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The vihuela is an ideal instrument for anyone interested in expanding into the early literature of the guitar. All of the vihuela literature and any six-course lute music may be played on it. Its ergonomics and ease of playing in higher positions make it an excellent alternative to the lute. It has a large and fascinating repertoire of intricate and expressive Spanish and Italian music. If you want to listen to a sample, please visit www.earlymusicstudio.com, where you will also find a photo-essay about the construction of vihuelas.

The sides and backs are steamed Swiss pearwood, a stable timber which may be planed thinly. The pegs are plum-wood. Plum polishes beautifully and retains its round shape in humid and dry weather. The pegs have a small diameter, assisting in tuning sensitivity. The stringing is entirely carbon fibre, which contributes greatly to the the tuning stablility and intonation.

The head is German-jointed to the neck, allowing the neck to be thinner and the head to be thicker; this improves the peg torque. This joint is difficult to execute, but worth the effort because of its superior strength. The quarter-sawn walnut heads are veneered in Koa and inlaid with tiles. The soundboards are either old-growth Port Orford cedar (cypress), or spruce, your choice. I have left the tops rather thicker than a lute belly, partly because of the inlays, and partly because they have very few bars. This results in an extroverted sound which is typical of the guitar.

The soundboards have parquetry ebony/hornbeam/pear tiles, with accents of abalone and rosewood around the bridge. Three larger tiles on the upper bouts and in front of the bridge are a Maltese Cross design. The fingerboards are macassar ebony, quarter-sawn to reveal the coloured grain which matches the pearwood body.

A new feature is a tatted rose by Susan Adams. Tatting is a beautiful form of fine-gauge needle lace. Fine lace was a long-standing tradition in the Iberian peninsula. The rose is stiffened with glue sizing, lashed to a ring and installed below the sound hole. The rosette is surrounded with ebony and holly tile inlays that reflect the points of the compass, a reference to the age of exploration.

The vihuela's stability and robust construction make it an excellent and lively instrument; the decorative elements make it a desirable and distinguished object. It comes with a baltic birch fitted, lined, painted and varnished case with brass locking hardware.

The shipping cost includes insurance for the full value of the instrument.

The US dollar price may vary, since the item originates in Canada and is priced at 3800 CAD. Check with a currency converter to confirm the most recent price.

Vihuela or early guitar by Clive Titmuss

$3,430.00 USD
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Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: spruce, Port Orford cedar, Spanish cedar, ebony, pearwood, Koa, Madagascar rosewood, abalone, plumwood, holly, carbon fibre, rosewood, bubinga
  • Ships from Canada to select countries.
  • Favorited by: 47 people