Battente guitars
Battente guitars


The chitarra battente is a folk music instrument spread over vast areas of southern Italy and whose origins can be traced back to the fifteenth century, probably stabilized in its final characteristics during the sixteenth century and seventeenth century, simultaneously with the rise of the baroque guitar. It essentially differs from baroque guitar by its stringing: a chitarra battente is fitted with five pairs of brass strings with the re-entrant tuning of A3, D4, G3, B3, and E4.

Metal strings obviously have a shriller voice and more volume, which makes them suitable for outdoor performance or use during festivals, but require a more durable material for frets, thereby leading to the transition from gut frets to fixed metal frets. Strings are attached to the bottom of the soundbox to eliminate the possibility of loosening of the bridge and the soundboard is bent to have the needed stiffness to withstand the pressure thus exerted by the bridge. The chitarra battente will emerge primarily in the popular music of southern Italy, where it has maintained a privileged place to this day.



vista frontale   fondo

Liuteria d'Insieme model

13 ribs

The design of this five-course chitarra battente offered by Liuteria d’Insieme is inspired by various iconographic sources and surveys of instruments preserved in museums and private collections.

The main reference model is an anonymous battente guitar preserved in the Museum of Musical Instruments of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, which we later modified with respect to the number of ribs on back and sides. The profile of the soundboard has been slightly altered to obtain greater elegance, inspired by other historical guitars, and the height of the sides was reduced to make the instrument easier to hold. Decorations on the soundboard can be agreed with the customer, from historical patterns detected on other battente or baroque guitars.

Shellac finishes enhance the natural beauty of woods and decorations giving a warm brilliance and ensuring good protection to the instrument. On request it is possible to equip the instrument with an internal amplification system.


Click to enlarge