Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Discussion of all aspects of early instruments, lutes, theorbos, vihuelas, Renaissance guitars and Baroque guitars.
RobMacKillop
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:21 am

The Bb for the 6th course can be found in the late 17th-century works by the German composer, Reusner, if my memory serves me well. He used it as an alternative tuning, but mainly used Dm.

I have to take issue with one word you used: refinement. That term has a qualitative edge to it, as if you are saying, had earlier composers known of this tuning, they would have preferred it. It's impossible to substantiate that premise.

But most lute players - 99.99% of them - read tablature, and enjoy using the fingering, and therefore tuning, that the original composers used. Furthermore, baroque composers in Italy seemed perfectly content to keep using the old tuning right through the 17th and 18th centuries, even on the longer string lengths of archlutes and theorbos.

2lost2find
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by 2lost2find » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:32 am

Clear thinking as usual, Rob. Honestly, I'm looking for a vehicle for composition. With a six string guitar in standard tuning I find myself making too many compromises and almost never really getting what I want. Or if I do get it, it's fantastically hard to play. What I'm really driving at here is a tuning that reduces the problem. About a year ago I spent some time with completely symmetrical tunings a la Ralph Patt, and found then wanting for what I'm after. Most chord tunings steel string players use (I've played in 'em all) involve some very wide intervals between strings and severely limit flexibility of key. I really haven't found what I'm after yet.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:34 am

A piano? :-) Good luck.

crazyrach97
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by crazyrach97 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:25 pm

Just for the record, Rob, I think he's going crazy! I'll be happy with a few extra bass strings myself. I'm still planning to get a ten string guitar, and the first thing I'm going to try is Carulli's Decacorde tuning.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:24 pm

Good luck. I think you can download Carulli's Decacorde method online.

2lost2find
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by 2lost2find » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:08 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:24 pm
Good luck. I think you can download Carulli's Decacorde method online.
I'm pretty sure she already did. Not that either of us can read the blasted thing, but the music is there.

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Nephthysalis
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Re: Baroque lute tuning: pros and cons

Post by Nephthysalis » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:29 pm

I actually spoke with the performer of the MET video I posted. He told me that he had strung and tuned the Tieffenbrucker lute in renaissance and played pieces that were within 5-25 years of when the instrument was originally constructed and unmodified.

I really enjoy all the discussions here. I don't understand most of what's going on but it's interesting nonetheless!

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