|Hornbostel-Sachs classification||321.321 and 321.322|
(Necked bowl lute for roundback, necked box lute for flatback)
|bandurria, bandolón, mandolin, octavina,|
It belongs to the cittern family of instruments. The Spanish and Cuban instruments have six double courses in unison (i.e. twelve strings in pairs); the Philippine instrument has 14 strings with some courses singled or tripled. A similar, but smaller instrument, with a shorter neck, is the bandurria, which also exists in 12- and 14-string versions.
Traditionally it is used by folk string musical groups, such as the Filipino rondalla string ensemble, together with the guitar and the bandurria. Like the bandurria, it is tuned in fourths, but its range is one octave lower.
For the Spanish laud the tuning is (from bass to treble):
The Cuban tuning is:
The Filipino version, has (from bass to treble) one single course, two double courses and three triple courses (i.e. fourteen strings), and is tuned a step lower than the Spanish instrument.:
There is also a Cuban variety of laud -- called the "Cuban laud" -- (such as played by Barbarito Torres of the Buena Vista Social Club). It has the same appearance and use as the Spanish version, six sets of doubled strings, but a shorter scale length and higher tuning. Sometimes the Cuban variety has a different body shape, with two points instead of the lute-style or wavy shapes used for the traditional Spanish variety. The tuning is: