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Portuguese Guitars

GUEST,Roger Dunant 09 May 14 - 08:59 PM
Ross Campbell 12 May 14 - 06:41 PM
GUEST 13 May 14 - 02:59 PM
Leadfingers 13 May 14 - 07:05 PM
Ross Campbell 13 May 14 - 08:00 PM
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Subject: Portuguese Guitars
From: GUEST,Roger Dunant
Date: 09 May 14 - 08:59 PM

Do any of you good people have any experience of Portuguese guitars. In particular the Viola de Braguesa.

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Subject: RE: Potuguese Guitars
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 May 14 - 06:41 PM

The Portuguese instruments I am familiar with are the Portuguese mandolin or Waldzither, and the Portuguese guitarra. There are two slightly different varieties of the latter, from Coimbra and Lisbon. These are related to the early English guitar or cittern, formerly found all over Europe and surviving now in Portugal and parts of Germany.

They share an onion-shaped body form, but have different string arrangements. The portuguese mandolin has nine strings in five courses, while the Portuguese guitarra has twelve strings in six courses. Not sure if the five courses (ten strings) of the Viola de Braguesa (or de Braga) follow the tuning for Portuguese mandolin. I used the four double courses as effectively mandola tuning cC gG dd aa with a lower G on the single string course. Wikipedia gives a tuning range for the Viola de Braguesa without much further detail.

Sorry can't help further. Where did you come across the instrument?


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Subject: RE: Potuguese Guitars
Date: 13 May 14 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for the reply Ross.

Initially I was interested in a Tiple but when I did some more research I came across all the different types of Portuguese violas.
There are a lot of utube videos on the subject,but the one that grabbed my attention was the Braguesa. I am interested in exploring the tuning as I play the guitar in a lot of open tunings. All I need to do now is decide which one to buy. As far as I can see there are only a couple of places in the UK where they are available. Perhaps its going to be a good excuse for a trip to Portugal!!
Cheers Roger

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Subject: RE: Potuguese Guitars
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 May 14 - 07:05 PM

There is a U Tube of Bill Caddice singing 'John O' Dreams' and accompanying himself on Portuguese guitar Bottleneck style . Not sure which variant , or the tuning he used .

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Subject: RE: Potuguese Guitars
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 May 14 - 08:00 PM

And here's the clicky

"John o'Dreams" and more from Bill Caddick. The instrument he plays on that first song is the Portuguese mandolin or Thuringer Waldzither. The head has the "clockwinder" type of Preston tuners, ie you need a clock-key to adjust the tuning. The Portuguese guitarra usually has knurled ends on the tuners, so can be adjusted by fingers alone, and an ornate carved hook rather than the rounded head on the mandolin. There is a scale drawing of this instrument in Franz Jahnel's "Die Gitarre und ihr Bau" (Manual of Guitar Technology).


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