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The Cuatro makers and their craft
...making the silent wood sing            


A block print of an old country instrument maker hollowing out a blank for tiple. The print was a cover illustration for a grade school primer for kids published by DIVEDCO, the Division of Community Education of the Puerto Rican Department of Public Instruction in 1953

Country artesan, photo by Jack Delano, from the private collection of his son, Pablo Delano.

Cuatros in William Cumpiano's workshop


music39.gif (1520 bytes) Listen to a seis con décima dedicated to cuatro makers.
Music captured from a 1950s film by the DIVEDCO.

A gift from the Cuatro Project:

Available here for free is a large 11 x 17 poster illustrating a photo sequence for the making of a modern cuatro, in a high-resolution Adobe Acrobat dowloadable file. It can be just viewed, or copied onto a CD and taken to a copy house for a large-format copy. (7.5 Meg).

You can also download here a sequential list in spreadsheet form of the steps, materials and equipment necessary for making a cuatro.

A full-scale 20 x 40 plan drawing of a cuatro is available
at our online store


Index of native instrument artisans

Questions & Answers

about the making and repair of cuatros and other stringed instruments (not yet translated)

Eugenio Méndez

the late, great maker from Juncos describes how he made his cuatros.

Cristóbal Santiago

the great master maker-player has been making instruments for over 40 years.

Juan Reyes

the late maker told us how he made his cuatros.

Wimbo Rivera

The renown maker appeared in a newspaper article. Read about this great maker here. (not yet translated)

William Cumpiano

the Massachusetts instrument maker show us how he makes his "thin cuatros" in this foto sequence.

...and also how he makes a bordonúa grave.

The Art of Cuatro Inlay

of Maryland maker  Roberto Rivera in a photo sequence