Academization of the Ukrainian Bandura by the Proficient Bandura-Craftsmens of the XX – Early XXI Centuries


  • Iryna Ya. Zinkiv



Among the main signs of Ukrainian culture, its instrumental artifact, the bandura, which is the nation-building component of Ukraine, holds a significant place. The proposed paper attempts to characterize the bandura development from the diatonic instrument at the beginning of XX century, developed by the prominent Ukrainian bandura craftsmen in their creative activity – O. Korniievskyi, I. Skliar, V. Herasymenko, – to the modern “chromatic” instrument with dual-diatonic scale, wide sound range and technical characteristics. Only two from among several play methods that existed in the traditional popular-professional performance of the past epochs became firmly established before the twenties of XX century – Chernihiv method, subsequently named as Kyiv method, and Kharkiv method. Each was associated with different way of holding the instrument – perpendicular to and parallel to the performer's body. In both cases, the performers held the bandura vertically, pointing the neck upwards, which was consistent with the stable parameters of the national instrumental tradition of performing on zittern-like instruments. Starting with psalters depicted, in particular, on the fresco “Musicians” at the Cathedral of St. Sofia and other iconographic artifacts of the Middle Ages and Baroque era. The paper considers the academicization of both bandura types in terms other prominent bandura craftsmen activity, who worked during the Soviet period as part of big associations – Chernihiv and Lviv Factories of Musical Instruments. Particular emphasis is placed on the activities of craftsmen of the Chernihiv Academic Bandura – O. Korniievskyi, designer of one of the first modern hybrid instruments, and V. Tuzychenko, an adherent of the Chernihiv Bandura. The development of not only the Chernihiv-Kyiv but also the Kharkiv bandura types is associated with the name of I. Skliar. The work of Lviv craftsman and prominent bandura player V. Herasymenko on the creation of the Lviv-type bandura and new models of Kharkiv diatonic and “chromatic” bandura, which are nowadays adapted to the tradition of modern bandura performance, became the turning point in the activity of prominent Ukrainian craftsmen.