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Tamburica

Tamburica (pronounced /tæmˈbʊərɪtsə/ or /ˌtæmbəˈrɪtsə/) or Tamboura (Croatian: Tamburica, meaning Little Tamboura, Hungarian: Tambura, Greek: Ταμπουράς, sometimes written tamburrizza) refers to any member of a family of long-necked lutes popular in Eastern and Southern Europe, particularly Croatia (especially Slavonia), northern Serbia (Vojvodina) and Hungary. It is also known in southern Slovenia and Burgenland. All took their name and some characteristics from the Persian tanbur but also resemble the mandolin, in that its strings are plucked and often paired. The frets may be moveable to allow the playing of various modes. The body of the instrument is made of a hollow gourd.

Contents

* History
* Types of tamburica
--- Dangubica
--- Samica
--- Prim (bisernica)
--- Bas-prim (brač)
--- Čelović
--- Bugarija (kontra)
--- Čelo
--- Bas (berda, begeš)
* Parts of tamburica
* Croatian tamburica
--- History
--- About
* Composers and ensembles
* In popular culture - Films about tamburicas
* References

History

THE AREA WHERE TAMBURICA IS PLAYED.

 

The area where tamburica is played.

There is little reliable data showing how the tamboura entered Central Europe. It already existed during Byzantine Empire, and the Greeks and Slavs used to call "pandouras" (see pandoura) or "tambouras" the ancestor of modern bouzouki.[1] It was probably brought by the Turks to Bosnia, from where the instrument spread further with migrations of Šokci and Bunjevci above the Sava River to all parts of Croatia, Serbia and further[2]. The modern tamburica shape was developed in Hungary (Budapest) in the end of 19th century.

Until the Great Migration of the Serbs at the end of the 17th century, the type of tamboura most frequently used in Croatia and Serbia had a long neck and two or three strings (sometimes doubled).[citation needed] Similar string instruments are the Czech bratsche, Turkish saz and the sargija, çiftelia and bouzouki.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (West Herzegovina), Croatia, Serbia (especially the Pannonian plain: Slavonia, Vojvodina) and Hungary the tamboura (often referred to by the diminutive tamburica) is the basic instrument of traditional folk music, usually performed by small orchestras of three to ten members, though large orchestras capable of playing even classical pieces arranged for tamboura also exist.

Types of tamburica

The number of strings on a tamburica varies and it may have single or double-coursed strings or a mixture of both. Double-coursed strings are tuned in unison. The basic forms of tamburica are (Croatian name is given with Hungarian name in the parenthesis, if different):

Dangubica

* The dangubica is a small Croatian stringed instrument, having either two single or two double strings, a long, fretted neck, and a pear-shaped body. One string (or pair or strings) is used to play the melody, while the second plays a continuous note, known as the drone. Loosely translated, the word danguba means "to lose the day," referring to the instrument's origins among shepherds, who usually played alone as a way to pass the time. This also helps to explain the fact that tuning of the dangubica is widely varied.

* THE DANGUBICA IS A SMALL CROATIAN STRINGED INSTRUMENT, HAVING EITHER TWO SINGLE OR TWO DOUBLE STRINGS, A LONG, FRETTED NECK, AND A PEAR-SHAPED BODY. ONE STRING (OR PAIR OR STRINGS) IS USED TO PLAY THE MELODY, WHILE THE SECOND PLAYS A CONTINUOUS NOTE, KNOWN AS THE DRONE. LOOSELY TRANSLATED, THE WORD DANGUBA MEANS "TO LOSE THE DAY," REFERRING TO THE INSTRUMENT'S ORIGINS AMONG SHEPHERDS, WHO USUALLY PLAYED ALONE AS A WAY TO PASS THE TIME. THIS ALSO HELPS TO EXPLAIN THE FACT THAT TUNING OF THE DANGUBICA IS WIDELY VARIED.

dangubica

* THE SAMICA - THREE DOUBLE STRINGS. THE SAMICA IS A SMALL STRINGED AND FRETTED TRADITIONAL CROATIAN FOLK INSTRUMENT. ITS OVERALL SHAPE IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE DANGUBICA, AND HAS UP TO FOUR STRINGS. ONE OF THESE STRINGS IS USED TO PLAY A MELODY, THE REST BEING USED AS DRONES, PLAYING A SINGLE NOTE. THE SAMICA IS OFTEN PLAYED TO ACCOMPANY DANCING AND SINGING. ALONG WITH THE DANGUBICA, THE SAMICA IS ONE OF THE FORERUNNERS OF THE MODERN TAMBURITZA.

samica

Samica

* The samica - three double strings. The samica is a small stringed and fretted traditional Croatian folk instrument. Its overall shape is similar to that of the dangubica, and has up to four strings. One of these strings is used to play a melody, the rest being used as drones, playing a single note. The samica is often played to accompany dancing and singing. Along with the dangubica, the samica is one of the forerunners of the modern tamburitza.

Prim (bisernica)

* The prim (prím) - one double string, G, and three single strings E, A, D. This is the smallest tamburica (about 50 cm long), but is very loud. It is mostly used as a lead instrument or harmonizing instrument. The bisernica (from Croatian "biser" meaning "pearl") is almost identical but may have two double strings and two single strings.

PRIM (BISERNICA) * THE PRIM (PRÍM) - ONE DOUBLE STRING, G, AND THREE SINGLE STRINGS E, A, D. THIS IS THE SMALLEST TAMBURICA (ABOUT 50 CM LONG), BUT IS VERY LOUD. IT IS MOSTLY USED AS A LEAD INSTRUMENT OR HARMONIZING INSTRUMENT. THE BISERNICA (FROM CROATIAN "BISER" MEANING "PEARL") IS ALMOST IDENTICAL BUT MAY HAVE TWO DOUBLE STRINGS AND TWO SINGLE STRINGS.

prim (bisernica)

* THE BAS-PRIM OR BRAČ (BASSZPRÍM OR BRÁCS) - TWO DOUBLE STRINGS AND TWO SINGLE STRINGS, A SLIGHTLY BIGGER, LOWER INSTRUMENT THAN THE BISERNICA BUT PLAYED IN A SIMILAR FASHION.

bas-prim (brač)

Bas-prim (brač)

* The bas-prim or brač (basszprím or brács) - two double strings and two single strings, a slightly bigger, lower instrument than the bisernica but played in a similar fashion.

Čelović

* The čelović - two double sintrings and two single strings.

* THE ČELOVIĆ - TWO DOUBLE SINTRINGS AND TWO SINGLE STRINGS.

čelović

* THE BUGARIJA OR KONTRA (BRÁCSÓ OR KONTRA) - ONE DOUBLE STRING D AND THREE SINGLE STRINGS, SIMILAR TO A GUITAR, MOSTLY USED FOR. A BUGARIJA HAS FIVE STRINGS, THE BOTTOM PAIR ARE D, THE MIDDLE STRING IS A AND THE TOP TWO ARE TUNED F# AND F#.

bugarija (kontra)

Bugarija (kontra)

* The bugarija or kontra (brácsó or kontra) - one double string D and three single strings, similar to a guitar, mostly used for. A bugarija has five strings, the bottom pair are D, the middle string is A and the top two are tuned F# and F#.

Čelo

* The čelo (cselló) - four strings, similar in size to the bugarija and used for dynamics.

* THE ČELO (CSELLÓ) - FOUR STRINGS, SIMILAR IN SIZE TO THE BUGARIJA AND USED FOR DYNAMICS.

čelo

* THE BAS OR BERDA (TAMBURABŐGŐ), ALSO CALLED BEGEŠ (BŐGŐS) - FOUR STRINGS. IT IS THE LARGEST INSTRUMENT IN THE TAMBURICA FAMILY, AND IS SIMILAR TO CONTRABASS. IT CAN ONLY BE PLAYED STANDING AND IS USED FOR PLAYING BASS LINES.

bas (berda, begeš)

Bas (berda, begeš)

* The bas or berda (tamburabőgő), also called begeš (bőgős) - four strings. It is the largest instrument in the tamburica family, and is similar to contrabass. It can only be played standing and is used for playing bass lines.

There is a view that the first tambura orchestra was formed in Hungary in the 19th century[3]. The instruments' names came from the Hungarian names of the musical instruments of the symphony orchestra ("cselló" meaning cello, "bőgő" meaning contrabass) and from the Hungarian Gipsy bands (bőgős, prím, kontra).[3][4] These orchestras soon spread to what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Parts of tamburica

The tamburica is made in three parts; body, neck and head. The body (sound box) was pear-shaped until the middle of the nineteenth century CE, and was built by scooping out the log. Today they are mostly built in the way of the guitar and even the smallest, the bisernica, has a constructed box. The fingerboard has frets (Croatian: prečnice, krsnice, pragovi). The head (Croatian: glava, čivijište, Hungarian: fej) usually had a sharpened form, which can be found still on some bisernicas, but the "snail" design later got the supremacy.[5]

Croatian tamburica

- History

Croatian tamburica (tam•bu•rit•za) is a folk song played with a tambura (cousins with Russian balalaika and the Italian mandolin) and is accompanied with a dance. The origin is most commonly thought to be introduced from the Turks by way of Bosnia between the 14th and 16th century. Although, others believe that the tambura was introduced by the Persians. It wasn't until the 19th century that tamburitza gained popularity during several nationalist movements against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many societies such as Croatian, Slovak and Czech, used national folk songs and dance as an "expression of their national identity". During this time, the first Croatian tamburitza ensemble was created by Pajo Kolarić in 1847. Also, during early 20th century ethnomusicologist Professor Vinko Žganec, began to write down Croatian folk songs which in the past were not written, but passed down from generation to generation.

The popularity of Croatian tamburitza continued to grow and even developed into professional working ensembles throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. Tamburitza became so popular that newsletters began to circulate Croatia and neighboring countries that shared interest in the instrument. Then in 1941, the first radio station in Croatia (located in Zagreb) that's basis was tamburitza was created and named the Croatian Radio-Television Tamburitza Orchestra. Croatian Tamburitza continues to be popular in Croatia and in North America thanks to the Croatian Fraternal Union and Duquesne University.

- About

The tambura as said before is a chordophone instrument that can be dated back to the 14th century and is an instrument thought to be from the Turks and Persians. It is closely related to the Russian balalaika and the Italian mandolin. The songs are very light hearted and mainly about love and the villages the ensemble is from. All musicians in the ensemble dress in ethnic Croatian clothes. The dances are also fun, fast, and exciting to watch.

Composers and ensembles

Tamburica orchestras can have various formats from a trio to a large orchestra. A basic trio consists of a prim, a kontra and a čelo. Larger orchestras also have bas-prims and bass-prim-terc tamburas.

The first major composer for the tamburica was Pajo Kolarić, who formed the first amateur tamburica orchestra in Osijek in 1847[citation needed]. Kolarić's student Mijo Majer formed the first tamburica choir led by a conductor, the "Hrvatska Lira", in 1882. Croatian composers for the tamburica include Franjo Ksaver Kuhač, Siniša Leopold and Julije Njikoš. The instrument is associated with Croatian nationalism. Vinko Žganec, an associate of Béla Bartók, collected more than 19,000 Croatian folk songs.
The village of Schandorf in Austria, whose Croatian-speaking inhabitants are descended from 16th Century Croatian immigrantss, is the home of a tamburrizza orchestra, a reflection of its ethnic heritage. The orchestra performs frequently, often outside the village.[6].

See: A tamburrizza orchestra "100 tamburaša" and "Šokačka rapsodija" ( http://www.100tamburasa.svita.net , www.sokadija.hr )

A TAMBURRIZZA ORCHESTRA "100 TAMBURAŠA" "HRVATSKA TAMBURAŠKA RAPSODIJA" U BEČU 14.05.2009. WIENER KONZERTHAUS, WIEN.

A tamburrizza orchestra "100 tamburaša" "Hrvatska tamburaška rapsodija" u Beču 14.05.2009. Wiener Konzerthaus, Wien.

In popular culture - Films about tamburicas

* The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago (1978)
Directed by Jill Godmilow, Martin Koenig and Ethel Raim. Produced by Mary Koenig, Ethel Raim and Jill Godmilow.

* Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart (1987)
Filmed and directed by Les Blank. Produced by Flower Films in association with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California. Based on ethnography by Andre Simic. El Cerrito, California: Flower Films & Video. ISBN 0933621388.

References

1. ^ Elizabeth Jeffreys,John Haldon,Robin Cormack, The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Oxford University Press, 2008, p928. Nikos Maliaras, Byzantina mousika organa, EPN 1023, ISΒN 978-960-7554-44-4 [archive]
2. ^ Trešnjevka tamburica ensemble: Over tamburica - short history
3. ^ a b Volly István: Bajai tamburások - A bajai tamburazenekar története (1964.)
4. ^ Magyar Néprajzi Lexikon, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1977-1982
5. ^ Trešnjevka tamburica ensemble: Over the Tamburica – in general
6. ^ Schandorf Čemba: TAMBURIZZAORCHESTER (German)

* The prim (prím) - one double string, G, and three single strings E, A, D. This is the smallest tamburica (about 50 cm long), but is very loud. It is mostly used as a lead instrument or harmonizing instrument. The bisernica (from Croatian "biser" meaning "pearl") is almost identical but may have two double strings and two single strings.

PRIM (BISERNICA) * THE PRIM (PRÍM) - ONE DOUBLE STRING, G, AND THREE SINGLE STRINGS E, A, D. THIS IS THE SMALLEST TAMBURICA (ABOUT 50 CM LONG), BUT IS VERY LOUD. IT IS MOSTLY USED AS A LEAD INSTRUMENT OR HARMONIZING INSTRUMENT. THE BISERNICA (FROM CROATIAN "BISER" MEANING "PEARL") IS ALMOST IDENTICAL BUT MAY HAVE TWO DOUBLE STRINGS AND TWO SINGLE STRINGS.

prim (bisernica)

 

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