Name: Charango.

Type: Plucked Lute > Chordophones.

Region: Bolivia > Peru > South America.

Dimensions: Scale Length cm.

Acquisition Date:

Acquisition Source: First Specimen Rufus Guitars, British Columbia Canada. Second specimen Rene Hugo Sanchez.

The charango is a small short-necked plucked lute and it is a member of the chordophone family of musical instruments. From its basic evolution the charango is an off shoot of the Vehuela de Mano. Since the 1770's this region was the Royal Audencia of Charca which is now modern day Bolivia. The charango traveled from the silver mines in Potosi through the rest of the Andes. Traditionally the charango is played by the rural
peasants (campesi�os), the Inca, Aymara and Mestizo people who inhabit the Andean regions of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and North Western Argentina and Northern Chile.

The Inca have a saying "the charango is to scream like a cat" this is a metaphor and a reference to the sound of metal strings of the charango being played. The charango maybe played when standing or sitting. Techniques in playing the charango are limited only by the musician's imagination; they include picking, strumming, arpeggio and tremolo. A player of the charango is called a "charanguista". Notable musicians from Jaime Guadira (Peru), Jaime Tores (Peru), Ernesto Cavour (Bolivia), Bolivia Manta (Bolivia) to Gustavo Santaolalla (Argentina).

Types of Charango: Although numerous types of charango exists. The different names known for the charango are applied often due to the regions where they are played. A.) The qirikinchu are a type of charango whose face of the armadillo is still intact with the shell when attached from the body to the neck. B.) Closely identical types of charango include the chillador a flat backed metal strung charango. C.) The Charango De Caja, a flat backed 12-stringed variety popular in Arequipa and Puno regions of Peru. D.) The Hualaycho or Hualaychito being the smallest size of charango it is tuned a fifth above. Where as the ronrocco is tuned a fifth or an octave below (see ronrocco page).

Citations: The New Grove Dictionary of Music A-F Vol. 1 Page 340 Chapuo (see Charango) Thomas Turino; Garland Encyclopedia of World Music; South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean chapter Peru Page 475: 1994 El Charango - published by Producciones Cima, La Paz Bolivia 2001. Ernesto Cavour - Instrumentos Musicales De Bolivia. La Paz, Bolivia: Producciones Cima. Online Resources: Paco Jimenez @, Hector Soto @ and article from Randy Raine-Reusch @ Charango -




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