History of the Bandola

Course: La Bandola: An Introduction

Yasuji D'Gucci

Yasuji D'Gucci

The ancestor of the existent Bandolas in Latin America is considered to be the Lute, which derived from the Ud and was brought from the Arab world to Europe in the 12th century. This lute became Bandurria in Spain, which later called Bandola, entered Latin America by the hands of the Spanish in the 16th century during the Age of Discovery. There is a clear similarity in shape between the Bandurria and the present Bandola Oriental.

The first historical reference about the Bandola in Venezuela appears in 1815 and is about a colored slave playing the Bandola. In the era of the War for Independence Bandolas served soldiers in their spare moments in the battlefields, thanks to the ease with which it can be carried. Although in the modern period the Bandola faced the crisis of oblivion, it was saved and spotlighted by the innovation by Anselmo López. Nowadays the players of younger generation especially of the Bandola Llanera are evolving the Bandola music adopting new modern tendencies.

(Left) A Spanish Bandurria of the 18th century; (Right) Bandola Oriental
A Spanish Bandurria of the 18th century and an actual Bandola Oriental
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