Research Output

‘A very mistaken identification’: the ‘sultana’ or ‘cither viol’ and its links to the bowed psaltery, viola d’amore and guittar

  The origins and development of the ‘sultana’ or ‘cither viol’ constitute an organological enigma.1 So far the research concerning this instrument has been rather limited, and apart from a few dictionary entries and minor references in books, journal articles and museum catalogues, the instrument currently occupies only an obscure position in the literature of the viol family. Usually considered as the bowed equivalent of the wire-strung guittar,2 the ‘sultana’ or ‘cither viol’ has been described by several authors as a wire-strung type of viola d’amore with no sympathetic strings that was introduced in the 1760s by Thomas
Perry, the well-known violin and guittar maker of Dublin (Figure 1).3 This article will examine new evidence that has come to light, aiming to reveal the true identity of this
forgotten instrument and also to discuss its connection to the viola d’amore and guittar. Furthermore, it will provide new details on the manufacture and trade of the instrument
and analyse its promotion, reception and musical role in the British Isles during the late eighteenth century.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 May 2016

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Oxford University Press

  • DOI:

    10.1093/em/caw047

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1093/em/caw047

  • ISSN:

    0306-1078

  • Library of Congress:

    M1 Music

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    787 Stringed instruments

Citation

Poulopoulos, P., & Durkin, R. (2016). ‘A very mistaken identification’: the ‘sultana’ or ‘cither viol’ and its links to the bowed psaltery, viola d’amore and guittar. Early Music, 44(2), 307-331. https://doi.org/10.1093/em/caw047

Authors

Keywords

Sultana; cither viol; instrument;

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