Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Monica Hall's Comments

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At 17:38 on December 21, 2015, Alas said…

That's great! Thank you very much.

At 19:17 on December 7, 2015, Gabriele Natilla said…

Thank you for your reply, Monica. I will check about this Capona by Valdambrini, with the link that this kind member has provided. Gabriele

At 13:49 on January 28, 2015, Steve Walter said…

Dear Monica

I perform on vihuela and lute and have recently bought a baroque guitar.

I have a query concerning left hand slurs which I understand were considered  as ornamentation. These are notated extensively in French baroque music but are rarely notated in the music of Gaspar Sanz which I am studying at the moment. Of course, the absence of slurs in the tablature doesn't mean that they weren't played in practise. I would be interested in hearing your views on this subject.

I have noticed that in recordings of Sanz that I have heard, performers seem reluctant to add left hand slurs except in the few places where Sanz notates them.

Best wishes

Steve Walter


At 18:40 on November 3, 2014, João Pedro Duarte said…

Dear Monica,

Thanks for the information.

Gerard had my email (didnt change it) : joaopedroduarte@clix.pt

Best Regards


At 13:43 on March 10, 2014, jean michel Catherinot said…

Table pour apprendre facilement à toucher le théorbe sur la ... - imslp

Dear Monica, I'm not sure you finally got Bartolotti treatise! I can't copy the link, but you 'll find easily with this on IMSLP. All the best!

At 14:11 on November 3, 2013, Eamon Sweeney said…
Hi Monica
Thank you so much - can't wait to get playing these.
The instrument is guitar-shaped and sounds wonderful- we worked off the image on the Granata frontispiece, the Strad stringing information and the dimensions of existing Strad five-course instruments.
I'll post a photo on my page.
At 11:36 on November 3, 2013, Eamon Sweeney said…

Dear Ms Hall

I wonder if you could help me? I have just had a Strad/Granata-style theorboed guitar built for me by Ivo Magherini (and your article was a great help in the planning of the project!). I find that the Minkoff edition of Granata's Book 4 is out of print and I can find no other facsimile. Would you be able to point me in the direction of a copy. The possible repertoire is a little compromised without it!

Many thanks

Eamon Sweeney

At 9:04 on November 1, 2013, seth f. josel said…

Dear Ms. Hall,

I am writing concerning a musical example from your illuminating article on Millione. Therein you included a citation of Millione's "Aria di Forenza", p 47 from the Quarto Libro.

I am currently finishing work on a book for Bärenreiter Press and would like to reproduce this musical example as well in order to demonstrate the battente style. May I kindly ask whether you could make this photo - or tiff file - available to me for reproduction? My co-author, Ming Tsao, and I would be most grateful to you.

Thank you kindly for your troubles in advance. My personal email address is: sfjosel@snafu.de

Yours sincerely,

Seth Josel

At 21:33 on May 25, 2013, Peter Forrester said…

Of course!

At 18:14 on February 23, 2013, Ricardo Aleixo said…

Dear Monica,

If it is posible I would like to have all the 8 pages. Can you send me the pages to my email?:


Thank you very much.


At 6:58 on February 23, 2013, Ricardo Aleixo said…

Dear Monica Hall,

thank you for your comment. As you said your edition of the Resumen is out of print and I would like to have the introduction that you wrote for the Chaterelle edition. It is posible that you send me that introduction? Sorry, I don't know if I'm asking too much...

Thank you very much,


At 4:11 on February 22, 2013, Ricardo Aleixo said…

Dear Ms Hall,

I don’t have your edition of the Resumen de Acompañar de Santiago de Murcia (Chaterelle, 1980) but I need to quote one phrase of the Introduction that I saw in the Lute society web (http://www.lutesociety.org/vanilla/lutesoc/uploads/baroque-guitar/murcia/murciaintro.htm). What I need is the number of the page of the following paragraph:

"Resumen de acompañar" includes one of the most comprehensive treatises on accompanying a bass line with the guitar. It was evidently much admired. There are three complete 18th century manuscript copies of it. Biblioteca nacional, Madrid Ms.M881, dated 1726, is a straightforward copy. In Biblioteca nacional, Madrid Ms.1233 (1763) and Granada University Ms.16972 it is combined with excerpts from Sanz's "Instruccion de musica"(1674). Minguet y Irol (Note5) reproduces Murcia's notes on Tiempos (p.42-43) without the musical examples and the text and music from p.28 separately with an ingenious device for reproducing the scales on p.29-34.

Thank you very much,


At 17:33 on January 3, 2012, Juan Sotomayor said…

Dear Monica:

Thank you for your fast responce to my question.  I appreciate your comments.

These are the the PR vihuela features:

1]  In 1887 it could have 8,9 or 10 strrings.  When it had tens strings, the fifth course had two base strings and sometimes one base string.  This stringing with bass strings was used to accompany songs or an other instruments.  It had a deep sound box, about 5'' to 6.50''.  It was played in bars, festivals and where there was noise.  It was very similar to the baroque guitar Vicente Espinel would have played at the end of the 16c.

2]  In the 20c. it was the re-entrent stringing with no bass strings that became popular.  This was a period when melody playing with tremolo became popular in Spain with the bandurria and the mandilin in the USA.  Both of these instruments were played in Puerto Ruco and a preferance for melody playing would develope after the spanish-american was, 1898.

3]  There is no special reason for a single string on the 5th coirse in the re-entrent stringing.  Tradition in Puerto Rico is very strong and stringing, tuning, intervals would not change even if the music required a change.

4]  The PR vihuela was a <jibaro>, hill-billy folk instrument and there was no need for a re-entrent stringing, specialy with the re-entrent course being the 3rd course.  There was no <campanella> style playing.  Their main music form was the <seis> developed in Sevilla, 1508 and the <decima> as developed by Vicente Espinel.  But because of tradition, the re-entrent stringing was kept even if it was not very useful.

5]  The PR vihuela also had the french stringing, with the 4th course in octaves and the fifth course a single <3rd> gauge string in <a'>.   Frets were made from the 3rd gauge gut string.  Had multiple sound holes. 

6]  The PR vihuela had the re-entrent stringing and the bass stringing of the 5 course baroque guitar.  There was no other spanish or European string instrument that would have influenced the PR vihuela stringing. 

I have been unable to find another instrument besides the 5 course guitar that could have been an influence.  It is a difficult question to answer and I am trying to find the correct way to present my findings. 

Please forgive this long email.  I know the wonderful work you have done and the work for Andrew Hartig, the cittern group.  We have discussed the <cetula> and the <citola>. 

Very grateful for your help.

Juan Sotomayor

At 14:13 on January 3, 2012, Juan Sotomayor said…

I forgot to include my email:

Juan Sotomayor



Thank you.

At 14:08 on January 3, 2012, Juan Sotomayor said…

Dear Ms. Hall:

I have been researching the folk instruments of Puerto Rico for many years and my book will be published this year.  We have an instrument we call <vihuela>that shows influence from the 16c. vihuela and the 16-17c. baroque guitar.

I would very much appreciate your opinion regarding the stringing of the Puerto Rican vihuela and wether I can say that the baroque guitar re-entrent 17c. stringing was an influence.

Puerto Rican vihuela:

a'   d'/d''   f#''/f#''   b'/b'   e''/e''...54321, intervals: 4344

Baroque guitar,spanish.

a'/a'    d''/d''   g'/g'    b'/b'   e''......54321,intervals: 4434


They both have re-entrent  courses.  The PR vihuela has a single 5th course.  It was plucked playing a single melody line and not in a poliphonic style.  The PR vihuela has the intervals of the first five courses of the vihuela and has three sound holes (two, upper bout, and center).


Would it be correct for me to say that the baroque guitar stringing was an influence on the PR vihuela stringing ?


Thank you and a Happy New Year.

Juan Sotomayor



At 8:56 on October 10, 2011, maurizio scavone said…
Hello Monica, I decided to proceed with the construction of the guitar attiorbata
according to my luthier Carlo Cecconi , I send you pictures as soon as ready
ciao maury
At 11:14 on November 7, 2010, James Westbrook said…
Dear Monica, I will contact Stephen, thank you for that. I know this isn't exactly your field of interest, but if you happen to have any 19th cnetury guitars that were made in London; Panormo , Roudhloff etc, please you you let me know? perhaps via j@theguitarmuseum.com Thank you again, James
At 22:07 on November 6, 2010, James Westbrook said…
Dear Monica, Thank you for the informatin. I am really trying to trace an instrument that she bought from Bonhams in 1998. It was a Bambina guitar by Panormo. It is vital to my research that I see this instrument again. I will also take up your suggestion. Thank you so much. James
At 14:24 on August 19, 2010, Jelma van Amersfoort said…
Hello Monica, I did not realize that. It must be because my account is with the Dutch PayPal? I'll discuss this with Rocky because it is a bit incovenient! If you want to donate and you have a PayPal account yourself, you can send a contribution to jelmaa@gmail.com from paypal.com or paypal.co.uk.
At 8:51 on August 19, 2010, Jean-Marie Poirier said…
Even though I'm a bit late to react, you're very welcome Monica and thank you for your fine work in favour of the early guitar !
Best wishes,

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