Name: Bandola.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes > Bandurria.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.322.6
Scale Length: mm.
Country: Venezuela, Chile & Guatemala.
Region: South America.

Description: The bandola is a flat backed lute that is played in both South and Central America. it is descended from the bandurria [see also Mandore]. As with the mandolin, musicians employ extensive use of tremolo in their technique. There are two types of Bandola in Venezuela. The bandola is used in Chilean Andean music. Where it accompanies solo shepherd songs, and in Guatemala zarabanda ensemble.

Types: Several varieties of bandola are encountered in Venezuela, the design of the body, string arrangement and tuning are influenced by regions to where in Venezuela, this instrument is played. 1.) Bandola Llanera, 2.) Bandola Andina Colombiana 3.) Bandola oriental 4.) Bandola Oriental 5.) Bandola Guayanesa 6.) Bandola Aymara, Peruvian Bandola or Bolivian Bandola.

Luís Alberto Paredes Rodríguez and Manuel Bernal Martínez build a range of bandola bajo [“bass bandola”]. These instruments have 12 strings in six courses and a fanned fretboard. Some mandolin players convert their instruments to a bandola oriental by adding a fixed bridge and stringing with nylon strings.

In the Colombian Andes the bandola is played in the murga ensemble to accompany dancing and the singing of coplas. The Durga is sometimes augmented by a second bandola harmonizing in duet in 3rds or 6ths.

Bandola Tunings
Names Regions  Courses Tunings
Llanera 4 Course A D A E
Llanera 4 Course G D A E
A E B F#
Zarabanda, Guatemala B E B F
Andina Colombiana 6 Courses F# B E A D G

Construction: The modern Colombian bandola has a tear dropped shape, with a flat or concave back. The bandola has six curses of strings. Three steel strings each of the four upper courses. Two copper-wound strings in each of the two lower courses.