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Thread: Bulgarian Tambura

  1. #1
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Bulgarian Tambura

    I had the chance to play one of these the other night and of course, being me, Iím on the lookout for oneÖ anyone with experience of these who can give me a few tips and pointers?
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    I've seen a number of them, including ones used by professionals. They are not particularly fancy, often will have green plastic trim and Soviet-era craftsmanship and styling, but can sound great and project enough to carry with a tupan and gaida (drum and bagpipe).

    Tuning is DGBE, "Chicago" style, or from another POV, 4 string Greek bouzouki tuning up a step.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    I have one. i'll maybe do some pictures. I think it's from the former Yugoslavia. the label is in Cyrillic script, or a version of Cyrillic. so it might be Bulgarian. it has a body carved from one piece of wood and a head stock with tuners all on one side.

  4. #4
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    I have one. i'll maybe do some pictures. I think it's from the former Yugoslavia. the label is in Cyrillic script, or a version of Cyrillic. so it might be Bulgarian. it has a body carved from one piece of wood and a head stock with tuners all on one side.
    It could possibly be a tamburitza, the former Yugoslav instrument similar to a tambura. The Cyrillic label though could be Bulgarian. Can you post a pic?

  5. #5
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    I’ll post a photo of the one I was playing recently to se how it compares… off to work in about 30 seconds but back much later!
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Listen to the Breton guitarist Gilles Le Bigot play the tambura - particularly a track called La Funambule from his CD Empreintes.
    David A. Gordon

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    i'm posting new pictures of my tambura.Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    the label is now almost unreadable. back ten years ago I could read it a bit. my eye sight is a lot worse now. however, maybe with a good light and a magnifying glass you can read it. I recall the writing being some form of Cyrillic, but I can't be sure anymore/ there are a few half frets. the scale is modern. I have seen some of these with weird Balkan and eastern scales, like a saz or a Turkish tambur(which is probably the ancestor).the frets are not the cheapo Balkan style staples--which I have seen. these frets are in laid into the finger board--modern style. it has a great sound . the body is shallow so it's not a deep sound. but their style of music was very treble

    I used to play this but not for a few years. I tuned it slack but adad, like a old style bouzouki.

  12. #9
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    That is most likely not a Bulgarian instrument, the odd fretting is one of the older tamburitza systems. Plus, the tuners and overall design are typical of ex-Yugoslav work and it looks like most of the tamburitzas I've seen. The label could be in Serbian Cyrillic.

    Tamburica -

    http://tamburica.org/eng/abouttambura.html

    http://www.tresnjevka.net/engtamb.htm

    http://www.tambura.com.hr/Stara/arhiva.html

    http://larkinam.com/Articles/ArtTamburitzas.html

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  14. #10
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    That looks more like a baglama… listen to some of Omar Faruk Tekbilek’s playing and see if it sounds similar.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zz4QOg2sw8

    Still, a nice looking and unusual instrument.
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  15. #11
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the one I was playing; eight strings and a nice bright clear sound.
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  16. #12

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    ok you are playing the eight string thingey. I was calling that a Bulgarian bouzouki.. there was on the classifieds a few years ago, and they turn up on ebay occasionally.

    mine is different. yeah probably part of the tambutiza family. although I am no expert.

  17. #13
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Lindsay View Post
    That looks more like a baglama… listen to some of Omar Faruk Tekbilek’s playing and see if it sounds similar.
    I've taken saz lessons with Omar Faruk; the ollaimh's instrument is NOT a baglama. Note the lack of tied on quarter tone frets, etc.

    these instruments are all in the same family though.

  18. #14

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    the video wouldn't load, but there are some others for Bulgarian tambura. they are really great music.

  19. #15

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    there is a tamburitza on ebay now, at just under ten bucks. needs a lot of help, but might be a good project for someone.

  20. #16
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Link??? Don’t tempt me…. please…. however….
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  21. #17

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    I have both a Bulgarian tambura and a Macedonian one; I also play tamburitza instruments (which is what Ollaimh has). You might want to hook up with the Eastern European Folklife Center http://www.eefc.org. and join their forum. MANY players; occasionally one comes up for sale. Mine is just a cheapie off Ebay, altho' it is from Bulgaria. LOVE the sound.
    A couple good CDs to check out:
    Adam Good DANCES OF MACEDONIA AND THE BALKANS
    Valeri Dimchev Trio THE BULGARIAN TAMBOURA
    Hope this helps!
    Yvonne
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life--music and cats" Albert Schweitzer

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  23. #18
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Quote Originally Posted by violmando View Post
    Hope this helps!
    Yvonne
    It does - thanks!
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  24. #19

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is (hopefully) me with my bulgarian tambura at the EEFC Balkan Music Camp in NY several years ago.
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life--music and cats" Albert Schweitzer

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  26. #20

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    well I was inspired by the thread and saw a Bulgarian tambura on e bay and hit the buy it now. couldn't resist. i'll do pictures soon. it is rather funky and folkie but the sound is incredible for such a shallow instrument. the body is carved from one piece. I wouls love to go to the eastern music camp someday. looks fun. right now I am playing my own pieces on it, which I composed for a belly dancer I used to accompany. faux Balkan/Turkish, but it probably wouldn't fool real Balkan /turkish musicians.

    I've long been a bouzouki guy so this is an easy transition. now i'll have to try the strange Balkan rhythyms.

  27. #21
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Lucky man; I’m still searching.. and waiting…!
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  28. #22
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Quote Originally Posted by violmando View Post
    Valeri Dimchev Trio THE BULGARIAN TAMBOURA
    Yeah, thanks.....

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  30. #23
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    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Probably Farkas system

    Magistrale - La Bottega del Mandolino

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  32. #24

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    Don't know who on here reads music or learns by ear, but if you're doing the Bulgarian stuff, I recommend BY EAR. I'm classically trained, so the first time I prepared for camp I tried to do it all by reading sheet music and struggled with those WILD time signatures and rhythms. Once I got to camp, I realized that everyone does it by feel or by things like "long, short, short" etc. Made it so much EASIER to feel than try to intellectualize.
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life--music and cats" Albert Schweitzer

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  34. #25

    Default Re: Bulgarian Tambura

    the video is great. the time signatures are wonderfull. I like the bass instrument as well. looks like a Bulgarian version of the greek laouto. it has eight tuners but the picture looks like only four strings are strung. hard to tell.

    I play by ear so this is a piece I can give a try. wish I had a local teacher.

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