Chapter

The Lute: An Instrument for All Seasons

MICHAEL LOWE

in The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265055
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265055.003.0009

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Lute: An Instrument for All Seasons

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During the sixteenth century in Italy, the lute became the most important musical instrument in secular settings, whether as a solo instrument or for voice accompaniments and ensembles. By the early seventeenth century, the growth of monody encouraged the addition of neck extensions to strengthen the bass lines, eventually leading to the introduction of the theorbo or chitarrone. While these larger instruments became popular in theatres and even churches, the traditional lute, with an increased number of courses, remained the pre-eminent solo instrument within smaller, more intimate spaces, especially in France.

Keywords: lute; theorbo; chitarrone; lute-making; domestic interior; music rooms; France; Italy

Chapter.  3417 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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