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The magic of Bulgarian folk music - instruments


Bulgarian masters of instruments still keep the gene of their ancestor - the Thracian Orpheus

Georg Henich was sitting in a high chair in front of the counter, shaping the bottom of a violin with a thin cutter, clamped in a wooden vise. Infinitely curious hooks, knives, bizarre hammers, small shiny pliers, and other unfamiliar tools were arranged on the counter. Large and small forms for violins and violas hung everywhere on the walls, and in the corner a thick, good-natured double bass, twice the size of mine, glowed yellow. Above the couch, to the left of the counter, hung several icons and a chandeliers on the wall. Cheerful curtains were streaked in the two windows. It smelled of varnish, glue, and wood. I inhaled these scents with great pleasure. Completely unknown odors. Twilight as in a dwarf's cave; not depressing, but mysterious and intimate. ”

Victor Paskov,

"The Ballad of Georg Henich"

Магията на българската народна музика - инструменти

For any young person determined to learn a trade, the beginning of an apprenticeship meant the end of a carefree childhood and a step towards the difficult life of adults. For his family, this was a ray of hope for his growth and for the transformation of the former kid into a respected and capable member of the craft guild. But not every apprentice becomes a master and not every master becomes a true master of musical instruments. It has long been thought to be a calling, a talent, and a gift from God. Because it is not enough just to make a musical instrument, but something much more is needed - to breathe life into it. Every musical instrument has its own soul, and it is inspired by its master. Many can create and perform music, but few are able to give life to a musical instrument. Therefore, it is not surprising that the masters of this craft are few and far between, and nowadays they are even disappearing. The legend of the Thracian Orpheus tells that when he played his lyre, all nature was dumbfounded. For thousands of years, beautiful songs and music have been born in these lands, inspired by the richness and diversity of the land and nature, and as a legacy of that Thracian musical gene that the Bulgarians carry within themselves. Musical instruments have accompanied the life of the Bulgarian throughout all stages of its history. Unfortunately, the roots of the mastery of making traditional musical instruments are poorly studied. Traces from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries are the subject of research, and very little is known about the craft from the Renaissance period. The firman of Sultan Mustafa Khan III, issued in 1772, enabled people engaged in handicrafts to acquire wider rights of self-government, self-organization of their work and life processes. This act does not affect the masters of musical instruments. In fact, they are known to have formed as an independent craft unit in the early twentieth century.

Магията на българската народна музика - инструменти

Магията на българската народна музика - инструменти

It was initially established that the people who live in the villages and are engaged in cattle breeding and less in agriculture, mainly shepherds, goatherds and cattle breeders, who have enough free time and earn their living in the field, make various whistles, bagpipes, flutes and other wooden tools with simple tools. This is fully confirmed by the song folklore, where the leading place is occupied by the

wind musical instrument, bearing the common name whistle (tsafara, kaval, duduk, dvoyanka). This notion enters the poetic consciousness and is accepted as an unchanging companion of the pastor (Racheva et al., 1998: 236–237). The tools made by them are used mainly at family and village celebrations, people, folk customs, as well as for personal pleasure - to fill the monotonous everyday life. The appearance and sound of musical instruments at that time certainly differed significantly from the instruments made in the early twentieth century. With the development of the new economic and political relations from the middle of the XIX century, an opportunity was given for a rise in the development of handicrafts and trade. Crafts began to enter the Bulgarian countryside as another livelihood opportunity. Thus, along with the traditionally existing crafts of carpentry and knife making, as a secondary and secondary craft, the craft for making musical instruments is developed and shaped. It was not necessary for him to go through the basic levels of training - apprenticeship and apprenticeship, at least at that stage of his existence. The teaching was done only by watching. It was not necessary for the master to be able to play a musical instrument. Usually the practice of passing on the craft was from father to son, which ensured the preservation of mastery and secrets in the family.

The liberation of Bulgaria gave the Bulgarians the opportunity to freely and without worries to celebrate and pay tribute to their calendar-ritual system, in which the song and the musical instrument take an active part. Freedom of expression without fear of encroachment on their lives leads to mass celebrations and celebrations in squares, sittings, parties, weddings, baptisms and others. This inevitably leads to the emergence of many young people capable of creating and performing music, and hence to the need for new and better made musical instruments. In this way, some of the master carpenters began to make and sell the tools they made and thus support their craft and business activities. Due to the specifics of the craft, it did not become widespread, with the only exception in this regard being the village of Shipka, where there were separate workshops for making kavals, whistles, bagpipes, and the craft itself was called "whistling". The craft was poorly represented between the two world wars, as the product of this type of activity is not widely used in people's lives, but finds acceptance only

among musician. Since the 1950s, there has been a significant increase in the demand for and production of traditional musical instruments, which is no coincidence. The state institutions, directly connected with the then socialist orientation of the country, purposefully created preconditions for development in this sphere. From that moment the construction of folk ensembles began, and at the same time amateur art groups appeared in the world, which inevitably led to the above-mentioned rise in the development of the craft.

Author: Stefan Bonev

Sources: Hr. Vakarelski, "Ethnography of Bulgaria"

Biliana Popova, "Peculiarities in the development of the craft MUSICAL


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