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Chance to blow their own trumpets

Alphorn musicians are not the sort to blow their own horns, even though their instrument is really quite difficult to play.

The alphorn is made of spruce or pine wood and is usually between 3m and 4m long. The length determines the single key that can be played on the instrument, and it is the simple design that makes the instrument difficult to play.

About 12 individual tones are generated from the alphorn by varying the tension of the lips.

The alphorn is a popular traditional instrument in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Yesterday, at the Theresienwiese Oktoberfest fair grounds in Munich, southern Germany, alphorn musicians dressed in traditional costumes (left) showed off their skills at the world's biggest beer festival, which runs until Oct 3.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2016, with the headline 'Chance to blow their own trumpets'. Print Edition | Subscribe