Gaining and Losing Strings

. The vihuela, popular during the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy and Spain, fits directly into the evolutionary line and came in three varieties. The vihuela de penola was played with a pick, while the vihuela de arco was played with a bow. The vihuela de mano, however, had five or six double courses of strings and was plucked with the fingers. One of the latter’s tunings was G C F A D G (low strings to high). With the exception that the major third occurs between the fourth and third strings, its tuning relates to the interval pattern of a modern guitar and was pitched like a modern guitar with a capo placed on the third fret. (Of course on the modern guitar the major third occurs between the third and second strings and the whole is pitched a minor third lower than the vihuela.)



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