What is chordophone?

What Does chordophone Mean

Before entering fully into the meaning of the term chordophone, we are going to proceed to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from the Greek, exactly from "chordae", which can be translated as "rope".

The term chordophone does not appear in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). The concept is used to name the musical instrument whose sound is produced by the vibration of one or more strings .
The strings of the chordophones are tensioned between two fixed points. In general, the instrument has a body that functions as a resonance box , amplifying the sound produced when these strings vibrate.

There are different classifications of chordophones. However, one of the most widespread is the one that divides them into zithers, which are simple chordophones, and into compound chordophones, including both harps and lutes.
Specifically, it is interesting to know that there are four ways to execute the aforementioned chordophones, as we are going to analyze in depth below. We are referring to rubbing, with a bow or with a wheel; to the tap, with the fingers or mechanically; by percussion, with hammers or rods; and by vibration for sympathy.
String instruments can be rated differently. Those with plucked strings , as their name implies, sound when the string is plucked or plucked by the fingers or by a pick (plectrum): the guitar , the bass , the harp , the lyre , the lute , the ukulele and the charango. , among others.
The cordófonos of bowed strings , on the other hand, require a bow that rub the strings to produce the v ibration . In this group we find instruments such as the violin , the double bass , the cello and the viola .
There are also chordophones with struck or percussed strings . In this case, the strings of the instrument vibrate by means of blows that are made with pieces known as hammers , which are linked to keys. The piano and harpsichord are examples of this class of string instruments.
Chordophones are used in many styles and genres of music. The guitar can appear in tango , the harp in opera , the violin in Celtic music, and the piano in jazz , to name just a few possibilities. Chordophones are usually accompanied by other types of instruments: percussion, wind, etc.
Other data of interest about chordophones that are worth knowing are the following:

-Most of the chordophones used in the European continent come from instruments from the Middle East.

-The bandurria, the requinto, the lute, the Venezuelan cuatro, the guitarrón or the guembrí are other chordophones that exist.

-The material from which the strings of the chordophones can be made is very diverse. Thus, they can be made with synthetic fibers but also with animal hair, silk, tendons of various animal species, wire ...

-In orchestras the most common chordophones that can be found are the harpsichord, harp, double bass, guitar , the piano, the viola, the cello and the violin.

Go up