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stringed musical instrument of the lute family, with a design derived from the cittern and guitar. The modern bandurria has a small, pear-shaped wooden body, a short neck, and a flat back, with five to seven (but usually six) paired courses of strings that are tuned g-c'-f'-b'-e"-a" (beginning with the G below middle C) and hitched to a guitarlike (tension) bridge. The tuning of the strings in fourths gives great facility and uniformity of fingering (and is not characteristic of the guitar, for example). The fingerboard has 12 fixed metal frets, and the instrument is traditionally played with a short, hard plectrum