Bulgarian tamboura – Mystery and Inspiration

Българската тамбура – Тайнство и ВдъхновениеThe memory for the people that devoted their lives to popularization and development of the Bulgarian tamboura requires higher concern and succession from all of us in order to find the way to continue their patriotic deed with dignity. What differs us Bulgarians from 90 percent of earth populations is the preservation of our folklore music. Hundreds of musicians and singers are interpreting and regenerating it every day. That is why this centuries-old music culture of the Bulgarian people keeps on arousing interest of specialists and fans around the world. It is crucial to preserve it for the young people, for them to be able to know and respect their country and their land in the near future along with all the specific distinctive customs, environmental beauty and eternal holidays and every days rituals, accompanied by the accords of one instrument with inimitable melodiousness.

“Bulgarian tambour – mystics and inspiration” is the most detailed work of a traditional music instrument form the Bulgarian folklore music. This book gathers facts from all around the world that were kept by different people in different times for more than 200 years. Krassi Jeliazkov was inspired from the idea to unify their work, adding his own year-long research in order to complete this “biography” of the Bulgarian tamboura, known around the world as BULGARIA or TANBOUR BOULGHARY.

tanyaTanya Doganova – Hristova
conductor-documentary filmmaker, founder and longtime artistic director of the chamber ensemble of old church music “Yoan Koukouzel Angeloglassny”.

“With joy and a true pleasure I want to congratulate you on the wonderful book that you have written. Personally for me, and I think for all fair-minded and the knowledgeable matter musicians and highly educated persons, it’s really a remarkable work, seen from every aspect.
For me, your erudition is the same level as my favorite academics – Stoyan Djudjev, Marin Goleminov and Parashkev Hadziev. I immediately can assure you that you do not compare them, but you add them to the famous cohort, to my joy and your pride!
I greet you with genuine admiration and delight!”


“Krassi Jeliazkov, an outstanding musician and scholar is the expert on one of the most important and interesting instrument of Bulgarian folklore, namely the Tamboura. He too made a most revealing statement that this instrument, also called boulgaria, “is the only musical instrument in human history which bears the ethnonym of a nation”. In his valuable publications, he was able to demonstrate not only to Bulgaria but to the international ethnomusicological community the importance of his fundamental research that he has carried out in regard to this instrument. I have to admit that I am highly impressed not only by his scholarship but also by his strong and amiable personality and I take the opportunity to wishing him lots of success for his further works.”

The book includes 321 pages in A4 format as well as audio CD with MP3 files. The goal of this book is to become a manual for all the children that are studying Bulgarian traditions and music instruments. It is divided in two parts – chronological and musical. The chronological part is a work of thorough analysis of the history, diffusion and usage of the Bulgarian tambour all around the world. For the first time in this research data from specialized literature is shown, including pictures, metric parameters and all types of Bulgarian tambours. The musical part of the book describes more than 60 different tuning methods as well as scores of music pieces, played by the best Bulgarian tamboura players from mid XX century until today. Amongst them we find the names of Yordan Tsvetkov, Rumen Sirakov, Osman Demov, Cvetan Radkov, Kostadin Bouradjiev, Liubomir Dinev, Angel Dimitrov and many others. All pieces are supported in music sheets and audio examples.

Book for the bulgarian tamboura

Book-For-Bulgarian-Tamboura_Eng1Writing a book about it occupies his mind and heart for over 2 years. Dedicating this period of his life for analyzing the development of the instrument , he manages to create a wonderful book for the tamboura player. In the book you will find interesting and surprising facts about our migration due to which the Bulgarian tamboura has spread from Pamir to Egypt and it’s applied in the social and spiritual life of the nations living in these lands. You will get acquainted with the structure and the varieties of the Bulgarian tamboura. You will also get to know the most popular performers on this instrument during the XX century.

In the theoretical and practical part of the book you will be able to master the different ways of playing and the distinctive ornaments without which the Bulgarian folklore music would be like a man with no soul. The notation examples in the book are also applicable for guitar. All guitarists who are willing to play Bulgarian ethnic music can learn the special features of the feather movement and left hand fingers. The specific tamboura technique is suitable for instrumentalists who want to improvise different musical forms. It will untie their hands and add easiness and freedom to the performances.

„At present, the lovers of this instrument can experience satisfaction from the fact that finally they can hold in their hands a book which is simultaneously a learning tool for playing tamboura, and a theoretically grounded research work designed to meet a pressing need. Its author Krassimir Jeliazkov, a prominent figure in other genres of music has managed to overcome technological limitations and with the breadth of a large-scale musical culture and literacy to lead students and readers not only in the traditional heritage of this instrument, but also in the problems of modern interpretation of tamboura.”

Prof. Doctor of Arts ILIYA MANOLOV