9-stringed kankl?s of northeastern Auk?taitija
|Other names||Kankliai, kunkliai, kunklaliai, kanklos, kanklys, kanklus, kunkl, kankalai|
Plucked string instrument, chordophone
(Diatonic lute-type stringed instrument)
Kokle, kannel, kantele, gusli
The kankl?s (Lithuanian: ['kkles]) is a Lithuanian plucked string instrument (chordophone) belonging to the Baltic box zither family known as the Baltic psaltery, along with the Latvian kokle, Estonian kannel, Finnish kantele, and Russian gusli.
According to Finnish linguist Eino Nieminen, the name of the instrument, along with the names of most of its neighbouring counterparts (Latvian kokle, Finnish kantele, Estonian kannel and Livonian k?ndla), possibly comes from the proto-Baltic form *kantl?s/*kantl?s, which originally meant 'the singing tree', ultimately deriving from the Proto-European root *qan- ('to sing, to sound'). However, Lithuanian ethnologist Romualdas Apanavi?ius believes Kankl?s could be derived from the Proto-European root *gan(dh)-, meaning 'a vessel; a haft (of a sword)', suggesting that it may be related to the Russian word gusli.
Although kankl?s vary both regionally and individually, there are some common characteristics in their construction. The body of the kankl?s is made from one trapezoidal piece of linden tree, ash tree, oak, maple or black alder, which is hollowed out to create a cavity. A thin sheet of softwood (usually spruce) is used to make a sounding board, which covers the body. Sound holes, which traditionally take the shape of a stylized flower or star, are cut into the sounding board, allowing sound to project outward.
At the narrowest side of the body, a metal bar is attached to which the strings made of wire or gut are anchored. The opposite ends of the strings are attached to a row of tuning pegs inserted into holes at the opposite side of the body.
Kankl?s is usually rested on the player's lap and played with the fingers or a pick made of bone or quill.
Apanavi?ius classifies the kankl?s into three basic traditional types, although there are variations within each type and some overlap of areas. Each type has its own playing technique.