- Issue date: 02/04/2012
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Autoadhesivo fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (verticales)
- Sheet effects: 25
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,36 €
- Print run: Ilimitada
Five string musical instruments originating from different parts of the world make up this self-adhesive postage stamps series.
The harp has been played since ancient times by the people of Mesopotamia and Egypt from where it was introduced into Greece and Asia. It was predominant in the Middle Ages but lost much of its importance in the Renaissance due to its limited diatonic possibilities. When the mechanism for raising the tone was perfected, it made a come back with great force in the 18th century. Harps are essentially triangular and are made primarily of wood. They are composed of the soundboard, a neck, resonator and strings.
The Balalaika is of Russian origin and it is used to play popular music. It has a characteristic, almost flat, triangular body topped with a long narrow neck with three strings which are played with the fingers or a plectrum. Although the earliest mention of the Balalaika is in the late 17th century, it was fully developed in the following century.
The Banjo, widely used by black Americans in the 19th century, is the most popular American folk music instrument. The circular soundboard is covered with skin and is attached to a long neck with either four, five or six strings. It is a basic instrument in country music and jazz.
The Sitar, of Indian origin, produces a delicate metallic sound perfect for expressing poetic themes. It consists of a soundboard made of pumpkin and a fretted neck in which the silver or brass frets are movable, allowing fine tuning. Some incorporate a smaller sound box at the top of the mast. The number of strings varies from 18 to 26, and they are struck with a pick.
The Rebec was introduced into medieval Europe by the Arabs. In the Iberian Peninsula it is popular in Cantabria, Castile and Leon. It is flat above and convex below and the body tapers towards the part of the pegs. It usually has three strings which are rubbed with a very short curved bow. It was commonly used by minstrels to accompany popular dances.
The instruments featuring in these stamps belong to the Interactive Music Museum of Malaga (MIMMA), a space designed for the sound to embrace and stimulate the visitor’s senses and for both beginners and professional musicians to deepen their knowledge.