From: "Thomas Schall" 
Subject: Re: German "lute/guitar"
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 23:20:20 +0200

Dear Mathias,

you are pretty wrong!
Most of the central figures of the youth movement preferred the lute above
the guitar as for example Scherrer (compiler of the "zupfgeigenhansl"),
Fritz Jöde and others and they influenced some young fellows of their time
like Karl Scheidt or Heinz Teuchert to start dealing with the lute.
The idea of the Wandervogellaute was to get a new start, as Scherrer puts it
"it will take it's time until the high art of lute building will be revived
in it's complete beauty" (sorry - this is quite freely translated).
Please imagine that they needed to start completly new with lute building -
Roentgen lived at their time (meaning they didn't had the technical help we
now have). If one takes a look it is impressing how much they detected
(neemann, Scheidt, Scherrer, tappert and all the otehrs but also builders as
Harlan, Jordan, Hauser) and taking a look at the books and tutors of that
time showes impressing musical material (often placed next to musical
bullshit) ...

The youth movement identified itself with the lute and there was another
direction - the one of the Harlans, Jordan etc. who created a scene which is
possibly comparable to what Dolmetsch did in England (by the way: they knew
each other).
The objection of the youth movement wasn't against romatic ideals - it was
the salon music: rather the music of the Strauss-Family than Schubert,
Brahms etc.

But of course your right that the romanticismn not used the lute as musical
instrument but just as metapher - just take a look at the poems corner on my
homepage and you'll find examples until Rilke and later.

regarding the technique there are photographies showing players playing in
"Aguado-Technique" (which BTW was still pretty common among guitar players
of that time) so I think

The Volksmusik is different to what the youth movement did. It is true that
after the war the Wandervogel-lute was used for it but IMHO it would lead to
far telling it a major instrument for that. This instrument is clearly
connected to the youth movement (the largest movement ever) between 1890 and

The instrument survived and there are still builders for it but today this
instrument and the persons involved in this certain scene have their own
historic dimension.