Kaval is a Turkish folk instrument of the wind type. It is populary known as the instrument of the shepherds. It is also called Guval and Kuval in different regions. The belief that the shepherd leads his sheep flock with his kaval is a wide spread belief among the people. The word kaval is probably a derivative from the word "kav" which means lollow on the inside.

Its sound range is about 2.5 - 3 octaves. It isa widely used instrument in the folk music groups of today and can be used as a solo instrument within an ensemble. Kaval preserves its sound characteristic when played together with other instruments.

As kavals are not produced to any defined standards what can be said about its dimensions has to be very general. Its length may vary between 30 cm and 80 cm and its diameter is approximately 1.5 cm. It has 7 melody keys on the front and one underneath. Besides these, there are also 4 other keys at the lower section of the instrument called Şeytan Deliği and Hazreti Ali.

Kavals are divided into two main types as Dilli Kaval and Dilsiz Kaval and are generally made from the wood of the plum tree.

Kaval / mp3 (673 KB)
Kaval / rm (126 KB)

Top and middle pictures: Dilli Kaval
Bottom picture: Dilsiz Kaval