Spanish Laud

The laud is a Spanish folk cittern. It has a flat soundboard and a flat back and has the basic shape of a teardrop. It is has 12 metal strings. Some laudes have a round soundhole (like a Spanish classical guitar) while others have two "f" holes and one or more small soundholes. I have seen teardrop as well as diamond shaped small soundholes--also I have seen lauds (spelled laudes in Spanish) with 4 small round soundholes.

The Spanish laud is similar to the Spanish bandurria. Both of these instruments are used in rondallas--which are fretted string orchestras which often also include guitars and mandolines. The laud has a larger body than the bandurria and the body meets the neck at the 12th fret; in contrast, on the bandurria the body meets the neck at the 7th fret. Both instruments are tuned in 4ths. The strings are grouped in pairs which are technically called courses. Both the Spanish Laud and Spanish Bandurria are traditionally tuned G# G#, C#C#, F#F#,bb, ee, aa--from the 12th to the 1st string. Since the scale is shorter, the bandurria is tuned an octave above the laud. If you play guitar and don't want to learn the traditional tuning, I suggest that you tune these instruments like the guitar at the 3rd fret: GG, CC, FF, BbBb, dd, gg (12th to 1st string). The Spanish laud typically has a scale length of 470mm. There is a Cuban version of the laud--the Cuban lauds I have seen have a scale length of 400mm. According to my friend Jon Griffin, the Cuban laud is typically tuned DD, F#F#, BB, ee, aa, dd.

Laudes made by Esteve--soundhole model on left, "f" hole model on right. $1195 with hardshell case.

Backs of Laude made of laminated African Sapelli mahogany

Deluxe laud case (not sold separate from the laud.

Solid Spruce soundboard, solid Spanish cypress back and sides, made by Vicente Sanchis. $1695

Cypress back of Sanchis Laud

Esteve Bandurria with deluxe hardshell case. $1295

Back of Esteve Bandurria. $1295 with case

Photos of some traditional method books for the laud and bandurria. At this time I do not have any copies for sale. Perhaps you can find old copies on the internet.

The books are:

Nuevo metodo de Bandurria y Laud by G. Lluquet, published by Edicion G. Lluquet, Valencia (Spain)

Metodo Complete de Bandurria y Laud, by Patricio Galindo, published by Piles, Valencia (Spain)

Nuevo Metodo Teorico=Pratico para Bandurria y Laud, by Gaspar de Luz, published by Mariano Biu, Zaragoza (Spain)

Metodo de Bandurria y Laud, Nivel 1 y 2 (There are 2 books at different levels), by Angel Fuentes, Published by Real Musical, Madrid (Spain)

While I was a graduate student in the 1970's at McGill University in Montreal I played guitar in a rondalla which met at the Centro Gallego. We had about a dozen members. Two of the highlights of our performance career were concerts we did in the Quebec prisons. In the medium security men's prison we met a Portuguese man we knew on the "outside" who had mysteriously disappeared from the local scene. At prison we discovered that he had been involved with a counterfeiting ring. We also played at a Francophone (French language) women's prison. There were about 35 inmates. Our performance was a special night for them. Many had made dresses for the occasion. After we played our first number, many of the inmates came up and asked us to dance while the other musicians played. Afterwards, we shared a wonderful meal made by the ladies.

This photo was taken at the Centro Gallego in Montreal, Canada in the early 1970's. Artur Gaipo, a famous Portuguese musician is 3rd from the left in the back row. I am on the extreme right in the back row. If any of the other members of this rondalla spot themselves please contact me.


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