Chonguri: description of the instrument, how it looks, sound, history

Chonguri: description of the instrument, how it looks, sound, history

Georgian songs are famous for their malleability, melodiousness and sincerity. And they are often performed to the accompaniment of ancient musical instruments. One of them is chonguri. The history of this representative of the string family goes deep into the centuries, but this does not make him less popular. National holidays and rituals are held to the sound of chonguri, its melodic sounds accompany the work of Georgian craftswomen.

Description of the tool

Panduri and chonguri are widespread in the national musical culture. They are similar, but the latter is more improved, has more extensive characteristics, harmonic possibilities. The body is pear-shaped. It is made of wood, after specially drying and processing the wood in a special way. The size of the instrument from the truncated base to the top of the neck is more than 1000 centimeters. Chonguri can be fretted or fretless. The sound range is from “re” of the 1st octave to “re” of the 2nd octave.

Chonguri: description of the instrument, how it looks, sound, history

Chonguri device

The device is determined by three important details – a rounded or pear-shaped body, a long neck and a head with pegs to which the strings are attached. For the manufacture, valuable wood species are used, dried during the day under special conditions. This is the only way to achieve a unique resonance, subtle sound. The body and deck plates are thin, interconnected by a thin plate. The neck of a classical instrument has no frets. In advanced models, they may be present.

In the manufacture, mainly pine or spruce is used for a more sonorous sound. Three strings are attached to the upper end of the neck on one side and to a metal loop on the soundboard on the other. Previously, they were made from horsehair, today nylon or silk are more common.

The difference from the panduri is the fourth string, which is attached between I and II, is stretched from the back rounded side of the neck and has the highest sound.


Musicologists do not stop arguing which of the instruments appeared earlier – panduri or chonguri. Most agree that the second has become just an improved version of the first, but it is still based on the musical tradition of panduri. In any case, it appeared no later than the XNUMXth century.

Chonguri: description of the instrument, how it looks, sound, history

The peoples of the eastern regions of Georgia, who lived mainly in the valley, were the first to master the art of playing. Chonguri was played mainly by women. The sounds of the instrument accompanied their songs. Sometimes he could sound solo. In the 30s of the last century, K.A. Vashakidze worked on its improvement, as a result of which a whole family of chonguri was created – bass, prima, double bass. The instrument became a matter of a lifetime for the famous Tbilisi Darchinashvili dynasty, in whose workshop the best specimens are created.

The sound of chonguri

Unlike its predecessor, the instrument has a wider sound tonality, a bright juicy timbre, and is able to accompany not only one-voice, but also two-voice and three-voice singing. A distinctive feature is the absence of a transition from one key to another within the framework of the performance of the song. The sound construction is influenced by the 4 string “zili”. It has the highest sound, which differs in each key: octave, seventh, nona. The sound is produced by running the fingers along the strings. Unlike playing the panduri, it is played from the bottom up.

The Georgian musical national culture has amazing roots, and the attitude of the people to music is reverent, almost reverent. Tourists often bring Chonguri as a souvenir to remember the melodic tunes of women in beautiful traditional dresses, the beauty of the mountains and the hospitality of the Gurians.

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