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A requinto

The term requinto is used in both Spanish and Portuguese to mean a smaller, higher-pitched version of another instrument. Thus, there are requinto guitars, drums, and several wind instruments.

Wind instruments[edit]

Requinto was 19th century Spanish for "little clarinet".[1] Today, the word requinto, when used in relation to a clarinet, refers to the E-flat clarinet, also known as requint in Valencian language.[2]

Requinto can also mean a high-pitched flute (akin to a piccolo), or the person who plays it.[3] In Galicia, the word may refer to a wooden fife-like instrument held sideways.

Small guitar[edit]

The requinto guitar has six nylon strings with a scale length of 530 to 540 millimetres (20.9 to 21.3 in), which is about 18% smaller than a standard guitar scale. Requintos are tuned: A2-D3-G3-C4-E4-A4 (one fourth higher than the standard classical guitar).

It was first introduced in popular music in 1945 by Mexican guitarist/vocalist Alfredo Gil of romantic music trio "Los Panchos."[4] Requinto guitars are also used throughout Latin America.

Requintos made in Mexico have a deeper body than a standard classical guitar (110 millimetres (4.3 in) as opposed to 105 millimetres (4.1 in)). Requintos made in Spain tend to be of the same depth as the standard classical.

Small drum[edit]

The requinto drum is used in the Puerto Rican folk genre plena, wherein it is a small conical hand drum that improvises over the other drum rhythms.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wessely, J. E.; Gironés (1888). A new pocket dictionary of the English and Spanish languages. Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. p. 212. 
  2. ^ Cohen, Richard Scott (2002). The musical society community bands of Valencia, Spain: a global study of their administration, instrumentation, repertoire and performance activities. Alta musica 23. Schneider. p. 148. ISBN 3-7952-1084-4. 
  3. ^ "meaning of requinto". SpanishDict. Curiosity Media, Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena". Smithsonian Global Sound. Retrieved March 10, 2007. [dead link]

External links[edit]