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Can anyone explain the transcription of chords A, C, D, E, F, G? This is from Craig H. Russel's article in "The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar" Ed. Coelho. The text does not say anything about Scordatura in Millioni's book but following the tablature, the first, second and third strings seems to be tuned differently. Or has the transcriber gone mad?

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This is the chords.

Strange, I have uploaded the photo three times, but it does not show...

Millioni's book does in fact indicate scordatura for his alfabeto straordinario. I'm afraid Craig Russell just got  it wrong. At lot of other things are wrong too. Notably the Aguirre manuscript from which he has reproduced several pages is for the 4-course wire strung cittern - not really a close cousin of the guitar or anything to do with African American instrumental music.  

P.S.. these are Millioni's instructions -

Modo d’accordare per sonare con l’Alfabeto straordinario

 La quinta si puole accordate à suo piacere = a

La quarta si deve accordare con la quinta tastata al quarto tasto à voce eguale = C#

La terza si deve accordare con la quarta tastata al quinto tasto à  voce eguale = F#

La seconda si deve accordare con la quinta* tastata al terzo tasto à voce eguale = C

La prima si deve accordare con la seconda tastata al quarto tasto à voce eguale = E

* must be an octave unless there is a high octave string on the 5th course

a-c#c#’- f# -c -e'


Quando si e fatto questa accordatura si deve poi toccare la prima tastandola al secondo tasto con la terza vota.

La seconda tastandola al primo tasto con la quarta vota

La terza tastandola al terzo tasto con la quinta vota

La quarta tastandola al terzo tasto con la prima vota

La seconda tastandola al terzo tasto con la seconda vota

Thank you. This explain the tablature. But his transcriptions are still utterly bizarre, they do not make sense in either Millioni's tuning or an ordinary tuning.

It is too bad I didn't manage to upload the photo...

I am afraid the whole article is a mess - Russell doesn't know very much about the baroque guitar or indeed a lot of other things and his written English is atrociously slangy.  It is astonishing really that a reputable academic publisher should publish such rubbish! I don't think the editor - Victor Coelho - knows anything at all about the baroque guitar - he is a lutenist -so was not in a position to judge.   Caveat emptor! or lector. I wouldn't quote the article or refer to it if I were you. It is of no academic merit at all.

Russell seems to have got the tablature wrong.  I think that Millioni describes the chords verbally rather than setting them out in tablature. Russell may have misunderstood the Italian text.  Unfortunately I don't have a facsimile of the book.   I have attached Gary Boye's tables of chords from Millioni and Monte's Book of 1637 which was reprinted several times after that.   


Thank you very much!

I don't know if anyone is really interested in this or whether they have worked out the chords with the different tuning but with a couple of exceptions the actual notes are the same but the left hand fingering is different and seems to me to be less convenient than the standard arrangement.  I can't imagine what the purpose of it may be.


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