Turuta (stalk of wheat or oats)

Gari zuztarrezko turuta joaldia. Juan Mari Beltran. Oiartzun, 1998.


The turuta made with a stem or straw of wheat or oats is an instrument of the aerophone group.

Description of the instrument

Taking a stalk of wheat or oats, one end is squeezed with your fingers, creating a double reed. Holes are made to change the tone. Today even plastic drinking straws are used. Similar turutas were made with the corn panicles that are pulled off to castrate the corn plant for the children to play with.

Way of playing

The turuta in place inside the mouth and when blowing the sound is produced. Depending on the air pressure and covering and uncovering holes, different sounds and simple melodies are produced.


The turuta is a sound toy that was made for children. Jose Peña de Orio (born 1909), among others, gave us information about this instrument. His father made these instruments for him in his childhood (Beltran, 1996, 78).

In the book Juegos infantiles en Vasconia we see that these turutas were also used in other parts of the Basque Country: Bermeo and Galdames in Bizkaia, Allo, and Tudela in Navarra, Valdegovía in Alava (p. 693).



BELTRAN ARGIÑENA, Juan Mari. (1996). Soinutresnak euskal herri musikan. Hernani: Orain.

ETNIKER. (1993). Juegos infantiles en Vasconia. Etniker Euskalerria. Gasteiz: Eusko Jaurlaritza.

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