From: (Mathias Roesel)
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 21:30:02 +0200

Dear Paulo,

> Back to lute/guitars; just a single question: Gut or metal strings in use?
my Wandervogel lute was built before 1914 when they had no nylon yet but
generally used cat guts in Germany. So, I've strung nylegut on it with low
tension (4 kg), which yields a distinct and pleasant sound

> > The German lute/guitar is in all respects a normal guitar, tuned like
> > it and played like it.
Was, that is. How do you know (e.g. that they didn't put the RH small finger on
the belly)?

> > In the German Romantic music, the lute had a
> > much higher standing than the guitar and represented the romantic
> > yearning for nature, simplicity, etc.
Can you name only one romantic musical source (between, say, 1820 and 1890) that
distinctively requires a lute? Schubert et al demand a guitar, I remember,
whereas the lute had a high standing in German literature with its yearning for
medieval integrity and purity (Novalis)

> > The romantic image of the lute
which is sharply to be distinguished from the German guitar-lute of the upcoming
Wandervogel era. Wandervogel folks scorned the romantic image. That's why they
called their instruments Klampfe or Zupfgeige, not or rarely lute

> > fitted better than the guitar's image. However, to bring the lute back was
> > not an option: too difficult, too impractical. Nobody could play the lute,
> > but everybody could play the guitar
that's right --- the guitar!

> > so they simply made a lute-shaped guitar, which they referred to as 'laute'
who is they?

> > As far as I know, the Germans are the only ones to make such an instrument
no, in Austria the guitar-lute is still to be found in players' hands

> > but I don't think the lute/guitars are used in folk music more frequently
> > than normal guitars.
they were in the fifties and sixties in Germany. Singers performing Volksmusik
were usually playing the guitar-lute then


Mathias Roesel, Kleine Annenstr. 1, 28199 Bremen, Deutschland, Tel./Fax:
+49-421-1654997, e-mail: