Historical Lute Construction

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  • Topic: Lute, Guitar, Fret
  • Pages : 4 (1096 words )
  • Download(s) : 84
  • Published : October 17, 2010
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Sean Fitch

9/24/2010

Music History I (Medieval-Renaissance)

Written Assignment I: (The Lute)

One of the most respected instruments of the renaissance period is the Lute. The Lute is ideally used for the accompaniment of voice and other soft instruments. It is also known to be one of the most articulate solo instruments. The player of the lute is referred to as “lutist” or “lutanist.” The maker of a lute is known as a “luthier.” It is very common to see the lute associated with painting and other pieces of artwork from its time.

Lutes are made mostly of wood. The soundboard is usually made from a flat, thin piece of spruce, which provides resonance. Since lutes have close sound holes, all lutes have a “rose,” which is a decorated sound hole under the strings. The back of the lute is known as a “shell.” The shell is usually assembled from thin, but durable wood, These pieces of wood are known as “ribs,” and eventually conjoined by glue to form the round body of the instrument. The back of lute also has “braces in the inside on the soundboard to give it strength.” (Lundberg, Peterson, “Historical Lute Construction” pg. 10). In most ways, the lute is constructed of similar to most instruments. The only difference would be the construction of the neck. The neck is constructed of a light wood which is later combined with a hardwood. This provides a tough resistant for the fret board. “The pegbox for lutes before the Baroque era was angled back from the neck at almost 90°, presumably to help hold the low-tension strings firmly against the nut, which is not traditionally glued in place, but held in place by string pressure only.” (Veylit, “Musick’s Handmade”). The tuning pegs are created from hardwood. Similar to other stringed instruments, when it comes to tuning pegs, the wood selection makes all the difference. Tuning pegs in the lute were often made fruitwoods. The lute was tuned in E (E-A-D-F#-B-E).

The Belly of the lute is very...
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