A relatively large number of musical instruments belong to the group of plucked instruments. This harp, guitar, balalaika, lute, mandolin, dombra and many others. How did the most famous of them come down to our days? The history of many of these musical instruments is full of interesting facts.
Where did the harp come from?
Harp is a plucked musical instrument, which appeared one of the very first on Earth. Initially, the harp was modified from a normal hunting bow. Apparently, even then the ancient man tried, with the exception of one string, to add to his base several more "strings". It is interesting that this tool is mentioned in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. In this letter, each hieroglyph stands for a certain concept. When the Egyptians wanted to write the word "beautiful", "beautiful," they painted the harp. It was known to ancient Egyptians for 3 thousand years BC. Lyra and the harp are the two closest relatives of the hunting bow.
Playing the harp in Ireland
Once upon a time, the Irish harpers were very revered. In the distant past, they stood at the next level of hierarchy after the leaders. Often the harpists were blind - Irish bards were reading their poems under their game. The musicians sang the ancient sagas, using a small portable harp. This plucked musical instrument sounds very melodic. It is very often used by composers when it is necessary to create a mysterious situation or to present the listener with a mysterious natural image.
Where does the modern guitar originate from?
The researchers of the history of music still can not give an unambiguous answer to the question of the appearance of a guitar. The tools, which are its prototypes, date back several millennia BC. There is an opinion that the origin of the guitar is also associated with the use of a hunting bow. The ancestors of modern guitars were found by geologists in excavations of ancient Egyptian settlements. Here, this plucked musical instrument appeared about 4 thousand years ago. Presumably, it was from Egypt that it was spread all over the Mediterranean coast.
Kifara - the progenitor of the Spanish guitar
An ancient analog of the guitar was a tool called kifar. It is very similar to the guitars that are used today. Even in our time in Asian countries, you can find a small musical instrument called "kiniira." In ancient times the progenitors of guitars had only two or three strings. Only in the XVI century in Spain appears a guitar with five strings. It is here that it gets the most spread, in comparison with other European countries. The guitar from these times began to be called the national musical instrument of Spain.
The history of the balalaika in Russia
Everyone knows the stringed plucked musical instrument, which has become one of the national symbols of Russia, is a balalaika. When she appeared in Russia, no one can say unequivocally. There is an assumption that the balalaika derives its origin from the dombra, on which the Kirghiz-kaisaks played. The earliest references to the balalaika in history date back to 1688.
However, one thing is certain - this plucked musical instrument was invented by ordinary people. Serf peasants, to at least briefly forget about their heavy share, loved to have fun and play a balalaika. It was used by buffoons who traveled around the fairs with performances.
A sad story is connected with the ban on the use of balalaika by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. The angry ruler in due time has ordered to destroy all plucked musical instrument, available at the population. If anyone dares to disobey the tsar, he will be subjected to cruel flogging and sent into exile. However, after the death of the autocrat, the ban was abolished, and the balalaika resounded in Russian huts.
National musical instrument of Georgia
And what kind of plucked musical instrument is spread on Georgian soil? This panduri is the main instrument for musical accompaniment, to which songs are sung and laudatory poems are read. There is a panduri and "brother" - a tool called chonguri. Outwardly, they are very similar, but their musical properties are different. Most often, panduri occurs in eastern Georgia. This Georgian pinch musical instrument is still common in such areas as Kakheti, Tusheti, Kartli, Psavkhevsureti.
How the banjo appeared
This musical instrument is always associated with the American style of country. However, the banjo can be proud of a much older story. After all, it has African roots. It is believed that for the first time on the banjo began to play black slaves, who were brought to the American lands. The very same musical instrument comes from Africa. Initially, to create a banjo, Africans used not even a tree, but a pumpkin. Strings of horsehair or hemp were pulled on it.