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Group "Sample Musical Instruments":
The Lute
Source: Spy E-mail Spy Website for Spy
25th Jan 2000

The Lute - 466x418, 32kB

 The Lute - 466x418, 32kB

The most common form of the lute in the sixteenth century was a six-course instrument, of varying size, strung with gut strings and played with the fingers. The exact pitches varied with the size of the instrument and lutenists of the period often thought of the fingerboard in a series of transpositional "tunings" (not actual tunings, but imaginary labels) to fit intabulated vocal music. Thus, a vocal model based on Mode I might be transcribed as if the lute were tuned to D: D-G-c-e-a-d'. Intabulations where the vocal model is available will be preceded by the appropriate tuning; other genres and pieces with unknown models will carry no pitches before the tablature staff (unless to clarify a scordatura), but the interval pattern will be the same. The "G tuning" given below is generally thought of as the most common after 1530
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