Guinbri [gimbri, gmbri, gnibra, gombri, gumbri, gunbri, gunibri]
- Lucy Durán
[gimbri, gmbri, gnibra, gombri, gumbri, gunbri, gunibri]
Large plucked half-spike lute with one to three strings, of North Africa. It is particularly an instrument of the Gnawa brotherhood of Morocco, among whom it has three strings. The neck protrudes into the resonator where its end, accessible through the soundhole, is cut into three spikes to which the strings, traditionally of sheep’s gut but now often nylon, are attached. At the upper end the strings are tied to leather bands around the neck; these can be adjusted for tuning. In construction the guinbri is clearly related to the family of plucked lutes found throughout the West African savanna, although it is somewhat larger and the resonator is rectangular, about 15 cm wide and deep but sometimes narrower and slightly waisted. The soundtable is camel or cowhide and the wooden bridge is higher than is normal for plucked instruments. The instrument’s ancestry might be traced to the ancient Egyptian long-necked lute. The Moroccan ...