Stringed Instrument Tunings
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Stringed Instrument Tunings

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

Terminology

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 (o).

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., ?àn nguy?t; 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".

A

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

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A3 A3oB3 B3oE4 E4oA4 A4oD5 D5oG5 G5

Alternates: May also use various oud tunings

Turkey
Ajayu 12 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

A AoE EoA AoC# C# C#oF# F# F#

Alternate:

  • C CoG GoC CoE E EoA 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. Taishogoto.jpg
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. COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Langhalsluit met 1 snaar TMnr 2760-74.jpg
Archlute 27 strings

14 courses

F1 F2oG1 G2oA1 A2oB1 B2oC2 C3o
D2 D3oE2 E3oF2 F3oG2 G2oC2 C2o
F3 F3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4

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

6 courses

E3oA3oD4oG4 G4oB3oE4 Cuba Armonico.jpg
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 F#3 G3 A3 A#3 B3 C4 C#4 D4 D#4 E4
F4 F#4 G4 G#4 A4 A#4 B4 C5 C#5 D5 D#5 E5
F5 F#5 G5 G#5 A5 A#5 B5 C6

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

B

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

3 courses

D4 D5oA4 A4oD5 D5 Baglama, Baglama Saz, Baglamadaki Greece Standard AKA "Modal D" Baglamas 1.jpg
Bajo quinto 10 strings

5 courses

A2 A1oD3 D2oG2 G2oC3 C3oF3 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 qunito.png
Bajo Sexto 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common (All fourths):

E2 E1oA2 A1oD3 D2oG2 G2oC3 C3oF3 F3

Alternate:

E2 E1oA2 A1oD3 D2oG2 G2oB2 B2oE3 E3

Mexico In practice the bottom course is often removed(2 strings), making the instrument effectively a bajo quinto. Bajo sexto.jpg
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 bass.JPG
Balalaika, Contrabass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E1 A1 D2

Old Orchestral:

  • E1 A1 E2
Contrabass Russia Contrabassbalalaika.jpg
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.jpg
Balalaika, Prima, 6-string 6 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E4 E4 o E4 E4 o 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.jpg
Balalaika, Tenor 3 strings

3 courses

E3 A3 E4 Tenor Russia Obsolete TenorBalalaika1.jpg
Bandola Andina Colombiana 16 strings

6 courses

F#3 F#3oB3 B3oE4 E4 E4oA4 A4 A4oD5 D5 D5oG5 G5 G5 Colombia Bandola andina columbiana.jpg
Bandola Llanera 4 strings

4 courses

A2 D3 A3 E4 Venezuela Bandolallanera.jpg
Bandola Oriental 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4oE5 E5 Venezuela
Bandolin 15 strings

6 courses

E5 E4 E5oA5 A4 A5oD5 D5 D5oF#5 F#5 F#5oB5 B5 B5 Ecuador
Bandurria, Philippine 14 strings

6 courses

F#3oB3 B3oE4 E4oA4 A4 A4oD5 D5 D5oG5 G5 G5 Philippines One octave higher than the Philippine laud.
Bandurria, Spanish 12 strings

6 courses

G#3 G#3oC#4 C#4oF#4 F#4oB4 B4oE5 E5oA5 A5 Spain Standard tuning AKA "Spanish tuning",

one octave higher than the laud.

Original bandurria.jpg
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. Item-bb-400-(bass-banjo)-1398 lg.jpg
Banjo, Cello 4 strings

4 courses

C2 G2 D3 A3 "bass" banjo US Same as used for the cello. Cello banjo from Gold Tone.jpg
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 C3 D4
  • Sawmill: G4 D3 G3 C3 D4
  • Open D: F#4 D3 F#3 A3 D4
  • Guitar: G4 D3 G3 B3 E4
  • Willie Moore: G4 D3 G3 A3 D4
  • Doc Bog's D: F#4 D3 G3 A3 D4
  • Cumberland Gap:G4 E3 A3 D3 E4
  • G Minor: G4 D3 G3 Bb3 D4
  • Open C: G4 C3 G3 C3 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.

BluegrassBanjo.jpg
Banjolin 4 strings

4 courses

G3 D4 A4 E5 US Hybrid of mandolin and banjo Banjolin.jpg
Banjo,

Long Neck

5 strings

5 courses

E4 B2 E3 G#3 B3 "Pete Seeger" Banjo US (commissioned by Pete Seeger) Open string tuning; often played with capo on 3rd fret Pete Seeger sings.JPG
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 Item-it-250f-(irish-tenor)-1419 lg.jpg
Banjo, Plectrum 4 strings

4 courses

C3 G3 B3 D4 US via Africa Item-ps-250-(plectrum-special)-1458 lg.jpg
Baryton 17 strings

17 courses Two ranks

Bowed rank: A1 D2 G3 C3 E3 A3 D4

Plucked rank: A2 D3 E3 F#3 G3 A3 B3 C#3 D4 E4

Europe (Germany?) Seven bowed strings, and 10 resonating strings, also plucked with the left thumb Baryton.JPG
Basprim (See Brac, 5 string) (See Brac, 5 string)
Biscernica, 5 string 5 strings

4 courses

C#3oF#3oB3oE4 E4 Bisernica Balkans The prim has 5 strings; there is another bisernica which has 6 strings. Prim tambura.png
Bisernica,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

E3oA3oD4 D4oG4 G4 Tamburitza Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia Other courses are sometimes doubled.
Bordonua 10 strings

5 courses

A2 A3oD4 D3oF#3 F#4oB3 B3oE4 E4 Puerto Rico Bordonua.jpg
Bouzouki 8 strings

4 courses

C3 C4oF3 F4oA3 A3oD4 D4 Tetrachordo bouzouki Greece Standard AKA "F6 tuning" Bouzouki tetrachordo.jpg
Bouzouki 6 strings

3 courses

D3 D4oA3 A3oD4 D4 Trichordo bouzouki Greece Standard AKA "F6 tuning" Baglamas 001.jpg
Bouzouki, Irish ( See Irish bouzouki ) ( See Irish bouzouki )
Brac,

5 string

5 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E3oA3oD4oG4 G4

Alternate:

  • F#3oB3oE4oA4 A4
Basprim, Brach Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia
Brac,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4 Brach Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia Brac, instrument.png
Braguinha 4 strings

4 courses

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

5 string

5 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2oB2oD3oG3 G3

Alternates:

  • D2oF#2oA2oD3 D3
  • E2oG#2oB2oE3 E3
Kontra Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia First course is sometimes not doubled. Bugarija, instrument.png
Bugarija,

6 string

6 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2oB2oD3 D3oG3 G3

Alternates:

  • D2oF#2oA2 A2oD3 D3
  • E2oG#2oB2 B2oE3 E3
Kontra Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia

C

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

3 courses

D5 D5 o G4 o B4

Steel kroncong guitar Indonesia Keroncong1.jpg
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 C#5 E5
Cavaco, Manchete, Machimbo Portugal Cavaquinho minhoto.jpg
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 F#2 D3 A3

  • "Whole step down" tuning:

Bb1 F2 C3 G3

Cello front side.jpg
Celo (See ?elovi?, 4 string) (See ?elovi?, 4 string)
?elovi?,

4 string

4 strings

4 courses

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

4 courses

D2oG2oC3 C3oG3 G3 Celo, Csello, Cselo Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia The traditional 19th century instrument, developed by Jankovic Farkas, now virtually obsolete. Celovic, instrument.png
Cetera 16 strings

8 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 C3oD3 D3oEb3 Eb3oF3 F3oG3 G3oG3 G3oD4 D4oG4 G4

Alternate:

  • Renaissance:

G2 G2oA2 A2oC3 C3oD3 D3oA3 A3oG3 G3oD4 D4oE4 E4

Corsica, France. Cetera.jpg
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 o B3

Chapei, Chapei Dong Veng Cambodia Kong Nay.jpg
Chapman Stick 10 strings

10 courses

E3 A2 D2 G1 C1 F#2 B2 E3 A3 D4

Stick, The Stick, Classic Stick United States There are many alternate tunings, which vary from individual to individual 10 string Chapman Stick.jpg
Chapman Stick,

Grand Stick

12 strings

12 courses

B3 E3 A2 D2 G1 C1 C#2 F#2 B2 E3 A3 D4

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

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G4oC5 C5oE5 E4oA4 A4oE5 E5

Alternates:

  • Argentine tuning:

C4 C4oF4 F4oA4 A3oD4 D4oA4 A4

  • Gm7/Bb6 Tuning:

F4 F4oBb5 Bb5oC5 C4oG4 G4oD5 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. Bolivian charango 001.jpg
Charango, Hatun 7 or 8 strings

6 or 7 courses

(A3) o D4 o G4 o C5 o E5 E4 o A4 o E5

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

5 courses

Standard/Common:

D4 D4oG4 G4oB4 B3oE4 E4oB4 B4

Alternates:

  • C6 Tuning

G3 G3oC4 C4oE4 E3oA3 A3oE4 E4

  • Bass G

G3 G2oC4 C3oE4 E3oA3 A3oE4 E4

  • Bolivian tuning:

C4 C4oF4 F4oA4 A3oD4 D4oA4 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 G4oC5 C5oE5 E4oA4 A4oE5 E5 E6oD4 D4oA4 A4oG5 G4oC5 C5oG5 G5 G6 Patasi Charango, Ranqha Charango Cochabamba, Bolivia
Chillador 10 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 G3oC4 C4oE4 E3oA3 A3oE4 E4

Alternates: Same as charango

Andean mountains Essentially a flat-backed charango Chillador. Bueno, Cuzco (Perú). MDMB 825.JPG
Chitarra battente 10 strings

5 courses

A3 A3oD4 D4oG3 G3oB3 B3oE4 E4

Italy Chitarra battente (2).jpg
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. Chonguri.jpg
Çiftelia 2 strings

2 courses

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

about 53 courses

A2 A#2 B2 C3 C#3 D3 D#3 E3 F3 F#3 G3 G#3 [...] * A#5 B5 C6 C#6 D6 D#6 E6 F6 F#6 G6 G#6 A6

Cimbál, cymbalom, cymbalum, ?ambal, 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. Cimbalom - Vencel József Schunda.JPG
Cinco Cuatro 5 strings

4 courses

G3oD4 D3oF#4oB4 North-western Venezuela
Cinco Y Medio 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

E4oG3oD4oF#4oB4

Alternates:

  • "El Tocuyo tuning":

A4oD3oF#4oB4oE4

North-western Venezuela
Cinco y Medio 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E3oA3oD3oF#4oB4oE4

Alternate:

  • "El Tocuyo tuning":

A4oA3oD3oF#4oB4oE4

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 C2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oD4 D4

Alternates:

C2 C2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4

  • Irish:

D2 D2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oD4 D4

  • Mandolin high 'B':

G2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4oB4 B4

  • Modal D:

D2 D2oA2 A2oD3 D3oA3 A3oD4 D4

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

5 courses

G2oC3oC2oD2oD3 Crowd, Rote Wales Traditional Welsh tuning Crwth rem.jpg
Cuatro Alto 10 strings

5 courses

F#4 F#3oB3 B4oE4 E4oA4 A4oD5 D5

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

4 courses

A3 A3oE4 E4oA4 A4oD5 D5

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

5 courses

E3 E2oA3 A2oD3 D3oG3 G3oC4 C4

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

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3oC4 C4oE4 E4oA4 A4

Alternates:

  • G4 G3oC4 C4oE4 E4oG4 G4
  • A4 A3oD4 D4oF#4 F#4oB4 B4
Cuban Cuatro, Tres-Cuatro Cuba
Cuatro, Puerto Rican 10 strings

5 courses

B3 B2oE4 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4 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 de puerto rico.jpg
Cuatro, Venezuelan 4 strings

4 courses

A3oD4oF#4oB3

Cuatro Venezolano Venezuela Standard AKA "D6 tuning" Venezuelan cuatro.jpg
Cuatro Soprano 10 strings

5 courses

C#5 C#4oF#4 F#5oB4 B4oE5 E5oA5 A5

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

3 courses

G4 o B3 o E3

Kroncong Cuk, Nylon kroncong guitar Indonesia Keroncong2.jpg
Cümbü? 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 A2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4 G4

Alternates:

  • Alternative Standard: D2 D2oE2 E2oA2 A2oD3 D3oG3 G3oC4 C4
  • Egypt/Arab: D2 D2oG2 G2oA2 A2oD3 D3oG3 G3oC4 C4
  • Turkish/Armenian:

E2 E2oA2 A2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4

Turkey Tunings are highly variable, other common alternates include:
  • Turkish Armenian alt.: C#2 C#2oF#2 F#2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4
  • New Turkish classical: F#2 F#2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4 G4
  • Old Turkish classical:

A2 A2oD3 D3oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4 G4

TurkishMandolinBanjo.jpg
Cümbü?, Tambur 6 strings

3 courses

D2 D2oA2 A2oD3 D3

Turkey
Cura 6 strings

3 courses

D4 D4oA4 A4oE5 E5

Cura saz Turkey Cura.png
Cura 7 strings

3 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4 A4

Cura saz Turkey
Cura 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4oE5 E5

Cura saz Turkey Same as Mandolin

D

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
?àn b?u 1 string/

1 course

C3 [*] ?àn c huy?n, c huy?n c?m Vietnam * Tuning is approximate, and frequently varies Vietnamese musical instrument Dan bau 2.jpg
?àn ?áy 3 strings

3 courses

G3oC4oF4 Vo de cam,

?àn ?áy

Vietnam Man playing a ?àn ?áy.jpg
?àn nguy?t 2 strings

2 courses"

[ * ] Nguy?t c?m,

?àn 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. Dan nguyet.png
?àn nh? 2 strings

2 courses"

Standard/Common:

F C

Alternates:

  • cheo: C G
  • hoy bac: G D
?àn cò Vietnam Ngh? s? ?àn nh?.jpg
?àn 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) Dantranh top02.jpg
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.

Dadihu.jpg
Diyinruan 4 strings

4 courses

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

2 courses

Standard:

D4oG4

Dambura, Dumbyra, Tumpyra, Tumra, Danbura North central Asia Kazakh Dombra.jpg
Domra, Alto 3 strings

3 courses

E3oA3oD4 Russia
Domra, Alto 4 strings

4 courses

C3oG3oD4oA4 Ukraine Same as mandola tuning
Domra, Bass 3 strings

3 courses

E2oA2oD3 Russia
Domra, Bass 4 strings

4 courses

C2oG2oD3oA3 Ukraine Same as mandocello tuning
Domra, Contrabass 3 strings

3 courses

Standard:

E1oA1oD2

Alternate:

  • A1oD2oG2
Russia
Domra, Contrabass 4 strings

4 courses

E1oA1oD2oG2 Ukraine Same as the orchestral double bass
Domra, Mezzo-soprano 3 strings

3 courses

B3oE4oA4 Russia Rare
Domra, Piccolo 3 strings

3 courses

B4oE5oA5 Russia
Domra, Piccolo 4 strings

4 courses

C4oG4oD5oA5 Ukraine Octave higher than the mandola
Domra, Prima 3 strings

3 courses

E4oA4oD5 The main instrument of the domra family Russia Domra-topview.jpg
Domra, Prima 4 strings

4 courses

G3oD4oA4oE5 Ukraine Same as mandolin tuning
Domra, Tenor 3 strings

3 courses

B2oE3oA3 Russia
Domra, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses

G2oD3oA3oE4 Ukraine Same as octave-mandolin tuning
Dotar 2 strings

2 courses

Standard/Common:

D3oG3

Alternate:

  • D3oA3
Dutar Uzbekistan This instrument is found in many forms throughout central Asia. Dutar2.jpg
Dotara 4 strings

4 courses

F#3oC#3oF#4oB4 India Lukobadya dotara.jpg
Dotara 6 strings

5 courses

G2 G3oC4oG4oG4oC5 Bangladesh
Double bass 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E1oA1oD2oG2

Alternates:

  • Drop D: D1oA1oD2oG2
  • Solo Tuning: F#1oB1oE2oA2
  • With low 'C' machine:

C1oA1oD2oG2

  • 'C' Machine "Legion":

B0oA1oD2oG2

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

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C1oE1oA1oD2oG2

Alternates:

  • Modern 4th tuning:

B0oE1oA1oD2oG2

Bass, bass fiddle, contrabass, string bass, standup bass, doghouse Europe Standard AKA "orchestral tuning" Kay L-30 Double Bass (1947), Museum of Making Music.jpg
Dranyen 7 strings

3 courses

A3 A3oD4 D3 D3oG3 G3 Dramyin, Dramnyen Bhutan and Tibet Standard AKA "Bhutanese tuning" Nepalese instrument-2.jpg
Dranyen 6 strings

3 courses

A3 A3oD3 D3oG3 G3 Dramyin, Dramnyen Bhutan and Tibet Standard AKA "Tibetan tuning" Nepalese instrument-2.jpg
Dulcimer,

3 course

3-6 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:
  • 3-string: A3oA3oD3
  • 4-string: A3 A3oA3oD3
  • 5-string: A3 A3oA3oD3 D3
  • 6-string: A3 A3oA3 A3oD3 D3

Alternates (see notes):

  • Mixolydian: D4oA3oD3
  • Dorian: G3oA3oD3
  • Aeolian: C4oA3oD3
  • Galax ("Unison"): D4oD4oD3
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:

Appalachian dulcimer.JPG

Dulcimer,

4 course

4-8 strings

4 courses

Common*:
  • 4-string: D4oD4oA3oD3
  • 5-string: D4 D4oD4oA3oD3
  • 6-string: D4 D4oD4oA3oD3 D3
  • 8-string: D4 D4oD4 D4oA3 A3oD3 D3

Alternates (see notes):

  • G-tuning: D4oB3oG3oD3
  • Dorian: D4oC4oG3oD3
  • Ragtime: D4oA#3oA3oD3
  • D-tuning: F#4oD4oA3oD3
Mountain Dulcimer, Appalachian Dulcimer, Lap Dulcimer, Dulcimore, Delcimore, Delcimer US

E

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 Ektara.JPG
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

Epinette.PNG
Erhu 2 strings

2 courses

D4 A4 Nanhu China Erhu.png

F

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. Lute (kutyapi), Mindanao, wood, Honolulu Museum of Art.jpg
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 C#5
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

Old violin.jpg

G

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

4 courses

D g bb dd Gaboussi Comoros Islands Gabusi.png
Gadulka 3 strings

3 courses

A3 E3 A4 The Balkans 3 playing strings, with up to 10 sympathetic strings. Gdulka-bow copy.jpg
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 Gekin - Sanada Treasure Museum - DSC09416.JPG
Gekkin 4 strings

4 courses

A3 D4 D4 D5 Japanese Yueqin Japan
Geyerleier 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 E2oB3 B2oE3 E3oB3 B3

Alternate:

  • D3 D2oA3 A2oD3 D3oA3 A3
Hamburg, Germany Geyerleier.jpg
Grajappi 4 strings

2 courses

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

6 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 D3 G3 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • B2 E3 A3 D4 F#4 B4
Ukutar US, Japan Tuned a 4th or a 5th higher than the standard guitar. Guitalele.jpg
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 F#3 A3 D4
  • Open G: D2 G2 D2 G2 B3 D4
  • Open A: E2 A2 E3 A3 C#4 E4
  • Lute: E2 A2 D3 F#3 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: Modern Classical Guitar 29.jpg

Steel String Guitar: Acustic guitar.JPG

Electric Guitar: Iommi sg guitar.jpg

Guitar, Alto 11 strings

11 courses

Bb1 C2 D2 Eb2 F2 G2 C3 F3 Bb3 D4 G4 Archguitar, altgitarren, Bolin guitar Sweden 11-string alto guitar by Heikki Rousu.jpg
Guitar, Alto 13 strings

13 courses

A1 Bb1 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 F#4 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

Seven-string-guitar.jpg
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 Gitarre 8string noldina.jpg
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

6 courses

E3 E2oA3 A2oD4 D3oG3 B3 E4 US 12-string guitar variant with doubled bases
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

6 courses

E2o A2o D3o G4 G3oB3 B3oE4 E4 US 12-string guitar variant with doubled trebles
Guitar, 9 string 9 strings

9 courses

F#1 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. Nine String.jpg
Guitar, 10 string 10 strings

10 courses

F#2 G#2 A#2 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 JME ten string guitar.jpg
Guitar, 12 string 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 E2oA3 A2oD4 D3oG4 G3oB3 B3oE4 E4

Alternates:

  • Variant: E4 E2oA3 A2oD4 D3oG4 G3oB3 B3oE4 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. 12 String Guitar.JPG
Guitar, baritone 6 strings

6 courses

Common tunings:
  • 4th lower: B1 E2 A2 D3 F#3 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. Jaguar-Bariton-Custom.jpg
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:

Bass Guitar.svg

Acoustic Bass: Acoustic bass guitar 1.jpg

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. Warwick Streamer Stage I 5-string bass.jpg
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. Regenerate Malibu series 6 string fretless bass.jpg
Guitar, bass (8-string) 8 strings

4 courses

E2 E1oA2 A1oD3 D2oG3 G2 Eight-string bass guitar, 8-string bass US Essentially a 4-string bass with each string doubled at the upper octave. X5849 - Elbas, 8-strängad - 1968 - AB Albin Hagström - foto Sofi Sykfont.jpg
Guitar, bass (12-string) 12 strings

4 courses

E2 E2 E1oA2 A2 A1oD3 D3 D2oG3 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

E3oA3oD4oG4oB4oE5 Piccolo Guitar, Soprano Guitar Germany One octave higher than the standard guitar.
Guitarra De Golpe 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

D3oG3oC4oE3oA3

Alternates:

  • Tecalitan: D3oG3oB4oE3oA3
  • Urbana: G3oC4oE4oA3oD4
  • Urbana alt.: G3oC4oE3oA3oD4
Guitarra Colorada, Quinta De Golpe, Mariachera Mexico Note re-entrant tunings
Lute guitar 6 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

E2oA2oD3oG3oB3oE4

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. Gitarrenlaute.jpg
Guitarro 6 strings

6 courses

B4 F#4 D5 A5 E5 Guitarrico, Spanish Tiple Spain
Guitarrón 6 strings

6 courses

A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A2 Guitarrón de Toloche Mexico Gitarron.jpg
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: F#5 A4

(D4) D4 D3 D3 D2 o
(G4) G4 G4 G4 G3 G3 o
(C4) C4 C4 C3 C2 o
E4 E4 E4 o
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.

Guitarronero001.jpg
Guitar, tenor 4 strings

4 courses

C3 o G3 o D4 o A4 US Same tuning as tenor banjo, mandola. Item-tenor-guitar-503 lg.jpg
Guitar, terz 6 strings

6 courses

G2 C3 F3 Bb3 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

Jiu Xiao Huan Pei.jpg
Gusli 9 strings

9 courses

Standard/Common:

E3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4

Russia Tuning varies; this is a common traditional tuning Gusli tradition.jpg

H

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

5 courses

G2 o D3 D3 o G3 G3 o B3 B3 o 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 F#4 A4

Common alternates:

  • Kolagutstille: A3 C4 A4 E5

res.: (A3) D4 E4 G4 A4

  • Seljekvatstille: A3 D4 F#4 E5

res.: (B3) D4 E4 F#4 A4

  • Trollstilt: A3 E4 A4 C#5

res.: (A3) C#4 E4 F#4 A4

  • Forstemt: A3 E4 A4 E5

res.: (A3) C#4 E4 F#4 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.

FeleHel (2).jpg
Harp, Concert 47 strings

47 courses

Cb1 Db1 Eb1 Fb1 Gb1 Ab1 Bb1

[ . . . ] * Cb7 Db7 Eb7 Fb7 Gb7

Pedal Harp, Double-action Harp, Diatonic Double-action Harp France * Only lowest and highest octaves shown. Tuning proceeds through 6-1/2 octaves using the Cb diatonic scale PSM V40 D816 Modern double pedal harp.jpg
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 19-40; 34 strings is typical. Not all models have levers. Only lowest and highest octaves shown. Tuning proceeds through 4-1/2 octaves using the C diatonic scale. Harpe celtique moderne (Camac).jpg
Harpsichord Varies[*] [*]Typical:

C2 C#2 D2 D#2 E2 F2 F#2 G2 G#2 A2 A#2 B2 [...] * C#6 D6 D#6 E6 F6 F#6 G6 G#6 A6 A#6 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). Harpsichord VitalJulianFrey.jpg
Harzither 8 strings

4 courses

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

5 courses

G2 oD3 D4oG3 G3oB3 B3oE3 Mexico Huapanguera.jpg
Huobosi 4 strings

4 courses

E2 A2 D3 G3 Hubo, Sugudu China Huobosi.jpg
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. Hurdy-Gurdy.jpg

I

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 o 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. Igil oktober saya front view.gif
Irish bouzouki 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 G2oD4 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4

Alternates:

  • Mandolin:

G2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4

  • Irish:

G3 G2oD4 D3oA3 A3oD4 D4

  • Modal D:

A3 A2oD4 D3oA3 A3oD4 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. Irish Bouzouki.jpg

J

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

5 courses

G3 o B3 o D4 o F#4 o A4 Mexico Jarana huasteca.jpg
Jarana jarocha 8 strings

5 courses

  • Modern or "Commercial"

A3 o D4 D4 o G3 G4 o B3 B3 o E4

  • Traditional

G3oC4 C4oE3 E3oA3 A3oG4

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 de frente.JPG
Jarana Jarocha Requinto 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2oA2oD2oG3

Alternates:

  • C2oD2oG2oC3
  • C2oD2oG3oC3
  • A2oD3oG3oC3
Jarocha Requinto, Requinto Jarocha, Guitarra De Son Mexico
Jarana Leona 4 strings

4 courses

G2oA2oD3oG3 Mexico Jarana leona.jpg
Jouhikko 3 strings

3 courses

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

K

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

4 courses

G o G o B B o D D Madagascar Kabosy.png
Kacapi 6 strings

3 courses

A#o B oC# oFo F# Indonesia Uses a gamelan pelog scale. Tuning is approximated to western notation. Kacapi.jpg
Kamancheh 4 strings

4 courses

D5oA5oD4oA4 Iran,
Armenia,
Azerbaijan,
Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan
Kamanche.jpg
Khonkhota 8 strings

5 courses [*]

G4 G3oC4oD4 D3oA3oD4 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 o DD o GG o CC

Alternate: DD o AA o DD o GG

Kobuz, Kobsa Moldavia, Romania, Hungary Kobza 001.jpg
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, K?kles, K?kle Latvia Since the 1980s the most common tunings for 11-stringed kokles among kokles players. Latgales kokle.jpg
Komuz 3 strings

3 courses

A E A Qomuz, Gopuz, Kopuz, Kopus Kyrgyzstan Kopuz.jpg
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 +Eb3 F3 G3 +A3 +Bb3 C4 +D4 +Eb4 F4 G4 +A4 +Bb4 C5 +D5 +Eb5 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: F#2 C3 D3 E3 F#3 G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4 C5 D5 E5 F#5 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". Kora DSC 0355.JPG
Koto 13 strings

13 courses

Traditional tunings:
  • Itsikotchu-chô:

D4 D4 A3 B3 D4 E4 F#4 A4 B4 D5 E5 F#5 A5

  • Oshiki-chô:

E4 A3 B3 D4 E3 F#3 A3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 A4 B4

  • Sui-chô:

E4 A3 B3 C#4 E3 F#3 A3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 A4 B4

  • Hyô-jô:

B3 E3 F#3 A3 B3 C#4/D4 E4 F#4 A4 B4 C#5/D5 E5 F#5

  • Taishiki-chô:

B3 E3 F#3 G#3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 C#4 E4 F#4

  • Banskiki-chô:

F#3 B3 C#3 E3 F#3 G#3/A3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4/A4 B4 C#5

  • Sôjô:

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

?, ? 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.
Japanese Koto.jpg
Kwitra 8 strings

4 courses

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

L

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

4 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 C3oG2 G3oD2 D3oA3 A3

Alternate:

  • Cretan: G2 G3oD2 D3oA2 A3oE3 E3
Laghouto Greece Standard a.k.a. "Mainland" Laghouto.jpg
Laúd 12 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

G#2 G#2oC#3 C#3oF#3 F#3oB3 B3oE4 E4oA4 A4

Alternates:

  • Cuban:

D2 D2oA2 A2oE3 E3oB3 B3oF#4 F#4oC#5 C#5

  • Alt. Cuban:

D2 D2oA2 A2oE3 E3oB3 B3oF#4 F#4oD5 D5

Spanish laud Spain Standard AKA Spanish Tuning;

one octave lower than the Spanish Bandurria

Laúd español.jpg
Laúd, Cuban 12 strings

6 courses

D3 D3oF#3 F#3oB3 B3oE4 E4oA4 A4oD5 D5 Laud Cubano Cuba
Laúd, Philippine 14 strings

6 courses

F#2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3 A3oD4 D4 D4oG4 G4 G4 Laud Philippines Same tuning as the Octavina
Lili'u 8 strings

4 courses

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

4 courses

G3 o D4 o G4 o D5

Alternate

  • G3 o D4 o A4 o E5
liuyeqin, willow leaf instrument China Liuqin.jpg
Liuto cantabile 10 strings

5 courses

C2 C2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4 Liuto moderno Naples, Italy Some courses are occasionally single-strung
Luc huyen cam 5 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 o F3 o C4 o G4 o C5

Alternate:

  • Hu ai Cam: G2 o D3 o G3 o B4 o D5

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

?àn 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 o A2 o D3 o G3 o B4 o E4

Alternates:

  • Day Rach-Gia: E2 o A2 o D3 o G3 o D4 o G4
  • Day Lai: D2 o A2 o D3 o G3 o D4 o G4
  • Day Sai Gon: D2 o G2 o D3 o G3 o D4 o G4
?àn 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 o C3 C3 o F3 F3 o A3 A3 o D4 D4 o G4 G4

  • Medieval 13 string/7 course:

D2 D3oG2 G3oC3 C4oF3 F3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4

  • Renaissance 15 string/8 course

D2 D3oF2 F3oG2 G3oC3 C4oF3 F3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4

  • Renaissance 19 string/10 course

C2 C3oD2 D3oE?2 E?3oF2 F3oG2 G3oC3 C4oF3 F3oA3 A3oD4 D4oG4

  • Baroque 24 string/13 course

A1 A2oB1 B2oC2 C3oD2 D3oE2 E3oF2 F3oG2 G3oA2 A2oD3 D3oF3 F3oA3 A3od4of4

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.) Renaissance laute, Lautenbau (by blackbiird, 2006-08-08).jpg
Cretan lyra 3 strings

3 courses

D3 o A3 o E5 Crete, Greece Stag diki.jpg

M

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

Bass Mandolin Europe The alternate tuning (2 octaves below the mandolin) is usually applied to a smaller-scale instrument (see Mandobass). Hilary James With Mandobass.jpg
Mandobass 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G1 G1oD2 D2oA2 A2oE3 E3

Alternate:

  • "Mandola": C1 C1oG1 G1oD2 D2oA2 A2
Tremolo-bass Europe Relatively rare; larger than the standard mandobass.

Standard tuning is 2 octaves below the mandolin.

Mandocello 8 strings

4 courses

C2 C2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3 mandolincello, mandoloncello Standard tuning is 1 octave below the mandola. Redhead Mandocello by Nevin Fahs (luthier) - 1.jpg
Mandola 8 strings

4 courses

C3 C3oG3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4 Tenor mandola (Europe) A 5th below mandolin tuning. Mandola.jpg
Mandolin 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4oE5 E5 Mando Standard instrument of the mandolin family. Levin Mandolin.jpg
Mandolinetto 8 strings

4 courses

G3 G3oD4 D4oA4 A4oE5 E5 USA and Canada A guitar-shaped mandolin, or mandolin neck on ukulele body. Howe-Ormes mandolins.jpg
Mandolin, Octave 8 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4

Alternate:

  • Irish Bouzouki:

G2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oD4 D4

Tenor Mandolin, Irish Bouzouki, Octave mandola (Europe) Pitched 1 octave below the mandolin. Octave2edit.JPG
Mandolin, Piccolo 8 strings

4 courses

C4 C4oG4 G4oD5 D5oA5 A5 Brilliant tone mandolin Tuned a 4th above the mandolin; 1 octave above the mandola. Piccolomando.jpg
Mandriola 12 strings

4 courses

G3 G3 G3oD4 D4 D4oA4 A4 A4oE5 E5 E5

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

5 courses

D4oG4oB4 B3oE4oB4 B4 La Paz, Bolivia
Mejorana 5 strings

5 courses

  • "Por veinticinco":

D4oA4oA3oB3oE4

  • "Por seis":

D4oG4oG3oB3oE4

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

N

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

6 courses

C#2oF#2 F#2oB2 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oD4 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 o G3 o C4 o A4

res.strings: G#3 A3 Bb3 B3 C4 C#4 D4 Eb4 E4 F4 F#4 G4

Key-harp,

Chromatic Nyckelharpa

Sweden Number of sympathetic strings may vary. Nyckelharpa built by Eric Sahlstrom.jpg
Nyckelharpa, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses + 12 resonating strings

G2 o D3 o G3 o E4

res.strings: G#2 A2 Bb2 B2 C3 C#3 D3 Eb3 E3 F3 F#3 G3

Sweden This instrument is of very recent invention.

O

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

6 courses

F#1oB1 B1oE2 E2oA2 A2 A2oD3 D3 D3oG3 G3 G3

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

3 courses

Berlioz/Musée de la Musique:

C1 G1 C2

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

4 courses

* C2 C2oG2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3
  • G2 G2oD3 D3oA3 A3oE4 E4
  • D2 D2oG2 G2oB2 B2oE3 E3
USA Any of the tunings may be considered "standard".
Oud 11 strings

6 courses

  • Standard/Common:

C2 F2 A2 D3 G3 C4

  • Alt. Arabic:

F2 A2 D3 G3 C4 F4

  • Alternate bass:

D2 G2 A2 D3 G3 C4

  • Turkish/Armenian:

E2 A2 B2 E3 A3 D4

  • New Turkish Classical:

C#2 F#2 B2 E3 A3 D4

  • Alt. New Turkish Classical:

D2 F#2 B2 E3 A3 D4

Ud, Al-Ud, Oud Arbi Middle East Standard AKA "Arabic tuning"; notated a 4th higher in ME notation; one octave higher in western notation. Azerbaijani musical instrument ud in Heydar Aliyev Center.jpg

P

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

4 courses

D3 o A3 o E4 o B4 Europe
Panduri 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 o A3 o C4

Alternate:

  • E3 o B3 o A4
Phanduri Georgia (Asia) Phanduri Georgian traditional instrument.jpg
Pardessus de Viole 5 strings

5 courses

Standard:

C4 o E4 o A4 o D5 o 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 F#3 G#3 B3 E4 G#4 D#4 F#4
  • C6th: C2 F2 A2 C3 E3 G3 A3 C4 E4 D4

Alternates:

  • A7th: A1 E2 G2 A2 C#3 E3 G3 A3 C#4 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

Zumsteel.jpg

Phin 3 strings

3 courses

A3 E4 A4 Thailand
Piano 230 strings[*]

88 courses

A0 A#0 B0 C1 C#1 D1 D#1 E1 F1 F#1 G1 G#1

[...] *C#7 D7 D#7 E7 F7 F#7 G7 G#7 A7 A#7 B7 C8

Pianoforte, Grand, Grand Piano, Concert Grand, Upright, Upright Piano, Spinet Europe (Italy) * About 2/3 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:

1977 Knight Upright Piano Mahogany Satin (3169879709).jpg

Grand Piano: Steinway & Sons concert grand piano, model D-274, manufactured at Steinway's factory in Hamburg, Germany cropped.jpg

Piano, Imperial Grand 249 strings[*]

97 courses

C0 C#0 D0 D#0 E0 F0 F#0 G0 G#0 A0 A#0 B0

[...] *C#7 D7 D#7 E7 F7 F#7 G7 G#7 A7 A#7 B7 C8

Imperial Grand, 290, Bösendorfer Austria * About 2/3 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 ?.jpg
Portuguese guitar 12 strings

6 courses

  • Lisbon / Lisboa tuning:

D3 D2oA3 A2oB3 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3oB3 B3

  • Coimbra tuning:

C3 C2 o G3 G2 o A3 A2 o D3 D3 o G3 G3 o A3 A3

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

Q

Instrument Strings & Courses Tuning(s) Alternative Names Origin Notes Picture
Qinqin 3 strings

3 courses

G3 D4 A5 China Qinqinplayer.jpg
Quirquincho See charango See charango

R

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

5 courses

D4oG4oC4oE4oA4 (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. Ramkie.jpg
Rebab 2 strings

2 courses

D3 A3 [*] Java * Tuning given is approximate: does not follow western equal temperament COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een rebabspeler TMnr 60052115.jpg
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 D4oG4 G4oB4 B3oE4 E4oB4 B4

Standard Bolivian (F6/Dm7):

C4 C4oF4 F4oA4 A3oD4 D4oA4 A4

Standard Chilean (C6/Am7):

G3 G3oC4 C4oE4 E3oA3 A3oE4 E4

Common Variants: [*]

  • G4 G3oC5 C4oE4 E3oA3 A3oE4 E4
  • G4 G3oC5 C4oE3 E3oA3 A3oE4 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. Russian guitar front.jpg

S

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

2 courses

Standard/Common:

B3 o E4

Alternate:

A3 o D4

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

3 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 o F3 o C4

Alternates:

  • Ichi-agi ch?shi: Eb3 o F3 o C4
  • Ni-agi ch?shi: C3 o G3 o C4
  • Ichi, ni-agi ch?shi: D3 o G3 o C4
  • San-sage ch?shi: C3 o F3 o Bb3
Okinawa shamisen, jabisen Ryukyu Islands, Japan Standard AKA Hon ch?shi Sanshin.jpg
Santur 72 strings

18 courses

Golden strings (right)
Eb3oF3oG3oAb3oBb3oC4oD4oEb4oF4
Silver strings (left)
Eb4oF4oG4oAb4oBb4oC5oD5oEb5oF5
Silver strings (behind bridges)
Eb5oF5oG5oAb5oBb5oC6oD6oEb6oF6

Iran,
Turkey
This is common tuning for Dastg?h-e ?ur Santur1.jpg
Sanxian 3 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 o D3 o A3

Alternate: D3 A3 D4

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

3 courses

G2 o D3 o G3

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

4 courses

G4oC5oC5oG5 Nepal Nepali sarangi.jpg
Sargija 6 strings

3 courses

C3 C3 o G3 G3 o D3 D3 Sharkia, Sharki, Shargija Albania Sargija.svg
Seis Cinco 6 strings

5 courses

E3oA4 A3oD3oF#4oB4

Seis Cinco North-western Venezuela
Setar 4 strings

3 courses

C3 C4 o G3 o C4 Iran Setar.jpg
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 Shamisen.jpg
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. Sitar full.jpg
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. X5686 - svenskluta - Alfred Brock - 1931 - foto Mikael Bodner.jpg

T

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

4 courses

D3 D3 o G3 G3 o B3 B3 o E4 E4

Tamboura Bulgaria Tambura.jpg
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. Tampuri.jpg
Tambura 4 strings

2 courses

D D o A A

Tamboura Macedonia
Tar 6 strings

3 courses

Common (for Dastg?h-e ?ur)

C4 C4 o G3 G3 o C4 o C3

Iran Iranian tar.jpg
Tarica 5 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 o G2 G2 o C3 C3

Alternate:

  • Ionian: D2 o A2 A2 o D3 D3
Tarika, Tricord, Trichord Europe Tarica1.jpg
Taropatch 6 strings

4 courses

Standard:

G3 o C3 C4 o E4 o A4 A4

Alternates:

  • High G:

G4 o C3 C4 o E4 o A4 A4

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

G3 o C4 C3 o E4 o A4 A3

  • High G & Low A:

G4 o C3 C4 o E4 o 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 AoDoG G China
Terzin Kitarra 6 strings

6 courses

G#2 B2 E3 A3 C#4 E4

Malta
Timple 5 strings

5 courses

G4 C5 E4 A4 D5

Canary Island Tiple Canary Islands, Spain Timple Front.png
Tiple, American 10 strings

4 courses

A4 A3 o D4 D3 D4 o F#4 F#3 F#4 o B3 B3

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

4 courses

Standard/Traditional:

C4 C3 C4 o E4 E3 E4 o A4 A3 A4 o D4 D4 D4

Alternate:

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

5 courses

D4oG4oC5oE5oA5 Menorca, Spain
Tiple, Puerto Rican 5 strings

5 courses

E3 o A3 o D4 o G4 C5

Tiple Doliente Puerto Rico TipleDoliente.jpg
Tiple Requinto 12 strings

4 courses

Standard/Traditional:

C4 C4 C4 o E4 E4 E4 o A4 A4 A4 o D4 D4 D4

Alternate:

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

Cuban

6 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3o C4 C4o E3 E4

Alternate:

  • New D major:

A4 A3o D4 D4 o F#3 F#4

Tres, Tres Cubano Cuba Trescubano.jpg
Tres,

Puerto Rican

9 strings

3 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 G3 G4 o C4 C4 C4 o E4 E3 E4

Alternates:

  • G3 G4 G4 o C4 C4 C4 o E4 E4 E3
  • G4 G4 G3 o C4 C4 C4 o 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 o D3 D4 D4 o A3 A4 A4 o E4 E5 E5

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

3 courses

D3 D4 o A3 A3 o D4 D4

6 strings/3 courses Tzouras Greece Tzouras.jpg

U

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. Baritone Ukulele.JPG
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. Bass Ukulele.JPG
Ukulele, Concert 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • D6: A4 D4 F#4 B4
Uke Hawaii Often just a soprano uke with a slightly longer neck--15, 16 or 18 frets, as opposed to 12 or 13 frets. Concert Ukulele.jpg
Ukulele, Pocket 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

C5 F5 A5 D5

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

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G4 C4 E4 A4

Alternate (traditional):

  • D6: A4 D4 F#4 B4
Uke Hawaii The standard, basic ukulele. Traditionally, D6 tuning was used though C6 tuning is now most common. Ukulele1.png
Ukulele, Tahitian 8 strings

4 courses

G4 G4 o C5 C5 o E5 E5 o A4 A4

Tahitian banjo, Tahitian Ukulele, Ukulélé Tahitien, Youke Tahiti Tahitian ukulele 1.jpg
Ukulele, Tenor 4 strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 C4 E4 A4

Alternate:

  • High G: G4 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)

V

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

7 courses

C3 o D3 o E3 o F3 o G3 o A3 o B3

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

5 courses

A3 o D4 o G4 o B3 o 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. Vihuela Mexicana 001.JPG
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 Gasparo da Salo bass viol.jpg
Viol, bass 7 strings

7 courses

A1 D2 G2 C3 E3 A3 D4

Europe Viola da gamba basso 7.jpg
Viol, contrabass 6 strings

6 courses

D1 G1 C2 E2 A2 D3

violone, D'violone Europe octave lower than the 6-string bass viol Violone.jpg
Viol, Tenor 6 strings

6 courses

G2 C3 F3 A3 D4 G4

Viol da Gamba, Viola da Gamba Europe
Viol, Soprano See Pardessus de Viole See Pardessus de Viole
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.JPG
Viola Amarantina 10 strings

5 courses

D3 D2oA3 A2oB3 B2oE3 E3oA3 A3 Viola Aramante, Viola de dois coracois Amarante, Portugal
Viola Beiroa 12 strings

7 courses

D3oD3oA3 A2oD3 D2oG3 G2oB3 B3oD3 D3 Portugal
Viola Braguesa 10 strings

5 courses

C4 C3oG4 G3oA4 A3oD4 D4oG4 G4

Viola Da Braga Portugal
Viola caipira 10 strings

5 courses

A3 A2 o D4 D2 o F#4 F#3 o A3 A3 o D4 D4

Viola de dez cordes, Viola sertaneja Brazil Brazdaviola.jpg
Viola Campaniça 10 strings

5 courses

C3 C2 o F3 F2 o C3 C3 o E3 E3 o G3 G3

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

5 courses

A3 A3 A2oD4 D4 D3oG3 G3oB3 B3oD4 D4

Azores (Portugal)
Viola De Arame 9 strings

5 courses

G3 G2oD3 D2oG3 G3oB3oD3 D3

Viola de Madeira Madeira, Portugal Viola de arame.jpg
Viola de cocho 5 strings

5 courses

G3 o D3 o E3 o A3 o D4

Mato Grosso, South-western Brazil Veekola de cosho fon paraseela.jpg
Violao De Sete Cordas 7 strings

7 courses

Standard/Common:

C2oE2oA2oD3oG3oB3oE4

Alternate:

  • B2oE2oA2oD3oG3oB3oE4
Brazil
Viola Sertaneja 10 strings

5 courses

[*]

A3 A2oD4 D2oF#4 F#3oB3oA3 A3

A3oD4oG4 G4oB3oB3 B3 B3oE4 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 E2oA3 A3 A2oD4 D4 D3oG4 G3oB3 B3oE3 E3

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

5 courses

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

Portugal
Violin 4 Strings

4 courses

G3 D4 A4 E5

Fiddle (colloquial) Lombardy For other tunings see fiddle Old violin.jpg
Violin, Tenor 4 Strings

4 courses

Standard/Common:

G2 D3 A3 E4

Alternate:

  • F2 C3 G3 D4
Tenor violin, baritone violin, violotta US Standard is one octave below the violin;

4th below the viola.

Rare.

W

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

5 courses

*Bolivian (F6):

C5 C5oF5 F5oA5 A4oD5 D5oA5 A5

  • Argentine (G6):

D5 D5oG5 G5oB5 B4oE5 E5oB5 B5

Waylacho, hualaycho, maulincho Andean region A soprano charango

F6 = 4th higher than the charango

G6 = 5th higher than the charango

Walaycho.jpg
Waldzither, bass 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

A2 o E3 E3oA3 A3oC#4 C#4oE4 E4

Germany
Waldzither, descant 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

G3 o D4 D4oG4 G4oB4 B4oD5 D5

Bergmannszither, Walddoline Germany
Waldzither, Heym 14 strings

6 courses

Standard/Common:

C2 C2oG3 G3 G3oC4 C4 C4oE4 E4 E4oG4 G4 G4

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

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C4 o G4 G4oC5 C5oE5 E5oG5 G5

Alternates:

  • D tuning: D4 o A4 A4oD5 D5oF#5 F#5oA5 A5
Germany
Waldzither, tenor 9 strings

5 courses

Standard/Common:

C3 o G3 G3oC4 C4oE4 E4oG4 G4

Alternates:

  • D tuning: D3 o A3 A3oD4 D4oF#4 F#4oA4 A4
  • Open G major: G2 o D3 D3oG3 G3oB3 B3oD4 D4
Waldzither, Forest zither Germany The tenor is the standard waldzither;

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

Hamburger waldzither.jpg

X

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

73 courses

F1 F#2 G1 G#1 A1 A#1 B1 C2 C#2 D2 D#2 E2[...] *

F#6 G6 G#6 A6 A#6 B6 C7 C#7 D7 D#7 E7 F7

claviharp, harp piano,

keyed harp

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

Rare.

Claviharp.png
Xiaoruan 4 strings

4 courses

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

Y

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

3 courses

D2 D2oA2 A2oD3 D3

Yayli Tanbur Turkey YayliTanbur of DrOzanYarman.jpg
Yueqin 4 strings

4 courses

G3oD4oG4oD5

Yueh qin,

Yueh chin, Moon guitar

China Moon guitar.jpg
Yueqin,

Taiwanese

2 strings

2 courses

D3oA4

Hengchun yueqin,

Yueh qin, Yueh chin, Moon guitar

Taiwan

Z

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.

Guzheng 02.jpg
Zhonghu 2 strings

2 courses

  • G3 D4
  • A3 E4
China Either tuning may be considered "standard". Zhonghuplayer.jpg
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.

Picture of Ruanjian.jpg
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)
2012-03-04-Trachselwald (Foto Dietrich Michael Weidmann) 002.JPG
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.
Zither1 David Dupplaw.jpg

Zither Tuning Chart

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 Eb4 Bb3 F4 C4 G3 D4 A3 E4 B3 F#3 C#4 G#3 Eb3 Bb2 F3 C3 G2 D3 A2 E3 B2 F#2 C#3 G#2 F2 E2 Eb2 D2 C#2 C2 B1 Bb1 A1 G#1 G1 F#1 F1
Viennese A4 D4 G3 G3 C3 Ab4 Eb4 Bb3 F4 C4 G4 D4 A3 E4 B3 F#4 C#4 G#3 Eb2 Bb2 F2 C3 G2 D2 A2 E2 B2 F#2 C#2 G#2 C2 B1 Bb1 A1 G# G1 F#1 F1
Notes: Basic Concert Alpine

Notes

  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 also

References

External links


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