314.122 True board zithers with resonator box (box zither)

Chatkhan (Khakas language) box zither, double-sided. 11 steel strings on one side and 12 on the other. The ribs and lower body are made from larch, the upper body and bridges from fir. The bridges are made from sheep's astragali (ankle bones).This chatkhan was tuned by the maker as follows (using ASPN): the 12-stringed 'up' side: F#3, A3, C#4, E3, G#3, B3, D#4, E4, G#4, B4, C#5, E5; the 11-stringed 'down' side: A4, C#5, B3, F#4 or G4, B4, D5 or E5, F#5. G#5 or A5. B5, D#6 or E6, F#6.

The chatkhan is the most widely distributed Kharkass instrument. It accompanies contemporary and traditional songs, and bylina-s, Russian heroic epic poems. Traditionally, the chatkhan was a horse on which the bard rode and it was given milk or spirits before it was played. It took the bard to the land of spirits where the epic was happening. It was turned differently in different valleys. The instrument is re-tuned either between numbers or during the performance of a bylina, where the key of the melody may changes in accordance with the subject. The chatkhan is usually plucked with the right hand. In some performances the left hand plays the non-sonorous section of the string.

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