Kankles: instrument composition, history, use, playing technique
In the 4th century, a wing-shaped chordophone with 5-XNUMX strings stretched over the soundboard was used in Lithuania. The body was made of various types of wood, a round cavity was hollowed out inside, which was covered with a spruce sheet from above. A resonator hole in the form of a flower or a star was cut out on the deck. A musical instrument that looks like a Russian gusli was called “kankles”.
The length of the Lithuanian chordophone is 80-90 centimeters. Depending on the type, the strings can be from 12 to 25. The sound range exceeds four octaves. Each string is attached to a metal rod and pegs on opposite sides. They play with the fingers of both hands, laying the kankles on their knees. The Play technique also includes the use of a bone mediator.
Similar chordophones are used by different peoples of Europe. The Finns have the kantele, the Latvians have the kokles, the Estonians play the kantele. The Lithuanian member of the plucked string family is used to accompany solo vocalists and choirs. At the end of the 30th century, the first ensemble appeared in Kaunas, led by Pranas Puskunigis. The musician laid down the traditions of the Play, which became the basis of modern academic performing culture. In the XNUMXs of the last century, playing the kankles was included in the curriculum of music schools, conservatories and academies in Lithuania.