- 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 púa (plectrum) is used to pick out melody.
The term ‘mandurria’ was mentioned in the 14th century by Juan Ruiz in his Libro de buen amor. In 1555 Juan Bermudo described the bandurria in his Comiença el libro llamado declaraciõ de instrumetos [sic] as a three-string instrument, but he also mentioned other types with four or even five strings. He said that the outer courses were tuned an octave apart, with the middle course either a 5th or a 4th above the lowest. Later, five- and six-course bandurrias were tuned in 4ths throughout, a tuning that is still used (...