Yesterday, when trying to find some information on the 14-string Philippine Bandurria, I found this wonderful resource, the Atlas of Plucked Instruments. I ended up spending quite a few hours last night looking through its pages.
Wow, I wish I'd had access to this website when I was writing the 500 Guitars book. The Atlas is a labour of love by Dutchman and musician Henry De Bruin who, it seems, has travelled the world and amassed an impressive collection of stringed musical instruments along the way.
The Atlas covers guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, citterns, lutes, dulcimers, sitars and all the variants that you can think of from around the world - plus many others that you never knew existed!
I'm happy to report that the author bends the rules slightly every now and again, and related stringed instruments that aren't strictly speaking plucked as such have entries (e.g. the Indian tampura and the original tapping instrument, the Chapman Stick).
It's a fascinating website and one that I would recommend to all interested in guitars and related instruments. But be warned, you might find yourself spending a lot of time there.
G L Wilson
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