The lute was surely the prince of instruments during the Renaissance, the early six course would evolve to eight or ten courses models. Six courses lutes are suitable for playing of the Italian and French repertoire from the sixteenth century, while the seven-course lute is ideal for much of the English repertoire, including themost popular pieces of Dowland. We recommend seven-course lutes to students and beginners, as it provides access to a very wide repertoire without being excessively difficult to get started on. Lutes of eight or ten course will complement the range of instruments for the execution of the full Renaissance repertoire.
Renaissance lutes are reconstructed from the original instruments preserved in museums around the world, we list the main models on which we build, but different models can be agreed upon and reconstructed on specific request.
Hans Frei, ca 1530
Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum (C34)
Inspired by the smaller of the two lutes by Hans Frei preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this eleven rib bowl is one of the most classic examples of the Bolognese school of the first half of the sixteenth century. The relatively small size makes it convenient and easy to handle;it lends itself particularly well to the construction of at six and seven course lutes.
String length: 63-68 cm
Bologna, Museo Civico Medievale (n.1748)
This fifteen rib Sellas body results in a lute with a rather wide soundboard but that is not too depth, a feature that makes it particularly comfortable to hold despite its size. Due to its characteristics it is suitable for the construction of lutes that extend into the low register (7,8, and 10 course), as its size can give more fullness and strength to the lower courses.
String length: 61-64 cm
Magno Dieffopruchar, ca 1550
London, Collection of J & A Beare ltd
The original body of this instrument is made out of ivory with ebony spacers, the instrument is richly inlaid with ivory and ebony with great taste and refinement. Lutes built on this form are characterized by great volume and rich and full-bodied lower courses, due to the large volume of air that this body is able to contain. Its characteristics make it particularly suitable for the construction of eight and ten courses lutes or bass lutes.
String length: 61-64 cm
Martin Hoffmann, 1692
Norimberga, Germanisches Nationalmuseum (MI245)
Inspired by one of the most famous original instruments from the Baroque period, this shell is distinguished by its large and powerful sound in all registers. On this model is possible to build 10 courses lutes too.
String length: 59-64 cm
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