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date: 22 November 2019



Plucked lute of Ukraine. There are no accurate descriptions of the historical instrument and very few survive, but iconographical evidence of the 16th to the 18th centuries shows two types, both gut-strung (usually with six single courses), sometimes fretted, and with bodies either carved from a block of wood or stave-built. One was short-necked and resembled the Romanian and Moldavian cobzā; the other was long-necked and resembled the ṭanbūr. Subsequently, four to six unstopped treble strings (prystrunky) stretched over the treble side of the soundtable were added to the latter type of kobza. This may have influenced the evolution of the bandura, although the exact relationship is unclear. The kobza was plucked either by the fingers or with a plectrum worn on a ring on the middle finger. It became obsolete in the early 20th century but recently has been revived by folk music groups in Kiev and Kharkiv, and notably by Mykola Propenko, who in the 1970s made a family of fretted kobzas of four sizes, tuned in 5ths and paralleling the instruments of the violin family....

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