Discussion:
Lute construction
(too old to reply)
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-07 19:26:25 UTC
Permalink
Hi, I just viewed this picture

http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif

and mentioned the VERY different distances
between certain frets, especially between
the 1st to the 2nd versus the 2nd and the 3rd fret.

This looks very strange to a guitar player!

One might guess this is done to optimize the tuning
of certain keys...

Can anyone explain this?

Thanks, Regards
Jasper
David Kilpatrick
2004-08-07 21:15:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Hi, I just viewed this picture
http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
and mentioned the VERY different distances
between certain frets, especially between
the 1st to the 2nd versus the 2nd and the 3rd fret.
This looks very strange to a guitar player!
One might guess this is done to optimize the tuning
of certain keys...
Can anyone explain this?
These three intervals affect some critical unisons and octaves, and even
on a standard guitar, it can pay to shorten the 1st fret interval,
slightly shorten the 2nd, and perhaps increase the 3rd (based on the 5th
and 7th frets being at perfectly calculated positions relative to the
octave).

Some lute and baroque guitar players had small added partial frets,
placed just behind the 1st and 2nd frets, inset into the wood (the frets
themselves are tied gut, the partial frets are small metal strips, set
into the fingerboard like a normal fret). There is enough distance
between these to play either the 'equally tempered' note or the 'natural
scale' note. It's more common with theorbos or archlutes with a longer
scale, similar to guitars - regular lutes are quite short in scale.

If the fret is tied a little short of the normal position, the player
can bend the string slightly to raise the pitch when the lower pitch is
going to be a problem.

I've seen guitars made with the frets in adjusted positions, different
for each string (not all frets, and limited to the first three normally
- on selected strings). I assume those have to be played in a fixed
tuning and suit certain keys better than others.

David
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-07 21:54:18 UTC
Permalink
David,
this is VERY interesting, thank you for explaining that!

Recently, here was a discussion about using the one
or another electronic tuner in order to tune the guitar
or wether do it by ear. Your posting should make
things a lot clearer and adjust some of those expectations
mentioned there, unfortunately ;)

Btw, I kind of thougt I have heared already long ago
that the lute frets are relocatable and often be put a bit
askew to compensate for the different thickness of
the strings.

Also, I wonder why the guitar frets are usually placed
that constantly equal - I have never heard of any experiments
or even saw offerings of a guitar with modified fret distances.

Seems it's high time to look for a lute (I would like the
one that Hopkinson-Smith plays on this photography ;)
So, what would one say is the minimum price to get a
cheap one to play a bit around with?


Thanx again, Best Regards,
Jasper


------ cut here ------
Post by David Kilpatrick
Post by Jasper Riedel
Hi, I just viewed this picture
http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
and mentioned the VERY different distances
between certain frets, especially between
the 1st to the 2nd versus the 2nd and the 3rd fret.
This looks very strange to a guitar player!
One might guess this is done to optimize the tuning
of certain keys...
Can anyone explain this?
These three intervals affect some critical unisons and octaves, and even
on a standard guitar, it can pay to shorten the 1st fret interval,
slightly shorten the 2nd, and perhaps increase the 3rd (based on the 5th
and 7th frets being at perfectly calculated positions relative to the
octave).
Some lute and baroque guitar players had small added partial frets,
placed just behind the 1st and 2nd frets, inset into the wood (the frets
themselves are tied gut, the partial frets are small metal strips, set
into the fingerboard like a normal fret). There is enough distance
between these to play either the 'equally tempered' note or the 'natural
scale' note. It's more common with theorbos or archlutes with a longer
scale, similar to guitars - regular lutes are quite short in scale.
If the fret is tied a little short of the normal position, the player
can bend the string slightly to raise the pitch when the lower pitch is
going to be a problem.
I've seen guitars made with the frets in adjusted positions, different
for each string (not all frets, and limited to the first three normally
- on selected strings). I assume those have to be played in a fixed
tuning and suit certain keys better than others.
David
Greg M. Silverman
2004-08-07 22:10:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
David,
this is VERY interesting, thank you for explaining that!
Recently, here was a discussion about using the one
or another electronic tuner in order to tune the guitar
or wether do it by ear. Your posting should make
things a lot clearer and adjust some of those expectations
mentioned there, unfortunately ;)
Btw, I kind of thougt I have heared already long ago
that the lute frets are relocatable and often be put a bit
askew to compensate for the different thickness of
the strings.
Also, I wonder why the guitar frets are usually placed
that constantly equal - I have never heard of any experiments
or even saw offerings of a guitar with modified fret distances.
Seems it's high time to look for a lute (I would like the
one that Hopkinson-Smith plays on this photography ;)
So, what would one say is the minimum price to get a
cheap one to play a bit around with?
Jasper,
Check out Luciano Faria's work. Very well priced a very well made
instruments. I have an 11-course instrument of his that when I have
played it been very happy with what was sounding forth into my ears. He
lives in Sao Paolo, so you obviously would not get to test it out before
hand. He has a web site, but unfortinately, I cannot find the URL.
Perhaps someone here knows, if not maybe I'll find it (he posts to the
Lute list).

gms--
Post by Jasper Riedel
Thanx again, Best Regards,
Jasper
------ cut here ------
Post by David Kilpatrick
Post by Jasper Riedel
Hi, I just viewed this picture
http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
and mentioned the VERY different distances
between certain frets, especially between
the 1st to the 2nd versus the 2nd and the 3rd fret.
This looks very strange to a guitar player!
One might guess this is done to optimize the tuning
of certain keys...
Can anyone explain this?
These three intervals affect some critical unisons and octaves, and even
on a standard guitar, it can pay to shorten the 1st fret interval,
slightly shorten the 2nd, and perhaps increase the 3rd (based on the 5th
and 7th frets being at perfectly calculated positions relative to the
octave).
Some lute and baroque guitar players had small added partial frets,
placed just behind the 1st and 2nd frets, inset into the wood (the frets
themselves are tied gut, the partial frets are small metal strips, set
into the fingerboard like a normal fret). There is enough distance
between these to play either the 'equally tempered' note or the 'natural
scale' note. It's more common with theorbos or archlutes with a longer
scale, similar to guitars - regular lutes are quite short in scale.
If the fret is tied a little short of the normal position, the player
can bend the string slightly to raise the pitch when the lower pitch is
going to be a problem.
I've seen guitars made with the frets in adjusted positions, different
for each string (not all frets, and limited to the first three normally
- on selected strings). I assume those have to be played in a fixed
tuning and suit certain keys better than others.
David
Todd Tipton
2004-08-07 22:19:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
He
lives in Sao Paolo, so you obviously would not get to test it out before
hand. He has a web site, but unfortinately, I cannot find the URL.
Perhaps someone here knows, if not maybe I'll find it (he posts to the
Lute list).
I don't know the gentleman, but I just googled and got this:
http://www.lucianofaria.com/
Perhaps that is what you are looking for.

be well,
Todd
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-07 22:50:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Tipton
Post by Greg M. Silverman
He
lives in Sao Paolo, so you obviously would not get to test it out before
hand. He has a web site, but unfortinately, I cannot find the URL.
Perhaps someone here knows, if not maybe I'll find it (he posts to the
Lute list).
http://www.lucianofaria.com/
Perhaps that is what you are looking for.
Thanks folks!

Anyhow, please allow for keeping my penetrance: So, what
would be a TYPICAL price for a cheap "beginner's" lute?

Thanks, Regards, Jasper
Greg M. Silverman
2004-08-08 00:20:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Post by Todd Tipton
Post by Greg M. Silverman
He
lives in Sao Paolo, so you obviously would not get to test it out before
hand. He has a web site, but unfortinately, I cannot find the URL.
Perhaps someone here knows, if not maybe I'll find it (he posts to the
Lute list).
http://www.lucianofaria.com/
Perhaps that is what you are looking for.
Thanks folks!
Anyhow, please allow for keeping my penetrance: So, what
would be a TYPICAL price for a cheap "beginner's" lute?
Good question. When I start playing, I plan on working through Nigel
North's book on continuo playing (see
http://www.lacg.net/books_early_music_.htm#details_books/north_continuoplaying.htm).
I really suppose I should take a few lessons too (thankfully, there are
2-teachers of lut ein this state of which I am aware).

You should get one of the 11-course instruments.

gms--
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-08 01:04:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Good question. When I start playing, I plan on working through Nigel
North's book on continuo playing (see
http://www.lacg.net/books_early_music_.htm#details_books/north_continuoplaying.htm).
JesusMariah! This beats some earth ...
Some phantasy I had long ago is the continuoplaying with BWV 244
for example. As there are folks who do that ... I love them.

I see them in the TV - just like "real" pro musicians when playing
violins etc. in the orchestra halls ... there is only continuo that is
allowed to take LIVE contact to the very actual music LIFE of a nation.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
I really suppose I should take a few lessons too (thankfully, there are
2-teachers of lut ein this state of which I am aware).
Go ( - just go as your time shcedule wants it ;)
Post by Greg M. Silverman
You should get one of the 11-course instruments.
So why?

Will those basses no. 12 and 13 hurt when not being
be used for a time? <g>


Regards,
Jasper
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-08 01:34:03 UTC
Permalink
Ok, gms, I been thinkink a bit over it ...

and me thinks I have gotten the VERY point of the
price of a beginners lute:

should not be much more expensive than a good guitar ...

Hah, guess, I am right ...


Kind Regards,
Jasper

ps. One more question left out as
- we know of expensive violins etc.
now - how much is an expensive lute?
Greg M. Silverman
2004-08-08 15:40:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Ok, gms, I been thinkink a bit over it ...
and me thinks I have gotten the VERY point of the
should not be much more expensive than a good guitar ...
Hah, guess, I am right ...
And right you are JR!

You're also right about the 13 or 14 course thing over the 11. Go for it.

And yes, I will take some lessons in the not-to-distant. Learning
baroque continuo playing, along with flamenco and various Latin American
styles on guitar is all I want to do ever musically, well along with
getting better on Paraguayan harp, which I haven't played in almost
2-years now, and then of course there is my desire to get good at jazz
improv on harmonica and getting my piano playing up to at least grade 5,
and then my desire to learn how to sing, properly... :-)
Post by Jasper Riedel
Kind Regards,
Jasper
ps. One more question left out as
- we know of expensive violins etc.
now - how much is an expensive lute?
I'm sure that you could drop a huge load of cash on one. No idea as to
what the ceiling is on an expensive lute.

gms--
Charles De Coster
2004-08-08 23:48:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
ps. One more question left out as
- we know of expensive violins etc.
now - how much is an expensive lute?
You could have a very fine baroque lute for $4500. Current minimum is ca.
$3000. Highly decorated exact copies get past $5000.
RT
______________
Roman M. Turovsky
http://polyhymnion.org/swv
Howard Posner
2004-08-10 18:00:52 UTC
Permalink
You can look at lutes for sale at:

http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute/forsale.html

You can a decent instrument for under $2,000, but it helps to know something
when you buy.

The 11-course and 13-course baroque lutes have the disadvantage, from a
beginner's perspective, of being tuned in an open d minor chord, instead of
the renaissance tuning (a stack of fourths with a third in the middle, more
like a guitar). The d minor tuning is the tuning used in French and German
baroque music, but it's useless for Dowland or Francesco. It takes a major
commitment to become conversant with it, whereas a capable guitarist can be
at home in renaissance lute tuning pretty quickly. Restringing such
instruments into renaissance tuning is possible if the string length is
short enough or your pitch is low enough.

Jumping from a six-string guitar to a 13-course lute can be frustratingly
difficult unless you have virtuoso chops and learn physical movements
easily. Thirteen courses are a lot harder to keep track of than eleven; my
lute teacher always said that every extra course increases the difficulty
geometrically rather than arithmetically. So my advice if you want to try
the lute waters is to start with a renaissance lute with eight courses or
fewer. It will be less expensive to buy and string, easier to learn, and
pretty versatile.

Even if you absolutely have to play Weiss, keep in mind that a lot of his
music needs only 11 courses.
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-10 20:14:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute/forsale.html
You can a decent instrument for under $2,000, but it helps to know something
when you buy.
The 11-course and 13-course baroque lutes have the disadvantage, from a
beginner's perspective, of being tuned in an open d minor chord, instead of
the renaissance tuning (a stack of fourths with a third in the middle, more
like a guitar). The d minor tuning is the tuning used in French and German
baroque music, but it's useless for Dowland or Francesco. It takes a major
commitment to become conversant with it, whereas a capable guitarist can be
at home in renaissance lute tuning pretty quickly. Restringing such
instruments into renaissance tuning is possible if the string length is
short enough or your pitch is low enough.
Knowing this looks very important and I absolutely didn't know that
tuning is that essential and affecting the "given" instrument that much!
Post by Howard Posner
Jumping from a six-string guitar to a 13-course lute can be frustratingly
difficult unless you have virtuoso chops and learn physical movements
easily. Thirteen courses are a lot harder to keep track of than eleven; my
lute teacher always said that every extra course increases the difficulty
geometrically rather than arithmetically. So my advice if you want to try
the lute waters is to start with a renaissance lute with eight courses or
fewer. It will be less expensive to buy and string, easier to learn, and
pretty versatile.
I apprechiate your help very much!

Of course, it takes always concentration to switch the tuning of one string,
but modifying the tuning of each course plus add another 7 seems to be
left for heros, indeed. I would probably be stuck to playing with a single
course at a time for years and enjoy the optical beauty of the instrument,
as long as it is a barock lute. From now on this word has another meaning
to me.
Post by Howard Posner
Even if you absolutely have to play Weiss, keep in mind that a lot of his
music needs only 11 courses.
Ok, I see.
And to be honest: I have played the Weiss chaconne of his re mineur
partita, as told above, for about a week now and I am quite satisfied
with the result.

Looking like the barock lute universe has to dispense of me,
which doesn't mean I may get an barock lute to hang it at the
wall next to the chimney and "play" it once in a while ;)

Thanks a lot for your posting, Howard!
Jasper

ps. feels kinda great once you have lost certain illusions!
Charles De Coster
2004-08-10 20:28:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Looking like the barock lute universe has to dispense of me,
which doesn't mean I may get an barock lute to hang it at the
wall next to the chimney and "play" it once in a while ;)
Thanks a lot for your posting, Howard!
Jasper
ps. feels kinda great once you have lost certain illusions!
Howard came comparatively late to baroque lute, and it has never been his
main axe, so I wouldn't take him too seriously, even if he is generally
reliable.
RT

______________
Roman M. Turovsky
http://polyhymnion.org/swv
Robert Crim
2004-08-10 22:45:53 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 20:28:04 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Howard came comparatively late to baroque lute, and it has never been his
main axe, so I wouldn't take him too seriously, even if he is generally
reliable.
RT
Howard "came to the baroque lute" about 25 years ago, if I remember
correctly. I would take Howard's advice very seriously indeed. He
has been there and done that as a soloist, an accompanist and a music
scholar (under his own name) for many years.

Your advice is usually worth what it costs.

Robert
Charles De Coster
2004-08-10 22:53:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Howard "came to the baroque lute" about 25 years ago, if I remember
correctly.
You don't. I'd say after 1990.
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 00:10:19 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 22:53:11 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Howard "came to the baroque lute" about 25 years ago, if I remember
correctly.
You don't. I'd say after 1990.
RT
I'd say about 1982. I borrowed his baroque lute for my first lesson
with Toyohiko Satoh.

Ask him.

Robert
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 00:32:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Howard "came to the baroque lute" about 25 years ago, if I remember
correctly.
You don't. I'd say after 1990.
RT
I'd say about 1982. I borrowed his baroque lute for my first lesson
with Toyohiko Satoh.
Ask him.
Robert
I am sure we shall have his clarification. Last time I saw HP, ca.1988, ha
wasn't into it.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-10 22:59:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Your advice is usually worth what it costs.
Which is?
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 00:10:37 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 22:59:47 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Your advice is usually worth what it costs.
Which is?
RT
Zero.

R.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 00:29:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Your advice is usually worth what it costs.
Which is?
RT
Zero.
R.
1. This is already more expensive than yours.
2. This is already more expensive than your credentials.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-10 20:22:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Jumping from a six-string guitar to a 13-course lute can be frustratingly
difficult unless you have virtuoso chops and learn physical movements
easily. Thirteen courses are a lot harder to keep track of than eleven; my
lute teacher always said that every extra course increases the difficulty
geometrically rather than arithmetically.
I disagree emphatically, but I have never gone through the guitar stage, so
I never had the impediment.
Post by Howard Posner
So my advice if you want to try
the lute waters is to start with a renaissance lute with eight courses or
fewer. It will be less expensive to buy and string, easier to learn, and
pretty versatile.
Stringing doesn't have to be expensive, as first 5 courses can be strung
with inexpensive carbon strings that last forever. Pyramid basses get better
with age too.
As to learning, I have played briefly a 10-course in renaissance tuning, and
switching to d-minor 13-course was a huge relief, mentally and physically.
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-10 22:40:41 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 20:22:15 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Jumping from a six-string guitar to a 13-course lute can be frustratingly
difficult unless you have virtuoso chops and learn physical movements
easily. Thirteen courses are a lot harder to keep track of than eleven; my
lute teacher always said that every extra course increases the difficulty
geometrically rather than arithmetically.
I disagree emphatically, but I have never gone through the guitar stage, so
I never had the impediment.
Disagree at our leisure, but I, and Howard P. have had that
"impediment" and I can assure you that the transition from 6/7 courses
to 11/13 courses is traumatic for a matter of weeks while the right
hand and fingers learn where all those courses lay.

As an aside, since you have no idea what training most classical
guitarists put themselves through, it might be more educational for
you to "listen and learn" from those that have done so.
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
So my advice if you want to try
the lute waters is to start with a renaissance lute with eight courses or
fewer. It will be less expensive to buy and string, easier to learn, and
pretty versatile.
Stringing doesn't have to be expensive, as first 5 courses can be strung
with inexpensive carbon strings that last forever. Pyramid basses get better
with age too.
I believe that Howard P. is referring to the cost of the instrument,
the labor involved in learning the instrument and learning the music
and it's tablature. The renaissance lute is much, much easier to
learn for a guitarist that the minor tuned baroque lute. Ask
Sollscher.......his 11 string is tuned as a renaissance lute.
Post by Charles De Coster
As to learning, I have played briefly a 10-course in renaissance tuning, and
switching to d-minor 13-course was a huge relief, mentally and physically.
No comment.

Robert
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 00:08:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Jumping from a six-string guitar to a 13-course lute can be frustratingly
difficult unless you have virtuoso chops and learn physical movements
easily. Thirteen courses are a lot harder to keep track of than eleven; my
lute teacher always said that every extra course increases the difficulty
geometrically rather than arithmetically.
I disagree emphatically, but I have never gone through the guitar stage, so
I never had the impediment.
Disagree at our leisure, but I, and Howard P. have had that
"impediment" and I can assure you that the transition from 6/7 courses
to 11/13 courses is traumatic for a matter of weeks while the right
hand and fingers learn where all those courses lay.
So what's the big deal about a few weeks?
Post by Robert Crim
As an aside, since you have no idea what training most classical
guitarists put themselves through, it might be more educational for
you to "listen and learn" from those that have done so.
While there are some lutenists without any guitar background, the larger
part who are former guitarists seem to have made the transition without loss
of limb.
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
So my advice if you want to try
the lute waters is to start with a renaissance lute with eight courses or
fewer. It will be less expensive to buy and string, easier to learn, and
pretty versatile.
Stringing doesn't have to be expensive, as first 5 courses can be strung
with inexpensive carbon strings that last forever. Pyramid basses get better
with age too.
I believe that Howard P. is referring to the cost of the instrument,
the labor involved in learning the instrument and learning the music
and it's tablature. The renaissance lute is much, much easier to
learn for a guitarist that the minor tuned baroque lute. Ask
Sollscher.......his 11 string is tuned as a renaissance lute.
Sollscher is sufficiently competent on lutes in both tunings even if he
bases his career on one type of guitar.
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
As to learning, I have played briefly a 10-course in renaissance tuning, and
switching to d-minor 13-course was a huge relief, mentally and physically.
No comment.
Robert
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 00:16:30 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 00:08:35 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Sollscher is sufficiently competent on lutes in both tunings even if he
bases his career on one type of guitar.
And you know this how?

Any references on where to get the CDs or the tapes would be
appreciated.

Robert
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 00:35:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Sollscher is sufficiently competent on lutes in both tunings even if he
bases his career on one type of guitar.
And you know this how?
From the horse's mouth.
Post by Robert Crim
Any references on where to get the CDs or the tapes would be
appreciated.
I have never said he makes a career out of this.
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 00:16:46 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 00:08:35 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.

R.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 00:36:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 00:56:56 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 00:36:38 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Actually the true meaning is " if you don't know what you are talking
about....shut up."

Words you should learn to live by.

Robert
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 01:03:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Actually the true meaning is " if you don't know what you are talking
about....shut up."
What's preventing you?
Post by Robert Crim
Words you should learn to live by.
What's preventing you?
RT
Robert Crim
2004-08-11 01:07:59 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 01:03:13 GMT, Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Actually the true meaning is " if you don't know what you are talking
about....shut up."
What's preventing you?
Post by Robert Crim
Words you should learn to live by.
What's preventing you?
RT
Fool.

R.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 01:14:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Actually the true meaning is " if you don't know what you are talking
about....shut up."
What's preventing you?
Post by Robert Crim
Words you should learn to live by.
What's preventing you?
RT
Fool.
R.
You talk about yourself way too much.
RT
Greg M. Silverman
2004-08-11 01:36:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Robert Crim
Post by Charles De Coster
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen.....
RT
No comment.
R.
A vague sign of rudimentary intelligence.
RT
Actually the true meaning is " if you don't know what you are talking
about....shut up."
What's preventing you?
Post by Robert Crim
Words you should learn to live by.
What's preventing you?
RT
Fool.
R.
You talk about yourself way too much.
RT
Okay, so the conjecture is that it is easier to go from guitar to ren
lute: I'll buy that due to the tuning issue. What I don't understand is
how going from ren to baroque lute is better than just going directly to
baroque, especially given that the tunings are so different. What does
playing ren lute do to help one "prepare" themselves for playing baroque
lute? There seems to be a logical disconnect here? Can't be the courses,
especially since on baroque lute the lower course are just tuned like a
scale. Heck, I think doing scales, chords and arpeggios for a bit would
help one learn the topography of the baroque lute fretboard in a fairly
quick manner. Perhaps Howard could answer this.


gms--
Matanya Ophee
2004-08-11 02:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
What does
playing ren lute do to help one "prepare" themselves for playing baroque
lute? There seems to be a logical disconnect here? Can't be the courses,
It has to be the courses, and the low tension strings, and the big
belly, and the tied frets, and the tablature reading. Definitely not
the tuning, because, as has been discussed here on numerous occasion,
they have only two tunings to choose from, we have many more. Try the
K on your baroque lute. Would probably work like a charm.


Matanya Ophee
Editions Orphe'e, Inc.,
1240 Clubview Blvd. N.
Columbus, OH 43235-1226
614-846-9517
fax: 614-846-9794
http://www.orphee.com
http://www.orphee.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
http://www.savageclassical.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
http://www.livejournal.com/users/matanya/
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 02:45:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Okay, so the conjecture is that it is easier to go from guitar to ren
lute: I'll buy that due to the tuning issue.
IMO, not really. There are topographic similarities between baroque lute and
guitar as well, as I've noted before, and there are even more similarities
with Russian guitar. People who have some experience with the latter
shouldn't have hard time with lute.


What I don't understand is
Post by Greg M. Silverman
how going from ren to baroque lute is better than just going directly to
baroque, especially given that the tunings are so different.
It isn't.


What does
Post by Greg M. Silverman
playing ren lute do to help one "prepare" themselves for playing baroque
lute?
Only dealing with double courses and collapsing the last joint, essential
for the technique.



There seems to be a logical disconnect here? Can't be the courses,
Post by Greg M. Silverman
especially since on baroque lute the lower course are just tuned like a
scale. Heck, I think doing scales, chords and arpeggios for a bit would
help one learn the topography of the baroque lute fretboard in a fairly
quick manner. Perhaps Howard could answer this.
The most common problems are
1. stabilizing the round body on one's lap (easily solved, ask how),
2. teaching one's thumb to find basses securely. This is usually impeded by
a wrong choice of bridge spacing, inexperienced novices opt for too narrow,
and this cannot be undone, so people get stuck with an instrument they
cannot play cleanly, and get discouraged.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 13:26:31 UTC
Permalink
I have updated the Baroque Lute for Guitarists page
at
http://polyhymnion.org/swv/theaxe.html
by pilfering whatever was useful in Howard's posts.
RT
________________
http://polyhymnion.org
Howard Posner
2004-08-11 15:47:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
I have updated the Baroque Lute for Guitarists page
at
http://polyhymnion.org/swv/theaxe.html
by pilfering whatever was useful in Howard's posts.
And it's a little spooky seeing some of my more off-the-cuff and dubious
comments, along with my confessions of ignorance, under someone else's name.
BTW, possessive "its" has no apostrophe.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 17:22:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Post by Charles De Coster
I have updated the Baroque Lute for Guitarists page
at
http://polyhymnion.org/swv/theaxe.html
by pilfering whatever was useful in Howard's posts.
And it's a little spooky seeing some of my more off-the-cuff and dubious
Is it an admission of guilt?
Post by Howard Posner
comments, along with my confessions of ignorance, under someone else's name.
BTW, possessive "its" has no apostrophe.
I rarely make such a mistake, but.....
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 02:48:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Heck, I think doing scales, chords and arpeggios for a bit would
help one learn the topography of the baroque lute fretboard in a fairly
quick manner.
That what tab is for.
RT
______________
Roman M. Turovsky
http://polyhymnion.org/swv
Howard Posner
2004-08-11 04:52:45 UTC
Permalink
If anyone still cares, or ever cared, Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew. I don't follow this newsgroup much, so it's a bit surprising
to find that my absence, of all things, was the cause of a flame war. If
I'm going to cause trouble, I should at least be there when it happens.
Post by Greg M. Silverman
Okay, so the conjecture is that it is easier to go from guitar to ren
lute: I'll buy that due to the tuning issue. What I don't understand is
how going from ren to baroque lute is better than just going directly to
baroque, especially given that the tunings are so different. What does
playing ren lute do to help one "prepare" themselves for playing baroque
lute? There seems to be a logical disconnect here? Can't be the courses,
especially since on baroque lute the lower course are just tuned like a
scale. Heck, I think doing scales, chords and arpeggios for a bit would
help one learn the topography of the baroque lute fretboard in a fairly
quick manner. Perhaps Howard could answer this.
I'm not entirely sure what the question is, but I know it's changed since my
post answering Jaspar Riedel. The question I was addressing then was what
sort of lute someone coming to the instrument from the guitar should look to
buy. The renaissance lute is the easiest choice for two reasons. First, of
all the lute tunings/stringing configurations (of which there are
considerably more than just two: renaissance, d minor baroque, Italian
theorbo, English theorbo, gallichon, and a number of "transitional" tunings
between renaissance and d minor baroque for which there is a substantial
repertoire, but which I've never tried and don't know much about) the tuning
is most familiar to the guitarist.* Any guitarist can tune the third string
down to F# and read tablature right off the page. Second, unlike a lot of
other tunings, renaissance tuning is practicable with a relatively small
number of courses -- as few as six (well, five, actually), by which I mean
there is a great deal of music written in that tuning for only six course.
(Also a lot of music for seven and eight courses, less for nine, quite a bit
for ten, and some for 14-course archlute) D minor tuning starts with 11
courses (i.e. the music in that tuning assumes 11 courses), which is quite a
jump for someone used to six strings. Music in theorbo tunings similarly
requires a lot of courses. So making the switch to renaissance lute is, on
the whole, the simplest way for a guitarist, because you can do it without
all those extra bass strings. That those bass strings are tuned in a
diatonic scale does not make it easier, because there are still a lot of
them, and they can turn into the Bermuda Triangle for your right thumb,
which has to find and play them all.

Nearly all lute players become conversant in renaissance tuning and when
they learn to improvise and play continuo, it's in that tuning or its
theorbo offshoots, rather than d minor tuning. There are exceptions, of
course, though I can't think of one offhand.

Greg may be suggesting that if all you want to do is play French or German
baroque music, it's probably a waste of time to start with renaissance
tuning. If so, I agree. But few players make this decision when they're
starting out. And those that do will not need my advice.

HP






*OK, not necessarily true: the stringing and tuning for the 18th-century
German 8-course mostly-continuo instrument called the
gallichon/mandore/colachon is in some ways most like the modern guitar's,
but there isn't a lot of extant solo music for it, and it and its music are
still largely unknown even in lute circles, so it's not a practical option
yet. I suppose you could say that Italian theorbo tuning is more similar to
the actual pitches of the modern guitar, and some guitarists do very well
going straight to theorbo.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 11:18:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew.
Because at the 2 seminars we attended together you didn't have one with you,
weren't interested and you weren't obviously dedicated to it. Dedicating
oneself is what taking up means to me. Cursory interest is insufficient.
RT
Howard Posner
2004-08-11 15:45:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew.
Because at the 2 seminars we attended together you didn't have one with you,
weren't interested and you weren't obviously dedicated to it. Dedicating
oneself is what taking up means to me. Cursory interest is insufficient.
This is what's known as slipping on your premises and sprawling to a
conclusion. I'll leave aside your exalted personal definition of "take up"
except to say that it is inherent in the nature of writing anything other
than a diary that the meaning of words is determined by the reader, not the
writer, so it's a good idea to use words in the commonly understood sense if
you want to be understood (and I think you do, sometimes, even if you're
cryptic to the point of unintelligibility at other times). If you make
assumptions about someone's interest solely from which of five or six
instruments he chooses to bring 3,000 miles on a plane, you're likely to be
mistaken (you would have had to conclude on the basis of the same evidence
that I never "took up" renaissance lute, since I always brought the
renaissance lute and baroque lute together, in the same travel case, and
would have left the one if I left the other). I've had people at seminars
express surprise when they found out that I played anything *other* than
German baroque lute.

I also don't understand why you think that someone who took up an instrument
as many as 14 years ago, as you thought, would be unqualified to give advice
about it.

But even if you were right on the facts, your initial conclusion was wrong.
If I'm only a dabbler on the baroque lute, I am the perfect person to answer
the question that was asked. This discussion began when Jaspar Riedel
asked, in the course of a discussion about unequally tempered frets on
Post by Charles De Coster
Seems it's high time to look for a lute (I would like the
one that Hopkinson-Smith plays on this photography ;)
So, what would one say is the minimum price to get a
cheap one to play a bit around with?
He reiterated the question on August 7, not having received much of an
Post by Charles De Coster
Anyhow, please allow for keeping my penetrance: So, what
would be a TYPICAL price for a cheap "beginner's" lute?
(So when you wrote that "this was all about particular music. The whole
discussion was spurred by SLWeiss," you were mistaken, and probably
confusing this thread with a different one, as you will doubtless conclude
if you look at the 49 "lute construction" posts that precede this one).

A person asking about an inexpensive lute "to play a bit around with" does
not necessarily need or want the advice of someone who has dedicated his
life to a particular configuration of lute.
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 17:15:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew.
Because at the 2 seminars we attended together you didn't have one with you,
weren't interested and you weren't obviously dedicated to it. Dedicating
oneself is what taking up means to me. Cursory interest is insufficient.
This is what's known as slipping on your premises and sprawling to a
conclusion. I'll leave aside your exalted personal definition of "take up"
except to say that it is inherent in the nature of writing anything other
than a diary that the meaning of words is determined by the reader, not the
writer, so it's a good idea to use words in the commonly understood sense if
you want to be understood (and I think you do, sometimes, even if you're
cryptic to the point of unintelligibility at other times).
Also you never indicated any such interest in the LSA member directory when
it still listed members' interests and levels of proficiency.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 17:21:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew.
Because at the 2 seminars we attended together you didn't have one with you,
weren't interested and you weren't obviously dedicated to it. Dedicating
oneself is what taking up means to me. Cursory interest is insufficient.
This is what's known as slipping on your premises and sprawling to a
conclusion. I'll leave aside your exalted personal definition of "take up"
except to say that it is inherent in the nature of writing anything other
than a diary that the meaning of words is determined by the reader, not the
writer, so it's a good idea to use words in the commonly understood sense if
you want to be understood (and I think you do, sometimes, even if you're
cryptic to the point of unintelligibility at other times). If you make
assumptions about someone's interest solely from which of five or six
instruments he chooses to bring 3,000 miles on a plane, you're likely to be
mistaken (you would have had to conclude on the basis of the same evidence
that I never "took up" renaissance lute, since I always brought the
renaissance lute and baroque lute together, in the same travel case, and
would have left the one if I left the other). I've had people at seminars
express surprise when they found out that I played anything *other* than
German baroque lute.
Had I known this I'd have you S-spammed, damn it.
Post by Howard Posner
I also don't understand why you think that someone who took up an instrument
as many as 14 years ago, as you thought, would be unqualified to give advice
about it.
I didn't say you are unqualified, but your vision of it might be clouded by
the number of instruments you play. And I don't advocate
multi-instrumentalism, Herr Advokat.
Post by Howard Posner
He reiterated the question on August 7, not having received much of an
Post by Charles De Coster
Anyhow, please allow for keeping my penetrance: So, what
would be a TYPICAL price for a cheap "beginner's" lute?
To which I said that a "beginner's lute" is best avoided.
Post by Howard Posner
A person asking about an inexpensive lute "to play a bit around with" does
not necessarily need or want the advice of someone who has dedicated his
life to a particular configuration of lute.
A matter of opinion, my evangelizing tendencies aside.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 17:30:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew.
Because at the 2 seminars we attended together you didn't have one with you,
weren't interested and you weren't obviously dedicated to it. Dedicating
oneself is what taking up means to me. Cursory interest is insufficient.
This is what's known as slipping on your premises and sprawling to a
conclusion.
Happens to the best of us.
RT

Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 11:24:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
Greg may be suggesting that if all you want to do is play French or German
baroque music, it's probably a waste of time to start with renaissance
tuning. If so, I agree.
The entire brouhaha was started around SLWeiss.
RT
Richard F. Sayage
2004-08-11 11:40:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles De Coster
Post by Howard Posner
Greg may be suggesting that if all you want to do is play French or German
baroque music, it's probably a waste of time to start with renaissance
tuning. If so, I agree.
The entire brouhaha was started around SLWeiss.
RT
Apparently I'm a trouble maker!!!??? hehe...maybe we shoulda stuck to
talking about Weiss, and how much it sucks on the guitar! :-)

To both Roman and Robert, thank you for your help. I'll continue to
look your ways as the work progresses. Peace and out.

Rich
--
Richard F. Sayage
www.savageclassical.com

Remove ZEROSPAM to reply...thx

http://www.orphee.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
http://www.savageclassical.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 11:45:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
*OK, not necessarily true: the stringing and tuning for the 18th-century
German 8-course mostly-continuo instrument called the
gallichon/mandore/colachon is in some ways most like the modern guitar's,
but there isn't a lot of extant solo music for it, and it and its music are
still largely unknown even in lute circles, so it's not a practical option
yet. I suppose you could say that Italian theorbo tuning is more similar to
the actual pitches of the modern guitar, and some guitarists do very well
going straight to theorbo.
All true, the theorbo and the mandora are a natural choice for the
lutenistically inclined guitarist, but this was all about particular music.
The whole discussion was spurred by SLWeiss.
RT
Charles De Coster
2004-08-11 12:10:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Howard Posner
If anyone still cares, or ever cared, Robert was pretty much right and Roman
wrong about when I took up baroque lute. I'm not sure why Roman would even
think he knew. I don't follow this newsgroup much, so it's a bit surprising
to find that my absence, of all things, was the cause of a flame war. If
I'm going to cause trouble, I should at least be there when it happens.
I'm very happy to stand corrected.
RT


______________
Roman M. Turovsky
http://polyhymnion.org/swv
Charles De Coster
2004-08-08 23:55:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Anyhow, please allow for keeping my penetrance: So, what
would be a TYPICAL price for a cheap "beginner's" lute?
Thanks, Regards, Jasper
There is no such thing. A good progress is contingent on a good intrument.
RT
Greg M. Silverman
2004-08-08 00:00:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Todd Tipton
Post by Greg M. Silverman
He
lives in Sao Paolo, so you obviously would not get to test it out before
hand. He has a web site, but unfortinately, I cannot find the URL.
Perhaps someone here knows, if not maybe I'll find it (he posts to the
Lute list).
http://www.lucianofaria.com/
Perhaps that is what you are looking for.
Tee hee! Perhaps it would help if I could spell. ;-)

gms--
Olof Johansson
2004-08-07 22:52:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
David,
this is VERY interesting, thank you for explaining that!
Recently, here was a discussion about using the one
or another electronic tuner in order to tune the guitar
or wether do it by ear. Your posting should make
things a lot clearer and adjust some of those expectations
mentioned there, unfortunately ;)
Btw, I kind of thougt I have heared already long ago
that the lute frets are relocatable and often be put a bit
askew to compensate for the different thickness of
the strings.
Also, I wonder why the guitar frets are usually placed
that constantly equal - I have never heard of any experiments
or even saw offerings of a guitar with modified fret distances.
About six months ago, I wondered exactly that, and did a sort of
calculation for this. I don't remember it in detail, but if you dare me
to it I can try to do a more detailed explanation than this: the
distance between each fret (that is, distance between the metal thinges)
decreases by the same factor, which turns out to be the same as the
pythagorean comma. I think this may go: as you slide down the neck
towards the headstock, the distance between the frets increases by the
pythagorean comma, that is 102% or something like that, just bluntly
assuming here that the pythagorean comma is 2%. So, in sum this means
the length from head bridge to fretted fret is a geometric series. Which
explains the beautiful placement of guitar frets.
I hope there's someone else who wishes to expand on this.
Regards
Olof
Post by Jasper Riedel
Seems it's high time to look for a lute (I would like the
one that Hopkinson-Smith plays on this photography ;)
So, what would one say is the minimum price to get a
cheap one to play a bit around with?
Thanx again, Best Regards,
Jasper
------ cut here ------
Post by David Kilpatrick
Post by Jasper Riedel
Hi, I just viewed this picture
http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
and mentioned the VERY different distances
between certain frets, especially between
the 1st to the 2nd versus the 2nd and the 3rd fret.
This looks very strange to a guitar player!
One might guess this is done to optimize the tuning
of certain keys...
Can anyone explain this?
These three intervals affect some critical unisons and octaves, and even
on a standard guitar, it can pay to shorten the 1st fret interval,
slightly shorten the 2nd, and perhaps increase the 3rd (based on the 5th
and 7th frets being at perfectly calculated positions relative to the
octave).
Some lute and baroque guitar players had small added partial frets,
placed just behind the 1st and 2nd frets, inset into the wood (the frets
themselves are tied gut, the partial frets are small metal strips, set
into the fingerboard like a normal fret). There is enough distance
between these to play either the 'equally tempered' note or the 'natural
scale' note. It's more common with theorbos or archlutes with a longer
scale, similar to guitars - regular lutes are quite short in scale.
If the fret is tied a little short of the normal position, the player
can bend the string slightly to raise the pitch when the lower pitch is
going to be a problem.
I've seen guitars made with the frets in adjusted positions, different
for each string (not all frets, and limited to the first three normally
- on selected strings). I assume those have to be played in a fixed
tuning and suit certain keys better than others.
David
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-07 23:00:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Olof Johansson
About six months ago, I wondered exactly that, and did a sort of
calculation for this. I don't remember it in detail, but if you dare me
to it I can try to do a more detailed explanation than this: the
distance between each fret (that is, distance between the metal thinges)
decreases by the same factor, which turns out to be the same as the
pythagorean comma. I think this may go: as you slide down the neck
towards the headstock, the distance between the frets increases by the
pythagorean comma, that is 102% or something like that, just bluntly
assuming here that the pythagorean comma is 2%. So, in sum this means
the length from head bridge to fretted fret is a geometric series. Which
explains the beautiful placement of guitar frets.
I hope there's someone else who wishes to expand on this.
Regards
Olof
Please be sure you mean the ASKEW aspect.

I means that 2 adjacent frets are differently spaced between
the upper and the lower string of the fret board.

For easy understandance take an look on the 8th fret of
this one (!) : http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif

In this case things are pretty clearly seeable. Funny, no?

Regards,
Jasper
Olof Johansson
2004-08-07 23:45:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jasper Riedel
Post by Olof Johansson
About six months ago, I wondered exactly that, and did a sort of
calculation for this. I don't remember it in detail, but if you dare me
to it I can try to do a more detailed explanation than this: the
distance between each fret (that is, distance between the metal thinges)
decreases by the same factor, which turns out to be the same as the
pythagorean comma. I think this may go: as you slide down the neck
towards the headstock, the distance between the frets increases by the
pythagorean comma, that is 102% or something like that, just bluntly
assuming here that the pythagorean comma is 2%. So, in sum this means
the length from head bridge to fretted fret is a geometric series. Which
explains the beautiful placement of guitar frets.
I hope there's someone else who wishes to expand on this.
Regards
Olof
Please be sure you mean the ASKEW aspect.
I means that 2 adjacent frets are differently spaced between
the upper and the lower string of the fret board.
For easy understandance take an look on the 8th fret of
this one (!) : http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
In this case things are pretty clearly seeable. Funny, no?
Regards,
Jasper
Aha! So that's what you were talking about! I have been babbling about
something else! I only noticed the first thing about the frets in the
picture, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd fret placement. The picture is pretty funny -
in both meanings, odd and humorous!
--
Olof
Jasper Riedel
2004-08-08 00:05:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Olof Johansson
Post by Jasper Riedel
Please be sure you mean the ASKEW aspect.
I means that 2 adjacent frets are differently spaced between
the upper and the lower string of the fret board.
For easy understandance take an look on the 8th fret of
this one (!) : http://www.hopkinsonsmith.com/files/hop02.tif
In this case things are pretty clearly seeable. Funny, no?
Aha! So that's what you were talking about! I have been babbling about
something else! I only noticed the first thing about the frets in the
picture, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd fret placement. The picture is pretty funny -
in both meanings, odd and humorous!
Ah nah, let my tongue language be different from english and
you can understand the way I am failing ...


Regares
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