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Does anyone know if there is a translation into English or French of the instructions for the guitar in Phalèse, 1570 ?

You can download the book here :


Thank you to let me know if you have info about this question.

All the best,


PS : Joined file (pdf) of the instructions in latin.

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Heartz's paper in the 1963 Galpin Society Journal

This seems to be an old message but I will reply to it again as it seems topical. There is an English translation of the whole of the introduction to Phalese in Daniel Heartz' article "An Elizabethan tutor for the guitar" in the Galpin Society Journal Vol. 16 May 1963 p.3-21.  It is paraphrased or summarized in the article by Dobson, Segerman and Tyler "The tunings of the 4-course French Cittern and of the 4-course guitar in the 16th century" in Lute Society Journal Vol. 16 1974 p.17-23. This article includes also an English translation of the instructions for tuning the cittern from Vreedman's Modus nervus cithara which was printed by Phalese in 1568. These are the instructions which Phalese is supposed to have adapted for the guitar.

Thank you Martin and Monica for your useful answers! I will try and find these articles.

There is a critical edition of the Latin (the section about tuning) with translation, in my book 'The Guitar in Tudor England: A Social and Musical History' (Cambridge University Press, 2005) Appendix D.

Thank you Christopher! I do have your excellent book and indeed what I was looking for is there! Perfect.

Excellent. Many thanks, Jean-Marie, for those very kind words!   


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