Violas Tradicionais Portuguesas

Viola Toeira A Viola Toeira é uma viola de arame da Beira Litoral, predominante na zona de Coimbra, onde foi durante um largo período de tempo o instrumento predilecto dos estudantes da Academia, até ao aparecimento da Guitarra que aconteceria por volta do ano de 1850. Foi um instrumento musical, geralmente tocado em “rasgueado” como no cavaquinho, que acompanhou danças e cantigas no contexto rural da Beira. Marcou presença tanto no domínio plebeu como nos salões e teatros e é associado a um repertório de salão que remete para a fidalgia e burguesia, “modinhas” e “minuetos”. A Toeira é uma viola pequena de boca oval com 12 cordas distribuídas por 5 ordens, do agudo para o grave, Mi Si Sol Ré Lá , sendo as três primeiras duplas e as restantes triplas .

The Viola Toeira is from the Beira coast, a region to the north of Estremadura, south of the Douro Coast, and west of both Beira Alta and Beira Baixa. It is common in Coimbra where for a long period it was the instrument favored by university students until the appearance of the Portuguese guitar in around 1850. Usually played, as with the cavaquinho, with the rasgueado technique that accompanies dancing and singing in the rural context of the Beira, it is found as much among the commoners as in the salons and theatres, although it is often associated with a salon repertoire of modinhas and minuetos. The Toeira is a small guitar with an oval soundhole, its fingerboard flush with the top. The bridge may feature a leaf motif glued to each side, with perhaps some inlay decoration beneath the bridge in the shape of a flower with leaves, but this is by no means standard. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. Its 12 strings are distributed in 5 courses, the top three being double and the lower two triple. The tuning is similar to the baroque guitar and chitarra battente: A3A3A2 D4D4D3 G3 B3 E4, from low to high.


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A existência da Viola Braguesa, também designada de viola de Braga, surge documentada desde o séc.XVII e é o instrumento mais popular do Noroeste Português entre o Douro e Minho. Toca‐se a solo ou no acompanhamento do canto em “Rusgas”, “Chulas” e “Desafios”. Como todas as Violas Portuguesas, a Braguesa pertence a um género musical exclusivamente lúdico e festivo e integra o mesmo tipo fundamental comum a todos os cordofones da família das”guitarras” espanholas e europeias, a que pertence. Actualmente, esta Viola têm a abertura central em “boca de raia”, mas os modelos erepresentações antigas mostram exclusivamente bocas redondas ou ovais. A Viola Braguesa tem 10cordas, armadas em cinco ordens duplas e possui essencialmente dois tipos de afinação: Lá Mi Si Lá Ré,do agudo para o grave, e a “Mouraria Velha” Sol Ré Lá Sol Dó. Saber mais Categoria: Violas Tradicionais Portuguesas

Viola Braguesa
Arguably the best-known of the regional guitars or violas, there are records of the Viola Braguesa, or Viola de Braga, since the 18th century. It is the most popular instrument in northwestern Portugal, between the Douro and Minho rivers. Played solo or for accompanying the singing of Rusgas, Chulas and Desafios, as with all Portuguese violas, the Braguesa is especially suited to playful and festive music. Although historical examples have a round or oval soundhole, today the Braguesa soundhole is a half circle topped by two teardrops. As with baroque guitars, the fingerboard is flush with the top. The bridge features a decorative mustache, with leaves glued to each side. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. The number of screws is not necessarily the number of strings, but is usually six. The Braguesa has 10 strings set in five double courses, the highest two being tuned in unison and the lowest three in octaves. The basic tuning is like the Lisboa guitar without the top course: D3D4 A3A4 B3B4 E4 A4 from low to high; the Mouraria Velha is one tone lower, as with the Coimbra guitar: C3C4 G3G4 A3A4 C4 G4.


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A viola amarantina, também designada de viola de Amarante, é típica da região do Douro Litoral. Menos conhecida do que a viola minhota, diferencia-se por ter uma escala mais comprida, até à boca, e ostenta dois corações, que se julga estarem ligados a uma história de amor envolvendo um trovador medieval. Esta Viola aparece principalmente nas “Festadas”, onde o seu tocador acompanha as “Chulas”, características da região do Baixo Tâmega. A viola amarantina possui 5 ordens de cordas duplas: as duas ordens mais agudas estão afinadas em uníssono, as três ordens mais graves estão afinadas em oitava. Algumas fontes dão a seguintes afinações : Lá Mi Si Lá Ré, do agudo para o grave, e a “Moda Velha” Lá Fá# Si Sol Ré.

The Viola Amarantina, also called Viola de Amarante, is from the Douro coast. Its fingerboard extends to its distinctive two-heart soundhole but is flush with the soundboard. The two hearts are thought to be connected to a love story involving a medieval troubadour. This guitar figures prominently in the festadas, where its player accompanies the Chulas, a characteristic dance from the region of Lower Tâmega. The bridge features a leaf motif glued to each side, and there is often also some inlay decoration beneath the bridge in the shape of a flower with leaves. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. The Viola Amarantina has five courses of strings, the highest two being tuned in unison and the lowest three in octaves. Sources provide the following tunings: D3D4 A3A4 B3B4 E4 A4, from low to high, like the Lisboa guitar without the top course, and the Moda Velha: D3D4 G3G4 B3B4 F#4 A4.


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A Viola Beiroa apareceu na faixa leste do distrito de Castelo Branco e acompanhava descantes festivos, nas tabernas, e sobretudo em serenatas aos noivos. Praticamente desaparecida da Beira Baixa, esta viola pode ser ainda encontrada em ocasiões cerimoniais, destacando-se a sua aplicação na “Dança dos Homens” que remontam o Sec XVII. Além das cinco ordens de cordas, característica das violas portuguesas, a Viola Beiroa tem duas cordas mais agudas, conhecidas por “Requintas” ou “Cantadeiras”, presas a um cravelhal suplementar junto da caixa, e são sempre tocadas soltas. A Viola Beiroa pode conter as seguintes afinações: Ré Si Sol Ré Lá Ré, do agudo para o grave, e Mi Ré Lá Mi Si Ré, de modo a obter um maior enriquecimento sonoro e uma maior simplicidade nos acordes

The Viola Beiroa comes from the eastern side of the Castelo Branco area, where it accompanies festive descantes in taverns and in serenades to grooms. Having virtually disappeared from Beira Baixa, this guitar can still be found on ceremonial occasions, especially the Dança dos Homens – the Dance of the Men – that goes back to the 17th century. It is distinguished by its tight, slim waist and unique stringing: besides the five courses of strings characteristic of so many Portuguese violas, the Viola Beiroa has two higher strings, known as requintas or cantadeiras, set on separate tuning pegs close to the body, and always played as open strings. As with baroque guitars, the fingerboard is flush with the top. The bridge features a decorative mustache. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. The number of screws is not necessarily the number of strings, but is usually six. The Viola Beiroa may have the following tunings: D5D5 (off the neck) A3A2 D4D3 G3 B3 D4 from low to high; and D5D5 (off the neck) B3B2 E4E3 A3 D4 E4, said to give a richer sound and greater chord simplicity.


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Também designada por Viola Alentejana, a Viola Campaniça era o instrumento musical usado para acompanhar os célebres cantares à desgarrada, ou " cantes a despique", nas festas e feiras do Alentejo. É a maior das violas portuguesas e possui 5 ordens de cordas, tocada de dedilhado apenas com o polegar, sendo que as cordas mais graves são geralmente tocadas soltas. Adaptada à exposição da melodia das modas e cantigas alentejanas pode possuir dois tipos de afinação: Sol Mi Dó Fá Dó, do agudo para o grave, e Mi Dó# Lá Ré Lá. Como particularidade, apesar de ser um instrumento de dez cordas, pode possuir doze afinadores o que indicia que o instrumento, que se crê que tenha evoluido a partir da “Vihuela de Mano” medieval , foi outrora dotado de uma sexta ordem de cordas duplas, mas que estas terão caído em desuso

Also called Viola Alentejana, the Viola Campaniça was the musical instrument used to accompany the famous cantares à desgarrada or cantes a despique in the festivities and fairs of Alentejo. It is the largest of Portuguese violas and has a tight, slim waist. As with baroque guitars, the fingerboard is flush with the top. The bridge may have decorative extensions, and there is often three stylized leaves inlaid beneath the bridge. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. The number of screws is not necessarily the number of strings, but is usually six. Its five courses of strings are traditionally played only with the thumb, with the lower strings generally played open. Adapted to the rendition of melodies in modas and cantigas from Alentejo, it has two main tunings: C4C3 F4F3 C3 E3 G3, from low to high, and A3A2 D4D3 A3 C#4 E4. Despite having ten strings, it has twelve tuning pegs, suggesting that the lower courses may have been triple-strung, or, like the Vihuela de Mano of the Renaissance, it may have once had a sixth course of double strings.


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De entre todos os instrumentos utilizados no folclore madeirense, o Rajão será, provavelmente, o mais genuinamente regional na sua origem e, certamente, aquele que apresenta características mais arcaicas passíveis de serem associadas historicamente à região, que remontam o século XVII. Executado em "ponteado" ou com o vulgarmente designado “tocar de rasgado”, trata‐se de um instrumento que é utilizado sobretudo como acompanhador do canto e da dança no folclore da região. O Rajão, arma com cinco cordas simples, do agudo para o grave Lá Mi Dó Sol Ré mas, divergindo das violas de mão, caracteriza‐se por ter a terceira corda (Dó) como sendo a mais grave contrariamente aos outros instrumentos em que a quinta costuma ser a mais grave.

Of all the instruments used in the folklore of Madeira, the Rajão is probably the most genuinely regional and, undoubtedly, presents the most ancient characteristics that can be historically associated with that region, going as far back as the 17th century. This instrument, which is played with the rasgueado technique, is mostly used for accompaniment to singing and dancing. Unlike other violas, it has a modern guitar bridge and single strings (although on some instruments the first course is double-strung). It also uses a re-entrant tuning in which the third course is the lowest: D3 G3 C3 E3 A3 from low to high.


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