It is the original live music that creates the show’s unique charm. Well-known songs and traditional dances are performed to the sound of national musical instruments. These are represented by string, percussion, keyboard and wind instruments, such as panduri, doli, salamuri, duduki, chiboni, chonguri, accordion and others. The sounds these instruments produce are like a beautiful heartfelt melody, able to articulate every nuance of the story-line and every, however sudden, change of mood.
Here they are:
A traditional Georgian string instrument with a wooden frame and three strings. It is played upon by plucking the strings. Panduri is mainly used to accompany solo singing or long poems praising heroes.
Chonguri varies from panduri as much as it has four, instead of three, strings. In ancient times every Georgian family would necessarily own a panduri or chonguri. In the past the sound of either of these two instruments would accompany every wedding or any other significant family or religious or social event.
This small cylinder-shaped instrument with hide-lined sides is the most common percussion instrument in Georgia. Doli sets the rhythm of a dance. It is played upon by both palms and fingers. The performer could either remain seated while playing the instrument or dance to its sound. This instrument is exclusively played upon by men. It is often used as a part of a band comprising chonguri, duduki, chiboni and, sometimes, salamuri.
This hollow apricot or mulberry tree stalk is a well-known Caucasian wind instrument. The stalk-tube, forming the body of the instrument is fitted with a double flat plate. Thanks to its soft sound, duduki is used both as an accompanying or solo instrument. It is valued for its tender heartfelt qualities of sound. There is hardly another folk musical instrument to match duduki's sweet voice. In Georgia this instrument is most often used to express the deepest and the most intimate of feelings.
A wind instrument in the form of a long cannula with 7-9 holes. There are two types of salamuri (reed and non-reed). Salamuri is played upon by men only. It was the most spread instrument in Georgia. This fact is evidenced by folk legends, and literary works. According to legends Salamuri was the undivided friend of laborious man both for better and worse. Cheerful melodies generate positive emotions, domesticate animals, make the birds sing, and sad melodies ease the grief of man.
This wind instrument consists of a leather bag (guda) and horns. The leather bag is traditionally made of sheepskin. The horn is fitted with two small tubes (stvirs) which produce a doubling sound. This instrument is used to perform two-voiced pieces. Chiboni is an accompanying instrument. It is also played upon by men only. In the past, chiboni-players were mainly strolling musicians and welcome guests at every Georgian house. They used to earn their living by their musical skills.
This popular keyboard instrument came to Georgia in the 19th century from Russia. It quickly won the love of folk musicians. It is used both as an accompanying instrument to provide the background for the dances and as a solo instrument.