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UUB 20:13 – A Contextual Analysis of a Lute Manuscript
Stockholm University, Department of Musicology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3734-0757
1991 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Of the various periods in the lute's history, that which is chronologically closest to us - the 18th century - is ironically the least familiar. The lute is strongly associated with Elisabethan England through well known composers such as John Dowland, and the 17th century French lutenists' influence on the style brise clavecin composers is similarly well documented. However, the generations of German lutenists working after c.1720 are largely unfamiliar today. One explanation is that by this time the lute had lost the preeminence which it had enjoyed in previous centuries, its position as the main chordal-, dynamically flexible instrument having been supplanted by the piano-forte. Also, writers such as Mattheson criticised the lute for being exceptionally hard to play and tune, as well as excessively expensive to maintain.2 Moreover, the gradual abandonment of the continuo concept deprived the lute of its accompanimental role.

Thus, 18th century lutenists were writing for an increasingly obsolescent instrument. However, they were very productive and technically innovative, and the treasury of 18th century lute music constitutes a rich, interesting and idiomatic contribution to the repertory of the instrument. Few of the works were ever published, however, and the bulk of the repertory is preserved in MSS in various museums and libraries, which thus renders it inaccessible. The notation presents a further difficulty, since virtually all of this music was written in tablature - a notation which few scholars read.

Although Sweden's contribution to the history of the lute was never major, a relatively large amount of lute music is preserved in Swedish libraries, museums and foundations. Most of these have been treated in a series of articles by Kenneth Sparr in the Swedish Guitar and Lute Society Journal,3 but there are no thorough studies of Swedish lute MSS, with the sole exception of Bengt Hambreaus' Codex Carminum Gallicorum,4 translated into French.

Furthermore, articles on Swedish lute MSS in international languages are even less common, and consequently knowledge about the music concerned is inaccessible to the international audience of players and scholars.

The aforementioned situations provided the author with ample justification for writing this paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm University, 1991. , p. 119
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-135296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-135296DiVA, id: diva2:1080425
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-10 Created: 2017-03-10 Last updated: 2017-03-10Bibliographically approved

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