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Gimbri, guimbri or sintir

The gimbri or sintir is a three stringed rectangular lute from Morocco commonly used by Gnawan musicians. The body of the gimbri is a rectangular trough covered by camel skin from which protrudes a round wooden neck with three goat-gut strings attached by cloth thongs. At the end of the neck a metal rattle is inserted to give the instrument added color. The gimbri is both a percussive and melodic instrument producing a percussive bass-like tone, and is the largest in a family of similar instruments found in Northern Africa. The knuckles of the right hand hit the skin on the body, while striking the bottom string with the index finger, or plucking the top and middle strings with the thumb. Done properly, this technique will simultaneously produce the tone of the string, a drum sound on the skin, and rattle the jingles on the end of the neck. Advanced players produce complex combinations of rhythms and melodies by varying these three elements.

Country: Morocco
Region: Africa
Type: lute

Gimbri or Sintir - Moroccan lute
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002