quarta-feira, janeiro 07, 2004

Hi Reza
Your question asks not a dificult but an extensive answer.
In Portugal, any region as a diferent guitar whith, sometimes, diferent tunings.
The most part of them come directely from the vihuela, and have five groups of strings ( we call it "ordens", like the spanish), with ten or twelve strings- one pair in the 1sts 2nds and 3ds, and 3 strings in the others. The sizes are also diferent, and you can find the "cavaquinho", from the north, that is the grand father of the ukelele, and the viola campaniça, from Alentejo (in the south) with almost the same size of the cg.
The names of diferent instrumensts, all from the guitar family, are:
from north to south: cavaquinho, viola braguesa, viola amarantina, viola beiroa, viola coimbrã, viola campaniça; in Madeira: braguinha, rajão and viola de arame;
in Azores(where I am born): viola da terra, with 12 strings in the islands of the east group, and 15, in the west group, with five or six "ordens".
There is also the portuguese guitar ( "Guitarra Portuguesa") that cames from the "cistre".
There are two kinds of portuguese guitars: the Lisbon model, wich is used in the Lisbon Fado, and the Coimbra guitar, that is used in a kind of ballads played by the students of the University of Coimbra, also called "Fado de Coimbra" ( Fado from Coimbra). There are big deferences between the "fados" from Coimbra and Lisbon.
As you see, the cg, in Portugal, is called "Viola" ( "Viola Clássica"- in the conservatory, when I was a student it was called "viola dedilhada": the viola played with fingers, because of the other "viola" from the orchestra) or "violão" in the popular form, because of the traditional instruments that come from the "vihuela". Only the portuguese guitar, that as nothing in is form and tuning with cg, is called with the same name the spanish call cg "guitarra".
The other non-string popular instruments are more then 300, so, as you understand, I can not make even a list of them here.
I'm afraid you will not understand part of what I've wrote because my english is very bad(even with the dictionary at my side), but if in any ocasion you come to Portugal, I will be glad to show you some of the portuguese "violas". I think you will enjoy playing them.
João Pimentel

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