The instrument is UNIQUE, entirely handcrafted. It is of skilful craftsmanship, that is a combination of master's hard work, art creativity and long years experience. The wood material used is 15 years old, dried and worked after special traditional technology. The craft of creating string instruments master inherited from his father and grand father. Today he is renowned all over the country for his talent. The instrument's quality is guaranteed, supported also by by certificate that Shop Bulgaria ltd. and master have issued.
This is a children's rebec, with 2 resonant + 3 main strings. The material used is the same as with that of the professional gadulkas (rebecs) we offer. The children's rebec can also be played, as it has certain musical qualities. Length: 41cm/16,2 inches. The fourth picture shows, from left to right respectively, a professional gadulka with 11 strings, a children's gadulka as well as a souvenir one.
A professional string instrument Gadulka with the following characteristics:
- the top part of the neck of the instrument is made of Acacia-tree
- neck, also made of Acacia
- corpus consisting of thick resonant top plate, made of spruce/ white pine tree/ and back, base part of Acacia-tree, the block of wood hollowed out, not made of separate parts that have been glued together (skafto); handmade after old traditional master technology.
- metal string holder on the bottom of the top plate
On the top bottom there is a small metal spike that can be used for attaching the instrument to the belt of the musician so that he can hold it easily.
- on the bottom is the black horn-made plate for attaching the strings.
- 2 resonant metal strings ("podglasnici"). They are situated further down and the bow does not touch them . They only produce sound when receiving the sound vibration of the three main strings situated over them.
- 3 main metal strings which the bow glides on. They are pitched in A-E-A (la-mi-la), this is typical for Bulgarian Trakia Gadulka. The strings are lifted over the resonant plate by a bridge, called by Bulgarians "donkey".
- a bow with sheaf of fibers
- wooden key for easily pitching the different strings Mensure (the distance from the last three keys on the neck top to the bridge)
You can choose the color of the instrument - see the pictures below. Gadulkas of different size, for different ages and preferences of the performers are shown on our other listings.
More about the instrument: GADULKA / Rebec General info: The gadulka / rebeck is one of the most popular string instruments in Bulgaria, typical for the valleys of Thrace and Dobrudja, Western Bulgaria -Pirin mountain area and the middle part of Stara Planina Mountain. It is well known for its clear and pleasant sound. Gadulka is used as a solo and accompaniment instrument as well as for playing in big or small homogenous or mixed instrumental groups.
Construction: The rebecs are made of a whole piece of wood most often maple, acacia or chestnut-tree, and have a pear-like form. The head and the neck, as well as the outlines, are cut and then the corpus is hollowed out by hand following a special technique. The upper part of the oval shape passes gradually into a short finger board and ends with a widening called glava (head). On the head, which is shaped like a circle, clover, heart, rectangle or some other form, are to be found the wooden keys for tightening and tuning the strings. Over the open side of the corpus is glued a resonating plate made of spruce. It is called kapak (lid) and has a two circular or oval openings called otchi (eyes). The bridge, called by Bulgarians "donkey" is situated between the openings and keeps the strings lifted. It has a very interesting little stick called "soul" that lifts the right end of the "bridge" so that it touches the resonant plate with its left end only. The right end of the "bridge" contacts the corpus via the "soul". The strings are attached to the top plate called kokaltche (small bone).
Tuning: There are gadulka with three, four, five or fourteen strings, made of animal gut or metal. Some of them are melodious, some are bourdonic. Usually the rebecks are three- or four-stringed. Actually only the upper strings are bowed (pitches A, E, D), while the other strings ("podglasnici") only resonate the sound. The resonant strings can be pitched in the tones of the main strings, too. There are also other ways of pitching the main strings. One of them, which is often used, is A, E, A. This pitch gives more opportunities for instrumental solo performances
The 3-stringed Gadulka is pitched in the following ways:
1st string Â– A1
2nd string Â–E1
3rd string Â– A
1st string Â– A1
2nd string Â– A
3rd string Â– E1
1st string Â– A1
2nd string Â– E1
3rd string Â– D1
Playing: The tone of the rebeck is obtained by gliding the strings with bow, usually made of flexible forked willow twig. It has a bow-shaped form and is tied with horse hair waxed with rosin. The first string is not to be pressed with the finger, but it is slightly to be touched with the nail, resulting in a very strange tone, having a flageolet tone nuance. The other strings are also slightly touched, but with fingers and not with nails, often fingers only contracting to the strings.
About the masters: The string instruments we offer are made by two masters: a father and a son. Bai Christo Stefanov (the father) is one of three best and most popular masters of Bulgarian string instruments. Bai Christo ( bai- a form expressing respect put in front of a name), as they call him, is a 3rd generation musician and instrument master. Because of his indisputable craft skills Bai Christo produces instruments for most Bulgarian state and local orchestras and ensembles. A great part of the music schools also order his instruments. Bai Christo has a few Master Certificates from the Bulgarian Masters' society. Apart from that, he is also awarded with different honorary Diplomas and prizes from expositions. Several articles and books popularize his skills, knowledge and products, the instruments themselves.
Nikolay Stefanov (the son) has learnt the skills of string instruments making from his father and has been a recognized master for 15 years now. Nikolay is known for his creative approach, desire to experiment and use innovative technologies. His greatest achievements are inventing the prototype of gadulka violin we were selling as well as a special technology of varnishing.
Both a musician and a master, Nikolay is constantly looking for new ways to add to his mastership. He has been constantly consulting university professors and professional musicians that assist him in finding how to make the best of the instruments he crafts.
By working shoulder to shoulder, Christo and Nikolay combine tradition and innovation. The result of their efforts will definitely please every professional musician.
CHRISTO and NIKOLAY STEFANOV'S INSTRUMENTS, AN EXAMPLE OF WORKMANSHIP, ARE MADE BY MEANS OF TRADITIONAL OLD CRAFT TECHNOLOGY. THEIR QUALITY IS GUARANTEED!