Name: Utogardon.
Type: Chordophones > Lyres > Viols.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.7
Tuning: Usually in D / d [an octave apart].
Country: Transylvania, Romania & Hungary.
Region: Eastern Europe.

Description: The ütőgardon or gardon, is a folk musical instrument played primarily in Transylvania. It is similar in appearance to a cello, but it is played percussively like a drum. Instead of being played with a bow, its strings are plucked and beaten with a stick.

The gardon was primarily played by the Székelys, a Hungarian ethnic group in Transylvania and the Csángós of the Gyimes region. It can have three or four strings. Playing with a stick instead of a bow provides a droning accompaniment.

Musically there are some similarities between the violin-gardon ensembles of Hungarians and some Roma in Transylvania and the zurna-davul widespread throughout the Balkans, Anatolia and the Near East. The gardon is regularly, though not exclusively played by a woman, the wife of the violinist.

Citations: Bibliography: Szendrei, Janka 2009 “Hungary”, Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 Sep 2014. Kurti, Laszlo. “The Way of the Taltos: A Critical Reassessment of a Religious-Magical Specialist” [PDF]. Wilkinson, Iren Kertész 2009 – ‘Gypsy’ [Roma-Sinti-Traveller] music – Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press ; Websites:

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