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Does anyone know where to get hold of facsimiles of Diesel's guitar music?

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Hi Monica

He lived in Denmark and was a court lutenist and guitarist at the danish court. He is first mentioned in 1736. He was the teacher of the princess Charlotte Amalie. The danish royal library has most of his music. I'm also interested in getting this music. When i get it I could sent You a copi.

That would be helpful.   Let me know if you have any luck with the library.   Monica

I obtained some of his music from the Lute Society of America library. It seems incomplete, though. Diesel's (?) setting of the Handel aria "Caro vieni al mio" (from the opera "Poro"), for example wasn't in the music, and some duet parts seem missing, too. The "Caro vieni" and examples of Diesel's solo and duet music has been transcribed in the 1975 dissertation by David Bruce Lyons titled "The Guitar Music of Nathanael Diesel, Lutenist to the Royal Danish Court, 1736-1744."

Kristian Buhl-Mortensen has done some recording and edition of guitar music from Danish manuscripts.


There is a manuscript of 'Sonater, Suiter og andre Kompositioner for Guitar' in the Danish Royal Library as Lars mentioned: Diesel (hope that works). It should be relatively easy to order a photocopy of that.

I've contakted the library and they will in the nearest future put it online on there website.

Thanks for all the useful comments.   I actually borrowed the LSA's film but  it is not something I was interested in being 18th century so I didn't copy it.   Someone else asked me for it so I will pass on the information.

That is great!

Dear Monica,

I've a copy of the Diesel Ms - but it is pretty large. Are there any particular pieces you'd like to see?


Hi Martyn    Thanks for the offer.   It was actually some else who asked me where they they could get a copy.  I have most of it myself on a CDROM.  I borrowed the LSA microfilm and  Richard McKenzie copied it.   But the files are much too big to E-mail.  They are in a word document too.   I never really got into his music myself.   Too 18th century!   Regards   Monica


I can well understand how you're not especially interested in Diesel's work: one particular feature is that, as might be expected from his transitional dates, his style and use of basses is much more simple treble and bass orientated than the earlier generation of guitarists.  So much so, in fact, that I'm inclined to think that his basses (the low bourdons) on the fourth and fifth courses were on the outside (ie plucked first with the thumb). Certainly the pieces work very well on the mandora (tuning intervals as the guitar) where this disposition of the basses is general. Are you aware of any evidence of what stringing he employed?


Oddly tho' he doesn't seem to go in for measured arpeggios in a big way as many late 18th century mandora and guitar favoured (composers like Zincke, Merchi and later like von Call, Molitor and the like).



How well you know me and my tastes!   I don't like simple treble and bass orientated music on the guitar!  It doesn't seem to me to do the instrument justice.    I don't know what method of stringing Diesel used but from the date which is circa 1740 I think it must have been bourdons as usual.   This whole question of placing the trebles strings on the thumb side is really a mystery because there are so few references to it.   Apart from the reference in Ruiz de Ribayaz in 1677 these are very late.   Corrette and Rousseau in  Diderot's dictionary are the only ones I know of.   You may remember that I suggested on the vihuela list that this may be because the guitar in the 17th century had a re-entrant tuning, full stop - and therefore no need to "reverse" string.   The "reverse" stringing may have been adopted by players like Ribayaz who was after all Spanish, and later by the likes of Corrette when bourdons did become usual.   But I do seem to remember reading somewhere that there is some evidence that the lute was sometimes "Reverse" strung - can't remember where.   And in my experience the cittern has its bourdon place between two treble strings.   What little I know of Corrette's music is that it is also treble and bass orientated.   but I don't have a copy of it - have just looked at the copy in the British Library.   I hope you are not snowed up in the north.   Monica

P.S.   The Stradivarius plans of course indicate "reverse" stringing and we don't know whether his chitarra atiorbata was lute shaped or guitar shaped.   Another can of worms.

Dears friends,

i have found this:  http://cerl.epc.ub.uu.se/sportal/retrieve?sid=kbdk&qid=-1176697212 i think that some diesel's music guitar is here ?  i cannot dowland in pdf format? ,


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