Category Archives: Bandurria



Name: Bandurria.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Tuning: G# C# F# b e a
Country: Many, Spain.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & Western Europe.

Description: In its current form the Bandurria is a short necked lute having 12 strings in 6 courses [paired].

The term ‘mandurria’ was mentioned in the 14th century by Juan Ruiz in his book entitled Libro de buen amor [in English: the book of good love]. In 1555 Juan Bermudo described the bandurria in his Comiença el libro llamado declaraciõ de instrumentos [sic] as a three-string instrument.

But he also mentioned other types with four or even five strings. He said that the outer courses were tuned an octave apart, with the middle course either a 5th or a 4th above the lowest. Later, five and six-course bandurrias were tuned in 4ths throughout, a tuning that is still used.

He also mentioned other types with four or even five strings. In the early 1870s, a child’s wake was accompanied with the bandurria music in Jijona, Alicante Province. The zapateo, a dance derived from the Spanish zapateado and introduced by tobacco cultivators from the Canary Islands, is accompanied with bandurria and other instruments before 1900.

Development: Prior to the 18th century, the bandurria had a round back, similar or related to the mandore. By the 18th century the bandurria became a flat-backed instrument with five double courses of strings, tuned in fourths. The original bandurrias of the Medieval period had three strings. During the Renaissance they gained a fourth string. During the Baroque period the bandurria had 10 strings [5 pairs].

Tuning: The modern bandurria has 12 strings [6 pairs]. The strings are tuned in pairs, going up in fourths from the low G# in the following arrangement / G# G# / C# C# / F# F# / b b / e e / a a / The lowest four strings are a major-third above those of a standard guitar and the highest two strings are a fourth above a standard guitar.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Grove Music Online / Bandurria by John M. Schechter ;


Name: Bandolon.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Country: Mexico
Region: Central America.

Description: A Bandolón is a musical instrument from Mexico. It is a guitar sized instrument, resembling a flat-back mandolin with 18 strings, arranged in 6 courses, three strings per course, and played with a pick.

It is associated with the típica orquestra [typical orchestra] in Mexico, especially the 1884 Orquestra Típica Mexicana [Mexican Typical Orchestra] first organized by Carlo Curti. Pictures such as the 1901 Mexican Typical Orchestra at the Pan American Exposition show another variation, an instrument with 12 strings [one less string per course].

Citations; Bibliography: Definición de Bandolón qué significa bandolón”. Retrieved September 16, 2015. Alfabético temática Invicta. p. 863. El Mundo ilustrado, Volume 8, Part 1. June 23, 1901. p. 269. de Olavarría y Ferrari, Enrique 1895. Reseña histórica del teatro en México, Volumes 3-4. La Europea. pp. 408–409 ;


Name: Bandolin.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Luthier: Jorge Eduardos Campos Vela Otovalo, Ecuador.
Manufacture Date: 1992-02-05.
Country: Ecuador.
Region: Andes & South America.
Specimen: 1 in collection.
Acquisition Source: Rufus Guitars, Kitsilano, Vancouver B.C.
Acquisition Date: 1998.

Description: The bandolin is a 15-string triple course relative to the Bandurria. The bandolin is played during the feasts of San Juan and San Pedro often in the accompaniment of other instruments in an ensemble. The bandolin is directly related to the bandurria and directly descended from the bandurria. The tuning and string order do differ.

These ensembles featuring the bandolin as a lead instrument are accompanied by two quenas, rondador, charango, guitar, bombo and other instruments.

Bandolin Tunings:
E / A / D / F# / B
E / A / D / G# / B



Name: Bandola.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Country: Venezuela & Colombia.
Region: South America.

Description: The bandola is a pear-shaped lute that is found in Venezuela, Colombia and the Zarabanda region of Guatemala. This instrument is related to the bandurria and mandolin.

Bandola Tunings
Names Courses Tunings
Bandola llanera 4 Course A / D / A / E
Bandola llanera 4 Course G / D / A / E
4 Course A / E / B / F#
Zarabanda, Guatemala B / E / B / F
Bandola Andina Colombiana 6 Courses F# / B / E / A / D / G
4 Course E / A / D / G
Bandola Oriental 4 Course G / D / A / E
Bandola Guayanesa 4 Course
Bandola Andina 4 Course

Varieties: Several versions of this instrument are played throughout their respective regions in Venezuela, including the Bandola Llanara, Bandola Oriental, Bandola Guayanesa, Bandola Andina Colombia and Bandola Andina.

Bandola llanera: Traditionally with only seven frets and four nylon or gut strings. Venezuelan musicians Saúl Vera and Moisés Torrealba have used larger 10 and 14 fret versions, respectively.

Bandola Andina Colombiana: This instrument has six courses of strings in several different arrangements. It may have 12 strings in doubled courses, 14 strings with the first two courses tripled and the rest doubled. 16 strings with the first four courses tripled and the last two doubled, or 18 strings in triple courses. The instrument strongly resembles its ancestor, the Spanish bandurria. This instrument resembles the Mexican bandolón.

Bandola Oriental: Like the bandola llanera but with a deeper body and four double courses with eight strings in all, with both nylon and metal strings. The same tuning G / D / A / E / as encountered on the mandolin is used for the bandola.

Bandola Guayanesa: Played in Venezuela’s Guayana Region, with eight metal strings, paired in four courses. The instrument combines techniques of the oriental and llanera bandolas.

Bandola Andina or Bandola Aymara or Peruvian Bandola or Bolivian Bandola: These have 4 courses of triple, or sometimes quadruple strings.

Citations: Bibliography: Bandola pp. 143 – Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary Vol. 1 A to F of Music ISBN 0-333-37878-4; Websites:


Name: Laud.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Country: Many, Spain.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & Western Europe.

Description: The Laúd [in Spanish: “lute”] is a plucked lute, that is played with a plectrum / pick. It is a chordophone from Spain, played also in diaspora countries such as Cuba and the Philippines. Belonging to the cittern family of instruments.

The Spanish and Cuban instruments have six double courses in unison [twelve strings in pairs]. The Philippine laud has a short neck and 12 to 14 strings with some courses singled or tripled.

Laud Tunings
Spanish G# / C# / F# / B / E / A
Cuban C# / F# / B / E / A / D
Cuban D / F# / B / E / A / D
Filipino F# / B / E / A / D / G

Bandurria [Peru]

Name: Bandurria [Peru].
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Specimen: 1 in collection From Apurimac, Peru.
Luthier: Fabricas de Guitarras, Bellido; De Jorge Bellido E. Hijos.
Date of Manufacture: 1954.
Country: Peru.
Region: South America.

Description: The bandurria is a lute that was exported throughout Central and South America. Back in Spain the bandurria as played in 16th Century had four double orders [pairing] of strings. This amounted to more strings than the current Spanish Bandurria.

Bandurria [Peru]Currently the bandurria as played in Cuzco, Ayacucho and Apurimac have 16 strings resulting in a 12 string or six string 3 or 4 per order. In the 17th century the Bandurria Española already had 5 orders, and the sixth order was added to the 18th century.

Bandurria [Apurimac, Peru] Tunings
Names Tunings
Maulín E G# B E
Cusqueña D G B E
Ayacucho C G E A
Carnival E  G  C E
Apurimac G C B E
Anonymous B E A E

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: / Bandurria Cusqueña [archived on waybackmachine] ;