Introducing The Chromatic Tambin

Text by Sohrab Saadat

“March 6th was my SoSaLa Nu World Trash CD release party at Nublu. I invited Sylvain Leroux, who’s from Canada and has been living and performing in NY for many years, to play with me in some of the songs because I love his flute playing. Gladly he accepted  my invitation and played in the songs which he had recorded with me. Before the gig he showed me about his Chromatic Tambin, and I think he used it during the show. So let him tell us what his new flute is about.

“The Chromatic Tambin, a new flute, has been invented by me, which I will unveil and demonstrate at the New York Flute Fair on Saturday, March 24. I will introduce the Chromatic Tambin, my innovative re-design of the traditional Guinean three-holed, side-blown tambin during a group concert entitled “The Dynamic Flute.” The new instrument has extraordinary possibilities.

By adding three new, carefully placed finger holes to the traditional tambin (aka Fula flute), I have rendered a unique and age-old instrument capable of virtuosic playing. Its voice can now be applied to every musical style from jazz to classical composition. Until now the tambin has been limited to basic modal scales, although its exquisitely simple construction has promoted the development of highly complex performance fundamentals. My Chromatic Tambin retains all the powerful vocal/flute effects of its parent instrument, but with new chromatic possibilities. That and low cost suggests potential applications in music education, particularly in the Third World were access to equipment is often problematic.

The Chromatic Tambin has a one-and-half octave range, and can produce the 12 notes of the standard Western chromatic scale. My invention presents flutists across the world with a universe of creative possibilities in an organic instrument. Because of its structure, it also throws a new light on tonal organization and solves the problems it creates simply and elegantly.

The New York Flute Fair is an event sponsored by the New York Flute Club and will take place at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), New York, NY on Saturday March 24. To attend please visit the NY Flute Club Website at:

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