A very mistaken identification: The history of the 'sultana' or 'cither viol'

Durkin, Rachael and Poulopoulos, Panagiotis (2013) A very mistaken identification: The history of the 'sultana' or 'cither viol'. In: Musical Instruments – History, Science and Culture, 25th - 29th July 2013, Oxford, UK.

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The origins and development of the ‘sultana’, or ‘cither viol’, constitute an organological enigma. The few references in the relevant literature describe the ‘sultana’ as a wire-strung type of viola d’amore with no sympathetic strings, while pointing out its connection to the wire-strung guittar, commonly known as ‘English guittar’. In addition, many authors have suggested that the ‘sultana’ was invented in the 1760s by Thomas Perry of Dublin, who was arguably the most prolific maker of this instrument, even though similar bowed instruments had been earlier produced by Frederick Hintz. Under the hands of Perry and other makers, the ‘sultana’ presents itself as a beautiful and refined instrument, presumably constructed for those of the upper classes and made exclusively in the British Isles. However, despite the considerable number of extant ‘sultanas’, no printed music and no literary or iconographical sources of the instrument dating from the eighteenth century seem to have survived. This paper will analyse new evidence that has come to light, providing new details on the manufacture, trade and musical role of the ‘sultana’ and aiming to reveal the unexpected true identity of this forgotten instrument.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: V300 History by topic
W300 Music
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2019 10:03
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 23:48
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37941

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