Jews harps

Drymba

“Drymba”, “Vurghan”, “jew's harp”, “mouth harp”, is thought to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world; a musician apparently playing it can be seen in a Chinese drawing from the 4th century BC. The instrument is a lamellophone, which is in the category of plucked idiophones.

If we say about Belarusian jew's harp, all the scientists call it “Drymba”. But the majority of ethnographic sources use the russificated version “vurghan” or “varghanisma”. The reason is that the most part of ethnographic researches on the territory of ancient Belarus was made in latest XIX - XX centuries, the time of russification of the Belarusian lands.

The most ancient Drymba, found on the territory of Belarus, in a town of Drutsk, is dates back to XII cnt. It is considered to use as a funny, joking instrument for amusing prince of “Grand Duchy of Litva”.

In XVI cnt. Drymba mentioned in a “Genesis”, printed by Francysk Skaryna: “Ima zhe brata ego Vuval toj by les otiets ghuduschih w gusli i vorgany”

In Europe Drymba were a common peddler's goods during the 16th century (as well as earlier and later). The Austrian composer Johann Albrechtsberger — chiefly known today as a teacher of Beethoven — wrote several concerti for Drymba in the mid-1760s.

Narr mit Maultrommel, um 1515 auf dem Wagen der "natürlich Narren" im "Triumphzug" Kaiser Maximilians von Hans Burgkmair, Holzschnitt  

In XVIII cnt. Drymba, popular on the territory of Belarus, was brought to Russia. It said in a source “Opyt Povestvovanija o drevnostiah russkih” (Experience of talk about the ancient of Russia) by Gavriil Uspenski (1818, page 96). But this source calls a lot of criticism from the Russian amateurs of Drymba.

It is considered that Drymba lost all it’s popularity in the end of XIX cnt., after the invention of Harmonica and Accordion. Finally the Belarusian tradition of producing and playing Drymba died during the Soviet period “struggle against superstition”

Names of Drymba (Vargan) in different countries of Europe

Country

Name

Austria

maultrommel

England

jew`s harp, jaw harp, trump, gewgaw

Belarus

drymba, vurghan

Hungary

doromb

Germany

maultrommel, brummeisen

Italy

marranzano, scacciapensieri

Spain

guimbarda, birimbao

Latvia

zobasse

Lithuania

Bandurka, šeivjale

Moldova

drîmbă, doromb

Netherlands

mondharp

Norway

munnharpa, munnharpe

Russia

варган, зубанка

Slovakia

drumbla

Ukraine

drimba

Finland

munniharppuuna

France

guimbarde

Czech

drumbla

Switzerland

trümpi, truempi

Estonia

parmupill

 

Цитата дня:

Успешный мужчина - тот, кто зарабатывает больше денег, чем его жена может потратить. Успешная женщина - та, которая сможет найти такого мужчину. 

Бьенвенида Бак

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