String instruments such as the guitar, the lute, the bandurria, and especially the timple, have become the acoustic foundation of Canary Islands popular music, and are always played in local groups. Although some instruments were imported, Gran Canaria has a long history of artisan instrument makers. They used wood as their main raw material, cutting and seasoning it themselves until the mid-20th century.

The timple is an essential part of Canary Islands music and represents it like no other instrument. No other part of Spain has an instrument like the Canary Islands timple. Ideas on its origin vary: some academics believe the timple could be a Baroque vihuela, because of its long rounded case and the tuning of its strings. The timple arrived in the Canary Islands with the colonists and has survived as a relic of the past with few changes.

Unlike the fate of other artisan professions, the tradition of making string instrumentshas continued and even grown, although normally as a sideline rather than a full time occupation. The craft has changed with the times, particularly in the case of the timple, which has undergone morphological changes. Electric acoustic versions of the timple are now made, and it is played as a solo instrument.


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