|Hornbostel–Sachs classification||321.322 (plucked)|
The Baroque guitar (c. 1600–1750) is a string instrument with five courses of gut strings and moveable gut frets. The first (highest pitched) course sometimes used only a single string.
The Baroque guitar replaced the Renaissance lute as the most common instrument found when one was at home.The earliest attestation of a five-stringed guitar comes from the mid-sixteenth-century Spanish book Declaracion de Instrumentos Musicales by Juan Bermudo, published in 1555. The first treatise published for the Baroque guitar was Guitarra Española de cinco ordenes (The Five-course Spanish Guitar), c. 1590, by Juan Carlos Amat.
The baroque guitar in contemporary ensembles took on the role of a basso continuo instrument and players would be expected to improvise a chordal accompaniment. Several scholars have assumed that the guitar was used together with another basso continuo instrument playing the bass line.However, there are good reasons to suppose that the guitar was used as an independent instrument for accompaniment in many situations. Intimately tied to the development of the Baroque guitar is the alfabeto system of notation.
Three different ways of tuning the guitar are well documented in seventeenth-century sources as set out in the following table. This includes the names of composers who are associated with each method. Very few sources seem to clearly indicate that one method of stringing rather than another should be used and it is often argued that it may have been up to the player to decide what was appropriate. The issue is highly contentious and different theories have been put forward.
A very brief list of composers and tunings:
|Ferdinando Valdambrini (Italy, 1646/7)|
Gaspar Sanz (Spain, 1674)
|E - B - G - D - A|
|Antoine Carre (France, 1671)|
Robert de Visée (France, 1682)
Nicolas Derosier (Netherlands, 1690)
|E - B - G - D (in octave) - A|
|Girolamo Montesardo (Italy, 1606)|
Benedetto Sanseverino (Italy, 1620)
Giovanni Paolo Foscarini (Italy, 1640)
Francisco Guerau (Spain, 1694)
|E - B - G - D (in octave) - A (in octave)|
Matteo Salas (1600s).
Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737). Of his five surviving guitars, the 1679 "Sabionari"is the only one in playable condition. It is the solo instrument on more than a dozen videos at YouTube.com. Two other Stradivari guitars are in museums. An instrument of 1688 is in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, and an instrument of 1700 is in the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Nicholas Alexandre Voboam II (c. 1634/46–1692/1704). French luthier with three guitars bearing his signature (from a total of 26 attributed to the Voboam Family).The guitars of Alexandre were held in high esteem during his lifetime and a century later were still considered desirable instruments.
Contemporary makers of baroque guitars can be identified by Internet searches.
The classical guitar is a member of the guitar family used in classical music. An acoustic wooden string instrument with strings made of gut or nylon, it is a precursor of the modern acoustic and electric guitars, both of which use metal strings. Classical guitars are derived from the Spanish vihuela and gittern in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, which later evolved into the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Baroque guitar and later the modern classical guitar in the mid-nineteenth century.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing the strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.
A lute is any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. It may be either fretted or unfretted.
The theorbo is a plucked string instrument of the lute family, with an extended neck and a second pegbox. Like a lute, a theorbo has a curved-back sound box with a wooden top, typically with a sound hole, and a neck extending out from the soundbox. As with the lute, the player plucks or strums the strings with one hand while "fretting" the strings with the other hand; pressing the strings in different places on the neck produces different pitches (notes), thus enabling the performer to play chords, basslines and melodies.
The cittern or cithren is a stringed instrument dating from the Renaissance. Modern scholars debate its exact history, but it is generally accepted that it is descended from the Medieval citole. Its flat-back design was simpler and cheaper to construct than the lute. It was also easier to play, smaller, less delicate and more portable. Played by all classes, the cittern was a premier instrument of casual music-making much as is the guitar today.
The vihuela is a 15th-century fretted plucked Spanish string instrument, shaped like a guitar but tuned like a lute. It was used in 15th- and 16th-century Spain as the equivalent of the lute in Italy and has a large resultant repertory. There were usually five or six doubled strings.
Francesco Corbetta was an Italian guitar virtuoso, teacher and composer. Along with his compatriots Giovanni Paolo Foscarini and Angelo Michele Bartolotti, He was a pioneer and exponent of the combination of strummed and plucked textures referred to today as "mixed" style.
The gittern was a relatively small gut strung round-backed instrument that first appears in literature and pictorial representation during the 13th century in Western Europe. It is usually depicted played with a quill plectrum, as we can see clearly beginning in manuscript illuminations from the thirteenth century. It was also called the guiterna in Spain, guiterne or guiterre in France, the chitarra in Italy and Quintern in Germany. A popular instrument with court musicians, minstrels, and amateurs, the gittern is considered an ancestor of the modern guitar and other instruments like the mandore, bandurria and gallichon.
The mandora or gallichon is a type of 18th- and early 19th-century lute, with six to nine courses of strings. The terms were interchangeable, with mandora more commonly used from the mid-18th century onwards.
The evolution of classical guitars began with the influences of the vihuela and gittern in the sixteenth century and ended with the modern classical guitar in the mid nineteenth century.
Chitarra Italiana is a lute-shaped plucked instrument with four or five single strings, in a tuning similar to that of the guitar. It was common in Italy during the Renaissance era.
The mandore is a musical instrument, a small member of the lute family, teardrop shaped, with four to six courses of gut strings and pitched in the treble range. Considered a French instrument, with much of the surviving music coming from France, it was used across "Northern Europe" including Germany and Scotland. Although it went out of style, the French instrument has been revived for use in classical music. The instrument's most commonly played relatives today are members of the mandolin family and the bandurria.
Pedro Caldeira Cabral is a musician who specializes in Mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque and Iberian music.
To a greater extent than most other instruments and ensembles, it is difficult to compose music for the guitar without either proficiency in the instrument or close collaboration with a guitarist. As a result, a large part of the guitar repertoire consists of works by guitarists who did not compose extensively for other instruments. Music prior to the classical era was often composed for performance on various combinations of instruments, and could be adapted by the performer to keyboard instruments, the lute, or the guitar. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, a significant amount of music has been written for the guitar by non-guitarist composers.
John Griffiths is a musician and musicologist specialised in music for guitar and early plucked instruments, especially the vihuela and lute. He has researched aspects of the sixteenth-century Spanish vihuela, its history and its music. He has also had an international career as a solo lutenist, vihuelist, and guitarist, and as a member of the pioneer Australian early music group La Romanesca. After a thirty-year career at the University of Melbourne (1980–2011), he now works as a freelance scholar and performer.
Monica Hall is an English guitarist, author and musicologist. A reviewer and writer for The Lute Society (UK) and article contributor to the Lute Society of America Quarterly and Classical Guitar magazine. Hall's main field of study is the baroque guitar and vihuela.
The guitarra morisca or mandora medieval is a plucked string instrument. It is a lute that has a bulging belly and a headstock as sickle. Part of that characterization came from a c. 1330 poem, Libra de Buen Amor by Juan Ruiz, which described the "Moorish gittern" as "corpulent". The use of the adjective morisca tacked to guitarra may have been to differentiate it from the commonly seen Latin European variety, when the morisca was seen on a limited basis during the 14th century.
Lex Eisenhardt is a performer and recording artist on early plucked instruments, such as the vihuela, the baroque guitar, and the 19th-century Romantic guitar. He studied lute and guitar at the Utrecht Conservatory. In 1981 he was appointed professor of guitar and early plucked instruments at the Sweelinck Conservatorium. In the forefront of the Historically Informed Performance (HIP) on the guitar, Eisenhardt was the first to make several gramophone recordings with music by the Catalan composer Fernando Sor on a period instrument from the early 19th century. He has given solo recitals and lectures in many European countries, Australia, and the United States. Well-known guitarists such as Johannes Moller and Izhar Elias studied with him.
Antonio Carbonchi was a 17th-century guitarist and composer who wrote two influential books on lute playing.
Lutes are stringed musical instruments that include a body and "a neck which serves both as a handle and as a means of stretching the strings beyond the body".
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