Reed instruments

The most important reed instrument in terms of musical history is the bagpipe called cimpoi, but there are also quite a number of other rural reed instruments.

During the 20th century the taragot has become popular and is viewed as a folkloric instrument throughout Banat and Transylvania, even though it was only invented in 1865 and was introduced into Romanian village music in the 1920s.

The saxophone (patented in 1846 by a Adolphe Sax) is now the lead instrument for dance music in Banat and south Transylvania and more recently can be found throughout most of Romania.

The modern orchestral clarinet is now used for the melody line in south Romania and is also used in the brass bands of Moldavia.

Simple reed instruments

Târvul and Bâzoi


A small reed pipe with six finger holes. The name is the same as the buzzing drone pipe of a bagpipe.  For recordings: Nicolae Pleșa ST-EPE 02542.


A bottle gourd is used as the sound resonator attached to reed pipe.

Două paie (two straws)

For recordings: Nicolae Pleșa ST-EPE 02542.


Oat straw with a six finger holes and a reed like that of a bagpipe cut into the wall of the straw just under a knot. For recordings: Ion Lăceanu STM-EPE 01210.

Solz de pește (fish scale)

A carp fish scale is rounded and kept in a glass of cold water until played. The musician holds it in his mouth between the lower teeth and lower lip. Recordings on Electrecord are by Ion Lăceanu.


Published on 14th June 2018, last modified on 29th June 2018