EUROPE 2014 – Serbian Musical Instruments

EUROPE 2014 – Serbian Musical Instruments

Musical instrument is an important element of the musical tradition of a nation. Musical instruments take numerous forms, and by their origin they can be indigenous or adopted from another culture, but can also become national because of its use.

According to classification of musical instruments of Germam ethnomusicologists Curt Sachs and Erich M. Hornbostel, which takes as the criterion any material as the source of the sound and the way the sound is produced by these instruments, musical instruments can be divided into four groups, namely: 1. Idiophones; 2. Membarnophones; 3. Chordphones and 4. Аеrophones.

In Serbian traditional practice idiophone (self-sounding) instruments are relatively rare and their structure is usually relatively simple. Their function ranges from ritual via signal to literally musical (bell, clapper, jew’s harp).

Membranophone instruments (producing sound by a vibrating membrane) are relatively rare, and are characteristic by their musical function (drum/tapan, darbuka, tambourine i.e. def, cupa or begesh).

Chordphone (string) instruments produce sounds by plucking (striking) or by dragging a bow between two stretched fixed points (tambura, tambura ensemble, gusle (single-string fiddle), gusle ensemble).

Aerophone (aer–air, greek) instruments can be: free (leaf, grass and onion feather) and wind instruments. Wind instruments in Serbia are undoubtedly the most numerous and are present in almost all existing groups, such as labial/ folk flutes (fife-duduk-flute, ocarine, twin pipes, cevara (pipe instrument)); fifes played with tongue/folk clarinets (leika, zurle, bagpipes, diple), and fifes that produce sounds by vibration of lips/trumpet (tree bark trumpet, rikalo-punched, wind–brass orchestra).

Fife (duduk/flute) belongs to the family of so-called folk flutes. It is made of wood and has six holes for playing. It can be made in more sizes. Sound produced by the longest instruments is often “boosted” by a characteristic tone coming out of player’s throat.

Bagpipes belong to so-called folk clarinets since the source of their sound is a beep through a single reed. In musical practice in Serbia there are two types of bagpipes: two-voiced bagpipes (southern Morava-Macedoniaand Vlach) and three-voiced bagpipes (Svrljig and Banat bagpipes).

Artistic realization of the stamps: Nadežda Skočajić, academic painter - graphic artist.


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