Name: Chitarra battente.
Type: Lute > Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Tuning: A D G B E
Country: Calabria, Italy.
Description: The chitarra battente [in Italian “beating guitar”] however “battente” literally means “beating”. The word “battente” is directly related to the particular playing technique used when playing this particular musical instrument. It is member of the lute/guitar sub-group of the chordophone family. It is similar to the 5-course baroque guitar.
History: It is considered a folk instrument, though it has its origins in the Italian court music in the early Baroque era. Musicologists refer to the “historical” as well as the “folk” chitarra battente. There are many extant historical 17th century instruments in museums.
Varieties: The chitarra battente comes in three sizes. The medium and large instruments are the most common. The instrument may have five or four courses of strings. These courses are typically double or triple, a“course” being a group of 2 or 3 strings plucked as a single unit. Thus chitarra battente is typically a five or four-course instrument.
Construction: There is a great variation in the waisted profile of the chitarra battente. The variations exist in the design, atheistic and the materials used in the construction of the musical instrument.
Citations: Tucci, Roberta and Antonello Ricci. (1985). “The Chitarra Battente in Calabria”. The Galpin Society Journal (vol. 38, Apr. 1985): 78-105; LUTERIA d’insieme Chitarra Battente ~ Marcello Vitale ; fraulini.com [chitarra battente article] ;