"Musical Instruments in Bulgaria - Gadulka" - Various Artists

  • artist:
    Various Artists
  • release year:
  • style(s):
    • Folk
  • country:
  • formats:
    • CD (Compact Disc)
  • record submitted by:
  • label:
    Gega New
  • publisher:
    Gega New

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This is a continuation of the series MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN BULGARIA. The previous albums featured tambura (GD 278), zurna (GD 276), wind orchestra (GD 299) and gaida (GD 106). We are adding to this series an ancient instrument – gadulka, which has changed to a great extent the musical development in Europe.
Before the emergence of the first bowed string instrument of this kind, the Morin khuur or gusle, the peoples of ancient China, Egypt, India, Hellas, Rome, etc. had no knowledge of such an instrument, in spite of the richness and diversity of their musical culture. This landmark invention of the Bulgarian people (to produce a sound by rubbing a bow on a string, and in order to obtain different pitch tones – to place a finger on the string, i.e. by respectively shortening and extending it) changed to a great extent the musical development in Europe, Asia and North Africa. Similar instruments appeared in Asia and Africa (with a lag of several centuries) and in 711, when conquering the Pyrenean Peninsula, the Moors brought various musical instruments with them, one of them being the gusle. It was adopted by the West European people and the bowed string instrument vielle (fidel) was created. This marks the beginning of the great 1000-year evolution of the bowed string instruments, or the so-called violin period.
In Bulgarian musical practice, the gusle was replaced later by the gadulka. Its construction is primitive and it varies in the different folklore regions in size, shape of the resonator, number of strings (from 3-4 to 14), tuning (according to the traditions of the region). But even to this day it is a favorite instrument in most parts of the country. The best performing school for gadulka is in Thrace, and in Dobrudja it is known as kopanka – a small gadulka with three strings and higher sonority.
Gadulka playing is still being developed and improved. All the great gadulka players contribute to these changes: in the position of holding of the instrument, finger technique, way of placing the fingers on the strings, etc. You will have the chance to hear this when listening to the recordings in this programme.

Various Artists


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