Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Some fac-similes interesting for renaissance guitar (and baroque with De Visée)


Thanks a lot to Jean-François Delcamp for his work...

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Merçi Valéry! :)

It's great to have these Morlaye publications.

I had trouble downloading them in Firefox but no problem in Chrome.

It's a pity that the link to  Le Quatriesme Livre doesn't work.

Thanks for the info, I asked Jean-François, I think it willl work soon...


The link to Le Quatriesme Livre now works. Thanks.

(this is the source of the two fantasias by  Albert de Rippe, should one fancy trying to play them!)

still working on No. 1 of de Rippe´s fancys. it´s great music on a tiny instrument! and I believe that it is original guitar music not a lute => guitar transcription (this is discussed by J. Robinson in one of the last lute ezine supplements of the english lute society).

I used J. Robinson´s edition. but I have the facsimile for comparision.


I don't think it's really possible to say for sure exactly what type of instrument the 'chitara' was: with figure-of-eight or lute-like shaped body. Despite all the argumentation in the Meucci article, it is highly unlikely that the the four-course Renaissance guitar was absent in 16th century Italy, in particular in such regions as Naples, for example. There is at least one representation of the four-course guitar which could well be defined as 'chitarra da sette corde', as is mentioned in the contemporary sources. It is on a pilaster of the Duomo of Cremona (c. 1560): http://www.vihuelademano.com/vg-crossroads/LStalk/pilaster.jpg

Whatever the case may be, however, the music would sound fine on either type, so I wouldn't worry that much about it.

PS: Solely reliance on a name in an effort to identify the type of musical instrument can be a tricky business and there are some examples in traditional musical cultures when the same name can be applied even to different categories of instruments (i.e. stringed, wind etc), so when such a generic name as 'chitara', 'chitarra' etc is used, it's really easy to fall in a trap of over-generalisation.

it is very interessting, that Barberis used not a 4-course- modified italian tab but a "spanish" tab with the canto on the upper course. 

thanks for posting the link, Valéry!

Dear Valery,

thank you very much for the link to the Morlaye books for renaissance guitar. These magnificent books are out of print for so much time...!!

(Of course, a big thanks to  J-F. Delcamp for the very clear scans and for sharing the files.)


Thank you very much, Valéry - i was looking since a long time to get this beautiful music Thanks also to  J-F. Delcamp for sharing!



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