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Vincenzo Galilei’s “26 Ricercari” from Fronimo, Transcribed for Guitar: Challenges and Solutions for Transcribing and Playing Italian Renaissance Lute Tablature on the Modern Guitar

John Oeth

https://keep.lib.asu.edu/items/159

In 1568, Vincenzo Galilei published the first edition of Fronimo as a guide to the art of intabulating vocal music for the lute. A second edition was released in 1584 in which Galilei presents “26 Ricercari” to demonstrate the sound of each Glarean mode. These short works provide a methodical approach to experiencing the Renaissance modes through his beautiful writing for the lute.

This research project focuses on the “26 Ricercari” and explores the challenges of transcribing and arranging Renaissance lute tablatures to be played on the guitar. Topics such as making decisions for voicings, fingerings, tactus reductions, and formatting are examined. Historically-informed playing suggestions such as articulations, lute techniques, and tempo are also included.

Many lute and vihuela works, like the ricercari, have not yet been transcribed. The ricerari tablatures are idiomatic and instantly playable for guitarists who are familiar with different forms of tablature, but most classical guitarists today are familiar only with modern staff notation. Because of this, Galilei’s works have been wrongfully neglected.

My project presents the first guitar edition of these works, along with the documentation of my methodology, and serves as an aid to others for transcribing lute tablatures.

- Vincenzo Galilei’s “26 Ricercari” from Fronimo, Transcribed for Guitar: Challenges and Solutions for Transcribing and Playing Italian Renaissance Lute Tablature on the Modern Guitar

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