The Portuguese guitar is a plucked string instrument. Class – chordophone. Despite the original name “guitarra portuguesa”, it belongs to the cistral family.
The origin of the instrument can be traced back to the appearance of the English cistra in Portugal in the 1796th century. The body of the English cistra has been modified to give it a new sound, and this is the new guitar from Portugal. The first school of playing on the new invention opened in XNUMX in Lisbon.
There are two different models: Lisbon and Coimbra. They differ in the size of the scale: 44 cm 47 cm, respectively. Other differences include the massiveness of the case itself and small components. The Coimbrowan construction is simpler than the Lisbon one. Outwardly, the latter is distinguished by a large deck and ornament. Both models have their own unique sound. The version from Lisbon produces a brighter and louder sound. The choice of option for the Play depends solely on the preferences of the performer.
Musicians use special playing techniques called figueta and dedilho. The first technique involves playing exclusively with the thumb and forefinger. Dedilho is played with up and down strokes with one finger.
The Portuguese guitar plays a central role in the national musical genres of fado and modinha. Fado appeared in the XNUMXth century as a dance genre. Modinha is a Portuguese version of urban romance. In the XNUMXst century, it continues to be used in pop music.