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Lute Society of America – Lute Projects

Lute Projects

  • Table of Contents
  • Lute Realizations for the English Cavalier Songs (1630-1670) – A Guide for Performers
          Gus Denhard, who completed his Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University in May, 2006, has graciously allowed us to make his dissertation available on the Worldwide Web.  This study on the use of the lute and related instruments in basso continuo accompaniment of the 17th century English cavalier songs is hosted here for the use of our members as well as other interested visitors.  The text is copyright Gus Denhard, ©2006, and may not be distributed further without permission.  Quotations should be referenced appropriately.

  • The Folger Dowland MS Project
          Alain Veylit, with the financial support of a relatively small number of people, undertook the first full facsimile publication on the Worldwide Web of a manuscript that is one of the most important sources of the lute music of Elizabethan England.  We salute this effort to publicize and preserve that part of our heritage as lutenists.
  • The Fronimo Project
          Vincenzo Galilei, the father of the astronomer Galileo, published the Fronimo – Dialogo, a theoretical and practical treatise on composing and arranging vocal music for lute, in 1568, with a second edition in 1584.  The many musical examples in the 1584 edition are available in facsimile form, since they are contained in the facsimile of the complete book that is available on the Internet.  However, no modern performing editions of most of the pieces have yet been published.  For the Fronimo Project we invite players who have made their own performance versions of these pieces to share them on this page with their fellow lutenists.

  • The Lautenweltadressbuch – A Database of Extant Historical Lutes
          Klaus Martius, formerly a conservator with the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremburg, is compiling a database attempting to document all 16th, 17th and 18th century lutes still in existence.  We are providing a home for this project on the Worldwide Web, and we encourage you to contribute any additional information to Klaus at one of the addresses given on his more detailed explanatory page.  You may write to him in English or German.
    • Since many different types of heads or pegboxes were employed on historical lutes, and it is difficult to describe the differences verbally in a concise manner, it was decided that a pictorial representation would be preferable.  Thus, a graphical key is provided as a reference for the letters used in the “Type of Lute” field in the database.
    • A relatively small number of designs were used for the roses cut into the soundboards of the lutes.  However, the rose designs themselves are quite complex, and there exists no standardized nomenclature to identify each of them, so again a graphical key is provided to correlate with the letters that are used to identify the rose types in the database.  In this case there are two pages:  Roses page 1 and Roses page 2.
    • The database itself (June 2007 version, now with 822 entries).  When searching, please be aware that place names generally employ the spelling of the local language.  Thus, for example, to retrieve instruments from collections in Vienna, Austria, you need to search by entering Wien. For Venice, use Venezia; for Florence, use Firenze, for Rome, Roma and so on.  Use ss for ß in German names. The version of Linux currently employed on the site does not handle characters with accents or diacritical marks correctly, so if you wish to search for a place or builder name containing one of those, it is necessary to use a truncated form of the name that does not include the problem character.  For example, for Munich (München in the local language), search by entering nchen, and for Kremsmünster use Krems.  Numbers follow the European convention, with a comma used for the decimal point.  Criteria may be entered into multiple fields in order to narrow a search.

  • The Susanne Project
          The Susanne Project is a collaborative effort to collect and share materials (primarily musical) relating to the story of Susanna and the elders.  It is dedicated as a memorial to Suzanne Bloch (9 August 1907 – 29 January 2002), who was one of the founders of the Lute Society of America and was our president from 1974 through 1977.  A lover of all early music who studied the great vocal composers under Nadia Boulanger, she shared her name by coincidence with the protagonist of the story that served as the inspiration for the creation of an exceptional amount of high quality music and visual art in the late Renaissance.  If you have something you wish to contibute, please consult Caroline Usher or Daniel Heiman.

  • English Lute Manuscripts and Scribes 1530-1630
          In 1993 Julia Craig-McFeely completed her doctoral disseration, entitled English Lute Manuscripts and Scribes 1530-1630.  For the past several years this valuable resource has been posted on her own personal website in England.  She has now given us permission to post here a mirror of the PDF files.  This may provide a faster download of the extensive data, particularly if you are located in North America.

  • Lachrimae
          A paper on John Dowland’s signature tune, Lachrimae, written by Michael Gale and Tim Crawford is on Tim’s site, together with a collection of settings of the piece taken from manuscripts and prints from all over northern Europe.  The music is available in the form of facsimiles or as tablature transcriptions.

  • Accords nouveaux
          A study by François-Pierre Goy & Andreas Schlegel on the various transitional tunings of the lute employed during the seventeenth century between the period when the “Renaissance” tuning was in common use and the latter part of the century, when the d-minor tuning became widely used in northern Europe. The site is currently available in German only, though French and English versions are under construction.

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Last updated 15 November AD 2013 – DFH.