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String instrument
Classification Plucked chordophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.321 and 321.322
(Necked bowl lute for roundback, necked box lute for flatback)
Related instruments
bandurria, laúd, mandolin

The octavina or Philippine octavina is a guitar-shaped Filipino instrument with a tuning similar to the laúd. Originally a Spanish instrument, the octavina was soon incorporated into other cultures, notably including Filipino culture.


With the large Spanish influence on Filipino culture from the 16th to the 19th century, many traditional Spanish instruments became incorporated into local music, and after passed time, have evolved into entirely unique instruments. The Spanish precursor to the octavina may have been the smaller-bodied, 12 string Bandurria-like instrument called the "Octavilla",[1] although its use was not as prominent or popular. The name as translated in all versions of the instrument has the prefix of octa- which refers to the tuning of each set of double strings.

Today it is most commonly found in the local variant of the rondalla, a hispanic string orchestra.


The Octavina has a set of 14 strings ( in 6 courses: 6th-single, 5th-double, 4th-double, 3rd-triple, 2nd-triple and 1st-triple. It is numbered starting from the bottom. It is tuned similarly to that of the bandurria, but one octave lower, giving:

  • 1st: G4 G4 G4
  • 2nd: D4 D4 D4
  • 3rd: A3 A3 A3
  • 4th: E3 E3
  • 5th: B2 B2
  • 6th: F#2


Formed like a guitar with in most cases, a figure eight-shaped body and a round sound hole, the Octavina has a shorter neck, often with only 16 frets, though some octavinas may have 18 to 20 frets, like its close relative, the laúd. The instrument is played like the laúd plays, the lower notes in accompaniments and in unison with the bass notes.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ATLAS of Plucked Instruments - South East Asia". Atlasofpluckedinstruments.com. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Rondalla Instruments". Jayars.tripod.com. Retrieved 20 April 2021.