Vihuela in a’ for John Griffiths

This has been a very interesting project, to produce a vihuela in a’ based on some very recent research into the origins of the Belchior Diaz “guitar” of 1582, long thought to be an anomalous 5 course guitar from the 16th century. John proposed the project based on his extensive research of iconography and surviving original instruments. This project with John has proven to be a very rewarding collaboration indeed.

This instrument is based on the original outline and replaces missing wood at the sides of the neck, producing an instrument that can be strung as a vihuela with a single top (or bottom) string. The bck and sides are of cocobolo with holly spacers, the neck and head are of walnut. Peghed planetary tuners replace the usual pegs and the instrument is quite high tension, with a big, but clear and well rounded sound, giving remarkable clarity to the complex inner parts of the repertoire.

A second instrument of cocobolo and Brasilian rosewood has been compleed and a third instrument is under construction.

The tonal result has been very interesting and the next step will be to apply the same constructional logic to an instrument in g’.

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The 2 Vihuelas finished

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