About the Bandura

The BanduraA song – the spirit of Ukrainian nation – the inexhaustible source of tradition and inspiration, the basis on which the Bandura, one of Ukraine’s most beautiful, musical instruments originated. Many centuries have already passed, yet the Bandura remains pure and irreplaceable.

The Bandura dates back to the 6-th century on Ukrainian territory. It was first mentioned in a Greek chronicle describing a lute-like instrument, which was played by the warriors in the camps and on the battlefields.

Originally, it was used for the accompaniment of epic folk ballads and occasional folk dances. Between the 15th and 18th centuries traveling musicians, called Kobzars, entertained in towns and villages of Ukraine, singing about the exploits of the Kozaks (Ukrainian warriors).

Over the years, the Bandura acquired more strings and become a fully chromatic concert instrument with switches to change tonalities. The modern concert bandura has 65 strings and is chromatically tuned through 5 octaves. The strings are plucked with the fingertips, resulting in a sound similar to that of a harp, guitar and harpsichord combined.

Today the Bandura is taught as a solo and ensemble instrument in music schools and conservatories in Ukraine. Since Ukraine regained its independence in 1991, the revival of folk traditions with epic ballads is in progress and the Bandura has regained its prominent place as a Ukrainian national instrument.