Starosvitska (Ukrainian Folk) Bandura

My little Ukrainian Bandura

x Top x Back x Under
Tuned g~C~E~A


Piccolo Starosvitska Bandura

This is a small Ukrainian traditional instrument called Folk or Starosvitska Bandura. It appears, (if you believe wikipedia), to have had an long and varied history where it has been a symbol of Ukrainian Cossack nationalism whose popularity has waxed and waned with the relationship between the Ukraine and Russia. There have been historical massacres because of it in the bad times, and orchestras made up of different sizes of them in the good times. What I don't know however, is how to play it? Do you play chords on the longer neck bit? Do you strum it or pluck it? But no one bid against me in the ebay auction so I'll have a better idea when it arrives.

The Bandura is very nice; and is a piccolo, (so not very big). I can play it like a harp, one string at a time, but my repertoire so far is limited to "close encounters of the third kind". Handy if I need to communicate with aliens but not quite rock and roll. What I have found out about them though, is they have some similarities to playing a Harp Guitar, (I don't know how to play one of those either though), It is well made and solid with steel strings that have zither like tuners, (so you need a spanner, or some kind of other tool to turn them). However I don't know what notes I am suppose to tune the strings too? Fun though and definitely different

I'm guessing it was made by Trembita, an acoustic Guitar and Folk Instrument maker in Lviv, Ukraine. They say they have been in business for over 60 years making guitars and that they are currently the only commercial manufacturer of Ukrainian Bandura