Stringed instrument tunings

This is a chart of stringed instrument tunings. Instruments are listed alphabetically by their most commonly known name.[1]

TerminologyEdit

A course may consist of one or more strings.[2]

Courses are listed reading from left to right facing the front of the instrument, with the instrument standing vertically. On a majority of instruments, this places the notes from low to high pitch. Exceptions exist:

  • Instruments using reentrant tuning (e.g., the charango) may have a high string before a low string.
  • Instruments strung in the reverse direction (e.g. mountain dulcimer) will be noted with the highest sounding courses on the left and the lowest to the right.
  • A few instruments exist in "right-hand" and "left-hand" versions; left-handed instruments are not included here as separate entries, as their tuning is identical to the right-hand version, but with the strings in reverse order (e.g., a left-handed guitar).

Strings within a course are also given from left to right, facing the front of the instrument, with it standing vertically. Single-string courses are separated by spaces; multiple-string courses (i.e. paired or tripled strings) are shown with courses separated by bullet characters (•).

 
Scientific pitch notation

Pitch: Unless otherwise noted, contemporary western standard pitch (A4 = 440 Hz) and 12-tone equal temperament are assumed.[3]

Octaves are given in scientific pitch notation, with Middle C written as "C4". (The 'A' above Middle C would then be written as "A4"; the next higher octave begins on "C5"; the next lower octave on "C3"; etc.)[4]

Because stringed instruments are easily re-tuned, the concept of a "standard tuning" is somewhat flexible. Some instruments:

  • have a designated standard tuning (e.g., violin; guitar)
  • have more than one tuning considered "standard" (e.g. mejorana, ukulele)
  • do not have a standard tuning but rather a "common" tuning that is used more frequently than others (e.g., banjo; lap steel guitar)
  • are typically re-tuned to suit the music being played or the voice being accompanied and have no set "standard" at all (e.g., đàn nguyệt; Appalachian dulcimer)

Where more than one common tuning exists, the most common is given first and labeled "Standard" or "Standard/common". Other tunings will then be given under the heading "Alternates".

AEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Ahenk 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A3 A3•B3 B3•E4 E4•A4 A4•D5 D5•G5 G5

Alternates: May also use various oud tunings

Turkey
Ajayu 12 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

A A•E E•A A•C C C•F F F

Alternate:

  • C C•G G•C C•E E E•A A A
Chile A very recent instrument, invented in 2007
Akkordolia 4 strings

4 courses

F2 A2 C3 F3

Taishogoto, Bulbul-tarang, Benju Germany & Austria / Japan / India / Pakistan There are also a number of drone strings, the number and tuning of which vary widely.  
Akonting 3 courses

3 strings

Common:

Casamance: D3 G3 F4

Gambian: C3 F3 E4

Ekonting, Bunchundo, Econtin, Konting Senegal Often strung with fishing line.

A rare 4-string version also exists.

Amzad 1 string

1 course

No standard tuning; tuned to any convenient note. Imzad Niger, Mali, Algeria Horse hair string.  
Archlute 27 strings

14 courses

F1 F2•G1 G2•A1 A2•B1 B2•C2 C3
D2 D3•E2 E3•F2 F3•G2 G2•C2 C2
F3 F3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4

Arciliuto, Erzlaute. Europe Number of courses could vary from 11–14, and the number of strings from 21–27. 12-course, 23-string archlute: 
Armonico 7 strings

6 courses

E3•A3•D4•G4 G4•B3•E4 Cuba  
Arpeggione 6 strings

6 courses

E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 Vienna, Austria Rare.

Tuning is same as guitar.

Autoharp 36 strings

36 courses

F2 G2 C3 D3 E3
F3 F3 G3 A3 A3 B3 C4 C4 D4 D4 E4
F4 F4 G4 G4 A4 A4 B4 C5 C5 D5 D5 E5
F5 F5 G5 G5 A5 A5 B5 C6

Chord zither USA Instruments with additional strings exist (from 37 – 48 totalstrings), but are very rare.  

BEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Baglamas 6 strings

3 courses

D4 D5•A4 A4•D5 D5 Baglama, Baglama Saz, Baglamadaki Greece Standard AKA "Modal D"  
Bajo quinto 10 strings

5 courses

A2 A1•D3 D2•G2 G2•C3 C3•F3 F3 Mexico True 10-string bajo quintos are made, but many so-called "bajo quintos" are really bajo sextos with the lowest course removed.  
Bajo Sexto 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common (All fourths):

E2 E1•A2 A1•D3 D2•G2 G2•C3 C3•F3 F3

Alternate:

E2 E1•A2 A1•D3 D2•G2 G2•B2 B2•E3 E3

Mexico In practice the bottom course is often removed(2 strings), making the instrument effectively a bajo quinto.  
Balalaika, Alto 3 strings

3 courses

E3 E3 A3 Alto Russia See Ekkel (1997) for all Balalaika tunings.[5]
Balalaika, Bass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E2 A2 D3

Old Orchestral:

  • E2 A2 E3
Bass Russia  
Balalaika, Contrabass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E1 A1 D2

Old Orchestral:

  • E1 A1 E2
Contrabass Russia  
Balalaika, Descant 3 strings

3 courses

E5 E5 A5 Descant Russia Obsolete
Balalaika, Piccolo 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

B4 E5 A5

Old Orchestral:

  • E4 A4 E5
Piccolo Russia Rare
Balalaika, Prima 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

E4 E4 A4

Alternates:

Prima Russia This is the standard instrument of the balalaika family  
Balalaika, Prima, 6-string 6 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E4 E4 • E4 E4 • A4 A4

Alternates:

  • Same as for 3-string prima
Prima Russia A more recent development, professionals consider these inferior to 3-string instruments.
Balalaika, Secunda 3 strings

3 courses

A3 A3 D4 Secunda Russia Often just a prima with altered tuning, though slightly larger secundas are also made.  
Balalaika, Tenor 3 strings

3 courses

A2 A2 D3 Tenor Russia Obsolete  
Bandola Andina Colombiana 16 strings

6 courses

F3 F3•B3 B3•E4 E4 E4•A4 A4 A4•D5 D5 D5•G5 G5 G5 Colombia  
Bandola Llanera 4 strings

4 courses

A2 D3 A3 E4 Venezuela  
Bandola Oriental 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4•E5 E5 Venezuela
Bandolin 15 strings

5 courses

E5 E4 E5•A5 A4 A5•D5 D5 D5•F5 F5 F5•B5 B5 B5 Ecuador
Bandurria, Philippine 14 strings

6 courses

F3•B3 B3•E4 E4•A4 A4 A4•D5 D5 D5•G5 G5 G5 Philippines One octave higher than the Philippine laud.
Bandurria, Spanish 12 strings

6 courses

G3 G3•C4 C4•F4 F4•B4 B4•E5 E5•A5 A5 Spain Standard tuning AKA "Spanish tuning",

one octave higher than the laud.

 
Banjo, Bass 4 strings

4 courses

E1 A1 D2 G2 US The Cello banjo is sometimes called "bass banjo", but it is tuned differently, and there are true bass banjos as well.  
Banjo, Cello 4 strings

4 courses

C2 G2 D3 A3 "bass" banjo US Same as used for the cello.  
Banjo, Cello 5 strings

5 courses

G3 D2 G2 B2 D3 banjo cello US One octave lower than 5-string Bluegrass Banjo.
Banjo, Contrabass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

E1 A1 D2

Alternates:

  • D1 G1 C2
  • D1 A1 D2
  • C1 G1 C2
US Essentially in the same range as the bass banjo, but with a much larger resonator. These instruments are very rare, and tuning is not standardized. [6][7]
Banjo (5-string) 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 D3 G3 B3 D4

Alternates:

  • C tuning: G4 C3 G3 B3 D4
  • Double C: G4 C3 G3 C4 D4
  • Sawmill: G4 D3 G3 C4 D4
  • Open D: F4 D3 F3 A3 D4
  • Guitar: G4 D3 G3 B3 E4
  • Willie Moore: G4 D3 G3 A3 D4
  • Doc Bog's D: F4 D3 G3 A3 D4
  • Cumberland Gap:G4 E3 A3 D4 E4
  • G Minor: G4 D3 G3 B3 D4
  • Open C: G4 C3 G3 C4 E4
Bluegrass Banjo US via Africa
  • Standard AKA "Open G"
  • Sawmill AKA "Mountain Modal"
  • Open D AKA "Graveyard," "Reuben"
  • Guitar AKA "Old G," "Sandy River Belle"

There are dozens of other, less common tunings.

 
Banjolele 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate (traditional):

  • D6: A4 D4 F4 B4
Banjo ukulele, banjo uke, banjelele US Hybrid of banjo and ukulele. Same tuning as soprano ukulele.  
Banjolin 4 strings

4 courses

G3 D4 A4 E5 Mandolin-banjo, banjourine, banjoline, bandoline US Hybrid of mandolin and banjo  
Banjo,

Long Neck

5 strings

5 courses

E4 B2 E3 G3 B3 "Pete Seeger" Banjo US (commissioned by Pete Seeger) Open string tuning; often played with capo on 3rd fret  
Banjo, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common (all fifths):

C3 G3 D4 A4

Alternate:

US US via Africa Irish tuning same as octave mandolin tuning  
Banjo, Plectrum 4 strings

4 courses

C3 G3 B3 D4

Chicago Tuning: D3 G3 B3 E4

US via Africa  
Baryton 17 strings

17 courses Two ranks

Bowed rank: A1 D2 G3 C3 E3 A3 D4

Plucked rank: A2 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C3 D4 E4

Europe (Germany?) Seven bowed strings, and 10 resonating strings, also plucked with the left thumb  
Basprim (See Brac, 5 string) (See Brac, 5 string)
Bass Guitar (See Guitar, Bass) (See Guitar, Bass)
Berimbau 1 string

1 course

[*] Brazil * No standard tuning,  
Biscernica, 5 string 5 strings

4 courses

C3•F3•B3•E4 E4 Bisernica Balkans The prim has 5 strings; there is another bisernica which has 6 strings.  
Bisernica,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

E3•A3•D4 D4•G4 G4 Tamburitza Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia Other courses are sometimes doubled.
Bordonua 10 strings

5 courses

A2 A3•D4 D3•F3 F4•B3 B3•E4 E4 Puerto Rico  
Bouzouki 8 strings

4 courses

C3 C4•F3 F4•A3 A3•D4 D4 Tetrachordo bouzouki Greece Standard AKA "F6 tuning"  
Bouzouki 6 strings

3 courses

D3 D4•A3 A3•D4 D4 Trichordo bouzouki Greece Standard AKA "F6 tuning"  
Bouzouki, Irish ( See Irish bouzouki ) ( See Irish bouzouki )
Brac,

5 string

5 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E3•A3•D4•G4 G4

Alternate:

  • F3•B3•E4•A4 A4
Basprim, Brach Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia
Brac,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4 Brach Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia  
Braguinha 4 strings

4 courses

D4 G4 B4 D5 Braguinã, Cavaquinho, Machete de braga Madeira, Portugal Standard AKA "Banjo tuning" (octave higher than the plectrum banjo)  
Bugarija,

5 string

5 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2•B2•D3•G3 G3

Alternates:

  • D2•F2•A2•D3 D3
  • E2•G2•B2•E3 E3
Kontra Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia First course is sometimes not doubled.  
Bugarija,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2•B2•D3 D3•G3 G3

Alternates:

  • D2•F2•A2 A2•D3 D3
  • E2•G2•B2 B2•E3 E3
Kontra Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia

CEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Cak 4 strings

3 courses

D5 D5 • G4 • B4

Steel kroncong guitar Indonesia  
Cavaquinho 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

D4 G4 B4 D5

Alternates:

  • 'Guitar': D4 G4 B4 E5
  • Alternative: G4 C5 B4 D5
  • Alternative: A4 A4 C5 E5
Cavaco, Manchete, Machimbo Portugal  
Cello 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 G2 D3 A3

Alternates:

Violoncello Europe Many scordatura tunings have been employed by various composers for individual pieces, for example:

B1 F2 D3 A3

  • "Whole step down" tuning:

B1 F2 C3 G3

 
Celo (See Čelovič, 4 string) (See Čelovič, 4 string)
Čelovič,

4 string

4 strings

4 courses

E2 A2 D3 G3 Celo, Csello, Cselo Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia This is the modern instrument
Čelovič, Farkas 6 strings

4 courses

D2•G2•C3 C3•G3 G3 Celo, Csello, Cselo Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia The traditional 19th century instrument, developed by Jankovic Farkas, now virtually obsolete.  
Cetera 16 strings

8 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 C3•D3 D3•E3 E3•F3 F3•G3 G3•G3 G3•D4 D4•G4 G4

Alternate:

  • Renaissance:

G2 G2•A2 A2•C3 C3•D3 D3•A3 A3•G3 G3•D4 D4•E4 E4

Corsica, France.  
Chanzy 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

F2 C3 F3

Alternates:

  • D2 A2 D3
  • C2 G2 C3
Chanzi, Tyanzi Tuva, Russia
Chapey 3 strings

2 courses

F3 F3 • B3

Chapei, Chapei Dong Veng Cambodia  
Chapman Stick 10 strings

10 courses

E3 A2 D2 G1 C1 F2 B2 E3 A3 D4

Stick, The Stick, Classic Stick United States There are many alternate tunings, which vary from individual to individual  
Chapman Stick,

Grand Stick

12 strings

12 courses

B3 E3 A2 D2 G1 C1 C2 F2 B2 E3 A3 D4

Stick, The Stick, Grand Stick United States There are many alternates, which vary from individual to individual  
Charango 10 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G4•C5 C5•E5 E4•A4 A4•E5 E5

Alternates:

  • Argentine tuning:

C4 C4•F4 F4•A4 A3•D4 D4•A4 A4

  • Gm7/B6 Tuning:

F4 F4•B5 B5•C5 C4•G4 G4•D5 D5

Quirquincho, Mulita, Tatu, Kirki Bolivia, Peru, Argentina

Chile, Ecuador

Common C6/Am7 or "Bolivian" tuning, but there are many variants. 3rd course is an octave pair.  
Charango, Hatun 7 or 8 strings

6 or 7 courses

(A3) • D4 • G4 • C5 • E5 E4 • A4 • E5

Grand Charango, Hatun Charango, Peruvian Charango Peru A recent addition to the charango family.
Charangón 10 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

D4 D4•G4 G4•B4 B3•E4 E4•B4 B4

Alternates:

  • C6 Tuning

G3 G3•C4 C4•E4 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4

  • Bass G

G3 G2•C4 C3•E4 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4

  • Bolivian tuning:

C4 C4•F4 F4•A4 A3•D4 D4•A4 A4

Tenor Charango,

"Bass" Charango

Andean Region Standard AKA "Argentine tuning" or "G6 tuning", one fourth lower than the charango.

Very similar in appearance to the charango, but slightly larger.

Charango, Ranka 11 strings

5 courses

G4 G4•C5 C5•E5 E4•A4 A4•E5 E5 E6•D4 D4•A4 A4•G5 G4•C5 C5•G5 G5 G6 Patasi Charango, Ranqha Charango Cochabamba, Bolivia
Chillador 10 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 G3•C4 C4•E4 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4

Alternates: Same as charango

Andean mountains Essentially a flat-backed charango  
Chitarra battente 10 strings

5 courses

A3 A3•D4 D4•G3 G3•B3 B3•E4 E4

Italy  
Chonguri 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

D2 F2 D3 A2

Alternate:[*]

  • F3 A3 F4 C4
Chaghyr, Chagur, Chugur, Choghur, Chungur, Chunguri Georgia [*]There are many tuning variations. Note that both examples here are re-entrant.  
Çiftelia 2 strings

2 courses

B3 E3 Albania Common tuning, there are variants.  
Cimbalom [*] about 125 strings

about 53 courses

A2 A2 B2 C3 C3 D3 D3 E3 F3 F3 G3 G3 [...] * A5 B5 C6 C6 D6 D6 E6 F6 F6 G6 G6 A6

Cimbál, cymbalom, cymbalum, ţambal, tsymbaly and tsimbl, santur, santouri, sandouri Hungary * String number varies with size of instrument; bass courses are usually triple strung and higher courses typically quadruple strung. Range given is for a Concert Grand; other sizes with smaller, and with more extended ranges exist. Only lowest and highest octaves are given; intervening notes are tuned chromatically.  
Cinco Cuatro 5 strings

4 courses

G3•D4 D3•F4•B4 North-western Venezuela
Cinco Y Medio 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

E4•G3•D4•F4•B4

Alternates:

  • "El Tocuyo tuning":

A4•D3•F4•B4•E4

North-western Venezuela
Cinco y Medio 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E3•A3•D3•F4•B4•E4

Alternate:

  • "El Tocuyo tuning":

A4•A3•D3•F4•B4•E4

North-western Venezuela Standard a.k.a. "Sanara tuning"
Cinco Seis ( See Seis Cinco ) ( See Seis Cinco )
Cittern 10 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 C2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

Alternates:

C2 C2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4

  • Irish:

D2 D2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

  • Mandolin high 'B':

G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4•B4 B4

  • Modal D:

D2 D2•A2 A2•D3 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

Celtic or Flatback Cittern Europe Many other modal tunings have been described for citterns.  
Crwth 5 strings

5 courses

G2•C3•C2•D2•D3 Crowd, Rote Wales Traditional Welsh tuning  
Cuatro Alto 10 strings

5 courses

F4 F3•B3 B4•E4 E4•A4 A4•D5 D5

Alto Cuatro Puerto Rico Rare.[8]
Cuatro Antiguo 8 strings

4 courses

A3 A3•E4 E4•A4 A4•D5 D5

Puerto Rico A 4 string/4 course version exists, tuned the same
Cuatro Bajo 10 strings

5 courses

E3 E2•A3 A2•D3 D3•G3 G3•C4 C4

Bass Cuatro Puerto Rico Rare.[9]
Cuatro Cubano 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3•C4 C4•E4 E4•A4 A4

Alternates:

  • G4 G3•C4 C4•E4 E4•G4 G4
  • A4 A3•D4 D4•F4 F4•B4 B4
Cuban Cuatro, Tres-Cuatro Cuba
Cuatro, Puerto Rican 10 strings

5 courses

B3 B2•E4 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4 G4

Cuatro Tradicional, Cuatro Tenor, Cuatro Puertorriqueno, Cuatro Aviolinado, Cuatro Moderno, Tenor Cuatro Puerto Rico The Tenor Cuatro is the standard instrument of the Puerto Rican Cuatro Family.[10]

Cuatro Aviolinado means 'violin-shaped cuatro'; Cuatro Moderno is to distinguish from the Cuatro Antiguo

 
Cuatro, Venezuelan 4 strings

4 courses

A3•D4•F4•B3

Cuatro Venezolano Venezuela Standard AKA "D6 tuning"  
Cuatro Soprano 10 strings

5 courses

C5 C4•F4 F5•B4 B4•E5 E5•A5 A5

Soprano Cuatro Puerto Rico Rare.[11]
Cuk 3 strings

3 courses

G4 • B3 • E3

Kroncong Cuk, Nylon kroncong guitar Indonesia  
Cümbüş 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 A2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4 G4

Alternates:

  • Alternative Standard: D2 D2•E2 E2•A2 A2•D3 D3•G3 G3•C4 C4
  • Egypt/Arab: D2 D2•G2 G2•A2 A2•D3 D3•G3 G3•C4 C4
  • Turkish/Armenian:

E2 E2•A2 A2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4

Turkey Tunings are highly variable, other common alternates include:
  • Turkish Armenian alt.: C2 C2•F2 F2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4
  • New Turkish classical: F2 F2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4 G4
  • Old Turkish classical:

A2 A2•D3 D3•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4 G4

 
Cümbüş, Tambur 6 strings

3 courses

D2 D2•A2 A2•D3 D3

Turkey
Cura 6 strings

3 courses

D4 D4•A4 A4•E5 E5

Cura saz Turkey  
Cura 7 strings

3 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4 A4

Cura saz Turkey
Cura 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4•E5 E5

Cura saz Turkey Same as Mandolin

DEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Đàn bầu 1 string/

1 course

C3 [*] Đàn độc huyền, Độc huyền cầm Vietnam * Tuning is approximate, and frequently varies  
Đàn đáy 3 strings

3 courses

G3•C4•F4 Vo de cam,

Đàn đáy

Vietnam  
Đàn nguyệt 2 strings

2 courses"

[ * ] Nguyệt cầm,

Đàn kìm

Vietnam * There is no fixed tuning: one string is tuned to a convenient vocal pitch, the other is tuned a 4th, a 5th or (rarely) an octave above that.  
Đàn nhị 2 strings

2 courses"

Standard/Common:

F C

Alternates:

  • cheo: C G
  • hoy bac: G D
Đàn cò Vietnam  
Đàn tranh 17 strings,

17 courses[*]

G3 A3 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 C5 D5 E5 G5 A5 C6 D6 E6 G7 A7 Vietnam *Instruments with from 14–25 strings/courses have been made; 17 is considered the current standard (2014)  
Daruan 4 strings

4 courses

D2 A2 D3 A3' Bass Ruan China lit. "large Ruan"
Dihu 2 strings

2 courses

  • G2 D3
  • D3 A3
Dadihu, Dahu, Ziaodihu, Zhongdihu China A larger version of the Erhu.

Either tuning may be considered standard.

 
Diyinruan 4 strings

4 courses

G1 D2 G2 D3' Contraass Ruan China lit. "low pitched Ruan"
Dombra 2 strings

2 courses

Standard:

D4•G4

Dambura, Dumbyra, Tumpyra, Tumra, Danbura North central Asia  
Domra, Alto 3 strings

3 courses

E3•A3•D4 Russia
Domra, Alto 4 strings

4 courses

C3•G3•D4•A4 Ukraine Same as mandola tuning
Domra, Bass 3 strings

3 courses

E2•A2•D3 Russia
Domra, Bass 4 strings

4 courses

C2•G2•D3•A3 Ukraine Same as mandocello tuning
Domra, Contrabass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E1•A1•D2

Alternate:

  • A1•D2•G2
Russia
Domra, Contrabass 4 strings

4 courses

E1•A1•D2•G2 Ukraine Same as the orchestral double bass
Domra, Mezzo-soprano 3 strings

3 courses

B3•E4•A4 Russia Rare
Domra, Piccolo 3 strings

3 courses

B4•E5•A5 Russia
Domra, Piccolo 4 strings

4 courses

C4•G4•D5•A5 Ukraine Octave higher than the mandola
Domra, Prima 3 strings

3 courses

E4•A4•D5 The main instrument of the domra family Russia  
Domra, Prima 4 strings

4 courses

G3•D4•A4•E5 Ukraine Same as mandolin tuning
Domra, Tenor 3 strings

3 courses

B2•E3•A3 Russia
Domra, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses

G2•D3•A3•E4 Ukraine Same as octave-mandolin tuning
Dotar 2 strings

2 courses

Standard/Common:

D3•G3

Alternate:

  • D3•A3
Dutar Uzbekistan This instrument is found in many forms throughout central Asia.  
Dotara 4 strings

4 courses

F3•C3•F4•B4 India  
Dotara 6 strings

5 courses

G2 G3•C4•G4•G4•C5 Bangladesh
Double bass 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E1•A1•D2•G2

Alternates:

  • Drop D: D1•A1•D2•G2
  • Solo Tuning: F1•B1•E2•A2
  • With low 'C' machine:

C1•A1•D2•G2

  • 'C' Machine "Legion":

B0•A1•D2•G2

Bass, bass fiddle, contrabass, string bass, standup bass, doghouse Europe Standard AKA "orchestral tuning"  
Double bass, 5-string 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C1•E1•A1•D2•G2

Alternates:

  • Modern 4th tuning:

B0•E1•A1•D2•G2

Bass, bass fiddle, contrabass, string bass, standup bass, doghouse Europe Standard AKA "orchestral tuning"  
Dranyen 7 strings

3 courses

A3 A3•D4 D3 D3•G3 G3 Dramyin, Dramnyen Bhutan and Tibet Standard AKA "Bhutanese tuning"  
Dranyen 6 strings

3 courses

A3 A3•D3 D3•G3 G3 Dramyin, Dramnyen Bhutan and Tibet Standard AKA "Tibetan tuning"  
Dulcimer,

3 course

3–6 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:
  • 3-string: A3•A3•D3
  • 4-string: A3 A3•A3•D3
  • 5-string: A3 A3•A3•D3 D3
  • 6-string: A3 A3•A3 A3•D3 D3

Alternates (see notes):

  • Mixolydian: D4•A3•D3
  • Dorian: G3•A3•D3
  • Aeolian: C4•A3•D3
  • Galax ("Unison"): D4•D4•D3
Mountain Dulcimer, Appalachian Dulcimer, Lap Dulcimer, Dulcimore, Delcimore, Delcimer US
  • Most dulcimers are either 3 or 4 course; any or all courses may be doubled with a second, unison string—hence the number of different stringing possibilities.
  • Alternates listed here give a pitch for each whole course, regardless of number of strings.
  • Many variants are used; there is no fixed "standard" for the four-course.
  • Chromatic instruments exist, but traditionally dulcimers are fretted in diatonic intervals: whole (step), whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.[12]
3-course, 4-string dulcimer:

 

Dulcimer,

4 course

4–8 strings

4 courses

Common*:
  • 4-string: D4•D4•A3•D3
  • 5-string: D4 D4•D4•A3•D3
  • 6-string: D4 D4•D4•A3•D3 D3
  • 8-string: D4 D4•D4 D4•A3 A3•D3 D3

Alternates (see notes):

  • G-tuning: D4•B3•G3•D3
  • Dorian: D4•C4•G3•D3
  • Ragtime: D4•A3•A3•D3
  • D-tuning: F4•D4•A3•D3
Mountain Dulcimer, Appalachian Dulcimer, Lap Dulcimer, Dulcimore, Delcimore, Delcimer US

EEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Ektara 1 string

1 course

No standard; string is tuned to any convenient pitch. Ektar, Iktar, Gopichand, Gobijeu India  
Epinette Des Vosges 6 strings [*]

6 courses

Common:

G C G

France Typically three fretted strings; three drones, but the number of drones may vary widely.

Similar in concept to the Apalacian Dulcimer

 
Erhu 2 strings

2 courses

D4 A4 Nanhu China  

FEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Fegereng 2 strings

2 courses

[*] Faglong, Fuglung, Hegelong, Kutyapi, Kutiapi, Kotyapi, Kotapi, Kudyapi, Kuglong, Kadlong, Kudlong, Kudlung, Kusyapi Southeast Asia [*] There is no "standard" tuning. One string is tuned to any convenient pitch, and the other is tuned one octave higher.  
Fiddle 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/common:

G3 D4 A4 E5

Alternates:

  • Cajun: F3 C4 G4 D5
  • Open G: G3 D4 G4 B4
  • Sawmill: G3 D4 G4 D5
  • Gee-dad: G3 D4 A4 D5
  • Open D: D3 D4 A4 D5
  • High bass: A3 D4 A4 E5
  • Cross tuning: A3 E4 A4 E5
  • Calico: A3 E4 A4 C5
Violin, Kit, Pochette Europe, USA "Fiddle" describes a playing style more than a unique instrument; a fiddle is just a violin with a slightly different "set-up".

Standard AKA "Italian" or "orchestral" tuning, High Bass AKA "Old-time D tuning", Cross tuning AKA "High counter", Calico AKA "Black Mountain Rag" or the Swedish tunings: Trollstämning, or Näckastämning

 

GEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Gabusi 6 strings

4 courses

D g bb dd Gaboussi Comoros Islands  
Gadulka 3 strings

3 courses

A3 E3 A4 The Balkans 3 playing strings, with up to 10 sympathetic strings.  
Gambus Hadhramaut 11 strings

6 courses

C • G G • B B • A A • E E • D D Malaysia, Indonesia Related to oud
 
Musician playing gambus Hadhramaut.
Gaoyinruan 4 strings

4 courses

G3 D4 G4 D5 Soprano Ruan China Literally "high pitched Ruan"
Gehu 4 strings

4 courses

C2 G2 D3 A3 Erhu-cello, China Same tunings as cello
Gekkin 4 strings

2 courses

C3 C3 G3 G3 [*] Gekin Japan * Tuning is not western equal temperament  
Gekkin 4 strings

4 courses

A3 D4 D4 D5 Japanese Yueqin Japan
Geyerleier 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 E2•B3 B2•E3 E3•B3 B3

Alternate:

  • D3 D2•A3 A2•D3 D3•A3 A3
Hamburg, Germany  
Grajappi 4 strings

2 courses

F2 F2 • B2 B2 Krachappi, Krachap pi Thailand
Guitalele 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 D3 G3 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • B2 E3 A3 D4 F4 B4
Ukutar US, Japan Tuned a 4th or a 5th higher than the standard guitar.  
Guitar 6 strings

6 courses

Standard:

E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4

Common Alternates:

  • Drop D: D2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4
  • Open D: D2 A2 D3 F3 A3 D4
  • Open G: D2 G2 D2 G2 B3 D4
  • Open A: E2 A2 E3 A3 C4 E4
  • Lute: E2 A2 D3 F3 B3 E4
  • Irish: D2 A2 D3 G3 A3 D4
  • Nashville: E3 A3 D4 G4 B3 E4

Classical guitar, 6-string guitar, Spanish guitar, Steel-string guitar

Spain (acoustic)

USA (electric)

"classical" = guitar with gut, nylon, or other synthetic strings;

"acoustic"/"steel-string" = guitar with metal strings;

Open G AKA "bottleneck," "taro patch";

Open A AKA "Spanish";

"Lute tuing" is usually capoed on 3rd fret to give G2 C3 F3 A3 D4 G4, and E2 is often dropped to D2 (F2 with capo).

There are hundreds of alternate guitar tunings; whole books have been written on the subject.[13]

Classical Guitar:  

Steel String Guitar:  

Electric Guitar:  

Guitar, Alto 11 strings

11 courses

B1 C2 D2 E2 F2 G2 C3 F3 B3 D4 G4 Archguitar, altgitarren, Bolin guitar Sweden  
Guitar, Alto 13 strings

13 courses

A1 B1 C2 D2 E2 F2 G2 A2 D3 F3 A3 D4 F4 Archguitar, altgitarren, Bolin guitar Sweden This instrument is very rare.
Guitar, Alto (Niibori) 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

B2 E3 A3 D4 F4 B4

G Guitar Japan Transposing guitar in the key of G, developed for the Niibori Guitar Orchestra
Guitar, 7 string 7 strings

7 courses

Standard/Common:

B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4

Alternate:

  • Van Eps: A1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4
  • Choro: C2 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4
7 string classical guitar,

"Brazilian" guitar,

7 string electric guitar

US Van Eps AKA "Jazz tuning"

"Choro" is popular in Brazil

6-string alternates may be adapted for the 7-string

 
Guitar, 8 string (low/high) 8 strings

8 courses

B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 A4 8 string classical guitar Spain AKA "Galbraith tuning"
Guitar, 8 string (added basses) 8 strings

8 courses

[B1 D2] E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 8 string classical guitar

8 string electric guitar

Spain Tuning of two lowest strings varies with player and music  
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

6 courses

E3 E2•A3 A2•D4 D3•G3 B3 E4 US 12-string guitar variant with doubled bases
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

6 courses

E2• A2• D3• G4 G3•B3 B3•E4 E4 US 12-string guitar variant with doubled trebles
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

9 courses

F1 B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 A4 [*] US * These short-scale, extended range instruments are uncommon, and tuning hasn't really been standardized for them.  
Guitar, 10 string 10 strings

10 courses

F2 G2 A2 C2 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 10 String classical guitar Spain Standard tuning, developed by luthier José Ramírez III in collaboration with guitarist Narciso Yepes  
Guitar, 12 string 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 E2•A3 A2•D4 D3•G4 G3•B3 B3•E4 E4

Alternates:

  • Variant: E4 E2•A3 A2•D4 D3•G4 G3•B3 B3•E4 E4

All 6-string alternates may be adapted to 12-string.

Twelve-stringed Guitar US? Some players tune the third course to unison G3's to minimize breakage of the high G string.  
Guitar, baritone 6 strings

6 courses

Common tunings:
  • 4th lower: B1 E2 A2 D3 F3 B3
  • 5th lower: A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A3
  • Octave lower: E1 A1 D2 G2 B2 E3
US There really is no "standard" tuning for baritone guitar; choice of tuning depends on instrument, stringing, and player's preferences.  
Guitar, bass 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E1 A1 D2 G2

Alternates:

  • D1 A1 D2 G2
  • D1 G1 C2 F2
Bass, electric bass, 4-string bass, Fender bass USA First U.S. patent filed by Leo Fender on November 21, 1952. Electric Bass:

 

Acoustic Bass:  

Guitar, bass (5-string) 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:
  • B0 E1 A1 D2 G2
  • E1 A1 D2 G2 C3
Bass, electric bass, 5-string bass Essentially a 4-string bass with one added high or low string. Choice of tuning depends whether the added string is low or high.  
Guitar, bass (6-string) 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

B0 E1 A1 D2 G2 C3

Alternate:

E1 A1 D2 G2 B2 E3

Bass, electric bass, 6-string bass, Contrabass Guitar Essentially a 4-string bass with either added high and low strings.  
Guitar, bass (8-string) 8 strings

4 courses

E2 E1•A2 A1•D3 D2•G3 G2 Eight-string bass guitar, 8-string bass US Essentially a 4-string bass with each string doubled at the upper octave.  
Guitar, bass (12-string) 12 strings

4 courses

E2 E2 E1•A2 A2 A1•D3 D3 D2•G3 G3 G2 Twelve-string bass guitar, 12-string bass US Similar to an 8-string bass with doubled upper octaves.
Guitar, octave 6 strings

6 courses

E3•A3•D4•G4•B4•E5 Piccolo Guitar, Soprano Guitar Germany One octave higher than the standard guitar.
Guitarra De Golpe 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

D3•G3•C4•E3•A3

Alternates:

  • Tecalitan: D3•G3•B4•E3•A3
  • Urbana: G3•C4•E4•A3•D4
  • Urbana alt.: G3•C4•E3•A3•D4
Guitarra Colorada, Quinta De Golpe, Mariachera Mexico Note re-entrant tunings
Lute guitar 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E2•A2•D3•G3•B3•E4

Alternates are the same as the Guitar

Guitarren laute, Guitar-lute, Lute-guitar Germany Basically this is a lute-shaped guitar; a guitar neck on a lute body.  
Guitarro 6 strings

6 courses

B4 F4 D5 A5 E5 Guitarrico, Spanish Tiple Spain
Guitarrón 6 strings

6 courses

A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A2 Guitarrón de Toloche Mexico  
Guitarron Argentino 6 strings

6courses

B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 Argentina A 6-string acoustic bass guitar.
Guitarrón chileno 24 or 25 strings total

5 courses + 4 open "diablitos"

diablitos, top: F5 A4

(D4) D4 D3 D3 D2
(G4) G4 G4 G4 G3 G3
(C4) C4 C4 C3 C2
E4 E4 E4
A4 A4 A4
diablitos, bottom: G4 B4

Chile 4 short, unfretted strings are known as diablitos (little devils).

Number of strings in 3rd, 4th, & 5th courses may vary.

 
Guitar, tenor 4 strings

4 courses

Standard

C3 • G3 • D4 • A4

Common Alternates

  • G2 D3 A3 E4
  • G2 D3 A3 D4
US Same tuning as tenor banjo, mandola.  
Guitar, terz 6 strings

6 courses

G2 C3 F3 B3 D4 G4 Tertz Guitar, Tierce Guitar, Third Guitar Italy, Germany A minor third higher than standard guitar tuning.
Guqin 7 strings

7 courses

sol la do re mi sol la China Guqin music uses no absolute pitch so tuning varies.

The common Zheng Diao tuning sets "do" to approx. "F3" and tunes other strings relative to that to give C3 D3 F3 G3 A3 C4 D4

 
Gusli 9 strings

9 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4

Крыловидные гусли Russia Tuning varies; this is a common traditional tuning  

HEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Halszither 9 strings

5 courses

G2 • D3 D3 • G3 G3 • B3 B3 • D4 D4 Krienser Halszither Switzerland
Hardingfele 4 strings

4 courses

plus 4–5 resonating strings

Standard/Common:

A3 D4 A4 E5

res. strings: (B3) D4 E4 F4 A4

Common alternates:

  • Kolagutstille: A3 C4 A4 E5

res.: (A3) D4 E4 G4 A4

  • Seljekvatstille: A3 D4 F4 E5

res.: (B3) D4 E4 F4 A4

  • Trollstilt: A3 E4 A4 C5

res.: (A3) C4 E4 F4 A4

  • Forstemt: A3 E4 A4 E5

res.: (A3) C4 E4 F4 A4

  • Gorrlaus: F3 D4 A4 E5

res.: (F3) B3 D4 G4 A4

  • Bas: G3 D4 A4 E5

res.: (B3) D4 E4 G4 A4

Hardanger violin, Hardanger fiddle Norway
  • Standard AKA "Oppstilt bas" : More than 80% of music written for this instrument uses this tuning.
  • Trollstilt AKA

"Devil's Tuning"

  • Bas AKA "Violin tuning"

There are many other variant tunings, most of them uncommon.

 
Harp, Concert 47 strings

47 courses

C1 D1 E1 F1 G1 A1 B1

[ . . . ] * C7 D7 E7 F7 G7

Pedal Harp, Double-action Harp, Diatonic Double-action Harp France * Only lowest and highest octaves shown. Tuning proceeds through ​6 12 octaves using the C diatonic scale  
Harp, Celtic 34 strings

34 courses[*]

C2 D2 E2 F2 G2 A2 B2

[ . . . ] * C6 D6 E6 F6 G6 A6

Clàrsach, Folk Harp, Lever Harp British Isles * Number of strings varies, generally between 19 and 40; 34 strings is typical. Not all models have levers. Only lowest and highest octaves shown. Tuning proceeds through ​4 12 octaves using the C diatonic scale.  
Harpsichord Varies[*] [*]Typical:

C2 C2 D2 D2 E2 F2 F2 G2 G2 A2 A2 B2 [...] * C6 D6 D6 E6 F6 F6 G6 G6 A6 A6 B6 C7

Virginal, Spinet, Clavicytherium, Ottavino, Pedal Harpsichord, et al Europe (Belgium?) Many variants exist having differing number of keys, multiple keyboards, pedal boards, choirs of strings, etc., and they may have anywhere from about 120 to many hundreds of strings. Tuning is given for a typical single-keyboard, 5-octave instrument, for the main choir of strings. Only lowest and highest octaves are shown; intervening notes are tuned chromatically. Often tuning is in some musical temperament other than 12-tone equal temperament (common on modern pianos).  
Harzither 8 strings

4 courses

GG • CC • EE • GG Bergzither Germany
Huapanguera 8 strings

5 courses

G2 •D3 D4•G3 G3•B3 B3•E3 Mexico  
Huobosi 4 strings

4 courses

E2 A2 D3 G3 Hubo, Sugudu China  
Hurdy Gurdy 5 or 6 strings

5 courses

Traditional:

(G4)G4 C4 G3 C3 C2

Alternates:

  • Altered Traditional:

(G4)G4 C4 G3 C3 G2

  • Bourbonnais:

(D5)D4 D4 G3 D3 D2

  • Altered Bourbonnais:

(D5)D4 D4 A3 D3 G2

  • Vendée:

(A5)A5 D4 A3 D3 D2

Beggar’s lyre, Crank lyre, Cymphan, Forgolant, Organistrum, Symphonia, Wheel fiddle, Wheel vielle France Stringing is given in reverse order, owing to the orientation of the instrument while playing. The first one (or two) strings are melody strings; others are drone strings. Other regional tuning variants exist.  

IEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Ichigenkin 1 string

1 course

no standard [*] Japan [*]

string is tuned to any note convenient for the vocalist

Igil 2 strings

2 courses

(E • B) Ikili Tuva, Mongolia Pitch varies depending what other instruments the Igil is playing with, but the two strings are always tuned a 5th apart.  
Irish bouzouki 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 G2•D4 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4

Alternates:

  • Mandolin:

G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4

  • Irish:

G3 G2•D4 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

  • Modal D:

A3 A2•D4 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

Bouzouki, Octave Mandolin, Tenor Mandolin (US), Tenor Mandola (UK), Zouk Ireland Irish bouzouki is an octave mandolin with the two lowest courses tuned in octaves instead of unisons. "Modal D" octaves can also be tuned in unisons.  

JEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Jarana huasteca 5 strings

5 courses

G3 • B3 • D4 • F4 • A4 Mexico  
Jarana jarocha 8 strings

5 courses

  • Modern or "Commercial"

A3 • D4 D4 • G3 G4 • B3 B3 • E4

  • Traditional

G3•C4 C4•E3 E3•A3 A3•G4

Mexico Part of their name usually describes their size, for example:

Jarana Chaquiste, Jarana Primera, Jarana Segunda, Jarana Tercera, Jarana Tercerola

Where octave doublings occur will often differ depending on the size of the instrument. The larger instruments commonly double the middle courses at the octave.

 
Jarana Jarocha Requinto 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2•A2•D2•G3

Alternates:

  • C2•D2•G2•C3
  • C2•D2•G3•C3
  • A2•D3•G3•C3
Jarocha Requinto, Requinto Jarocha, Guitarra De Son Mexico
Jarana Leona 4 strings

4 courses

G2•A2•D3•G3 Mexico  
Jouhikko 3 strings

3 courses

D A E Jouhikannel Finland Absolute pitch is not fixed on this instrument  

KEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Kabosy 6 strings

4 courses

G • G • B B • D D Madagascar  
Kacapi 6 strings

3 courses

A• B •C •F• F Indonesia Uses a gamelan pelog scale. Tuning is approximated to western notation.  
Kamancheh 4 strings

4 courses

D5•A5•D4•A4 Iran,
Armenia,
Azerbaijan,
Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan
 
Khonkhota 8 strings

5 courses [*]

G4 G3•C4•D4 D3•A3•D4 D4 Qonqhota, Ponputu, Mokholos, Machus South America Strings/courses are usually 8/5 but 7/5, 9/5, 10/5 or 11/5 variations exist.
Kithara Sarda 6 strings

6 courses

B2 E2 A2 D3 F3 B3 Sardinia, Italy.
Kobza 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

GG • DD • GG • CC

Alternate: DD • AA • DD • GG

Kobuz, Kobsa Moldavia, Romania, Hungary  
Kokles 11 strings

11 courses

G3 A3 C3 D3 E3 F3 G4 A4 B4 C4

G3 A3 C3 D3 E3 F3 G4 A4 B♭4 C4

Kokle, Kūkles, Kūkle Latvia Since the 1980s the most common tunings for 11-stringed kokles among kokles players.  
Komuz 3 strings

3 courses

A E A Qomuz, Gopuz, Kopuz, Kopus Kyrgyzstan  
Kora 21 strings

21 courses

Traditional Tunings:
  • Tomora Ba/Silaba: F2 C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 B4 C5 D5 E5 F5 G5 A5
  • Tomora Mesengo: F2 C3 +D3 +E3 F3 G3 +A3 +B3 C4 +D4 +E4 F4 G4 +A4 +B4 C5 +D5 +E5 F5 G5 +A5
  • Hardino: F2 C3 -D3 +E3 F3 G3 -A3 +B3 C4 -D4 +E4 F4 G4 -A4 +B4 C5 -D5 +E5 F5 G5 -A5
  • Sauta: F2 C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 B4 C5 D5 E5 F5 G5 A5
West Africa Scales roughly correspond to Western major, minor, and lydian scales, but are not in equal temperament. Any of the scales may be considered "standard".  
Koto 13 strings

13 courses

Traditional tunings:
  • Itsikotchu-chô:

D4 D4 A3 B3 D4 E4 F4 A4 B4 D5 E5 F5 A5

  • Oshiki-chô:

E4 A3 B3 D4 E3 F3 A3 B3 C4 E4 F4 A4 B4

  • Sui-chô:

E4 A3 B3 C4 E3 F3 A3 B3 C4 E4 F4 A4 B4

  • Hyô-jô:

B3 E3 F3 A3 B3 C4/D4 E4 F4 A4 B4 C5/D5 E5 F5

  • Taishiki-chô:

B3 E3 F3 G3 B3 C4 E4 F4 G4 B4 C4 E4 F4

  • Banskiki-chô:

F3 B3 C3 E3 F3 G3/A3 B3 C4 E4 F4 G4/A4 B4 C5

  • Sôjô:

G3 G3 D3 E3 G3 A3 B3 D4 E4 G4 A4 B4 D5

箏, 琴 Japan
  • Tuning depends on the piece being played.
  • A4 is closer to 430 Hz than to the western standard (440 Hz), and intervals are in just intonation and not equal temperament.
  • In some tunings alternate choices are available for strings 6 and 11 (indicated with a slash); whatever note is chosen these strings are always tuned one octave apart.
 
Kwitra 8 strings

4 courses

GG • EE • AA • DD Kuitra, Kouitra, Quwaytara Algeria

LEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Laouto 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 C3•G2 G3•D2 D3•A3 A3

Alternate:

  • Cretan: G2 G3•D2 D3•A2 A3•E3 E3
Laghouto Greece Standard a.k.a. "Mainland"  
Laúd 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 G2•C3 C3•F3 F3•B3 B3•E4 E4•A4 A4

Alternates:

  • Cuban:

D2 D2•A2 A2•E3 E3•B3 B3•F4 F4•C5 C5

  • Alt. Cuban:

D2 D2•A2 A2•E3 E3•B3 B3•F4 F4•D5 D5

Spanish laud Spain Standard AKA Spanish Tuning;

one octave lower than the Spanish Bandurria

 
Laúd, Cuban 12 strings

6 courses

D3 D3•F3 F3•B3 B3•E4 E4•A4 A4•D5 D5 Laud Cubano Cuba
Laúd, Philippine 14 strings

6 courses

F2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3 A3•D4 D4 D4•G4 G4 G4 Laud Philippines Same tuning as the Octavina
Lili'u 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G4 • C3 C4 • E4 E4 • A4 A4 Li'liu, Taropatch, Tenor Ukulele Hawaii Double-strung tenor ukulele.  
Liuqin 4 strings

4 courses

G3 • D4 • G4 • D5

Alternate

  • G3 • D4 • A4 • E5
liuyeqin, willow leaf instrument China  
Liuto cantabile 10 strings

5 courses

C2 C2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4 Liuto moderno Naples, Italy Some courses are occasionally single-strung
Luc huyen cam 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 • F3 • C4 • G4 • C5

Alternate:

  • Hu ai Cam: G2 • D3 • G3 • B4 • D5

(a.k.a. "slide guitar tuning")

Đàn Ghita, Ghita, Phím Lõm,

Vietnamese guitar

Vietnam Originally a 4- or 5-string instrument; today often nearly identical to a 6-string western guitar, except for having a scalloped fingerboard and one less string.

(See below.)

Luc huyen cam 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E2 • A2 • D3 • G3 • B3 • E4

Alternates:

  • Day Rach-Gia: E2 • A2 • D3 • G3 • D4 • G4
  • Day Lai: D2 • A2 • D3 • G3 • D4 • G4
  • Day Sai Gon: D2 • G2 • D3 • G3 • D4 • G4
Đàn Ghita, Ghita, Phím Lõm,

Vietnamese guitar

Vietnam
  • "Standard" identical with the common western guitar.
  • Day Lai a.k.a. "aculturated tuning"
  • Day Sai Gon a.k.a. "Saigon Tuning"
Lute [ * ]
  • Medieval 12 string/6 course:

G2 G2 • C3 C3 • F3 F3 • A3 A3 • D4 D4 • G4 G4

  • Medieval 13 string/7 course:

D2 D3•G2 G3•C3 C4•F3 F3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4

  • Renaissance 15 string/8 course

D2 D3•F2 F3•G2 G3•C3 C4•F3 F3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4

  • Renaissance 19 string/10 course

C2 C3•D2 D3•E♭2 E♭3•F2 F3•G2 G3•C3 C4•F3 F3•A3 A3•D4 D4•G4

  • Baroque 24 string/13 course

A1 A2•B1 B2•C2 C3•D2 D3•E2 E3•F2 F3•G2 G3•A2 A2•D3 D3•F3 F3•A3 A3•d4•f4

Europe [ * ] The number of strings and courses on a lute can vary widely depending on period and geographical region. Among the more common forms are 6, 7, 8, 10, and 13 courses. (Pictured: 8 course Renaissance Lute.)  
Cretan lyra 3 strings

3 courses

D3 • A3 • E5 Crete, Greece  

MEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Mandobass 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E1 A1 D2 G2

Alternate: G1 D2 A2 E3

Alternate: C1 G1 D2 A2

Bass Mandolin Europe The alternate tuning (2 octaves below the mandolin) is usually applied to a smaller-scale instrument (see Mandobass).

The alternate tuning (2 octaves below the mandola) is usually applied to a smaller-scale instrument (see Mandobass).

 
Mandobass 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G1 G1•D2 D2•A2 A2•E3 E3

Alternate:

  • "Mandola": C1 C1•G1 G1•D2 D2•A2 A2
Tremolo-bass Europe Relatively rare; larger than the standard mandobass.

Standard tuning is 2 octaves below the mandolin.

Alternate tuning is 2 octaves below the mandola.

Mandocello 8 strings

4 courses

C2 C2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3 mandolincello, mandoloncello Standard tuning is 1 octave below the mandola.  
Mandola 8 strings

4 courses

C3 C3•G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4 Tenor mandola (Europe) A 5th below mandolin tuning.  
Mandolin 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4•E5 E5

Alternates: "Get Up John Tuning": F3 A3•D4 D4•A4 A4•A5 D5

All violin alternate tunings may be adapted for the mandolin

Standard instrument of the mandolin family.  
Mandolinetto 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3•D4 D4•A4 A4•E5 E5 USA and Canada A guitar-shaped mandolin, or mandolin neck on ukulele body.  
Mandolin, Octave 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4

Alternate:

  • Irish Bouzouki:

G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•D4 D4

Tenor Mandolin, Irish Bouzouki, Octave mandola (Europe) Pitched 1 octave below the mandolin.  
Mandolin, Piccolo 8 strings

4 courses

C4 C4•G4 G4•D5 D5•A5 A5 Brilliant tone mandolin Tuned a 4th above the mandolin; 1 octave above the mandola.  
Mandriola 12 strings

4 courses

G3 G3 G3•D4 D4 D4•A4 A4 A4•E5 E5 E5

Tricordia Europe Tricordia is also a similar instrument tuned differently; both instruments are known by both names. (see Trichordia)  
Manguerito 7 strings

5 courses

D4•G4•B4 B3•E4•B4 B4 La Paz, Bolivia
Mejorana 5 strings

5 courses

  • "Por veinticinco":

D4•A4•A3•B3•E4

  • "Por seis":

D4•G4•G3•B3•E4

Mejorana, Rumbo Panama Either tuning may be considered "standard."  

NEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Nevoud 11 strings

6 courses

C2•F2 F2•B2 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•D4 D4 Nevud, New Oud Turkey
Nigenkin 2 strings

2 courses

No standard [*] Yakumogoto Japan [*] Strings are tuned in unison, to any pitch convenient for vocalist.
Nyckelharpa 4 strings

4 courses + 12 resonating strings

C3 • G3 • C4 • A4

res.strings: G3 A3 B3 B3 C4 C4 D4 E4 E4 F4 F4 G4

Key-harp,

Chromatic Nyckelharpa

Sweden Number of sympathetic strings may vary.  
Nyckelharpa, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses + 12 resonating strings

G2 • D3 • G3 • E4

res.strings: G2 A2 B2 B2 C3 C3 D3 E3 E3 F3 F3 G3

Sweden This instrument is of very recent invention.

OEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Octavina 14 strings

6 courses

F1•B1 B1•E2 E2•A2 A2 A2•D3 D3 D3•G3 G3 G3

Philippine Laúd Philippines One octave lower than the Philippine Bandurria  
Octobass 3 strings

3 courses

Berlioz/Musée de la Musique:

C1 G1 C2

Subcontrabass, triple bass France Extremely rare. Extant instruments tuned variously.  
Octofone 8 strings

4 courses

* C2 C2•G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3
  • G2 G2•D3 D3•A3 A3•E4 E4
  • D2 D2•G2 G2•B2 B2•E3 E3
USA Any of the tunings may be considered "standard".
Oud 11 strings

6 courses

  • Arabic tuning:

C2 F2 A2 D3 G3 C4

  • Alt. Arabic:

F2 A2 D3 G3 C4 F4

  • Alternate bass:

D2 G2 A2 D3 G3 C4

  • Ottoman Turkish/Armenian/Greek:

E2 A2 B2 E3 A3 D4

  • New Turkish Classical:

C2 F2 B2 E3 A3 D4

  • Alt. New Turkish Classical:

D2 F2 B2 E3 A3 D4

Ud, Al-Ud, Oud Arbi Middle East notated a 4th higher in ME notation; one octave higher in western notation.  

PEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Palida 4 strings

4 courses

D3 • A3 • E4 • B4 Europe
Panduri 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 • A3 • C4

Alternate:

  • E3 • B3 • A4
Phanduri Georgia (Asia)  
Pardessus de Viole 5 strings

5 courses

Standard:

C4 • E4 • A4 • D5 • G5

Soprano Viol Europe A member of the viol family.

A rare 6-string version adds a G3 below the low C string.

Pedal Steel Guitar [ * ]

10 strings 10 courses

Standard/Common:
  • E9th: B2 D3 E3 F3 G3 B3 E4 G4 D4 F4
  • C6th: C2 F2 A2 C3 E3 G3 A3 C4 E4 D4

Alternates:

  • A7th: A1 E2 G2 A2 C3 E3 G3 A3 C4 E4
  • C Diatonic: G2 A2 C3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4 E4
Steel guitar United States [ * ] 10 strings is more or less standard now, but instruments with 6, 8, 12, and other numbers of strings, and 2, 3, or 4 necks exist. A different tuning is usually applied to each neck, but setups vary from player to player. 2-Neck Pedal Steel Guitar

 

Phin 3 strings

3 courses

A3 E4 A4 Thailand
Piano 230 strings[*]

88 courses

A0 A0 B0 C1 C1 D1 D1 E1 F1 F1 G1 G1

[...] *C7 D7 D7 E7 F7 F7 G7 G7 A7 A7 B7 C8

Pianoforte, Grand, Grand Piano, Concert Grand, Upright, Upright Piano, Spinet Europe (Italy) * About ​23 of courses are triple strung; some lower courses are double strung; the remaining bases are single strung. All multi-strung courses are tuned to unisons. Exact number of strings varies by manufacturer and model, 220 – 240 is typical.[14] Only lowest and highest octaves are shown; tuning of the intervening notes is chromatic. Upright Piano:

 

Grand Piano:  

Piano, Imperial Grand 249 strings[*]

97 courses

C0 C0 D0 D0 E0 F0 F0 G0 G0 A0 A0 B0

[...] *C7 D7 D7 E7 F7 F7 G7 G7 A7 A7 B7 C8

Imperial Grand, 290, Bösendorfer Austria * About ​23 of courses are triple strung; some lower courses are double strung; the remaining bases are single strung. All multi-strung courses are tuned to unisons. Only lowest and highest octaves are shown; tuning of the intervening notes is chromatic. These extended-range pianos are very expensive and uncommon.
Pipa 4 strings

4 courses

A2 D3 E3 A3 Pi p'a China
Portuguese guitar 12 strings

6 courses

  • Lisbon / Lisboa tuning:

D3 D2•A3 A2•B3 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3•B3 B3

  • Coimbra tuning:

C3 C2 • G3 G2 • A3 A2 • D3 D3 • G3 G3 • A3 A3

Guitarra Portuguesa Portugal Either tuning may be considered "standard".  
Prim (See Bisernica, 5 string) (See Bisernica, 5 string)

QEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Qanbūs 7 stings

4 courses

C • D D • G G • C C gambus Yemen
 
Syrian qanbūs.
Qinqin 3 strings

3 courses

G3 D4 A5 China  
Quirquincho See charango See charango

REdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Rajao 6 strings

5 courses

D4•G4•C4•E4•A4 (A4) Rajão Portugal Sometimes the top course is not doubled, so there are only 5 strings
Ramkie 4 strings

4 courses

C3 F3 A3 C4 Afri-can, Kitaar South Africa Typically these are homemade, and therefore quite variable.  
Rebab 2 strings

2 courses

D3 A3 [*] Java * Tuning given is approximate: does not follow western equal temperament  
Requinto 6 strings

6 courses

A2 D3 G3 C4 E4 A4 Requinto guitar Mexico 4th above the standard guitar
Ronroco 10 strings

5 courses

Standard Argentine (G6/Em7):

D4 D4•G4 G4•B4 B3•E4 E4•B4 B4

Standard Bolivian (F6/Dm7):

C4 C4•F4 F4•A4 A3•D4 D4•A4 A4

Standard Chilean (C6/Am7):

G3 G3•C4 C4•E4 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4

Common Variants: [*]

  • G4 G3•C5 C4•E4 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4
  • G4 G3•C5 C4•E3 E3•A3 A3•E4 E4
Baritone Charango,

Ronrroco

Andean Region [*] Instrument is still new enough that no one "standard" tuning has emerged. Chilean tuning (also a variant in Bolivia), one octave below the charango, is very common. Chilan variants (various octave doublings on courses 3, 4, and 5) depend on stringing—thinner strings are required for the high octaves in doubled courses. Argentine G6/Em7 tuning is also popular, which basically raises the pitch to that of the charangón.
Ruan See under individual sizes Ruanqin See listing for individual sizes:
  • soprano: Gaoyinruan
  • alto: Xiaoruan
  • tenor: Zhongruan
  • bass: Daruan
  • contrabass: Diyinruan
See under individual sizes
Ruanqin See Ruan See Ruan
Russian guitar 7 strings

7 courses

Standard/Common:

D2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B3 D4

Alternates:

  • Drop C: C2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B4 D4
  • Gypsy: D2 G2 B2 D3 G3 C4 D4
semistrunnaya gitara, semistrunka Russia There are many variant tunings, mostly idiosyncratic to individual performers.  

SEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Samica 4 strings

2 courses

Standard/Common:

B3 • E4

Alternate:

A3 • D4

Dangubica, tambura Balkans Tuning is flexible, but the courses are always a fourth apart.
Sanshin 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 • F3 • C4

Alternates:

  • Ichi-agi chōshi: E3 • F3 • C4
  • Ni-agi chōshi: C3 • G3 • C4
  • Ichi, ni-agi chōshi: D3 • G3 • C4
  • San-sage chōshi: C3 • F3 • B3
Okinawa shamisen, jabisen Ryukyu Islands, Japan Standard AKA Hon chōshi  
Santur 72 strings

18 courses

Golden strings (right)
E3•F3•G3•A3•B3•C4•D4•E4•F4
Silver strings (left)
E4•F4•G4•A4•B4•C5•D5•E5•F5
Silver strings (behind bridges)
E5•F5•G5•A5•B5•C6•D6•E6•F6

Iran,
Turkey
This is common tuning for Dastgāh-e Šur  
Sanxian 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 • D3 • A3

Alternate: D3 A3 D4

Sanhsien, Small Sanxian, Xianzi, Quxian, Shuxian, Chinese Banjo China  
Sanxian, Large 3 strings

3 courses

G2 • D3 • G3

Sanhsien, Large Sanxian, Xianzi, Quxian, Shuxian, Chinese Banjo China Other size variants exist, but are uncommon.
Sarangi, Nepalese 4 strings

4 courses

G4•C5•C5•G5 Nepal  
Sargija 6 strings

3 courses

C3 C3 • G3 G3 • D3 D3 Sharkia, Sharki, Shargija Albania  
Seis Cinco 6 strings

5 courses

E3•A4 A3•D3•F4•B4

Seis Cinco North-western Venezuela
Setar 4 strings

3 courses

C3 C4 • G3 • C4 Iran  
Shamisen 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

D G D

Alternates:

  • San sagari: D G C
  • Ni agari: D A D
Samisen, Sangen Japan Standard = "Honchoshi" tuning  
Sitar 7 strings

(3 are drones)

plus 13 sympathetic strings

C2 G2 C3 F3

drones: C5 C4 G3

North India 4th string can be tuned to C. Sympathetic (resonating) strings are tuned to the raga being played.  
Socavon 4 strings

4 courses

G3 D4 A4 B2 Bocona Panama
Strumstick 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 D4 G4

Alternate:

  • F3 C4 F4
Dulcitar, Dulcimer stick, Strumbly, Standard Strumstick US Other sizes exist. General tuning is Root-5th-Octave, but the variations used are endless.
Swedish lute (modern) 12 strings

12 courses

Standard/Common:

F1 G1 A1 B1 C2 D2 open
E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 over fretboard

Scholander lute Sweden Other versions exist, mainly differing in the number of bass strings.  

TEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Tambura 8 strings

4 courses

D3 D3 • G3 G3 • B3 B3 • E4 E4

Tamboura Bulgaria  
Tambura 4 strings

4 courses

sol do' do' do*

Tanpura, Tampuri, Tamboura, Taanpura India *Classical Indian music has no absolute pitch. "Do" is tuned to a convenient note for any singers, or for the Raga being played, and the other strings are tuned relative to that reference.  
Tambura 4 strings

2 courses

D D • A A

Tamboura Macedonia
Tar 6 strings

3 courses

Common (for Dastgāh-e Šur)

C4 C4 • G3 G3 • C4 • C3

Iran  
Tarica 5 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 • G2 G2 • C3 C3

Alternate:

  • Ionian: D2 • A2 A2 • D3 D3
Tarika, Tricord, Trichord Europe  
Taropatch 6 strings

4 courses

Standard:

G3 • C3 C4 • E4 • A4 A4

Alternates:

  • High G:

G4 • C3 C4 • E4 • A4 A4

  • Low A: G3 • C3 C4 • E4 • A4 A3
  • Reverse C:

G3 • C4 C3 • E4 • A4 A3

  • High G & Low A:

G4 • C3 C4 • E4 • A4 A3

Lili'u, Li'liu, 6-string Tenor Ukulele Hawaii C6 tuning Tenor Ukulele tuning with courses 1 and 3 doubled.
Tembor 5 strings

3 courses

A A•D•G G China
Terzin Kitarra 6 strings

6 courses

G2 B2 E3 A3 C4 E4

Malta
Timple 5 strings

5 courses

G4 C5 E4 A4 D5

Canary Island Tiple Canary Islands, Spain  
Tiple, American 10 strings

4 courses

A4 A3 • D4 D3 D4 • F4 F3 F4 • B3 B3

Tiple ukulele, Martin Tiple US The D and F are triple-strung; the other strings are paired.  
Tiple, Columbian 12 strings

4 courses

Standard/Traditional:

C4 C3 C4 • E4 E3 E4 • A4 A3 A4 • D4 D4 D4

Alternate:

  • 'Guitar'/Modern G6: D4 D3 D4 • G4 G3 G4 • B4 B3 B4 • E4 E4 E4
Tiple Colombiano Colombia Triple strung  
Tiple de Menorca 5 strings

5 courses

D4•G4•C5•E5•A5 Menorca, Spain
Tiple, Puerto Rican 5 strings

5 courses

E3 • A3 • D4 • G4 • C5

Tiple Doliente Puerto Rico  
Tiple Requinto 12 strings

4 courses

Standard/Traditional:

C4 C4 C4 • E4 E4 E4 • A4 A4 A4 • D4 D4 D4

Alternate:

  • 'Guitar'/Modern G6: D4 D4 D4 • G4 G4 G4 • B4 B4 B4 • E4 E4 E4
Tiple Requinto Colombiano Colombia Triple strung: smaller than Tiple Colombiano, and central lower octave strings are replaced with unisons.  
Tres,

Cuban

6 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3• C4 C4• E3 E4

Alternate:

  • New D major:

A4 A3• D4 D4 • F3 F4

Tres, Tres Cubano Cuba  
Tres,

Puerto Rican

9 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3 G4 • C4 C4 C4 • E4 E3 E4

Alternates:

  • G3 G4 G4 • C4 C4 C4 • E4 E4 E3
  • G4 G4 G3 • C4 C4 C4 • E3 E4 E4
Tres, Tres Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Note that alternates simply change the location of the octave doublings.
Tricordia 12 strings

4 courses

G2 G3 G3 • D3 D4 D4 • A3 A4 A4 • E4 E5 E5

Mandriola Mexico Although tuned differently from the mandriola, both instruments are known by both names  
Tzouras 6 strings

3 courses

D3 D4 • A3 A3 • D4 D4

6 strings/3 courses Tzouras Greece  

UEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Ukulele, Baritone 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

D3 G3 B3 E4

Alternate (rare):

  • High D: D4 G3 B3 E4
Baritone Uke, Bari Uke Hawaii Same as 4 highest-pitched guitar strings.  
Ukulele, Bass 4 strings

4 courses

E2 A2 D3 G3

Bass Ukulele, Bass Uke US Same as bottom four strings of the guitar. A relatively new instrument; unlike the UBass (see below) it has sufficient volume to be played acoustically, and sounds more like a uke than a bass.
Ukulele, Contrabass ("UBass") 4 strings

4 courses

E1 A1 D2 G2

Bass Uke, Contrabass Ukulele, Rubber Bass, Travel Bass, U-Bass US Same as bass guitar. A relatively new instrument that has to be amplified to be heard; tone is much like a double bass. Compared to the acoustic bass uke (see above), this is really a contrabass instrument.  
Ukulele, Concert 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • D6: A4 D4 F4 B4
Uke,

Alto Ukulele

Hawaii Often just a soprano uke with a slightly longer neck—15, 16 or 18 frets, as opposed to 12 or 13 frets.  
Ukulele, Pocket 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

D5 G4 B4 E5

Pocket Uke, Mini Uke, Sopranino Ukulele, Sopranissimo Ukulele Hawaii Relatively recent: a miniature ukulele  
Ukulele, Soprano 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate (traditional):

  • D6: A4 D4 F4 B4
  • Low G: G3 C4 E4 A4
Uke Hawaii The standard, basic ukulele. Traditionally, D6 tuning was used though C6 tuning is now most common.  
Ukulele, Tahitian 8 strings

4 courses

G4 G4 • C5 C5 • E5 E5 • A4 A4

Tahitian banjo, Tahitian Ukulele, Ukulélé Tahitien, Youke Tahiti  
Ukulele, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • Low G: G3 C4 E4 A4
Uke, Tenor Uke Hawaii 5-, 6- and 8- string versions exist: 5-string has 4th (lowest)) course doubled; 6-string has 1st (highest) and 3rd courses doubled (see Taropatch); 8-string has all 4 courses doubled (see Lili'u)

VEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Veena 7 strings

7 courses

C3 • D3 • E3 • F3 • G3 • A3 • B3

Vina, Saraswati Veena; Sawaswati Vina South India Pitches are approximate: does not use the western equal tempered tuning system.  
Vihuela 5 strings

5 courses

A3 • D4 • G4 • B3 • E4

Mexico This is the modern Mariachi instrument. Vihuela also refers to many historic antecedents of the guitar, in various configurations, most of them currently obsolete.  
Viol, alto 6 strings

6 courses

A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 A4

Europe
Viol, bass 6 strings

6 courses

D2 G2 C3 E3 A3 D4

Europe  
Viol, bass 7 strings

7 courses

A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A3 D4

Europe  
Viol, contrabass 6 strings

6 courses

D1 G1 C2 E2 A2 D3

violone, D'violone Europe octave lower than the 6-string bass viol  
Viol, Soprano See Pardessus de Viole See Pardessus de Viole
Viol, Tenor 6 strings

6 courses

G2 C3 F3 A3 D4 G4

Viol da Gamba, Viola da Gamba Europe
Viol, Treble 6 strings

6 courses

D3 G3 C4 E4 A4 D5

Europe
Viola 4 strings

4 courses

C3 G3 D4 A4

Europe Pitched a 5th below the violin.  
Viola Amarantina 10 strings

5 courses

D3 D2•A3 A2•B3 B2•E3 E3•A3 A3 Viola Aramante, Viola de dois coracois Amarante, Portugal
Viola Beiroa 12 strings

7 courses

D3•D3•A3 A2•D3 D2•G3 G2•B3 B3•D3 D3 Portugal
Viola Braguesa 10 strings

5 courses

C4 C3•G4 G3•A4 A3•D4 D4•G4 G4

Viola Da Braga Portugal
Viola caipira 10 strings

5 courses

A3 A2 • D4 D2 • F4 F3 • A3 A3 • D4 D4

Viola de dez cordes, Viola sertaneja Brazil  
Viola Campaniça 10 strings

5 courses

C3 C2 • F3 F2 • C3 C3 • E3 E3 • G3 G3

Viola de Beja Portugal
Viola da Gamba See Viol, Tenor See Viol, Tenor
Viola Da Terra 12 strings

5 courses

A3 A3 A2•D4 D4 D3•G3 G3•B3 B3•D4 D4

Azores (Portugal)
Viola De Arame 9 strings

5 courses

G3 G2•D3 D2•G3 G3•B3•D3 D3

Viola de Madeira Madeira, Portugal  
Viola de cocho 5 strings

5 courses

G3 • D3 • E3 • A3 • D4

Mato Grosso, South-western Brazil  
Violao De Sete Cordas 7 strings

7 courses

Standard/Common:

C2•E2•A2•D3•G3•B3•E4

Alternate:

  • B2•E2•A2•D3•G3•B3•E4
Brazil
Viola Sertaneja 10 strings

5 courses

[*]

A3 A2•D4 D2•F4 F3•B3•A3 A3

A3•D4•G4 G4•B3•B3 B3 B3•E4 E4 E4

Viola Nordestina Brazil Two different arrangements are employed for the courses:

2-2-2-2-2 (1st tuning) or 1-1-2-3-3 (2nd tuning)

Viola Terceira 15 strings

6 courses

E3 E3 E2•A3 A3 A2•D4 D4 D3•G4 G3•B3 B3•E4 E4

Viola Da Terceira, Viola Terceirense Azores (Portugal)
Viola Toeira 12 strings

5 courses

A3 A3 A2 • D4 D4 D3 • G4 G3 • B3 B3 • E3 E3

Portugal
Violin 4 Strings

4 courses

G3 D4 A4 E5

Fiddle (colloquial) Lombardy For other tunings see fiddle  
Violin, Tenor 4 Strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 D3 A3 E4

Alternate:

  • F2 C3 G3 D4
Tenor violin, baritone violin, violotta, tenor cello Italy (acoustic) USA (electric) Standard is one octave below the violin;

4th below the viola.

Rare.

WEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Walaycho 10 strings

5 courses

*Bolivian (F6):

C5 C5•F5 F5•A5 A4•D5 D5•A5 A5

  • Argentine (G6):

D5 D5•G5 G5•B5 B4•E5 E5•B5 B5

Waylacho, hualaycho, maulincho Andean region A soprano charango

F6 = 4th higher than the charango

G6 = 5th higher than the charango

 
Waldzither, bass 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 • E3 E3•A3 A3•C4 C4•E4 E4

Germany
Waldzither, descant 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 • D4 D4•G4 G4•B4 B4•D5 D5

Bergmannszither, Walddoline Germany
Waldzither, Heym 14 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 C2•G3 G3 G3•C4 C4 C4•E4 E4 E4•G4 G4 G4

Germany Very rare, and possibly obsolete
Waldzither, piccolo 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C4 • G4 G4•C5 C5•E5 E5•G5 G5

Alternates:

  • D tuning: D4 • A4 A4•D5 D5•F5 F5•A5 A5
Germany
Waldzither, tenor 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 • G3 G3•C4 C4•E4 E4•G4 G4

Alternates:

  • D tuning: D3 • A3 A3•D4 D4•F4 F4•A4 A4
  • Open G major: G2 • D3 D3•G3 G3•B3 B3•D4 D4
Waldzither, Forest zither Germany The tenor is the standard waldzither;

several other, less common tunings are also used[15]

 

XEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Xenorphica 73 strings

73 courses

F1 F2 G1 G1 A1 A1 B1 C2 C2 D2 D2 E2[...] *

F6 G6 G6 A6 A6 B6 C7 C7 D7 D7 E7 F7

claviharp, harp piano,

keyed harp

Austria Only lowest and highest octaves are shown; tuning of the intervening notes is chromatic.

Rare.

 
Xiaoruan 4 strings

4 courses

D3 A3 D4 A4' Alto Ruan China lit. "small Ruan"

YEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Yakumogoto See Nigenkin See Nigenkin
Yaylı tambur 6 strings

3 courses

D2 D2•A2 A2•D3 D3

Turkish tambur Turkey the bowed variant (versus the mızraplı tambur, the plucked variant) of the Turkish tambur  
Yueqin 4 strings

4 courses

G3•D4•G4•D5

Yueh qin,

Yueh chin, Moon guitar

China  
Yueqin,

Taiwanese

2 strings

2 courses

D3•A4

Hengchun yueqin,

Yueh qin, Yueh chin, Moon guitar

Taiwan

ZEdit

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Zheng 18 strings

18 courses

Common:

C2 D2 E2 G2 A2 C3 D4 E4 G4 A4 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 C5 D5 E5

Guzheng, Gu Zheng, Pinyin China Tuning is not absolute, and is not limited by Western equal temperament.

Zhengs also come with varying numbers of strings, typically from 16–26; the pentatonic tuning is extended to accommodate these extra (high and low) strings.

 
Zhonghu 2 strings

2 courses

  • G3 D4
  • A3 E4
China Either tuning may be considered "standard".  
Zhongruan 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 D3 G3 D4

Alternates:

  • G2 D3 A3 E4 (Mandolin)
  • A2 E3 A3 E4
Tenor Ruan, ruanjian, ruanqin China lit. "medium Ruan";

This is the standard/most common instrument of the five-member ruan family.

 
Zither, Alpine 5 fretted strings[*]

5 courses

plus

37 open accompaniment & bass strings

Fretted Strings Standard/Common:

A4 A4 D4 G3 C3

Alternate:

  • Vienna: A4 D4 G3 G3 C3

[See ZITHER TUNING CHART, below, for unfretted string tunings]

Alpine Zither, Harp Zither Austria, Germany, elsewhere. Standard Tuning AKA "Munich"

[*]

  • 5 fretted melody strings
  • 12 unfretted accompaniment strings
  • 12 unfretted bass strings
  • 13 unfretted contrabass strings
Zither, Concert 5 fretted strings[*]

5 courses

plus

29 – 30 open accompaniment & bass strings

Fretted Strings Standard/Common:

A4 A4 D4 G3 C3

Alternate:

  • Vienna: A4 D4 G3 G3 C3

[See ZITHER TUNING CHART, below, for unfretted string tunings]

Concert Zither, Fretted Zither America, Germany, elsewhere. Standard AKA "Munich"

[*]

  • 5 fretted melody strings
  • 12 unfretted accompaniment strings
  • 12 unfretted bass strings
  • up to 13 unfretted contrabass strings (5 or 6 is the most common)
 
Zither, Guitar Varies Varied open string chord sets and chromatic or diatonic tuning of additional open strings. The string tuning is often printed on the instrument itself. See the picture. No frets nor fingerboard. Guitar zither, Chord zither, Fretless Zither Austria, Germany, elsewhere. May have from 12 to 50 strings, or more, depending on design
  • See also Autoharp which has diatonic and chromatic open strings, and a stop mechanism to produce chords.
 

Zither Tuning ChartEdit

ZITHER TUNING CHART
FRETTED UNFRETTED
STRING Melody Accompaniment Basses Countrabasses
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
PITCH Munich A4 A4 D4 G3 C3 E4 B3 F4 C4 G3 D4 A3 E4 B3 F3 C4 G3 E3 B2 F3 C3 G2 D3 A2 E3 B2 F2 C3 G2 F2 E2 E2 D2 C2 C2 B1 B1 A1 G1 G1 F1 F1
Viennese A4 D4 G3 G3 C3 Ab4 E4 B3 F4 C4 G4 D4 A3 E4 B3 F4 C4 G3 E2 B2 F2 C3 G2 D2 A2 E2 B2 F2 C2 G2 C2 B1 B1 A1 G G1 F1 F1
Notes: Basic Concert Alpine

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Marcuse, Sibyl; Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary; W. W. Norton & Company (1975).
  2. ^ Randel, Don Michael, Ed.; The New Harvard Dictionary of Music; Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1986). p. 211.
  3. ^ Backus, John; The Acoustical Foundations of Music; New York: W. W. Norton & Company (1975).
  4. ^ Ibid. p. 60-61.
  5. ^ Ekkel, Bibs; Complete Balalaika Book; Mel Bay: Pacific. Mo., 1997. pp.xiv, 92.
  6. ^ Man Playing Contrabass Banjo
  7. ^ Contrabass Banjo
  8. ^ The two Puerto Rican cuatro traditions
  9. ^ Ibid.
  10. ^ Ibid.
  11. ^ Ibid.
  12. ^ Rockwell Sorts Out the Differences
  13. ^ See for Example: Hanson, Mark; The Complete Book of Alternate Tunings; West Linn, Oregon: Accent of Music. (1995)
  14. ^ Smith, Eric; Piano Care & Restoration; Blue Ridge Summit, Penn.: TAB Books, Inc. (1981). p. 60.
  15. ^ Waldzither Tuning

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Brody, David; The Fiddler's Fakebook: The Ultimate Sourcebook For The Traditional Fiddler; Music Sales America (1992). ISBN 0825602386
  • Dearling, Robert; Stringed Instruments; Chelsea House Publishing (2000). ISBN 0791060926
  • Hanson, Mark; The Complete Book of Alternate Guitar Tunings; Music Sales America (1995). ISBN 0936799137
  • Marcuse, Sibyl; Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary; W. W. Norton & Company (1975). ISBN 0393007588
  • Piston, Walter; Orchestration; W. W. Norton & Company (1955). ISBN 0393097404
  • Randell, D. M. (editor); Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th Edition; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2003). ISBN 0674011635

External linksEdit