Gudastviri

Name: Gudastviri.
Type: Bagpipes > Aerophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Georgia.
Region: Caucasus.

Description: The gudastviri [in Georgian: გუდასტვირი] is a drone-less, hornbill bagpipe having double or parallel chanters; it is played in Georgia. The term comes from the words guda [bag] and stviri [whistling]. In some regions, the instrument is called the chiboni, stviri, or tulumi. There are several forms of bagpipe as played in many regions through out Georgia, they include the Kartli, Pshavi and Racha [stviri], in Eastern Kakheti, in Adjara [chiboni], Meskheti [tulumi], Imereti [gudastviri].

Construction: The gudastviri has two main components. The first component is the bag being the [guda]. It is made from a whole sheep or goat skin or a sewed rectangular leather bag [guda]. The first being a whole sheep or goat skin, or a sewed, rectangular leather bag (“guda”). The second is a yoked double-chanter [stviri] terminating in a single horn bell. This approach in design makes the gudastviri a member of the hornpipe class of bagpipes. There is a small wooden blow-pipe [khreko] with a check-valve tied into one leg, or corner of the bag.

Tuning: The Adjaran chiboni has a diatonic scale. It can produce two-part chords and two-part tunes. The two parts are produced by the simultaneous sound of both dedanis. The player’s left hand plays the highest notes of the scale on the left chanter tube, while the fingers of the player’s right hand covers and uncovers the lower notes of the scale, which is made possible by the limited number of finger holes (only 3 or 4 holes) disposed lower down, toward the distal end of the right chanter tube.

The range of degree of a chiboni is major sixth but the Rachian gudastviri’s diapason can be a minor, or a major seventh. The ends of the pipes are fixed inside the resonator/horn. The horn is made of Caucasian goat or bull horn. The gudastviri is decorated with silver bands, mounted with coloured glass beads, and numerous small chains. There is a ball of cotton wool inserted into the open end of the horn, to absorb the moisture formed during playing. The bag (guda) can have a bag cover of cloth or leather, or have the natural goat hair left on the outside of the bag. The six holes of the left reed pipe emit notes of the first octave: F, E, D, C, B, A, G; the three holes of the right one emit deep-voiced notes: C, B, A, G.

A fixed round wooden stock holding the chanter, is tied into the bag, in the opposite foreleg, or corner. The chanter itself has two wooden pipes [dedani] of equal length, bore and wall thickness, which are inserted into the stock. The left chanter tube “leader” has the most finger holes, it is also called “teller” or “beginner”. The right chanter tube “bass” is called mebane or “deep voice producer”. This bass pipe has three front-facing holes and the “beginner”, has six holes [but the Adjaran chiboni’s leader pipe has only five holes]. The three bottom holes of the left pipe are placed symmetrically across from the three holes of the right pipe.

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