Imbolc Jarps

by April K.

The Imbolc Jarps were created in observance of the holiday Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, among other names, in the Wiccan religion. Generally it is celebrated on February 2nd, to encourage the coming of spring and banish negative energies in one's life. The Imbolc Jarps ("Jarps", a combination of "jar" and "pipes") are of the aerophone family.

There are two ways to produce a sound on the instrument, both involve blowing into the pipes. The musician can either blow over the top of the pipes, or put their mouth directly on the pipes and blow into them. There are two different "mouthpieces," one with eight different tones, the other with four. The high and low pitches are detected by the highly observant listener. The Imbolc Jarps are not very loud, but the volume can be controlled.

The greater force of air blown into the Jarps produces a louder sound, and a lesser force produces a very soft sound. However, if the player blows too hard, water might splash out of the jar! The instrument's resonance occurs due to the shape of the jar and the amount of water in the jar. The timbre while blowing over the top of the pipes is very light, airy and high. Blowing directly into the pipes produces a lower, bubbly, rumbling sound. The Imbolc Jarps can be very soporific to the listener, especially because it is difficult to create fast and capricious music on them. The music produced is more often slow and tranquil.