Beiroa Guitar

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.