A bordonua in a museum in Osaka, Japan.
|Tiple (Puerto Rico), Cuatro (Puerto Rico), Vihuela.|
The Bordonua usually has three sound holes, with a large central one and two smaller ones in the two corners of the upper bout. The usual body shape is quite slender and tapers in towards the top, however there is a wide variety of other designs also.
The original Bordonua is said to have evolved from the old 16th century Spanish Acoustic bass guitar called the Bajo de la Una. There were also special melodic Bordonuas that were used during the 1920s and 1930s as accompaniment to melody instead of the bass role. These were oddly tuned like a tiple. This configuration is no longer used on the island. They are also related to the Spanish Renaissance vihuela, brought to the Island by conquering Spanish.
All Bordonuas made today are used as bass guitars, primarily by initiatives promoting folk music. There are several different types of Bordonuas which are made in Puerto Rico today:
- 6-String Bordonua - This Bordonua has six single strings.
- 8-String Bordonua - This Bordonua has four pairs of strings.
- 10-String Bordonua - This Bordonua has five pairs of strings. (This is the most common type)
Baby Bordonua a.k.a. Bordonúa Chiquita
These smaller Bordonúas are the same as the larger Tiple Guitarrillos. They were figure 8 shaped with a very narrow waist between the upper and lower bouts.
Tunings for the Bordonua
Bordonúa (6 string)
Bordonúa (10 string)