ONCE UPON A TIME...
Traditionally the GENEBRES is made of hard wood, which gives it a loud and rather high-pitched sound. The instrument is found in Portugal in the border region of “Lousã” (Castelo Branco). In this region, those who like to study these things claim that it was imported from Spain, where it is known as CARRASQUIÑA, which is an old eighteenth-century Spanish popular dance. In our country, the GENEBRES is traditionally played by men at a religious festival in homage to Our Lady of the Heavens, which takes place in May. One of the curious things about this dance is that the men dress up as women to do it.
2,4 meters of plastic tube, 30 cm of dry cane, 2 meters of string and some old felt-tip pens.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES
A saw, a punch, a pair of scissors, a drill with 3 mm bit and some sandpaper (Nº. 150).
HOW TO MAKE THE INSTRUMENT
Begin by cutting the plastic (PVC) tube into several pieces, the largest of which, for example, is about 30 cm long. Then keep reducing the size by about 2 cm each time. Cut 10 tubes. If you follow these measures, then you should use up about 2.10 meters of tube, plus the bit that is consumed by the saw. The largest piece will be 30 cm long and the shortest piece 12 cm long. The GENEBRES has two handles: one for the neck (this instrument is played hanging from your neck) and the other for the hand, which is used to stretch the GENEBRES. Cut the two handles from the remainder of the tube, each measuring about 10 cm long. Now, using a drill (be very careful if you’re using an electric one), begin by drilling two holes in the smallest tube. These holes are to be used for threading the string through that will tie them together. To ensure that that the tubes aren’t right up against each other, you’ll have to use a separator. Cut small pieces from the felt-tip pens, each measuring 1 cm long. Don’t forget to take the felt-tip out of the pen. Finally, to assemble your GENEBRES, all you have to do is thread the string through the tubes, placing a separator on each side, between each tube.
You can use plastic tape of different colours or... probably you know what’s best.
HOW TO PLAY THE INSTRUMENT
Hang one of the handles from your neck. With one of your hands, take hold of the other handle and stretch it down your body. With the help of the cane, you can play it like a Reque-Reque.