Every kid growing up in Pakistan is afraid of snakes, and mystified by the powers that the snake-charmer and his ‘bean’ (flute) exerts on the snake. I grew up with that same fear in my heart and mind, and the sound of a snake-charmers flute still gives me shivers.

I have no idea why I thought of snake-charmers today. Perhaps the day to day chores at job started to make me feel like the snake that dances in full-glory, oblivious to the reality that it is a mere captive of some else’s flute. But how can that be when my work is extremely exciting and motivating? That shall be the topic of another note some other day on how money (and those with money) ultimately have power over the entrepreneur :-).

The snake -charmer is the real master (the power to reconcile with if you are the snake), but the instrument he (usually a he) uses to control the snake is equally fascinating. If I could find an instrument like that to have as much control I could have so much power – it’s unfortunate that power breeds greed and corruption. hence, I am better off without such instruments.

Here’s some learning for the day (

Often called the snake charmer flute, the pungi is the snake charmer’s instrument. Snake Charmer (Bean)The instrument, a type of folk clarinet with two pipes, may have originated in the Middle East. It is the Indian brother of the Egyptian arghul, and designates a double clarinet very similar to the murali clarinet although with a larger register. The word “pungi” in the Indian language simply means “tube” or “pipe”, and is a generic term for many reeded noisemakers.

The pungi is typically one to two feet in length., and is made of bottle gourd or coconut which has been dried, resembling the shape of a light bulb. It consists of two reeds or bamboo tubes, one of which is for the melody and the other is for the drone. The two tubes can be made of different materials.

To play the pungi, or snake charmer flute, the musician needs to learn a technique called circular breathing, as the melodies normally do not allow for pauses. The snake charmer can be played for its interesting sounds or used as a decorative item and conversation piece. Snake not included (thank goodness).


8 Responses to Snake-charmer

  1. […]    Caption: A snake-charmer seen through the rain washed windows of a car. Colors are so appealing. Its like fire and water – magical trance, much like the snakecharmer’s charm on the snake. Read a related post here. […]

  2. Morg says:

    give me the notes to the song..i want to be able to play it.

  3. Ted says:

    ensure it manages money on an absolute return basis

  4. Aaliyah says:

    i want da notes 2 dis song becuz i play a reg. clarinet,piano,viola,and guitar i wanna play this song on all of my instruments. In case were wondering my mom is a lawyer and part time nurse and my dad is a car salesman and part ownes a nissan company so u know we got some money nad we all have nice nice cars
    me=2009 nissan mom=porsche and 2009 nissan dad=porsche,mercaides cost over 3000 dollars 4 all instruments

  5. Samantha says:

    Hello, my name of course is Samantha but call me Sam im 15 and I wanna say to Aaliyah that it truly doesnt matter how much money you have or what ur parents do we just wanted 2 know about how u felt about the article. No hard feelings ♥. Also, I thought this article was extremely fasinating and I personally ♥ this website and I would also like 4 u guys to put up the notes 4 a piano an viola (i play those). I also have a lot of mopney but i dont go on websites and protest just to make less fortunate ppl feel bad so think 2 be 4 u do that again

    Mz. Sammy SAm Sam ♥♦♣♠

  6. Twelve Year old says:

    put up the notes fool!

    Just joking, but can you really put up the notes to the song?(I have a clarinet)

    To aahliyah no offense but think before you write.
    That was really dumb.

  7. Entertaining and informative post! I was looking around on the internet for a post about this and this is the 1st great one I have read.

  8. Musikschule Münster MOTET Internationale Musikschule Muenster(NRW)…

    […]Snake-charmer « BZNotes![…]…

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