Storia di Gusli
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Storia di Gusli

Many historians agree that the gusli are of Slavic origin. Their name is associated with the bowstring, which the ancient Slavs called “gusla” and made a ringing sound when pulled. Thus, the simplest instrument was obtained, which evolved over the centuries and eventually turned into a work of art with a unique sound. For example, in Veliky Novgorod, archaeologists found a harp made of wood with a stunning pagan ornament. Another find was only 37 cm long. It was decorated with carvings and illustrations of the sacred vine.

The first mention of the harp dates back to the XNUMXth century and is contained in Greek manuscripts about the Russians. But in Greece itself, this instrument was called differently – cithara or psaltery. The latter was often used in worship. It is worth noting that the “Psalter” got its name thanks to this instrument. After all, it was to the accompaniment of the psaltery that service chants were performed.

An instrument similar to the harp was found among different peoples and was called differently.

  • Finland – kantele.
  • Iran and Turkey – eve.
  • Germany – zither.
  • China is guqin.
  • Greece – lira.
  • Italy – harp.
  • Kazakhstan – zhetygen.
  • Armenia is canon.
  • Latvia – kokle.
  • Lithuania – Kankles.

It is interesting that in each country the name of this instrument comes from the words: “buzz” and “goose”. And this is quite logical, because the sound of the harp is similar to a rumble.

Storia di Gusli

The instrument in Russia was extremely loved. Each epic hero had to be able to play them. Sadko, Dobrynya Nikitich, Alyosha Popovich – these are just some of them.

Gusli were reliable companions of buffoons. This musical instrument played at the court of the king and the common people. In the middle of the XNUMXth century, difficult times came for buffoons, who often ridiculed the royal nobility and church authority. They were threatened with death torments and sent into exile, and the instruments, including the harp, were taken away and destroyed as something vicious and dark.

The image of the guslar in Slavic folklore and literature is also ambiguous. On the one hand, a guslyar musician can simply entertain the people. And, on the other hand, to communicate with another world and store secret knowledge. There are many secrets and mysteries around this image, which is why it is interesting. In the modern world, no one associates the harp with paganism. And the church itself is not against this instrument.

Gusli have come a long way and have been able to survive to this day. Changes in politics, society, faith – this tool survived everything and managed to remain in demand. Now almost every folk orchestra has this musical instrument. Gusli with their ancient sound and ease of play create unforgettable music. It feels a special Slavic flavor and history.

Despite the fact that the harp is popular among the people, they are usually made in small workshops. Due to this, almost every instrument is an individual and unique creative example.

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