Arpeggione

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Arpeggione
ClassificationBowed string instrument
Related instruments
Cello
Guitar
Viol
Vihuela
 
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Arpeggione
ClassificationBowed string instrument
Related instruments
Cello
Guitar
Viol
Vihuela

The arpeggione is a six-stringed musical instrument, fretted and tuned like a guitar, but bowed like a cello, and thus similar to the bass viola da gamba. The body shape of the instrument, is however more similar to a medieval fiddle than either the guitar or the bass viol.

It enjoyed a brief vogue, perhaps a decade, after its invention around 1823, by the Viennese guitar maker Johann Georg Stauffer (1778-1853). The only notable piece extant for the instrument is a sonata with piano accompaniment by Franz Schubert, D.821, not published until 1871, when the arpeggione was long defunct. This sonata is now commonly played on the cello, and many other instruments have received transcriptions as well.

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