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date: 16 November 2019


  • Ardian Ahmedaja


Three-stringed lute of southeastern Albania (Korçë area). Its half-pear-shaped body is assembled from thin ribs of wood. The slightly curved soundboard of fir is edged with mulberry or cherry wood and often has a thin piece of walnut as a plectrum guard. The 11 to 14 tied frets, formerly of gut, are nowadays made of synethetic material. The plectrum is made from cherry bark or turkey quill. The strings are of wire, the first two tuned a 4th, 5th, or major 2nd apart. The third string is tuned either in unison with or an octave lower than the second. The melody is played as a rule on the first string, rarely on the second. The third string is played as a drone. The bakllama was used until the mid-20th century mostly as a solo instrument and as part of small ensembles. Nowadays it is rare, since its role has been superseded as a rule by the Llautë....

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