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Gordon - hit cello

Transylvanian three string bass

taraf, Soporul, Transylvania

taraf, Miheşu de Câmpie, Transylvania

taraf, Voivodeni, Transylvania

Cello and bass have been added to the lăutari bands since the 19th century. For easier transportation in the rural areas they are somewhat smaller than the classical instrument, having only three strings. They are known as cel or gordon. In Banat and surrounding areas the strings were hit with a stick to give a more percussive sound for fast dances. This technique has mostly been abandoned except by the Csángós of Gyimes and musicians around Bicaz, both these regions being high in the eastern Carpathians. In these areas they have developed the technique to give a totally percussive instrument. The left hand, instead of stopping the string against the fingerboard, lifts it so that it slaps back down on the fingerboard and then the right hand uses a stick to strike the thick strings.




Alexandru, T (1980), Romanian folk music, Musical publishing house, Bucharest


© Eliznik2005, First issue 2002, Last updated Mar-07