Txilibitua (cane)

Txilibitu joaldia. Juan Mari Beltran. Oiartzun, 1998.

Txilibitua (JMBA bilduma, 1009)

Txilibitua jotzen. 1999.


The txilibitu made of cane is an instrument of the flute group, and thus an aerophone.

Description of the instrument

It is a cane tube. In the upper part the mouth is made: the recess, the window and the plug, with a recess for the air passage channel. Three holes (or more) are made to give different notes.

Way of playing

The mouthpiece is inserted into the mouth and blown, covering and uncovering the holes to give simple melodies.


We found two old txilibitus of this type in the San Telmo museum in Donostia, brought from Usurbil in 1918 (Beltran, 1997).

They were not always made at home; in the middle of the 20th century, some men and vendors who went to town festivals sold similar instruments (pp. 51-52).

The children of Lekeitio also played with this type of txilibitus in the 1920s (Museo Arqueológico, 1998. p. 107).


Take a piece of cane and cut it, leaving it open on one side and closed on the other.

Next to the open end a hole is made to open the window of the mouthpiece.

In the lower part about three holes are made, all in the front part, to be able to give the different notes.

A wooden block is inserted into the part of the mouthpiece, making a recess in the upper part of the block, leaving the channel for air to pass through.

Then a recess must be made to support the lower lip on the mouthpiece.

To finish, making a recess next to the hole we have made for the mouthpiece window, we must prepare the bevel so that the txulubita gives a good sound.



BELTRAN ARGIÑENA, Juan Mari. (1996). Soinutresnak euskal herri musikan. Hernani: Orain (72-74).

(1997). San Telmo Museoko soinu eta hots tresnak. Cuadernos de Sección. Folklore.- 6. zk. Eusko Ikaskuntza.

(1998). Colección Lankidetzan Bilduma, 5. Donostia.

MUSEO Arqueológico, Etnográfico e Histórico Vasco / Euskal Arkeologia, Etnografia eta Kondaira Museoa (1998): Haur-jolasak eta jostailuak / Juegos y Juguetes del Museo Vasco de Bilbao. Euskal Museoa Bilbao Museo Vasco / Fundación Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa.

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