Viola Amarantina

Viola AmarantinaThe Viola Amarantina, also called Viola de Amarante, is from the Douro coast. Its fingerboard extends to its distinctive two-heart soundhole but is flush with the soundboard. The two hearts are thought to be connected to a love story involving a medieval troubadour. This guitar figures prominently in the festadas, where its player accompanies the Chulas, a characteristic dance from the region of Lower Tâmega. The bridge features a leaf motif glued to each side, and there is often also some inlay decoration beneath the bridge in the shape of a flower with leaves. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. The Viola Amarantina has five courses of strings, the highest two being tuned in unison and the lowest three in octaves.