Timple

Name: Timple.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.5
Tuning: G C E A D
Courses: Four / Five Strings.
Country: Canary Islands.
Region: West Africa & Atlantic Ocean.

Description: The timple is a five-stringed lute of the Canary Islands. In La Palma island and in the north of the island of Tenerife, many timple players omit the fifth [D] string. Prior to the addition of the D string the Timple had only four strings. There is a debate among musicians as to the use of the D or the omission of the D string.

Advocates state they are playing timple in the old-fashioned way. The fifth string being introduced during the 19th or early 20th century. Timple players [timplistas] of note are Benito Cabrera from Lanzarote, José Antonio Ramos, Totoyo Millares, and Germán López from Gran Canaria and Pedro Izquierdo from Tenerife.

Tuning: The G / C / E / A / D tuning as used on the timple is very similar to the charango tuning the use of the tuning although the fifth string was added in the 19th to 20th century. The tuning G / C / E / A / E can be attested, on instruments such as the charango date much earlier. There is no direct contact between the two tunings despite them being similar at least by a difference from a single note on the bottom string.

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