The Angeion (Grk: Αγγείον) is a musical instrument which was played in Pontus. In effect it can be referred to as the Pontic Bagpipe. It is the Askavlos (Άσκαυλος), an ancient Greek musical instrument. It is also known as the Touloum (Τουλούμ), the Touloumpan (Τούλουμπαν) or the Touloum-Zourna (Τουλούμ Ζουρνά). Other Greeks call it the Gainta (Γκάϊντα), or Tsampouna (Macedonia and the islands). Slavs also refer to it as the Gainta.

The Angeion is made from sheep or goat's leather, and is made by a qualified person. The entire hide of an animal is inverted so as to produce the air chamber. The mouthpiece or blow pipe is a cylindrical tube which is attached to the leather air chamber. The player blows into the mouthpiece in short intervals, then plays on the chanter's flutes while waiting for the loss of air. The chanter consists of two reeds which sit in two flues. Each flute has five holes, so there are two sets of 5 holes.

The Angeion was played in virtually all regions of Pontus and is still played there today. It was played on its own (solo) due to the constant and loud sound it produced.

For more information on the Angeion and to see photos, click here


* Encyclopedia of Pontian Hellenism, Malliaris Pedia


Video of renowed Pontian musician George Sofianidis playing the Angeion



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