Sardinian launeddas players are guardians of one of the richest orally-transmitted traditions in Europe. This page showcases their musical inheritance as it stood in the mid-twentieth century: a conservative perspective on a tradition that continues to evolve.
Eight different instruments, or cunsertus, are used. Each has a unique repertoire and sound, formed by the combination of three drone tones and the selection of notes on each chanter. A cunsertus can be made in any key within a range of about a fifth, a limitation imposed only by the size of the player's hands.
Each instrument's capabilities and characteristics are surveyed in the following excerpts, mostly from 1959 recordings made by Andreas Bentzon.
Efisio Melis (Bentzon 17: nodas 22-35)
Mediana a pipia
Spinellu a pipia
Antonio Lara (Bentzon 28: nodas 13-22)
Efisio Melis (Bentzon 30: 0-6)
Andreas F.W. Bentzon 1969 — The Launeddas
Giampaolo Lallai, ed. 1997 — Launeddas
Gian Nicola Spanu 1994 — Sonos: Strumenti della Musica Popolare Sarda