Musical Instruments of the Peoples of the Caucasus

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The most difficult, but also the most influential art of man appeared at the dawn of mankind.

Exactly how music entered the life of a person - there are a lot of hypotheses and assumptions on this score. Definitely rhythm, in equally measured pulsation, helped groups of people to perform repetitive actions in the process of labor, and the appearance of a melody is historically connected with speech and its intonational expressiveness. Later, music was formed as a sound image of labor in teaching and religious acts, as well as imitation of the sounds of nature with the further transformation of their sequences into music, which, in turn, developed the person’s imaginative and creative thinking.

The most difficult, but also the most influential art of man appeared at the dawn of mankindRhythm

By the way, do you know what tools reproduce it? Correctly, barrels, plates and other kitchen utensils, but having the exact international name - percussion instruments.

It is believed that the first musical instruments (and originally household items on which they knocked with a hand or a stick) were precisely the percussion instruments that emphasized the rhythm of group labor activities.

In the 15-17 centuries, during the formation of the North Caucasian ethnic groups and the civilization of the region, a tool emerged that became one of the most common throughout its territory. In fact - this is a small skeleton of the barrel, covered with lamb skin. Guess? Of course. After all, everything is elementary: ram-drum.

Residents of different regions of the North Caucasus can say that this is actually a gaval, or a doul, or maybe even a guimetsaeg, and they will be right, in their own way.

Musical Instruments of the Peoples of the CaucasusTools

Human evolution is inextricably linked with the improvement of musical instruments and the development of musical culture.

But any perfection regarding the process of evolution of tools has never ceased. From here - their variety. But in folk instruments there are common features that relate them to those from other regions and even countries.

The Nart epic describes the twelve and eight-stringed harps of the Ossetians (dyuuuadæstænon fændyr), Kabardins (pshyne-dykuakue), Balkars (kyngyr-kobuz), to the accompaniment of which were performed long vocal suites, especially loved by the people. Another most popular type of North Caucasian instrument is the string-bow kobuz. The Ossetian Khisyn Fondyr, the Kabardian Shichepshin, identical to him, and the Adhoku-Pondur, Atukh Pondur among the Chechens and Ingush, and finally, the Chagan and Kemancha among the Dagestanis.

Have North Caucasians and their own balalaika
Dyuadæstænon fændir

The North Caucasians have their own balalaika. At least, in the style of the game and the timbre it is a whole range of unique ethnic stringed-plucked instruments: the Ossetian “Dala-Fandyr”, the Kabardian “Ape-Pshyne”, the Balkar “Kyl-Kobuz”, the Chechen-Ingush “Dechik-Pondur”, Mirza-Pondur ”and a copy of the instrument of the Dagestan peoples—“ Agach-Kobuz ”.


This is only a small part of the diversity of musical instruments of the peoples of the North Caucasus. All the most interesting about them is in our next materials.

We begin a big conversation about Music with a capital letter, about its genesis and all its manifestations, including through the history of the emergence and improvement of musical instruments. And what could be better than music, this eternal power of a comprehensive impact on a person and the world around him, a force that brings people together, helps them learn to appreciate and understand the beautiful?

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