Designer: Ioanna Kalli
The theme for this year’s series “Europe”, is “Traditional Musical Instruments”, chosen by the European Public Postal Operations (PostEurop) and is common for all country-members of the Organisation. Cyprus has chosen the “pithkiavlin” (the Cyprus flute) and the “laouton” (the lute).
The “pithkiavlin” (Cyprus flute), as archaeological excavations have shown, is the most ancient Cypriot musical wind instrument. Findings from the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Pafos, evidence the use of the flute since 2500 B.C., linking it with celebrations and feasts in honour of Aphrodite and Apollo. The makers and players of the instrument were mainly shepherds. The pithkiavlin is made from reeds and in particular from the section between the two knots. Each one has its own sound and clarity, depending on its diameter and pipe length.
The “laouton” (lute) is the principal musical string instrument of Cyprus, which rhythmically accompanies the violin in Cypriot dance melodies and in particular in the Cypriot Suite that is unique, because it is still alive at present and is associated with both male and female dancing. The laouton has 4 double strings and are tuned in five-courses: Do-Sol-Re-La. It is played with a long narrow plectrum that the player (“lutenist”) usually passes through his fingers. Its predecessor is the ancient Greek pandoura or pandourida.