Instrumentos Tradicionales Ibéricos Instrumentos Tradicionales Ibéricos

These instruments are those that produce the sound due to the vibration of one or several tense strings, either plucking, ripping or bowing them.

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Guitarra: It is a plucked or ripped chordophone. It consists of six nailon or gut strings. It is the most symbolic and well-known instrument in the peninsula, due to the flamenco. Without entering in this music type, in the rural world is played ripping the strings and accompanying the different folk songs with few and simple chords. It was very used for blinds and vagabonds. In the strings folk groups it accompanies to "bandurrias" and "laúdes" (lutes) creating the rhythmic base .




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Bandurria: The bandurria is a plectrum plucked cordophone with presence in practically the whole peninsula, except in Portugal, where it is substituted by the "bandolim" or mandolin. It consists of twelve metallic strings (six double) tuned by quarters and it is made to sound it with a spike or plectrum. Traditionally it forms part of serenaders or string groups, together with the guitar and the lute, of similar characteristic, but with a bass sound. It was also common in street musicians and blind men. In the picture, you can view an andalusian restored instrument from 1882.



Bandolim: It is a plectrum plucked cordophone. It is a type of Portuguese mandolin, because in Spain is used the bandurria like plucked folk instrument, although it was also used occasionally the mandolin in the string folk groups. As any mandolin, it consists of four couples of strings tuned by fifths, as the violin. Something that differs to the bandolim of the classic mandolins is their deep and plane resonance box that is more narrow in the other mandolins; as well as the peg box, in fan form and with a wooden scroll. They can be seen in the groups of the north of Portugal and in the university groupings. In the picture, a Bandolim from Lisbon .


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Laúd: The laúd (lute) is a plectrum plucked chordophone with presence in practically the whole peninsula, except in Portugal, where it is substituted by the mandola. It consists of twelve metallic strings (six double), as the bandurria, but the mast is more long that the previous instrument. Traditionally it forms part of serenaders or folk string groups, together with the guitar and the bandurria, giving different voices to the tunes. Their tuning is also by quarters, like in the bandurria.



Rabel: The rabel (folk rebec) is a bowed chordophone very common in the north area of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a sheperd´s instrument and it consists of one, two or three strings tuned by quarters or fifths, and it sound is produced with a bow of horse manes to which has been applied resin. The resonance box is wooden and the harmonic cover can to be wooden, tin or tense skin. It accompanies dances, ballads and picaresque songs. It is present in Cantabria, Asturias, Castile-León, Extremadura and La Mancha.


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Violín: The violin is a bowed chordophone. It consists of 4 metal strings or gut tuned by fifths. It is a classic instrument that is also used in folk music, although the tunings and forms of playing them are different to the classic ways. In Spain they were scarce interpreters of traditional violin in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, where it was accompanied of tambourine. Also in the south, in Málaga where is played by the "verdiales" and in Almería and Murcia played by the "cuadrillas". Anyway, it is not an instrument very used traditionally, only it is found in these punctual cases. In Portugal a similar instrument to the violin is played but with a smallest mast and of high tone -a octave above the violin - called "Rabeca chuleira ".



   CHICOTEN       Escucha como suena en RealAudio     TTUN-TTUN Y TXIRULA

Chicotén: Is a hammered chordophone. Also denominated "salterio" in Castile, "ttun-ttun" in the Basque country or generically "stringed drum". It seems to be a derivation of the medieval Psalters, producing the sound with a stick that hits a series of tense strings on a lengthened resonance box. It always accompanied to the three holes pipe when it was played in interiors, giving a pedal note, bass and rhythmic. Only it continues being used at the moment in the Basque country accompanying to the txirula and in Aragon, accompanying to the chiflo. In the picture we can see an Aragonese "chicotén" and a Basque "ttun-ttun" .


ZANFONA   Escucha como suena en RealAudio

Zanfona: This instrument is a wheel rubbed chordophone. It is the only instrument of those that compose this page that produces it sound with a keyboard, without pressing the strings directly with the fingers. Although it is difficult to affirm that a Iberian zanfona exists as such, there are instruments in Galicia, northwest of Castile and León and Asturias with certain similarities among if. The zanfona is an instrument that comes from the Middle Ages where was a court instrument. Later it fell in disuse, will stop at the hands of blind, salespersons of ballads, etc ...The instrument has a wheel that makes sound two or three strings "cantantes" that execute the melody by means of the keyboard and two or more drones that give a continuous pedal note of accompaniment. They have not founded in the peninsula models with percussion as in the French hurdy-gurdies. In the picture we can see an artisan Jesús Reolid's model.



          ORGANILLO PEQUEÑO     Escucha como suena en RealAudio     ORGANILLO DE SALON DE BAILE     

Organillo: Automatic hammered cordophone. Also denominated "automatic piano". Invented at the beginning of the XIX century in England. A roller with spikes that rotates on its axis move the hammers that strike the piano strings. Also, this spikes move the hammers that hit percussion instruments like tambourines, plates, etc... Each roller used to have 10 fixed songs that were chosen for each moment. This instrument had great use in the dance halls, displacing to other autochthonous instruments, because it didn't need of any music knowledge to be played, only it was necessary to rotate a handle. It disappeared when using the phonograph and the gramophone later. Although it was very popular in the whole Peninsula, it has been as tipical instrument in the city of Madrid. In the pictures we can see two copies of the Fundación Joaquín Díaz Museum, in Urueña (Valladolid), one smaller and more portable and other big, used in dance halls.