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The Belly

In general, historical lutes have a completely flat belly. This means that it begins to bend and sink inwards, just in front of the bridge, as soon as tension is put on the strings. Acoustically, this has a detrimental effect on the middle-range of the instrument. Even the very slight convex “doming” on the belly of the liuto forte is enough to prevent this depression, or “dishing” effect. One hundred-year-old Spanish guitars which received the correct doming of the belly show no evidence today of a tendency to sink inwards at the bridge.