Prim (Bisernica) is the smallest of Tambura instruments. It is built mostly from a single piece of wood, but in recent years it’s built of a separate neck (handle), and a separate body (corpus), which can be dug or made of glued boards. The total length of Prim (Bisernica) Tambura is 621-637 mm. Body length (corpus) is 222-234 mm. Maximum width of the body is 135-148 mm, and maximum height of hull frame is 33-40 mm.
The material for body and neck contruction is wood : maple, nut, pear, plum, cherry, mulberry, walnut and others. The upper board (ie the soundboard) is made mostly of: spruce or fir. The thickness of the upper board (ie the soundboard) is 2 - 3 mm. The Neck (handle), is conical shape with a notched top-side, on which we stick a thin 2-3 mm thick plank of hard wood (ebony, walnut, black locust). The head is shaped like a lyre with built-in mechanism to tighten the strings.
Prim (Bisernica) has five strings of which the first two are doubles. The stings are tuned to tones: e2 - h1 - fis1 - cis1. The touch-tone scale is chromatic, and includes the tones from cis1 to e4. In Tambura orchestras we use two to three Prim (Bisernica)-s (first, second and third). The second is often called Prim (Bisernica)terc. In the larger orchestras we usea larger number of Prim (Bisernica)-s I, II and III.
The scores for Prim (Bisernica) are written in the violin key, but for a more user friendly and easier to read score,they are written an octave lower than it really sounds. In recent years, in music schools, the practice is to write scores ‘’as they sound’’ in reality. ©tamburica.org©
This is how it sounds: