gusli (Traditional Russian plucked psaltery)

~ String instrument


Ancient Russian psaltery/box-zither with 4 to 36 metal strings, it is played in a few different ways, depending on the variation (see annotation). Originally similar to a flat harp, it was played at ceremonies and other festivities.


Various versions of the gusli is as follows:

Shlemovidnye or "Helmet-shaped" this is played horizontally on the lap. It is common in the southern and western regions of Kievan Rus'.

Krylovidnye or "Wing-shaped" this resembles the other Baltic-psalteries the most, it is played like the modern guitar. it was perfected by O.U. Smolensky and N.I. Prilav in 1900. It is common in the northern parts, especially Novgorod and Pskov.

Claviroobraznie or the "Clavichord" variant was invented 1914 by N.P. Fomin. it has a keyboard which enacted dampeners on the strings, thereby enabling things like glissandi and arpeggios, it is used primarily in Russian folk instrument orchestras.

Annotation last modified on 2018-03-03 17:19 UTC.


related instruments:kanklės (Traditional Lithuanian plucked psaltery)
kannel (Traditional Estonian plucked psaltery)
kantele (Traditional Finnish plucked psaltery)
kokle (Traditional Latvian plucked psaltery)
part of:Baltic psalteries (Family of Baltic box-zithers)
has hybrids:bandura (Ukraininan lute-zither)
picture: [info]
Wikidata:Q1147128 [info]
other databases: [info]