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Attempting to remove copyright violation. Text was found at Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000 Matthew Montfort.

To the poster: Please either replace this message with a stub and an external link or leave this page to be deleted. If there was permission to use this material under terms of our license, then please offer some evidence of this permission on this page's talk. Please also note that the posting of copyrighted material that does not have the express permission from the copyright holder is both illegal and a violation of our policy. If you have a history of this or if you continue violating other people's copyrights, then your IP may be temporarily blocked. Please view this as a warning -- we still welcome any original contributions by you.

other instruments...[edit]

I propose removing the paragraph that begins "Other unique South American instruments..." which is somewhat extraneous to the subject of this article. Objections? --RobHutten 00:08, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I disagree. The charango is better understood in context. The other nstrument are not extraneous; they are frequently used in combination with charango and mentioning them helps to pull the context together. --fastyacht 12 Dec 2005

How do we get rid of the big "Copyright Violation" business--it is water under the bridge.

You often see guitars alongside drums and basses, and yet one doesn't often see descriptions of these instruments under articles on the guitar. I also think that paragraph is somewhat extraneous; maybe a link to a list of these instruments might be fine, but an entire paragraph on this article?


Thanks Piotr - I'm going to remove the paragraph for this reason - thanks for the good analogy. --RobHutten 03:05, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

What's with the hearts and clubs randomly in this page? Freecorbinj (talk) 03:08, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Cocaine smuggled in a charango[edit]

Interesting, but it seems kind of random. There's no mention of this practice in the article. Does this picture really serve a purpose? --Roger McCoy/រ៉ាចើ (talk) 15:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

This image is not useful. Is anyone against removing it? Ferbr1 (talk) 13:13, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

In the charango article, the notes on the staff for the tuning do not match the letter notes in the article. Specificly, the notes on the 7th and 8th notes on the staff show "C" and should be moved two full tones down to the "A" position to match the letters in the article. I don't kno how to modify this draawing or I would do it myself.

Thanks (talk) 23:25, 16 January 2012 (UTC)


refering to

" The first historic information on the charango was gathered by Vega going back to 1814, when a cleric from Tupiza documented that "the Indians used

with much enthusiasm the guitarrillos mui fuis... around here in the Andes of Bolivia they called them Charangos". Turino mentions

that he found carved sirens representing playing charangos in some Colonial churches in the highlands of Bolivia.[citation needed]"

How could Vega talk about "the Andes of Bolivia" in 1814 when Bolivia not only didn't exist but the region was known as Upper Peru (Alto Peru) until

its Independence when the country took the name of Bolivia after Simon Bolivar? See [1]

Wrong sheet[edit]

In section Tuning the picture named Charango tuning is wrong. The 7th and 8th note is A4 A4 instead of C5 C5, as here in the first picture (in reverse order):

Minota (talk) 08:29, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree, the staff notation tuning given is incorrect. I'm removing that illustration until an illustration showing the correct tuning can be located. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

First sentence vandalized?[edit]

Referring to the first sentence, where it says "[...] traditionally made with (7ko rules) the shell of the back of an Armadillo. [...]" - is this vandalism by someone named 7ko, or is there a set of rules, known as the 7ko rules, that dictates the traditional way by which a Charango is made? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Construction citation?[edit]

The section on Construction says, "Another variety is a neck with two holes bored 3/4 of the way through, parallel to the fretboard and close to the headstock (an innovation said to color the instrument's tone)."

What is the source of the information concerning these holes? I have never heard of this before, and I've seen a number of charangos (and own several), and I've never seen these holes on any instrument.

It seems highly unlikely that any hole drilled in the neck near the headstock could in any way influence the sound of the instrument. If, however, there is a folk tradition that they do, a source should be given for that information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Charangon / Ronroco[edit]

There is a good deal of confusion around the web on these two(?) instruments, and nothing in this article really serves to dispell it. For example, "both" instruments are said to be larger than the charango -- but some sources claim the charangon is larger than the ronroco; others claim the ronroco is larger than the charagon. In fact, a perusal of some web dealers selling both instruments reveals that the ronroco and the charangon are essentially the same size: 73-80cm long, 20-25cm wide (both instruments vary within those limits). Many sources claim the ronroco is tuned "an octave, a 5th, or a 4th below the charango" -- while others make exactly this same claim for the tuning of the charangon.

Can it be that "ronroco" and "charangon" are nothing but two different names for the same instrument?

Whether they're just two names, or actually two different instruments, either way, an article on "charango" and its family needs to clarify this. And if you do, please cite some references? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 1 June 2013 (UTC)


What about The Last of Us soundtrack? Gustavo Santaolalla used the ronroco in the main theme. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

OR list of variants[edit]

A recent IP contributor added a bunch of claimed variants, but no proper refs, just a few YouTube links. If we can't substantiate the existence of a variant, it should be removed. MatthewVanitas (talk) 20:30, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Which variants are you questioning?
  • All of the variants I see here are listed in the Marcuse Dictionary of Musical Instruments and/or the online Atlas of Plucked Instruments, which features actual photographs of most of them. I've seen many of them myself, and played on more than a few.
  • Some are sold online at Bolivia Mall, and in the Andean Musical Instruments section of Peru-Store.
  • Most of the variants listed also appear in the Spanish Wikipedia, in the section Diferentes tipos de charango:
  • I've also visited the youtube links, and they feature actual video footage of the instruments themselves, audio of them being played, and close-up photos of construction details. If that's not "substantiation" of their "existence", I'm not sure what is.

Andes of Bolivia[edit]

It makes absolutely no sense for a source to claim that, in 1814, a cleric referred to the region as "the Andes of Bolivia". It is well-documented that Bolivia was not even named as such until 1825. This severely hurts the credibility of the material in question.
Please note that this is not a discussion on the political history of Bolivia, but rather on the reliability of the source in question (and of the editor that added it into the article) as it relates to this culture topic. Best regards.--MarshalN20 Talk 03:49, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Bolivia was named for it's first president, Simon Bolivar, who took office in 1825. Prior to 1825 "Bolivia" didn't exist. The book from which the reference cites was first published in 1962, is currently out of print, and doesn't appear to be available in eBook format, so I was unable to check the specific page reference cited.
As the book is written Spanish, it is possible that a translation error may be involved, but without seeing the actual page in context, it's impossible to tell.
BTW, the link to "Vega" in the paragraph in question takes one to the Wiki article on "Vega, ... the brightest star in the constellation Lyra" -- so this whole passage is suspect, and should probably be reworked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 24 July 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

In pop culture[edit]

I've done a lot of cleanup on this article: added better references (especially to the "charango variants" section); added supporting material to the "History" section; rewritten some awkward sentences; added a few supporting illustrations from the Commons; alphabetized the "noteworthy players" section...

...but the "In pop culture" section still needs a lot of work. There may be good information there, but right now there's no discernable organization, and it reads like a random collection of factoids. If I might make a few suggestions:

  • Either: List only especially significant uses of the charango and it's variants in pop culture. For example:
  • "Lady Gaga, 2007-date: Since 2007 Lady Gaga has included at least three prominent charango pieces in every live concert."
  • "Joe Satriani, 2003-2013: After hearing one of Gustavo Santaolalla's movie scores, Joe Satriani abandoned the guitar for nine years and used electric ronroco exclusively on all his albums."
  • etc.
  • Or: If none of these factoids are individually hugely significant to the charango, then I'd suggest getting rid of excess descriptive baggage, and just providing a list of a dozen or so well-know pop-icons names, name of a tune using charango, and date -- really no more description is needed here. For example:

Some examples of the charango in popular culture:

  • 1974: Frank Zappa; Apostrophe; charango used on Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
  • 1985: Henry Rollins (Black Flag); used charango to swat flies during Who's Got the 10-1/2
  • 1988: John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra); played electric charango on recording of his Mediterranean Concerto, with the LA Philharmonic
  • 2012: Glen Campbell; Grammy Awards, 02/12/2012; Rhinestone Cowboy played on walayacho
  • etc.

[ETA: FYI, these examples are fictitious, and only intended to show formatting. ] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

I'd keep the list to no more than a dozen or so examples -- these lists tend to run away and dominate the articles they're attached to.

Whatever is done, some kind of organization is always helpful in sections like this. Organize either by artist's name (alphabetized!), by date, by type of use (concert, album, political rally, etc.) -- anything to make the list look less random.

TIA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

OK, having no takers since March, I cleaned up the "pop culture" section and alphabetized by most prominent artist's name. I kept all the examples that were there, and didn't add any new ones. However, some citations for the examples given would be nice. In particular, some evidence that the "honeybird" CD, allegedly scheduled for release in 2012, actually was released (and if so, when), would be welcome. Thanks. (talk) 02:25, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

"And other colonial powers"[edit]

As I understand there was only the Spanish colonial power in that region (Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina). I will take the sentence out until someone finds a reference for it. --RoRo (talk) 00:19, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

To add to article`[edit]

To add to article, so that it is properly encyclopedic: the etymology of the instrument's name. (talk) 23:39, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't see many musical instrument articles in Wikipedia which include an etymology of the instrument's name. But I agree that would be a useful feature to add to them. I've added what I know about the origin of "charango", drawing on the sources I have available. If you have additional, or more authoritative information, please feel free to improve upon it. (talk) 20:35, 15 August 2016 (UTC)


I notice this article is rated as "low importance" in all Wikipedia categories. I can't really speak to its importance in the context of general Bolivian or South American subjects, although I do think it is probably at least of the same level of cultural importance to South America as the Balalaika is to Russia, and I note the balalaika article is rated as a "Top-importance Russian Article".

Regardless, of it's national/cultural importance, I believe that its rating as regards musical subjects should be much higher.

The charango and related instruments have become enormously popular over the past 15-20 years, as has the traditional Andean music which employs them. A long history; thousands of albums; internationally recognized virtuosi; hundreds of professional and semi-professional bands; nearly a hundred contemporary books listed on Amazon; their routine presence in music stores all over South and North America; and the success of on-line distributors such as "Charango Mall" -- all attest to the importance of this instrument and its literature.

I believe its importance should be raised to at least "moderate", and even "high", in the categories: Musical Instrument Articles and Latin Music Articles.

But I am unclear as to how one proposes such a status change. Anyone know and care to share? TIA. (talk) 21:00, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^