Posted on May 21, 2020July 19, 2022 by Dale Phillips The Portuguese Guitarra: A Modern Cittern The Portuguese Guitarra: A Modern Cittern by Ronald Louis Fernández Originally published in American Lutherie #27, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004 In Portugal, the word guitarra refers to a present-day cittern similar in appearance to and directly derived from the 18th-century English guitar. This instrument, typically accompanied by a Spanish-type guitar called viola or violão in Portuguese, is used in performing musical variations and in accompanying the fado, an urban Portuguese song form. Consequently, it is also known in Portuguese as the guitarra de fado. While these instruments are not abundant in North America, luthiers do encounter them here, especially where Portuguese fishermen have come ashore or emigrants have settled — New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts; the Hawaiian Islands; Providence, Rhode Island; San Diego, San Jose, Tulare, Visalia, Artesia, and Chino, California; Newark, New Jersey; Seattle, Washington; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.