Philippine Bandurria

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Philippine Banduria

The laud, the banduria and the spanish guitar are the instruments used in Spanish Rondalla music, and as the Spanish ruled the Philippine islands for three centuries, this type of music became also popular on the Philippines - and with Philippinos now living in the USA.

The Philippine instruments look very similar to the Spanish bandurria but the number of strings has increased, from 12 to 14, arranged in 6 courses in the Philippines : 6th single, 5th and 4th double, 3th, 2nd and 1st treble.

The banduria (sometimes spelt bandurria or banurya) is made like a flat back mandolin. The soundhole is usually round, the tuning head slotted, and the bridge may be fixed or floating. The number of frets are usually a lot less than a mandolin..... the bandurria is played with a plectrum.

The tuning of this banduria would be in fourths
f# bb e'e' a'a'a' d"d"d" g"g"g".

Typical Dimensions:

Total length : 25 7/8 in.
Body length: 12 in.
Body width: 10 in.
Sound hole - round: 2 5/8 in.
Rim depth: 3 1/8 in.
Bridge width: 4 1/2 in.
Bridge height: 7/16 in.
Bracing: Parallel

      The bandurria has six courses of strings, tuned in the intervals of fourths.
    • First Set (3 strings)
      • Tuned to a high G (sol), the second G above the middle C (do) of the piano
    • Second Set (3 strings)
      • Tuned to D (re), a fourth below the high G
    • Third Set (3 strings)
      • Tuned to A (la), a fourth below the D
    • Fourth Set (2 strings)
      • Tuned to E (mi), a fourth below the A
    • Fifth Set (2 strings)
      • Tuned to B (si), a fourth below the E
    • Sixth Set (1 string)
      • Tuned to F# (fa), a fourth below the B

1st course(3 strings) G  unwound steel: .008 in.
2nd course(3 strings) D  unwound steel: .010 in.
3rd course(3 strings) A  copper-wound steel: .018 in.
4th course(2 strings) E  copper-wound steel: .026 in.
5th course(2 strings) B  copper-wound steel: .032 in.
6th course(1 string) F#  copper-wound steel: .040 in.

Scale length: 12 in. (distance from the nut to the bridge)
Tuning head length:10 1/4 in.
Tuning head width: 2 - 2 3/4 in.
Fingerboard length: 7 1/8 in.
Fingerboard width:   at Nut: 2 in.     at last Fret: 2 3/8 in.
Frets:    Total: 14
   Clear of body joint: 7 (usually marked with double dots)