About the chitarrone after Pietro Railich 1655

The description refers to a standard version of the instrument.


Back: 25 to 35 ribs

Neck: Soft wood veneered with ebony

Pegbox: Soft wood veneered with ebony

Soundboard: Spruce

String length: 78cm to 82cm / 120cm to 170cm

Frets: 9 or 10 tied gut frets / 3 or 2 wooden frets

Pegs: Fruitwood

Bridge: Fruitwood

Fingerboard: Ebony

Courses: 14 courses, the number of stopped strings and bass strings is a matter of discussion


The original is in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt (Inventory no. KG67:107). The chitarrone seems to have been made in 1655 as a 19-course instrument by Pietro Railich in Venice. Some day it was changed to 14 courses and a diapason of 82cm. Traces of a longer bridge can still be discerned. Possibly a new, thinner neck has been attached in the process of this modification. A clue to this is an ebony wedge at the base of the neck, filling the gap between neck and body.

This chitarrone can be built with a stopped string length of 78cm to 82cm. For the bass strings you can choose either one and a half times or twice the fretted string length. The stopped strings can be single or double strung.

The pictures show an instrument with a 78cm diapason.

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