The Renaissance thumb-under lute technique

The Renaissance lute has claimed a handsome share of the popularity enjoyed by early music in the twentieth century, but until recently this was at the cost of accurately recreating the building and playing techniques of old. Deciphering exactly how old lutes were built has been difficult since many surviving instruments were cannibalized during the Baroque to make lutes with markedly different proportions and stringing, and the handful of unaltered lutes often need extensive restoration before any measurements can be made. But like most early instruments, the lute was cultivated at first by performers trained on a related modern instrument, which compromised any urgency to understand the original playing techniques (…)

by Bruce MacEvoy

Lute Society of America


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