Ye Soft Pipes, Play On…


” Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter ; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; “

~ Keats-Ode on a Grecian Urn~

The orange-bearded musician is playing the wind instrument alghoza that consists of a pair of flutes. One of them produces heavy notes and the other low notes. Music experts call the longer one the male and the shorter one the female. The male sound or note keep playing with the same pitch,whereas the female one fluctuates varying in pitch! Amazed at the breath control and balanced manoeuvring of blowing the air out to produce melodious tunes!

This orange-bearded musician was spotted at Jaisalmer Fort, in Rajasthan. The fort, also known as the Golden Fort (Sonar quila) due to the massive golden sandstone walls, is one of the very few ‘living forts’ in the world. One fourth of the old city’s population still lives inside the fort. The fort stands on Trikuta Hill amidst the vast Thar Desert.


6 thoughts on “Ye Soft Pipes, Play On…

  1. Is his beard naturally that color, or has it been dyed — perhaps for some ceremonial purpose? I wondered what the alghoza sounded like, and found this nice video. One thing led to another, and pretty soon I was listening to Maati Baani, performing at an ashram in Kerala. My goodness, what wonderful music! I’ll add a link to my current favorite in another comment, so this doesn’t go into moderation because of two links.

    It’s so interesting to think of so many people still living inside the fort. I’d never heard of that, either, and looked it up. The photographs are fantastic!


    1. Linda, His beard is dyed using natural ‘henna’, a dye prepared from the plant lawsonia inermis. To my knowledge,there is no ceremonial significance as far as the colouring of hair and beard is considered. Nevertheless, decorating bride’s and other women’s hands and feet with designs using the paste of the leaves is an integral part of weddings. The ceremony is known as ‘mehndi’. Mehndi is applied at other auspicious occasions too. It’s a temporary dye, and fades away after a couple of weeks. Henna is the name of the plant it also refers to the dried and powdered leaves. I enjoyed the video! Yes, Rajsthan is a magnificent land of palaces, forts and vibrant people! Am posting another photo of a musical instrument today.

      Liked by 1 person

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