Renaissance guitars
Renaissance guitars


The first evidence of the renaissance guitar is from the first half of the sixteenth century and is mostly iconographic in nature, such as illustrations and title pages of printed music. During the sixteenth century and the first half of the next century, the four course guitar experienced widespread popularity, particularly in France; among the many composers who helped to create a rich and interesting repertoire were Melchior de Barberis, Alonso de Mudarra, Adrian Le Roy, and Guillaume Morlaye.

The music for guitar, like that for the lute, was written in tablature with letters or numbers placed on lines representing the courses of the instrument; the guitar repertoire includes transcriptions of Renaissance vocal music, compositions for voice and guitar or forsolo guitar and dance music.



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Belchior Dias, 1581

7 ribs vaulted back

London, Royal College of Music

The Belchior Dias guitar preserved in London is perhaps the oldest guitar we are aware of, it has a vaulted back in seven fluted ribs and currently features five courses of strings on a baroque bridgedesign. The instrument was probably modified at a later time to add the fifth course but everything suggests that it was initially built as a Renaissance guitar.

We offer a four-course reconstruction, with a flat or vaulted back in seven ribs. On request it is possible to realize fluted ribs as on the original model, or arrange the construction of larger versions of the instrument to have longer string length.

String length: 55 cm


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