Contraguitar

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A Viennese "Schrammel guitar."

The contraguitar or Schrammel guitar is a type of guitar developed in Vienna in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to the usual guitar neck with six strings and a fretboard, it has a second, fretless neck with up to nine bass strings. Customarily these additional strings are tuned from E-flat downwards. The lowest string on the 15-string contraguitar is usually tuned to G.

Viennese instrument maker Johann Gottfried Scherzer developed the instrument after 1848, improving on earlier, unfinished efforts by Johann Georg Stauffer (1778-1853), the master from whom Scherzer had learned his craft.

The contraguitar is heard almost exclusively in Viennese folk music, especially Schrammelmusik. Occasionally it is also used in Alpine folk music.

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