Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/189

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LUTE.
177
LUTENIST.

thus a compass of 3½ octaves from C below the bass stave to the F on the fifth line of the treble stave. We gather further from him that this tuning would represent 'cammer,' or theatre pitch; for the 'chor,' or church pitch, the chanterelle would be tuned to the treble G, to the greater peril of the strings. Praetorius ('Organographia,' Wolfenbüttel, 1619, p. 49) has G for the chanterelle. There were, at last, thirteen pairs of strings in large lutes, descending at the tuner's pleasure to the deep A or G. Mace (p. 41) explains a large compass of strings as bringing the stopping 'to a natural form and aptitude for the hand.' There were other tunings besides the above D minor. Mace gives a new French tuning in E minor, and a 'flat' tuning which he preferred; referring to that we quote from Baron (b) as the old lute, theorbo, or viol-way: but he wisely remarks (p. 191) 'that tuning upon any instrument which allows the artist most scope, freedom and variety, with most ease and familiarity, to express his conceptions most fully and completely, without limitation or restraint throughout all the keys, must needs be accounted the best.'

It must have been very troublesome to keep a lute in order. Mace, in his often-quoted work, recommends that a lute should be kept in a bed which is in constant use, and goes on to say that once in a year or two, if you have not very good luck, you will be constrained to have the belly taken off as it will have sunk from the stretch of the strings, 'which is a great strength.' Matheson said a lutenist of eighty years old had certainly spent sixty in tuning his instrument, and that the cost in Paris of keeping a horse or a lute was about the same. Baron replied that the horse would soon be like one of Pharaoh's lean kine.

In Italian lutes of early date the tuning pegs were disposed diagonally across the head in two rows, the projections for tuning being at the back. They were afterwards inserted at the side of the head as in a violin, the head being bent back at an obtuse or even a right angle to the neck. Ultimately metal screws replaced the pegs, but only when large single strings were put on instead of double strings. The lute is now esteemed solely for the great beauty of its form and design. Inlays of various hard woods, tortoiseshell, ivory, and mother of pearl, and sometimes painting on the sound-board, have been employed to decorate them. Through their decorative value many lutes have been preserved: the violin makers have however destroyed more for the sake of the wood, which is prized for repairing old fiddles. Lutes and viols having been made by the same artists, the word luthier in French still designates a maker of violins (compare German Luther).

The lute-player had not our musical notation; systems special to the instrument, and known as Tablature, being long in vogue. Many instruction books were written for the lute, with examples in tablature; the oldest known to exist in this country is the 'Lauttenbuch' of Wolf Heckel (Strasburg, 1562) preserved in the Library of the Sacred Harmonic Society. The next in order of date is in the British Museum, being an English translation by F. K. (London, 1574), of the famous Tutor of Adrien Le Roy, which had appeared in Paris in 1551. There is another in the same library by Thomas Robinson, written in the form of a dialogue (London, 1603). We must not omit the treatise by Thomas Mace (London, 1676) to which we have so frequently referred. Praetorius, in his Organographia, was careful to describe the then (1619) familiar lute. He gives (p. 51) a graduated family of lutes with their quints or chanterelles which show how much variety in size and scale was permitted. They are—(1) Klein Octav (a); (2) Klein Discant (b); (3) Discant (c); (4) Recht Chorist oder Alt (d); (5) Tenor (e); (6) Bass (f); (7) Gross Octav Bass (g).

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \cadenzaOn c''^"(a)" d''^"or" \bar "||" b'^"(b)" \bar "||" a'^"(c)" \bar "||" g'^"(d)" \bar "||" e'^"(e)" \bar "||" \clef bass d'^"(f)" \bar "||" g^"(g)" \bar "||" }

Thus it will be seen that the lute generally known and described here, the 'French' lute of Mace, is the Alto lute. Vincentio Galilei, the father of the astronomer, was the author of a dialogue on the lute (Venice, 1583). Other noteworthy continental publications were by Judenkunig, Vienna, 1523; Gerle, Nuremberg, 1545; Hans Neusiedler, Nuremberg, 1556; Melchior Neusiedler, 1574; Ochsenkhuns, Heidelberg, 1558; Kargel, Strassburg, 1586; Besardus, Cologne, 1603; Campion, Paris, 1710; and Baron, Nuremberg (already quoted from), 1727.

Much valuable information collected about lute makers and the literature of the lute is communicated by Mr. Engel in his admirable catalogue of the South Kensington Museum referred to. The finest lutes were made in Italy; and Bologna, Venice, Padua, and Rome were especially famous for them. There would appear to have been a fusion of German and Italian skill in northern Italy when the Bolognese lutes were reputed to excel over all others. Evelyn in his Diary (May 21, 1645) remarks their high price and that they were chiefly made by Germans. One of the earliest of these was Lucas (or Laux, as he inscribed his name on his instruments) Maler, who was living in Bologna about 1415. There is one of his make at South Kensington, represented in the drawing, a remarkable specimen, notwithstanding that the head is modernised, the stringing altered, and the belly later adorned with painting. According to Thomas Mace, 'pittifull old, batter'd, crack'd things' of Laux Maler would fetch a hundred pounds each, which, considering the altered value of money, rivals the prices paid now-a-days for fine Cremona volins. He (p. 48) quotes the King (Charles II) as having bought one through the famous lutenist Gootiere; and one of the same master's pupils bought another, at that very high price!

[ A. J. H. ]

LUTENIST, a lute-player. In the 16th and 17th centuries lutenists, or, as they were sometimes called, 'lewters' or 'luters,' invariably