Kontra

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For the album by the Basque metal band Eraso!, see Kontra (album).
Kontra
Haromhuros bracsa.png
A kontra shown from the front and the side
String instrument
Other names Hungarian: Háromhúros brácsa, Estonian: Kolmekeelne vioola
Hornbostel–Sachs classification
(Composite chordophone sounded by a bow)
Playing range
g - d - a
Related instruments

A kontra is a Hungarian (Hungarian: háromhúros brácsa), Romanian and Slovak and gypsy instrument common in Transylvania.

Construction[edit]

The kontra is constructed much like the classical viola, with two major differences. First, there are only three strings instead of four. Second, the bridge is flattened, allowing a musician to play all three strings at once.[1]

Tuning[edit]

The kontra is tuned like a viola, though lacking its low C string: G-D-A.

Technique[edit]

Due to the flattened bridge, a kontra is not as capable of playing melody lines as a viola. Rather, the standard method of play is to play double stops and three-note chords and let the fiddle play melody lines.

Ensemble Playing[edit]

The kontra has a defined role within dance band music. Its range lies between that of the fiddle or Vioara cu goarnă on the high-end and the double bass on the low-end. Many Romanian and Hungarian bands also feature the cimbalom or citera, clarinet, accordion, and Ütőgardon or cello.

See also[edit]

References[edit]