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Fun Fact: Which musical instrument is a Ukrainian fave?

The Early Music Studies program in the College of Music includes a world class collection of instruments. Which one is the national instrument of Ukraine?

A. Trumpet

B. Bandora

C. Electric guitar

D. Tympani

The correct answer is B: the bandora, a stringed instrument similar to a lute or guitar. The instrument is also spelled bandura or bandum, and may be known as the kobza, which dates to the 6th Century. The instrument was used to accompany epic ballads, known as dumy, about the Cossacks. The Cossacks were independent, military communities who maintained a certain amount of political autonomy from the 15th Century until the 20th Century, when the Russian Revolution, Stalin and the events of World War II superseded their exploits.

Today, Ukraine is a country of 46 million people, bordered by Poland, Russia, Belarus and Romania. The country gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Enter to win a UNT T-shirt by sending an email to InHouse with “Early Music” in the subject line by 5 p.m. May 20. Winners will be selected at random from all responses.

You’ll find a bandura in the College of Music collection of more than 250 early music instruments from the early music eras of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The collection was built primarily with the guidance of Lyle Nordstrom, professor emeritus, was director. Nordstrom retired in 2010.   

Paul Leenhouts  joined UNT for the 2010-11 academic year as director of the Early Music Studies program and the Baroque Orchestra. He formerly was professor for recorder and historical development at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Other new Early Music faculty include Richard Sparks, chair of Conducting and Ensembles and director of the chamber choir, Collegium. Sparks is founding director of the professional chamber choir Pro Coro Canada. Christoph Hammer, who is associate professor for harpsichord and forte piano, was founder and director of the Munich-based baroque orchestra, Neue Hofkapelle München.

Early Music Studies professors

 (Photo by Michael Clements)


Posted on: Tue 17 May 2011

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