With chordophone instruments (Lat. chorda = a string) sound is produced by way of plucking, striking or rubbing a stretched string with a bow. The stretched string holds the key to sound production. There are several ways of dividing chordophones:
1) depending on the shape of the instrument and the position of strings (Andreis, 1974),
2) depending on sound production (Gojković, 1989) and
3) into simple and composite (Bezić et al. 1975).
Depending on the shape of the instrument and the position of its strings, chordophones are divided into:
1a) the family of zithers which is further divided into three categories: the first contains instruments whose strings are plucked; with the second category of instruments sound is produced by striking strings with small wooden sticks or mallets and with the third – by rubbing strings with a bow;
1b) the family of lutes is divided into two categories: the first category comprises instruments whose strings are plucked by fingers or by a plectrum and the second – those that produce sound by use of a bow;
1c) the family of lyres and
1d) the family of harps (Andreis 1974: 216).
Depending on the manner of sound production chordophones can be divided into three groups: by rubbing string with a bow (bowing), by plucking strings with fingers or a plectrum (plucking) and by striking strings with small mallets (striking) (Gojković,1989: 119).
The Collection of musical instruments includes about 130 chordophones and the most common one is the fiddle (gusle) – an instrument with one (single-stringed) or two strings (two-stringed) and with animal skin stretched over its body.