A stringed musical instrument with a large pear-shaped body, a neck with a fretted fingerboard, and a head with pegs for tuning. The instrument is played using a plectrum and, occasionally, the fingers.
It is also known as treble guitar, bandurria and seis.
It is built by highly skilled artisans only because of the difficulty to make the body. It is used in Cuban music to play song and dance genres, especially Punto and Son. It is played at non-religious festivities and celebrations. Its musical function is basically related to melody and improvisation. The repertoire is self-taught, and improvisation depends on the skills of the players. The lute player's quality depends on his cultural and musical knowledge.
It is thought to have been brought to Cuba by Spanish immigrants during the colonial period and the early 20th century.