The roots of the maqruna in Egypt can be traced to the Lebanese ‘mijwiz’ or ‘midjweh’, which means ‘paired’ or ‘married.’ It is so called because it is a double-reed flute with two identical tubes, for which reason it is often confused with the arghoul. Unlike the arghoul, which has only one pipe with holes, the maqruna has 5 or 6 holes on each pipe.
The number of holes on the pipes determine the pitch and tone of the instrument. Both pipes are taken into the mouth and air is blown in a circular and continuous manner. The fingers must be positioned simultaneously across both pipes. In effect, its naming is apt since the pipes are perpetually paired while playing.
The history of the maqruna is linked to traditional “midjweh” which is widely considered to be one of the oldest wind instruments. Variations of it can be found in the historical documents of the Mediterranean basin, the entire Middle East, and even China. The Egyptian maqruna is found primarily in the Nile Delta region, where it is commonly featured in ensembles that combine different reed wind instruments.