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Friday, May 15, 2009

Can you play a fiddle like a cello?

Of course you can! This is a very exciting subject for me because that is one of my dreams is to be able to play this very moving etheral instrument from the Gates of Istanbul! The door that peers to western nations. Here are a few things about the Kemenche or Gadulka!
The kemençe of Turkish classical music (Armudî kemençe) is a small instrument closely related to the Byzantine lyra, 40-41 cm in length and 14-15 cm wide. Its pear-shaped body, elliptical pegbox and neck are fashioned from a single piece of wood. Its sound-board has two D-shaped soundholes of some 4x3 cm, approximately 25 mm apart, the rounded side facing outwards. The bridge is placed between, one side resting on the face of the instrument and the other on the sound post. A small hole 3-4 mm in diameter is bored in the back, directly below the bridge, and a ‘back channel’ (‘sırt oluğu’) begins from a triangular raised area (‘mihrap’) which is an extension of the neck, widens in the middle, and ends in a point near the tailpiece (“kuyruk takozu”) to which the gut or metal strings are attached. There is no nut to equalize the vibrating lengths of the strings.

Kemenche in production
The pegs, which are 14-15 cm long, form a triangle on the head, the middle string being 37-40 mm longer than the strings to either side of it. The vibrating lengths of the short strings are 25.5-26 cm. All the strings are of gut but the yegâh string is silver-wound. Today players may use synthetic racquet strings, aluminium-wound gut, synthetic silk or chromed steel violin strings.
Formerly the head, neck and back channel might be inlaid with ivory, mother-of-pearl or tortoise shell. Some kemençes made for the palace or mansions by great makers such as Büyük İzmitli or Baron had their backs and even the edges of the sound holes completely covered with such inlays with engraved and inlaid motifs. (wikipedia Encyclopedia)

Of course this is very similar to the Gadulka and here are the facts:The Gadulka (Bulgarian: Гъдулка) is a traditional Bulgarian bowed string instrument. Alternate spellings are "gudulka" and "g'dulka". It is a descendant of the Hudok or Gudok. Its name comes from a root meaning "to make noise, hum or buzz". The gadulka is an integral part of Bulgarian traditional instrumental ensembles, commonly played in the context of dance music. The Russian gudok, meanwhile, ceased to exist as a folk instrument for several centuries. All present instruments are replicas, based on several parts of gudoks found in the Novgorod excavations. There have been several attempts to revive the gudok in music. Borodin's opera Prince Igor contains a "Gudok Player's Song", which is an artistic reconstruction of how the gudok may have sounded.
The gadulka commonly has three (occasionally four) main strings with up to ten sympathetic resonating strings underneath, although there is a smaller variant of the instrument in the Dobrudja region with no sympathetic strings at all. Only the main melodic strings are touched by the player's fingers and the strings are never pressed all the way down to touch the neck. The gadulka is held vertically, with the bow held perpendicular in an under-hand hold.
One possible origin of the Gadulka is the lira, the bowed Byzantine instrument of the of the 9th century AD and ancestor of most European bowed instruments.

1 comment:

  1. Cello is truly an awesome instrument but you will find it hard to learn because this is not just a typical instruments.

    Only just a few who has a magnificent hand who can play it very well.

    I am one of those people who are very eager to learn and handle different instruments, that is why i used to buy orchestra instructional DVDs that will help me in my goal.

    I also buy dvds online to watch instructional videos to help me.

    Hope someday i can be a good music instrumentalist.