Instruments In Lithuanian: #1 Comprehensive Guide

I’m a true believer that everybody loves music. Music gives you happiness and energy and has the power to change your mood. Do you want to know more about the musical culture of Lithuania? Look no more; in this guide, I’m going to explain to you everything you need to know about music in Lithuania, how to say different instruments in Lithuanian, along with some useful phrases you might want to know if you’re planning to talk to your musician friends.

History Of Music In Lithuania: Folk Music

The beautiful country of Lithuania is mostly known for its archaic folk music and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage. Lithuanian folk music used to resonate across villages on almost every occasion, being mostly used for ritual purposes. All across Lithuanian history, folk songs were the background for rituals, celebrations of hero’s deeds and ceremonies for those who didn’t return from war. While working, Lithuanians used to sing work songs that would lead them through their daily tasks. Every occasion had a specific song that would be played.

Today, despite having lost its power among the musical society and being mostly listened to by old people, some villages, and towns try to keep the traditions alive with their own bands called Kaimo kapelija. These bands are widely popular because they still use traditional Lithuanian instruments.

One of the most common and famous types of folk Lithuanian music is called Sutartinés. It features multi-voice songs sung by women at festivals, gatherings, and weddings. This type of folk music can only be found in the northeastern part of Lithuania.

dancing folk

How To Say The Word “Instruments”

Before starting to explore what other instruments are called in Lithuanian, how do you say the word “instruments” in Lithuanian?

  • Instrumentus – the instruments
  • Instrumentas – instrument
  • Instrumentai – instruments
  • Muzikinis instrumentas – musical instrument
  • Muzikos instrumentai – musical instruments
  • Muzika – music

Lithuanian Traditional Instruments

Traditional Lithuanian folk instruments were used to play folk songs all across Lithuania. They are quite similar to those used by Slavic and Germanic peoples. These classical instruments can be classified into four main groups: string, wind, percussion, and idiophonic. These musical instruments are very uniform across Lithuania, maintaining their shape and concept all across the country, except for northeastern Aukstaitija, where some variations have appeared.

1. Birbynė

A birbyné is a traditional Lithuanian instrument that is only found in Lithuania. It is a member of the clarinet family, with a single reed attached with a tightly wound string. This instrument was first mentioned in 1625 and was highly used for a long time to accompany Lithuanian folk songs.


2. Kanklės

Kankles is one of the Lithuanian traditional instruments from the string family. It has from 5 to 12 strings and is played by covering the unnecessary string with one hand while playing and plucking the other string with the other hand.

This instrument was very famous in Lithuania and was used to play sutartinés at the crack of dawn or during sunset. Lithuanians believe that the times when the light changes are sacred times. 

3. Pusline

 Pusline is another one of the Lithuanian traditional instruments from the string family. It is made from a tree branch bowed by catgut or waxed string. A dried, inflated pig’s bladder was fitted between the branch and string, and a bow was then drawn across the string to produce a deep bass sound. 

4. Tabalas

Tabalas consisted of one to three boards hung from trees that would be ritmically beat, creating a drum-style sound.

How To Say Other Instruments In Lithuanian


Useful Phrases About Music In Lithuanian

  • I play the piano / as groju pianinu
  • I love the sound the saxophone makes / Man patinka saksofono skleidžiamas garsas
  • A guitar has 6 strings / Gitara turi 6 stygas
  • I broke my violin / Sulaužiau smuiką
  • My favorite instruments are the bongos and the drums / Mano mėgstamiausi instrumentai yra bongo ir būgnai
  • My dad used to play the cello / Mano tėtis grojo violončele

Learn More About Lithuanian Culture With Ling

Lithuania is a rich and cultural country with one of the oldest languages in the world. After learning a little bit about music in Lithuania, you haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg on what you can learn about this country! You’re still not ready to have a full conversation in Lithuanian. But don’t start panicking. I’m here to help you! There are easy, fun, and interactive ways to learn Lithuanian besides knowing how to say and pronounce instruments.

The Ling app is a language learning app where lessons are made to keep you engaged and avoid the tedious and long lessons that usual language courses are based on. You’ll learn new languages through games, puzzles, and real-life examples that will help you retain much more information in a much more efficient way!

With this application, you have all the information you need right in your pocket, enabling you to study and learn everywhere you want. With just 15 minutes a day of practice with the Ling App, you’ll learn any language easily!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the Lithuanian language, you can explore our blog, which teaches you more about Lithuanian culture and vocabulary, such as cooking terms or colors in Lithuanian.

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