Locations of visitors to this page

English Беларуская мова Русский язык

5-stringed lyre-shaped gusli "Slovisha"


(sold out, but you can order an instrument with a similar look)

(this one flies to Israel)

Contact the maker and order an instrument

Lyre-shaped gusli [gusli with a playing window] is the oldest kind of gusli. Two of the earliest archaeological finds of gusli date back to the 10th century (Opole, Poland) and 11th century (Novgorod, Russia). It was that Novgorodian gusli "Slovisha" that served as a source for creating, I'm not afraid to say: a fairly accurate reconstruction, which you can see on the photo. The instrument from Opole is unusually small in size and most probable it's a children's toy, although it accurately repeats all the principles of making lyre-shaped gusli, but yet in miniature. While the Novgorod find has every chance to be called a professional musical instrument for its time. Yes, the gusli "Slovisha" is not the earliest found gusli, but certainly, it is the earliest of the archaeological findings of Baltic psaltery, which will suit even the modern musician to perform with a serious repertoire for a rather critical audience.

Body: spruce.
Spruce is ideal for bodies of lyre-shaped gusli. Due to the unique construction of lyre-shaped gusli, the material of the body must have all the properties that the soundboard in later instruments has. Coating: wood stain and waxing. Soundboard: oak.
Oak is the only variant of the wood for the soundboard of lyre-shaped gusli.This is due to the unique design of lyre-shaped gusli, which can be traced in all archaeological finds.

Pegs: pearwood.
Pearwood is an ideal material for pegs. Pear is a very hard wood, but at the same time the surface of the pear is soft enough for the pegs to fit perfectly into the conical peg hole, smoothly spinning and perfectly being in tune.

Strings: plain steel strings,
light tension, A-key.

Metal strings could have been already installed on the gusli of the 11th century, and are most satisfying for a modern musician. The cross-sections of the strings in this set range from 0.018" to 0.014". This choice of tension and pitch is due to information about the 11th century wire made from an alloy with a high gold content and, as the researchers suggest, the tension of such strings would be relatively weak and the key should be rather low.

Contact the maker and buy this instrument

Alieś Čumakoŭ (Ales Chumakou/Aliaksandr Chumakou). Minsk. 2022.