In Mishna there are several mentions of the use of flute, there were used at the time of the Bet Mikdash, see below a few examples. I am interested to know if we have some knowledge about the type of flute. I know that flute is a very old instrument, see history in wikipedia.

From the Mishna of Bikurim and Arachim, it seems that this was an high pitched flute as the fife, according to the Bartenura in mishna Succa 5, 1*. But I am interested to know what type of flute it was, type kena, or transverse or recorder.

Bikurim 3,4;

והחליל מכה לפניהם, עד שהן מגיעין קרוב לירושלים.‏

Kinim 3, 6 (made in bone of sheep):

שני שוקיו, שני חלילין

Arachin 2, 3 (made in reed):

ולא היה מכה באבוב של נחושת; אלא באבוב של קנה, מפני שקולו ערב.‏

I am interested by Hazal, archeologic or musical knowledge.


החליל - הרבה מיני זמר היו שם, ועל שם שחליל קולו נשמע יותר מן האחרים נקראו כולם על שמו: ‏

  • 1
    Keep in mind that Mishna and Gemmorah span centuries. My personal rule for judging such questions is "All things being equal, at any point in time and place, Jewish technology (inc agriculture, finances, machinery etc) always mirrored that of the surrounding nations."
    – Al Berko
    Jan 6, 2019 at 13:50
  • @Al Berlo it's sounds logical
    – kouty
    Jan 6, 2019 at 14:01
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    R. Avraham Portaleone’s treatment (Sh’ar Aryeh ch. 5-6) of the instruments may help you identify them by their current name. A more cursory description was presented by the chazzan Pinchas Minkovski in the journal HaShiloach (vol. 6 pg. 532-3; “magrefah” end).
    – Oliver
    Jan 6, 2019 at 15:35
  • @Oliver the first source seems a great book I didn't know. I will see the second too
    – kouty
    Jan 6, 2019 at 15:46
  • @Oliver the Mechaber R. A. Portaleone is very interesting. I was no aware from his existence. Thank's so much!
    – kouty
    Jan 8, 2019 at 9:38


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