Viola Braguesa

Name: Viola Braguesa.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Guitars > Viola.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.5
Tuning: C / G / A / D / G
Country: Portugal.
Region: Iberian Peninsula > Western Europe.

Description: Viola braguesa is a stringed instrument from Braga, north-western Portugal. According to Veiga de Oliveira the violas can be grouped into two large groups according to the shape of the box: the group of violas of enfranque accented in the interior lands, and the group of violas of smaller size, with the box with the shape of an “8”, but with narrower proportions than the guitar.

Although, in modern times the viola’s with proportions are nowadays similar to the guitar. Some of these viola [guitars] are in extinction, but others continue to enjoy great popularity, although they are attached to the interpretation of popular music. From Portugal, these instruments were taken to Brazil where they became the viola caipira or viola sertaneja. The word Viola to denote guitars is wide spread in Portugal so these types of viola are often called “10-String Violas”.

Tuning: It has 10 strings arranged in 5 courses Cc / Gg / Aa / Dd / Gg. The scale length is about 500 mm [20 inches].

Requinta: Many Portuguese violas [pt], such as the Viola braguesa, have smaller requinto versions also, called ‘requinta’. The viola braguesa requinta is tuned or A / C / F / c# / E This tuning is a fifth above the standard Viola braguesa.

Citations: Bibliography: Popular Portuguese Musical Instruments – Oliveira, Ernesto Veiga de; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: Lisbon, 1982 ; Musical Instruments in Cape Verde – Brito, Margarida, Centro Cultural Português: Praia – Mindelo 1998 ;

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