that same moment, the Apricot tree died and only one small branch survived.

A long time later, a young man gathering firewood broke of that sole surviving branch, it gave a particularly delicate crunch. The young man used that piece of apricot wood to carve out a whistle – a Duduk. The instrument had an incredibly beautiful, unique, and wistful sound: it was enough just to bring it close to one’s lips and it began to play a sad, yearning song of parting all by itself.

apricot tree duduk