Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

One I was searching for since a long time... Over 500 pieces for baroque guitar, so we have something to do in the winter.

In general not difficult to play.

Beautiful made, I guess with stamps.

You can download a PDF, but of less quality. Better to save all the 374 pictures...

Thank you very much Bibliotheque Nationale de France!


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thanks Hans and the BNF  its very great , i have dowland it  in pdf  and it's good,  this manuscrit is ms 844 noted by tyler in the early guitar,  it's a big score with music by frenchs composers of 17th  like lully, campra , lecler and of course a lot of pieces of de visee, i go  to read guitar in  hands but i think  it's easy to play and read, it s the very good news of  day

Thanks Luc for the extra information. I was about to ask :-)

dear Hans ,

  yes,  a lot of music also of 18th  i read this fantastic  manuscrit  and i find  a lot of trancriptions of  composers  of 17th and 18 th, i ask me by who and for who this manuscrit?

There's Dowland in it (sorry, couldn't resist) ?!?

Looks very interesting. Something to do in the winter indeed.

I suppose a tuning as for de Visée would be most appropriate?

Thank you Hans for this beautiful facsimile!

Very beautiful indeed.

The german commentary at the beginning describes
"Une jeune pucelle"  to be part of the book "besides various other tunes".
(same melody as "Une jeune filette" or "Von Gott will ich nicht lassen", "La Monica")

Has someone seen it ? - I didn´t find it in the index and

OK  I didn´t looked on every of the 374 pages so far ...

I can see some of De Visee's pieces in all this.  Also some of the Lully arrangements that Timo Peedu uploaded to this site a few years ago.  And there is a version of Lillibullero (as 'air angloise') and quite different from the version in Murcia.

I was intrigued by an untitled piece in G minor (p449?). It reminds me of some pieces in the de Gallot MS. It's a plodding 4/4, almost all crotchets...a sort of a bass line? Here is a quick attempt at it. Maybe it should be played much more rubato... and faster... or slower (...and steadier!)


I wasn't able to listen to you playing for some reason it wouldn't work for me. There isn't a page 449. Can you post the page?


I recently downloaded and printed this wonderful collection.

Can anyone point any relevant historical study about it ? Did anyone try to gather some infos ?

Thanks in advance for your help.



I recently asked the Bn de F for information about it and this is part of their reply. They also sent me a complete list of the contents. I don't think anyone has done a detailed study of it

Type : musique imprimée et manuscrite, monographie
Titre(s) :  Recueil // d'air // de guitar [Musique manuscrite]
Type de manuscrit :  Ms.
Date(s) : [Entre 1735 et 1750]
Imprimeur / Fabricant :  Gerrevink, Lubertus van (16..-1731). Fabricant du papier
Description matérielle :  366 p. ; 26,5 x 37 cm

Note(s) :  Titre propre pris au dos de la reliure. - Contient 540 pièces en tablature française de guitare : pièces originales (principalement de Robert de Visée, également de Francesco Corbetta, Angelo Michele Bartolotti, Henri Grénerin) et arrangements d'extraits d'opéras et d'opéras-comiques (Jean-Baptiste Lully, François Collin de Blamont, Jean-Joseph Mouret, François Rebel, François Francoeur, André Campra), de pièces de clavecin (François Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Louis Antoine Dornel, Jacques Champion de Chambonnières), d'extraits de sonates pour violon (Jean-Baptiste Sénaillé, Jean-Marie Leclair), de contredanses, de vaudevilles et de noëls. - Copie calligraphiée avec des encres de plusieurs couleurs, mais comportant de nombreuses erreurs. - Daté d'après la présence d'arrangement du ballet "Le triomphe des sens" de Mouret (1732). - Table alphabétique des pièces aux p. 346-364. - On a joint une notice manuscrite de Wilhelm Tappert, datée 19.12.78
Filigrane(s) : LVG / IV ; Fleur de lis sur écu polonais

It includes two unique pieces attributed to Corbetta .

Dear Monica Hall,

I feel honored and grateful you took the time to shed some light on my request. Considering the number of pieces by de Visée, we may assume that this MS dates back to the end of the 17th century, if not the beginning of the 18th century. Mouret and Senaillé both were born in 1685-1687, so it's very likely that their works were collected well after 1700... But by who, and for what purpose ? We may never know, but that would surely be a fascinating inquiry.




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