from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A single-stringed instrument used by the Slavic peoples in the Balkans and in the Dinarides region, often played with a bow and used to accompany epic poems or legends.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Servian viol having only one string; a form of rebab.


From Serbo-Croatian gȕsle. (Wiktionary)


  • In their cups, habitués of the Mad House often turn to the gusle, a single-stringed fiddle used to accompany Serbian epic poetry.

    Where Karadzic Drank ‘Blood’

  • "In his hands the gusle was playing the most beautiful sounds we ever heard," Misko recalls, splashing another dollop of Bear's Blood into a glass.

    Where Karadzic Drank ‘Blood’

  • Misko says he and his friends will be waiting for him to come back, this time to play the gusle under his own name.

    Where Karadzic Drank ‘Blood’

  • Despite that — or perhaps because of it — one memorable recent night Karadzic himself picked up Misko's gusle, carved from a single piece of maple, its headstock in the form of an eagle.

    Where Karadzic Drank ‘Blood’

  • Well, as the ancient Greek bards sang their Achilles, using the lyre, and as the ancient Indian singers sang their Krishna with the help of the tamboura, so the Serbian epic singers accompanied with the gusle their songs on their hero of old, Marko.

    Serbia in Light and Darkness With Preface by the Archbishop of Canterbury, (1916)

  • Serbia there is a gusle, and almost in every family a good singer with the gusle.

    Serbia in Light and Darkness With Preface by the Archbishop of Canterbury, (1916)

  • Montenegro till the day of his death, steadily opposing all western and modern ideas, especially the making of a carriage road into the country; and ever composing and singing to the gusle songs of battle and border fray, which, though devoid of literary merit, give an invaluable picture of the savagery of the land in the middle of the nineteenth century.

    Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle

  • On the 21st of July 2018 - the day of the arrest of the criminal Radovan Karadzic, sentenced to a hundred years in prison for genocide in Bosnia - in the Montenegrin town of Meljina known for its traditional festival of gusle-playing, there was a 'procession of collective shame', consisting of one hundred and forty-one old men.


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