Contraguitar

Last updated
A Viennese "Schrammel guitar." Schrammelgitarre.jpg
A Viennese "Schrammel guitar."

The contraguitar or Schrammel guitar is a type of guitar developed in Vienna in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to the usual guitar neck with six strings and a fretboard, it has a second, fretless neck with up to nine bass strings. Customarily these additional strings are tuned from E-flat downwards. The lowest string on the 15-string contraguitar is usually tuned to G.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Contents

Viennese instrument maker Johann Gottfried Scherzer developed the instrument after 1848, improving on earlier, unfinished efforts by Johann Georg Stauffer (17781853), the master from whom Scherzer had learned his craft.

This page is mainly based on a translation of the German Wikipedia article, locatedhere.

The contraguitar is heard almost exclusively in Viennese folk music, especially Schrammelmusik. Occasionally it is also used in Alpine folk music.

Schrammelmusik

Schrammelmusik is a style of Viennese folk music originating in the late nineteenth century and still performed in present-day Austria. The style is named for the prolific folk composers Johann and Josef Schrammel.

Related Research Articles

Banjo musical instrument

The banjo is a four-, five-, or six-stringed instrument with a thin membrane stretched over a frame or cavity as a resonator, called the head, which is typically circular. The membrane is typically made of plastic, although animal skin is still occasionally used. Early forms of the instrument were fashioned by Africans in the United States, adapted from African instruments of similar design. The banjo is frequently associated with folk, Irish traditional, and country music. Banjo can also be used in some Rock Songs. Countless Rock bands, such as The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and The Allman Brothers, have used the five-string banjo in some of their songs. Historically, the banjo occupied a central place in African-American traditional music and the folk culture of rural whites before entering the mainstream via the minstrel shows of the 19th century. The banjo, along with the fiddle, is a mainstay of American old-time music. It is also very frequently used in traditional ("trad") jazz.

Classical guitar acoustic wooden guitar with wide neck, strings made of nylon

The classical guitar is a member of the guitar family used in classical music. An acoustic wooden string instrument with strings made of gut or nylon, it is a precursor of the acoustic and electric guitars which use metal strings. The name guitar comes from Persian language, in which Tar means string. Tar is also the name of an Iranian instrument that could be the primary form of guitar. Classical guitars are derived from the Spanish vihuela and gittern in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, which later evolved into the seventeenth and eighteenth century Baroque guitar and later the modern classical guitar in the mid nineteenth century.

Lute musical instrument

A lute is any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. More specifically, the term "lute" can refer to an instrument from the family of European lutes. The term also refers generally to any string instrument having the strings running in a plane parallel to the sound table. The strings are attached to pegs or posts at the end of the neck, which have some type of turning mechanism to enable the player to tighten the tension on the string or loosen the tension before playing, so that each string is tuned to a specific pitch. The lute is plucked or strummed with one hand while the other hand "frets" the strings on the neck's fingerboard. By pressing the strings on different places of the fingerboard, the player can shorten or lengthen the part of the string that is vibrating, thus producing higher or lower pitches (notes).

Steel guitar type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument

Steel guitar is a type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument. Developed in Hawaii by Joseph Kekuku in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a steel guitar is usually positioned horizontally; strings are plucked with one hand, while the other hand changes the pitch of one or more strings with the use of a bar or slide called a steel. The earliest use of an electrified steel guitar was first made in the early 1930s by Bob Dunn of Milton Brown and His Brownies, a western swing band from Fort Worth, Texas; the instrument was perfected in the mid to late 1930s by Fort Worth's Leon McAuliffe, who played for western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Nashville later picked up the use of the steel guitar in the early days of the late 1940s and early 1950s "Honky Tonk" country & western music with a number of fine steel guitarists backing names like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Webb Pierce. The term steel guitar is often mistakenly used to describe any metal body resophonic guitar.

Zither class of musical stringed instruments

Zither is a class of stringed instruments.

Twelve-string guitar steel-string guitar with twelve strings in six courses

The 12-string guitar is a steel-string guitar with 12 strings in six courses, which produces a richer, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Typically, the strings of the lower four courses are tuned in octaves, with those of the upper two courses tuned in unisons. The gap between the strings within each dual-string course is narrow, and the strings of each course are fretted and plucked as a single unit. The neck is wider, to accommodate the extra strings, and is similar to the width of a classical guitar neck. The sound, particularly on acoustical instruments, is fuller and more harmonically resonant than six-string instruments.

Gadulka

The gadulka is a traditional Bulgarian bowed string instrument. Alternate spellings are "gǎdulka", "gudulka" and "g'dulka". Its name comes from a root meaning "to make noise, hum or buzz". The gadulka is an integral part of Bulgarian traditional instrumental ensembles, commonly played in the context of dance music.

Cümbüş Turkish musical instrument (strings)

The cümbüş is a Turkish stringed instrument of relatively modern origin. It was developed in 1930 by Zeynel Abidin Cümbüş (1881–1947) as an oud-like instrument that could be heard as part of a larger ensemble.

Machine head apparatus for tuning stringed musical instruments

A machine head is a geared apparatus for tuning stringed musical instruments by adjusting string tension. Machine heads are used on mandolins, guitars, double basses, and others, and are usually located on the instrument's headstock. Other names for guitar tuners include pegs, gears, machines, cranks, knobs, tensioners, and tighteners.

Kobza

The kobza, also called bandurka is a Ukrainian folk music instrument of the lute family, a relative of the Central European mandora. The term kobza however, has also been applied to a number of other Eastern European instruments distinct from the Ukrainian kobza.

Tamburica or Tamboura refers to a family of long-necked lutes popular in Southern Europe and Central Europe, especially Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, and Hungary. It is also known in Burgenland. All took their name and some characteristics from the Persian tanbur but also resemble the mandolin and guitar in the sense that its strings are plucked and often paired. The frets may be moveable to allow the playing of various modes. The variety of tamburica shapes known today were developed in Croatia and Serbia by a number of indigenous contributors near the end of the 19th century.

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and has long been one of the major centers for cultural development in central Europe.

Harp guitar

The harp guitar is a guitar-based stringed instrument generally defined as a "guitar, in any of its accepted forms, with any number of additional unstopped strings that can accommodate individual plucking." The word "harp" is used in reference to its harp-like unstopped open strings. A harp guitar must have at least one unfretted string lying off the main fretboard, typically played as an open string.

A person who is specialized in the making of stringed instruments such as guitars, lutes and violins is called a luthier.

Ten-string guitar

There are many varieties of ten-string guitar, including:

Kevin Kastning American musician

Kevin Kastning is an American guitarist, composer and musical instrument inventor. He plays the 36-string Double Contraguitar, 30-string Contra-Alto guitar, 17-string Hybrid Extended Classical guitar, 15-string Extended Classical guitar, twelve-string guitar, six-string guitar, fretless guitar, 12-string extended baritone guitar, 6-string bass-baritone guitar, alto guitar, the 14-string contraguitar, the 16-string contraguitar, the 17-string contraguitar, 12-string soprano guitar, mandolin, piano and bass.

References

    Bibliography

    See also

    Acoustic guitar type of guitar

    An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces sound acoustically by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air—as opposed to relying on electronic amplification (see electric guitar). The sound waves from the strings of an acoustic guitar resonate through the guitar's body, creating sound. This typically involves the use of a sound board and a sound box to strengthen the vibrations of the strings. In standard tuning the guitar's six strings are tuned (low to high) E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4.


    The Combolin was invented by Roy Williamson of The Corries in the summer of 1969. The combolin combined several instruments into a single instrument. One combined a mandolin and a guitar, the other combined guitar and the Spanish bandurria, the latter being an instrument Williamson had played since the early days of the Corrie Folk Trio.

    Multi-neck guitar guitar that has multiple fingerboard necks

    A multi-neck guitar is a guitar that has multiple fingerboard necks. They exist in both electric and acoustic versions. Although multi-neck guitars are quite common today, they are not a modern invention. Examples of multi-neck guitars and lutes go back at least to the Renaissance.