Type: Bowed > Viols > Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322
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: 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. Retrieved 18 Sep 2014.