The tamboura is a plucked chordophone musical instrument and its sound is produced by plucking strings with a plectrum. It has three main parts: the body, the neck with the fingerboard and the head. The body (also called korpus or zvekalo) can be made from a hollowed out piece of common maple wood, plum wood, maple, mulberry, walnut, ash wood, etc. – which is mostly the case with the bisernica (the smallest type of tamboura) and the pear-shaped tambouras. The body of the tamboura can also consist of tiny flat and rounded boards that are glued together. It can be pear-shaped, oval, gourd-shaped or violin-like (Ferić, 2011: 29).

On the indented part of the tamboura, the body, a thin board (glasnjača) is attached, which amplifies the sound of the vibrating string and serves as a resonator. The body extends into the neck, which can be made as a separate piece and later joined with the body or both parts can be made out of a single piece of wood. On the upper flat side of the neck there are frets which separate fields. The head (čivijište) of older types of tambouras used to have a decorated pointed form unlike the one of the new type which is snail-like (Cf. Ferić, 2011).


There are several types of tambouras – one of them is the tambura danguba also known as the samica. The danguba marked with the inventory number POH-444/1920 was purchased by Franjo K. Kuhač in Novi Sad in the late 19th century. It was made of a bright yellow polished piece of wood. Its head, where the tuning pegs are inserted, is black and polished and there is an embedded metal plate on the front. The danguba has five metal tuning pegs, five strings and eleven frets on the neck.

The tambura šara (also called sekundašica), marked with the inventory number POH-447/1920, was made to order for Kuhač by Pavao Štefinović, in Osijek, in 1863. It is rather authentic, modelled after an old three-stringed tambura primašica, however, Kuhač tought he made a mistake by putting four strings instead of three. The reason behind that change was fashion. At that time building three-stringed tambouras was considered old-fashioned, thus, in fear of it being labelled as “the tamboura of the old stamp”, Štefinović put four instead of three strings.