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illustration from Syntagma Musicum Theatrum Instrumentorum seu Sciagraphia, Wolfenb├╝ttel, 1620CE.

The Bandora or Bandore[1] is a large long-necked plucked string-instrument that can be regarded as a bass cittern though it does not have the "re-entrant" tuning typical of the cittern. Probably first built by John Rose in England around 1560, it remained popular for over a century.[2 ] A somewhat smaller version was the orpharion.

Frequently one of the two bass instruments in a broken consort as associated with the works of Thomas Morley it is also a solo instrument in its own right. Anthony Holborne wrote many pieces for solo bandora. The multiple lute settings of Pacoloni appear both with and without optional wire-strung instruments.


Construction and type

The bandora, though built like a cittern, had six courses (unison pairs) of strings tuned in a more lute-like fashion; typically C D G c e a, as the top five strings of the viola da gamba but with an extra C-string at the bottom and occasionally a seventh low G string.[2 ]

The term bandore was occasionally applied to a Ukrainian folk instrument now more commonly known as the bandura. During the Renaissance times there were no naming conventions and terms were used loosely. The Spanish bandurria, though this term was once also interchangeable, now applies to a treble instrument like a mandolin - a similar confusion as has occurred with mandore, mandora, mandola (q.v.). All these instruments are thought to derive their names originally from the ancient pandura (which term, once again, is found applied to a variety of stringed instruments in different regions at an early date).[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Bandore, bandurria, bandurya". English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. 1990.  
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ F. Jahnel and N. Clarke, The Manual of Guitar Technology, p29, The Bold Strummer Ltd.[1]


  • Masakata Kanazawa, (ed.), The Complete works of Anthony Holborne, Vol. 1, Music for Lute and Bandora, (Harvard University Press, 1967).

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