Stradivarius – Not Just Violins

SFIV1967

Venerated Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
12,996
Reaction score
1,803
Location
Bavaria / Germany
Guild Total
8
Interesting, didn't know! How interesting, they always show and play her with only 9 strings but she has 10 pegs/tuners.

And look how he made frets!

1613843912283.png


More here:




There is a German luthier in Essen who builds copies of the model with two different neck sizes:



Ralf
 
Last edited:

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
18,874
Reaction score
1,397
Location
Central Virginia, USA
Guild Total
5
The fret technique was in common use. I went to a demo/concert featuring a viol de gamba - something cellists who want to play "early music" find easy to pick up. It had several frets of similar construction but the rest of the fingerboard was fretless. The player said they were very careful with the instrument because if a fret got bumped it was about 30 minutes to check and restore frets to position and then tune the strings.

hb_2009.42.jpg
 

Canard

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
126
Reaction score
85
Guild Total
4
Yes. The gut frets are interesting.

They have a purpose. They date from a time before equal tempered tuning, and with quick micro adjustments, they can allow for transposing keys in music that uses non-equal-tempered scales. Most non-equal-tempered notes transpose keys OK, but there are few that would be clunkers without pitch adjustment.

I play lute, or rather, I try or pretended to play lute. Lutes do not have a bridge saddles. Compensation for intonation is done by individual fret placement and by variation in the length of the loop in the tie off knot at the bridge - the loop functioning like a bridge saddle piece. It is not unusual to see gut frets that are somewhat diagonal rather than perpendicular to the neck.
 

Canard

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
126
Reaction score
85
Guild Total
4
Interesting, didn't know! How interesting, they always show and play her with only 9 strings but she has 10 pegs/tuners.
Nothing is entirely "standard" on early instruments but it is normal for the treble string on lutes to be a single string rather than a course of two strings. On the guitar, I suppose it is a matter of player preference. If the performer is primarily a lutenist, he may feel more comfortable with a single string on the guitar.

Courses are either unison or octave. Modern stringing tends to favour octaves, but John Dowland, the Elizabethan/Jacobian international superstar of the lute, favoured unison courses and thought octave stringing was unnatural. I have two el-cheapo lutes, both eight course Renaissance models; one sounds absolutely terrible with octave stringing but the other sounds nice.
 

GGJaguar

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
4,272
Reaction score
3,242
Location
Skylands
Guild Total
28
Here's a tune from the Renaissance showcasing how the (tiny) guitar was played.

 

Canard

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
126
Reaction score
85
Guild Total
4
"What's with five string guitars?" you might ask.

Well this thread has not veered off anywhere, yet.

So no time like the present.

Keef's Tele bridge ... Renaissance or Baroque? Dunno. ;)

2021-02-21 11.27.40 members.tripod.com 19bffc3ba77b.png
 

Rocky

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
42
Guild Total
1
It's not playable, but there is a Strad in Vermilion, SD @ the National Music Museum.

There's all sorts of cool stuff there, some of Les Paul's instruments, 1800's Martins, harp guitars...and that's just the 'plucked instrument' section.

Well worth a trip from Denver, or on your way through Mt. Rushmore.

 

chazmo

Super Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
16,553
Reaction score
399
Location
Central Massachusetts
Ralf, thanks for posting that performance on the Strad Sabionari.

I'd never thought about how frets came to be, but that makes total sense that they evolved from a classical fingerboard like that.

I wonder why these early guitars had courses like that. I'm not hearing octaves, and I'm not hearing "chorus" effect slight detuning. What's the purpose?
 

Rocky

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
42
Guild Total
1
I wonder why these early guitars had courses like that. I'm not hearing octaves, and I'm not hearing "chorus" effect slight detuning. What's the purpose?
I'm guessing the same as pianos. Volume. You can imagine how quiet a guitar of that size is. You would need courses to perfom in anything larger than a medium sized parlor and be heard.
 

Canard

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
126
Reaction score
85
Guild Total
4
Part of the reason that early guitars had courses of strings may be that the lutes they evolved from had courses of strings, which gets us back to the themes of volume and choral dissonance. Ouds from which lutes evolved and which were brought to Europe by crusaders also had courses of strings.

 
Last edited:

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
18,874
Reaction score
1,397
Location
Central Virginia, USA
Guild Total
5
It's not playable, but there is a Strad in Vermilion, SD @ the National Music Museum.

There's all sorts of cool stuff there, some of Les Paul's instruments, 1800's Martins, harp guitars...and that's just the 'plucked instrument' section.

Well worth a trip from Denver, or on your way through Mt. Rushmore.

In case anyone gets excited, Vermilion is in SE SD and Omaha may be the closest "major" airport, about two hours South.

I mention it because it would be a really long day to drive from Denver and you need to be approaching Mt. Rushmore from really far East to have Vermilion on the way.

I only mention this because I visited family in western Nebraska, usually flying in to Denver, and we often looked for touristy things to do. That would have been high on the list if we had known but from where we were, Mt. Rushmore was about an hour north and Vermilion would have been 9+ hours mostly East.
 

Rocky

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
42
Guild Total
1
In case anyone gets excited, Vermilion is in SE SD and Omaha may be the closest "major" airport, about two hours South.

I mention it because it would be a really long day to drive from Denver
DOH! Thanks! I stumbled upon Vermilion on a trip to Omaha in my quest to visit all 50 states. It was Cheyenne that was the drive from Denver. I really need to brush up on my square states. 🤠
 

fronobulax

Backup bassist, Frono and the Mod Squad
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
18,874
Reaction score
1,397
Location
Central Virginia, USA
Guild Total
5
DOH! Thanks! I stumbled upon Vermilion on a trip to Omaha in my quest to visit all 50 states. It was Cheyenne that was the drive from Denver. I really need to brush up on my square states. 🤠
You confused me but it was worth it because Omaha is now the closest airport to family so this gives something for the To Do list.
 

Rocky

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
42
Guild Total
1
You confused me but it was worth it because Omaha is now the closest airport to family so this gives something for the To Do list.
Check the website. I think with COVID, they closed down to do some renovation, but should be back in operation soon.
 
Top