The kwitra (also quwaytara, kouitra and quitra); Arabic الكوترة or عود أندلسي (literally Andalusian oud); is an Algerian stringed instrument, sometimes referred to as the Algerian lute.[1][2] The instrument is tied to Andalusian musical traditions of Moorish people who were pushed out of the Iberian peninsula in the 15th century.[2] That tradition has shrunk further; where the kwitra was once seen in Algeria, today it is mainly an Algerian instrument.[2]

String instrument
Other namesKouitra, quitra, quwytara
Classification String instrument
Hornbostel–Sachs classification
(Composite chordophone)
Related instruments
Oud, mandolin, mandolute

The literal meaning of kwitra in Algerian Arabic (and possibly in the extinct Andalusian Arabic) is "small guitar". It is a regional instrument in the lute family of instruments, related to Italian chitarra.[3]

It has eight strings in four courses. It is tuned G3 G3, E4 E4, A3 A3, D4 D4.[4] The traditional strings are made of animal intestines. They usually have a carved soundhole in the shape of a bowl or vase.

Historically prominent musicians edit

  • Sfinja[5]
  • Mouzino[5]
  • Ben Teffahi[5]
  • Ahmed Essabti[5]
  • Mohammed Bahar (recordings exist)[5]
  • Philippe Lourenço[5]
  • Faten Sioud[5]
  • Ahmed Echaytan[5]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Simon, Broughton & Mark, Ellingham. (2006). The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East. Rough Guides. p. 254.
  2. ^ a b c "Quwaytara, late 19th century, Moroccan". Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  3. ^ "ATLAS of Plucked Instruments – Africa". Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  4. ^ Sadie, Stanley, ed. (1984). "Quwaytara". The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. p. 176. Volume 3. ... four pairs of strings ... typical Moroccan timing is G-e-A-d ...
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Azzouz El Houri (11 February 2006). "La famille du Oud". Retrieved 10 March 2012.

External links edit

  Media related to Kwitra at Wikimedia Commons