Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

De Motu Elementari (not exactly a guitar or vihuela)

De Motu Elementari (not exactly a guitar or vihuela)

Robert Fludd (1574-1637). The realisation of an instrument from Dr Robert Fludd’s book 'Utriusque Cosmi ... Historia' know as ‘De Motu Elementari’. It weighed three quarters of a ton and was accompanied by a giant double bellows (only one moving part per bellows) weighing much the same as the instrument itself. It was made for Jocelyn Pook's concert and film 'Still Ringing'. Being hugely more complex than the original, it took three months to design and test and then work up the elaborate construction programme (it was an immensely complex structure where the wind chest was transparent in order that the valves could be seen working etc) and took six experienced engineers two weeks to construct, working in shifts 24 hours a day. It was finished on the morning of the concert and installed on stage - 200 hundred miles from where it was built - without testing! It worked perfectly first time but was unfortunately destroyed soon after due to the difficulties storing such a large and weighty devices. Its construction was funded by the Arts Council. The dearth of photos was due to having so little time for constructon. I have a feeling this instrument will appeal to guitar and vihuela makers.

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