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Article

Banam  

Carol M. Babiracki

Term for single-string fiddles, without frets and with a skin-covered soundbox, played by tribal groups in central India. At least two general varieties have been described in written sources on Indian folk instruments: an inverted fiddle (held upwards) with either a tortoise-shell or a wooden body, and a waisted upright fiddle (held downwards) resembling the ...

Article

Natalie M. Webber

Name once used in Sri Lanka for the mandolin. It probably was imported by the Portuguese, absorbed by the artisans of Ceylonese-Portuguese extraction, and used to play their characteristic dance music. The name is now obsolete, but a flat-backed mandolin with four double strings, known in Sri Lanka as the ‘English mandolin’, is still used as the melody instrument for ...

Article

Bandola  

A flat-backed lute of South and Central America, descended from the Bandurria (see also Mandore). The modern bandola of Colombia has a tear-drop shape, with a flat or concave back. It has six courses of strings, three steel strings in each of the four upper courses, and two copper-wound strings in each of the two lower courses, tuned ...

Article

John M. Schechter

Mandolin widely used as a folk instrument in Latin America. The instruments of the mestizos and Quechuas in highland Ecuador have a teardrop-shaped body with a flat back and a circular sound hole and are made from cedar, pine, and other woods. They have five triple courses of metal strings and are played with a plectrum. Several tunings are found; in the region of Cotacachi, Imbabura Province, one tuning is ...

Article

Bandora  

Ian Harwood and Lyle Nordstrom

A plucked chordophone (classified as a lute) of bass register with metal strings and a scalloped and festooned body outline, said to have been invented in London in 1562. Besides having a considerable solo repertory, it was required to accompany some of the earliest printed English songs, and was one of the six obligatory instruments of the mixed ...

Article

Bandura  

Sofia Hrytsa

A hybrid instrument of the Ukraine combining elements of a lute and box zither, possibly derived from the 10th century Arabic and Persian pandura and the kobuz of the Kipchak and Polovtsian peoples. It has a short neck, a shallow oval wooden body and a resonating hole on the upper soundboard. There may be a varying number of strings; four to eight bass (...

Article

John M. Schechter

A plucked lute. A hybrid of the guitar and cittern families, it is found in Spain and parts of Latin America. It has a small, cittern-shaped body with comparatively deep ribs, flat back, short fretted neck, and large peg-holder with pegs projecting from the rear as on a guitar. The strings pass over a large central soundhole and are usually fixed to a string-holder. In Spain a ...

Article

Bangia  

Lyre of the Berta people of southeastern Sudan. It has a wooden bowl resonator, a soundtable of hide into which two soundholes are cut, and a small wooden bridge. The five strings, formerly made of gut, are nowadays made of steel. Each string is fastened to a strip of cloth wound around the yoke and can be tuned by twisting the cloth. The ...

Article

Bangwe  

Andrew Tracey

Board zither of southeastern Africa made of a flat board or of a raft of papyrus stalks. Its single wire or fibre string is stretched from end to end through holes in the body of the instrument (normally seven times, but nine to 12 among the Sena, Manganja, and Barwe peoples of central Mozambique). Rough tuning is effected by friction tensioning each segment, fine tuning by moving the small bridges under each string at the player’s end. In northern Mozambique and Malawi the player usually strums all the pentatonically tuned strings with the right index finger while damping with the left fingers those notes that are not required to sound, an ancient technique used on many lyres and zithers. The ...

Article

A small banjo, pitched a 4th higher than the standard instrument, invented by S(amuel) S(wain) Stewart.

Article

Banjo  

Jay Scott Odell and Robert B. Winans

A plucked string instrument with a long guitar-like neck and a circular soundtable, usually called the “head,” of tautly stretched parchment or skin (now usually plastic), against which the bridge is pressed by the strings. The banjo and its variants, classified as plucked lute chordophones, have had long and widespread popularity as folk, parlor, and professional entertainers’ instruments. It used to be speculated that the name of the instrument probably derived from the Portuguese or Spanish bandore, but another possibility, at least as likely, comes out of recent research into West African plucked lute traditions, which has identified at least six traditional plucked lutes whose necks are made from a thick stalk of papyrus, known throughout the Senegambian region by the Mande term “bang” (also “bangoe,” “bangjolo,” “bangjulo,” “bung,” “bungo”)....

Article

Zither shaped like a harp. It was invented in the USA in the 19th century. It was 90 cm tall, had 18 strings, and five to seven buttons with which to change the pitch; on the lower part of the instrument was a drum to give a banjo-like resonance. ‘Banjo Harp’ was also a trade name for a five-string banjo with a wooden soundtable and a resonator back made by the Paramount Banjo Co. (William L. Lange) in the 1920s....

Article

Term for a banjo with four paired strings or a mandolin with a banjo-type head. Such combination types were popular novelties in the USA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some were patented, for example the Bandonian by William H. DeWick of Brooklyn (...

Article

A hybrid instrument combining a banjo body with a Ukulele fingerboard, stringing and tuning.

Article

Banzie  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Zither of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name banzie is used by the Zande people, banzu by the Mangbetu and Bwa. It has a box resonator of bark and 9 to 13 liana strings.

F.J. de Hen: Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Musikinstrumente aus Belgisch Kongo und Ruanda-Urundi...

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Bappe  

Five-string plucked half-spiked lute of Senegal and Gambia. It has a boat-shaped soundbox and is similar to the xalam.

See also Xalam .

Article

Term used in the Hornbostel–Sachs classification of instruments for a zither with a bar-shaped string bearer (which can be a board placed edgewise). This class comprehends the stick zither and musical bow.

See also Musical bow; Stick zither .

Article

Barbat  

Sassanian short-necked lute. See Iran, §II, 5.

Article

Barbed  

Alastair Dick

Term applied chiefly to central, west, and South Asian lutes signifying that the soundbox outline forms sharp points at the waist. When barbs below the waist point upward (as with some historical and extant South Asian types), the shape may be called ‘inverted barbed’. The term ‘barb’ was used by C. Sachs (...

Article

Title adopted by Edward Jones.