The šargija (Serbian Cyrillic: Шаргија; Albanian: Sharki), anglicized as shargia, is a plucked, fretted long necked chordophone used in the folk music of various Balkan countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Albania, and Serbia.
The šargija originated in Albania during the rule of the Byzantine Empire,[according to whom?] and is played by Albanians, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Its original four strings have been increased to six or even seven. The šargija usually accompanies the violin, and has a jangling sound, similar to the Turkish saz.
The sharki is a similar instrument as the two-string qiftelia, but with more strings and looking more like a primitive saz. Spelling is sometimes: sarkia or sharki or sharkia. Usually there are three courses of metal strings. The frets are often inlaid metal frets, in a non-western pattern. Body could be made from separate staves, or carved from one piece of wood.
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