Sunday, 24 April 2011

The four string instruments on Spain stamps 2011

On the 24th of January 2011, the Espana Post issued the series of stamps devoted to musical instruments features four string instruments, three of them plucked: guitar, lute and mandolin, and the other one, the violin.
The mandolin is a musical instrument with four double strings and a soundboard which can be concave or flat. It is of Italian origin and has been used by many great classical and modern composers both in traditional music as well as in other music styles. Among its variations is the Italian mandolin, folk and bluegrass.

Early mandolins had six double courses of gut strings, tuned similarly to lutes, and plucked with the fingertips. Modern mandolins—which originated in Naples, Italy in the late 18th century—commonly have four double courses (four pairs) of metal strings, which are plucked with a plectrum.Many variants of the mandolin have existed.
A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling, but usually doesn't feature an intricately carved grille like a Baroque era mandolin.

The guitar is a plucked string instrument consisting of a wooden box, a neck on which is attached the fretboard, an acoustic sound hole in the center and six strings. The fretboard is embedded with metal frets that allow the different notes. This instrument is known as classical or Spanish guitar. There are four types of acoustic guitars: the classical guitar, the Flamenco guitar, the electric guitar and the electro acoustic guitar.
Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with either nylon or steel strings. Some modern guitars are made of polycarbonate materials.
The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It consists of a sounding board of an elegant ergonomic shape. It comprises two upper bouts, two lower bouts, and two concave bouts at the waist, providing clearance for the bow. The back and ribs are typically made of maple.
The soundboard has two openings in the middle called F-holes. It is used in classical, folk and modern music. The parts of a violin are usually made from different types of wood (although electric violins may not be made of wood at all, since their sound may not be dependent on specific acoustic characteristics of the instrument's construction), and it is usually strung with gut, nylon or other synthetic, or steel strings.
The lute is a guitar-like instrument with a deep round back and a teardrop-shaped soundboard. The sound hole is not open, but rather covered with a grille in the form of an intertwining vine or a decorative knot, carved directly out of the wood of the soundboard. There are different varieties such as the Arabic lute, the Chinese or pipe and the Spanish lute which was introduced in Europe from Al-Andalus in the Islamic period.

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