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Thread: Mystery Croatian Instrument

  1. #1

    Default Mystery Croatian Instrument

    Glazbala of Zagreb made some archtop guitars in the 50s or 60s which were imported into the UK. This is for sale in the USA and is nearly 26 inches long. I assume it most be an instrument that evolved in that part of the Balkans but it may just be a variant of the Bouzouki.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/19548587988...c888%7Ciid%3A1

  2. #2
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    That's a tamburiza, a prim or bisernica to be exact. I have one myself. Tamburizas (tamburicas) come in many sizes, and are sometimes played in large bands. They're popular with Serbs too. In fact, I wouldn't go into a Serbian bar and claim my tamburiza as a Croatian instrument!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamburica

    For the record:

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    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    "I wouldn't go into a Serbian bar and claim my tamburiza as a Croatian instrument!"

    If you did, you would need to place a sticker over "Glazbala Zagreb" on its top- maybe a Serbian double- headed eagle?

    That Jerry Garcia lookalike in the video rocks!

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    That's true. I was thinking of tamburitzas in general rather than that specific one. I wouldn't walk into a Croatian bar and say that tamburitzas were Serbian instruments either. Actually, in the city where I grew up, a popular nightclub run by Serbs had a Croatian house band, so Serbs and Croatians are like everyone else -- they can get along. I'm glad you enjoyed the music. By the way, Jerry is a Croatian-American from Pennsylvania.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Grcevich
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-26-2022 at 10:29am.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    I've sold a few of the tamburitza instruments, my buyers were from the Pittsburgh area and were involved with the Croatian musical community. It was all prim and proper
    Cabin Fever String Band

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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    Does anyone have an idea, what strings / string diameter to use to tune a bisernica in fifths?
    I also have one and tore a string trying to do so. I guess I got overly zealous.
    Eastman MD-315, Eastman MDO-305, Kentucky KM-150, Calace 1917, Gibson A ~ 1920, Johnson resonator mando

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mystery Croatian Instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by Cando View Post
    Does anyone have an idea, what strings / string diameter to use to tune a bisernica in fifths?
    I also have one and tore a string trying to do so. I guess I got overly zealous.
    This site suggests GDAE, which is convenient for mandolin players. I don't know what kind of strings I use. My luthier, who retired recently, had various strings that he sold singly to fit tamburizas. There's a Croatian tamburitza orchestra in town, so he supplied some or all of their musicians. A few years ago I searched the internet for information on prims, but found little available in English. There may be more now. I often find things on the net that I couldn't in the past (such as the page below).

    http://learningtambura.byethost6.com/prim.html?i=1
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-27-2022 at 12:42pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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