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date: 18 November 2019


  • Nino Razmadze


Angular harp of Georgia. In Svaneti it is also known as shimekvshe (‘broken arm’), but it survives only in the northern part of that region. It is considered to be derived from a pre-Islamic Persian harp. The body is either hollowed from one piece of wood, usually coniferous, or more often nowadays assembled from two sides joined at the bottom at a V-shaped angle. The wooden soundtable might have small circular or f-shaped soundholes. The right-angled or slightly bent neck carries 6, 10, or 11 strings of twisted horsehair (formerly silk) wound around wooden pegs; at the lower end the strings are attached directly to the soundtable or to a slat affixed to its surface. The changi is held vertically on the knees and the strings are played either in chords or by plucking individual strings. One or several changis are played, mostly by women, to accompany solo or choral singing. In the mid-20th century, several modified forms of the ...

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