Folk & Acoustic Musical Instrument Specialists













Vihuela Information and FAQs



DEFINITION


Plucked chordophone of the guitar family. Now popular in Central America, it is very similar to the Spanish renaissance vihuela.

INTRODUCTION


The Vihuela is a fretted instrument popular in Mexico, usually used for simple rhytmic accompaniment. It has only four frets usually and an arched back like the guitarron. It is around the size of a half size classical and has 5 strings tuned ADGBE usually in re-entrant tuning with the bottom string one octave higher.

HISTORY

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The Vihuela is a very ancient instrument and the ancestor of many others. The Spanish Vihuela of the renaissance period had a violin shaped body with a flat back and top and the gut frets still used today. It is believed the Viol family of bowed instruments and citterns and hence guitars were descended from it. The Spanish name Vihuela is carried on in the word Viola and nence violin etc.