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Neck (Fr. manche; Ger. Hals; It. manico)locked

  • Peter Cooke

Extract

An essential feature of all string instruments classified as lutes, open harps or harp-lutes, serving to extend the length of the strings beyond the resonating body of the instrument. It may be fitted with a fingerboard (as in the case of the violin family). Distinctions are made between ‘long-necked lutes’, particularly those of the Arabic and Persian regions and India, and ‘short-necked lutes’ such as the Arabic ‘Ūd, the European classical lute and instruments of the violin and viol families. The former type tend to carry only one or two melody strings (e.g. the Turkish saz and the Indian sitār) and have a playing technique involving only one or two fingers and much linear movement of the hand along the neck. Short-necked lutes are characterized by a ‘tiered array’ of strings, calling for wide necks and little linear hand movement but considerable lateral finger movement across the neck....

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