Tambura – word of persian-arabian origin;
cordophonian instrument from long neck lauta’s familly;
In the Islam parts of the world this instrument is popular under the names: tanbur, tamburica, tunbur, baglama, sharkija, saz, bozuk, buziki, dotara etc.
The instrumen’s origin is not familiar so far. Some ethnoorganologists think that the Balkan tambura was brought from Sumerian, but some of them connect it with the old indian term “tant” (an instrument that playes a tone).
Litarka or liketelija (two-string tambura), chetvorka, karaduzen or chivttelija (four-string tambura),bozuk (six-string tambura) and sharkija (three to twelve-string tambura).
Made of one-part wood. The corpus, the neck and the head make constructive totality.
It could be also made of two parts of the wood: one part aimed for the neck and the head, andthe other part for the corpus. These wood parts are united with glue.
The tambura’s neck is thin and long (360 do 500 mm). The lenght of the whole instrument is between 750 i 900 mm. The corpus’ lenght is 250 – 300 mm, width about 140 – 200 mm, and the depth – till 120 i 150 mm. The hilt is thin (20 – 35 mm.)
Function and Repertoire:
In the macedonian folk instrumental tradition the tambura was mostly a solo instrument or an accompanienment of the macedonian folk songs in the past. Later it become part of the ensembles which also include: gaida, tamburas, tapan, etc, as an acompanienment of folk dances.
In nowdays the tamburas are part of the bigger scene ensembles which acompanies both traditional songs and dances, and stylized folk dances and composed tunes.
Translated and adapted by: Branka Bugariska