Castro de Gistua seems a shadowy figure active in the late eighteenth century. Much of his work was published in Paris contained in the series 'Journal de Musique Etrangere' but there are other Paris publications too. I've also seen title pages of a few works published in Spain (presumably earlier?).Much of these published works reflect a strong Spanish idiom (includes Fandango etc) and I'm now presuming he played the six course Spanish guitar rather than the single string Italian inspired…See More
"I agree absolutely - I was merely trying to think round the issue of practical ways of tackling other harmonies, rather than just the major and minor chords covered by simple alfabeto, since this is what I thought Bill was also asking…"
To answer your question directly, I really can't think of any similar instrument which has such a reasonably full chordal shorthand (other than just possibly the lirone). Although, of course, guitar alfabeto (and similar…"
I posted the following on the General Discussion forum so you may not read it. But I'd be interested to know what strings you employ on the bass courses of your six course guitars. As I say below, I think modern lute…"
Further to the previous recent discussions (in the Early Romantic Guitar forum) around the string tensions and the fretting (ie fixed metal or gut loops) of these particular instruments, I'd be grateful for any views on suitable readily available modern strings for the basses: ie the fourth, fifth and sixth courses. The string length is 644mm and the pitch at modern A440.I'm supposing that at this period (the 1760/70s onwards) the fourth and fifth courses of these instruments are now overwound…See More
"The six course guitar is still a subject we know very little about. We need anything we can find, iconography, literature, whatever.
I simply suggested that we should not disregard extant instruments when they are of the quality of the Romanillos…"
"Thank you for this.
However, I think you may have misunderstood my question: I'm not making a case either for or against fixed metal frets vis a vis tied frets on late eighteenth century Spanish six course guitars; clearly both type of…"
"The trouble with iconography is that it usually represents just one instance, perhaps using staging with an out of date instrument making it arguably equally unreliable. Why would it matter if Sanguino used frets in the late 1750s and beyond on big…"
"Further to this, the picture is now again up on the museum's website and can be studied in more detail.
Unfortunately with the better digital copy it is evident that the marks on the rear of the neck might just as well be Goya's…"
"Many thanks Ken,
How do we know that the c.1768 Sanguino is in an 'unaltered pristine' condition? Since if, as I suggest, a late eighteenth century six course guitar originally with tied frets was refretted with metal in the early…"
Excellent - many thanks.
This certainly seems to depict a six course guitar (or at least a guitar with twelve pegs) with tied frets. The date seems to be given at between 1797 - 1799. So this does, indeed, suggest that tied frets…"
"I think we need to consider the Jose Luis Romanillos Sanguino c. 1768 guitar to be hard evidence for the use of graduated frets since it is, by my understanding, in an unaltered pristine condition. The other 1759 Sanguino seem to have the same fret…"
All the comments I've read about the frets of these instruments assume that they had metal inset frets from the start (ie c. 1750-60).However, since in Spain we know that these instruments continued being played well into the nineteenth century (1830-40s), it is quite possible that the earliest of these instruments originally possessed tied frets (like the contemporary gallichon/mandora) and may then have generally been refretted with inset metal frets in the early nineteenth century (as common…See More
"Thank you for this.
Re. the Sanguino in the Museu de la Música, Barcelona, please see my earlier reply about this instrument. However, your comment about the Spanish Catholic chruch's response to the exlusion of harps by the…"