Roman Hrynkiv, a foremost bandurist from Kyiv, Ukraine, is perhaps one of the finest such artists in the world today. The technique and artistry of this artist are outstanding. He performs a traditional bandura repertoire and improvises on Ukrainian tunes.
The bandura is considered to be the national instrument of Ukraine. It is a multi-stringed folk instrument with a history dating back to the seventh century. It was extremely popular among the Ukrainian Cossacks, and was adopted by the kobzars (wandering blind minstrels), who traveled the countryside singing epic ballads about the heroic exploits of the Cossacks and Ukrainian history events. Although the kobzars have disappeared, the legacy of their art has survived, and is currently undergoing a renaissance. The modern concert bandura has 65 strings and is chromatically tuned through 5 octaves. The strings are plucked with the fingertips, resulting in a sound similar to that of a harp, guitar, and harpsichord combined.