Taragot

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Mărişel, Cluj, Transylvania

Taragot musician in Maramureş

Musicians of "Timişul" in Banat

Taragot musicians in Apuseni mountain region

Home made taragot

The taragot was invented by the instrument maker J. Schunda, working in Budapest, with advice from the Hungarian composer Gyula Kaldy, and was used in the premier of Wagner's "Trestan and Isolde" in 1865. Much like the earlier Saxophone, the Taragot has a conical tube similar to the oboe, and the single reed mouthpiece of the clarinet.

The taragot should not be confused with the older Hungarian "taragoto" which is a double reed shawm similar to the folk shawm found throughout Europe and the Middle East. There is no doubt that the desire to re-construct this famous Hungarian instrument inspired the naming and invention of the modern "taragot".

The taragot was used in the Royal Hungarian Army, but is rarely found in Hungary now. A Banat musician, Luţa Ioviţă, who had played it in the army during World War I, returned to Banat (Romania) and introduced it there in the 1920s for dance music. This created a sensation, and eventually gave rise to a specific regional style.

Dumitru Farcaş, native to Maramureş, has made the taragot popular throughout Transylvania, and is probably the best known taragot player.

 

 

References

Alexandru, T (1980), Romanian folk music, Musical publishing house, Bucharest

 

© Eliznik2005, First issue 2002, Last updated May-07