All about Baltic Psaltery

Varieties of Baltic Psaltery
Psaltery is divided into 3 main types traditional, stationary and academic Baltic Psaltery

Type 1: Traditional Baltic Psaltery
It has 3 variations.

  Var 1:  wing-shaped Baltic Psaltery

Russian gusli, Finnish kantele, Estonian kannel, Latvian kokle, Lithuanian kankles

This type is the best for beginners. You don’t need special education. It is rather sheap instrument. It has such name because of its form looks like a wing. It has 5-17 strings. It is very easy to teach you self to play wing-shaped Psalteries. Just for 20-30 minutes you can play first simple music. Related instruments Kankles, Kokle, Kantele, Kannel and Krylovidnye Gusli.

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Russian Gusli

In ancient Rus’, just like in many other cultures around the world, vagrant singers entertaining the people with their songs and street performances Sergey Gorchakov (Tur)were a common sight in towns and villages. Gusli players were one of the first vagrant musicians; they sang folk songs and narrated bylinas to the accompaniment of their gusli — an ancient Russian musical instrument. Gusli are deemed to be the oldest multi-string musical instrument, with the earliest specimen found by archaeologists dating back to the 11th century. A harp, a cithara (or kithara) and a lyre are similar instruments with a similar method of sound production. However, gusli existed only in Rus’. Numerous references to gusli in chronicles, legends, bylinas and fairy tales prove how deeply rooted they were in the culture of that period. The ability to play the Gusli was ascribed to the most intelligent of the three bogatyrs — Dobrynya Nikitich. Gusli are even mentioned in the Russian Synodal Version of the Bible.

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