Type: Chordophones > Lute.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.5
Scale Length: mm.
Courses: 5 or 6.
Strings: 10 or 12.
Description: The Cithrinchen is a lute having a distinctive bell shaped body. The Cithrinchen was popular in Germany, England and Sweden. The “hamburger Cithrinchen belongs to a descendant family of instruments “cisterns”. It is an instrument representative of the late baroque and rococo periods as it is ornately decorated and highly ornamental.
The most important German cithrinchen builders were Hamburg’s Joachim Tielke and Hinrich Kopp, who built cithrinchen between 1676 and 1707. Tielke’s instruments expensive due to the exceptional quality of craftsmanship. They were highly fashionable in Hamburg from around 1650 to 1750. This instrument was popular among the wealthier upper class in the Netherlands, Germany, England and Scandinavia.
Construction: The Cithrinchen usually had three sound holes with decorative rosettes and five or sometimes six or more courses [pairs] of strings. Nowadays most Cithrinchen are built as replicas of the original instruments by modern day luthiers.