Folk & Acoustic Musical Instrument Specialists













Lute Information and FAQs



DEFINITION


Class of instruments related to the violin and guitar; plucked or bowed; many types, usually with a bowl back. Originated from the Arabic Ud (Al Ud = A Lute).

INTRODUCTION


Lute is a generic term for stringed instruments with a body and a neck. The modern lute has a bowl back, a wide neck with gut frets, an angled peg head and usually a carved soundhole rosette. The lute is a descendant of the Arabic Ud, the addition of gut frets being the main difference.



CHOOSING

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Renaissance Lutes are delicate and lightweight in construction and have usually 13 strings in seven double courses with a single top string. In the later Baroque era lutes became heavier and more ornate often having fifteen or more strings, and sometimes the addition of several unfretted sympathetic strings running beside the fingerboard and a straight extension to the peg head. (arch lute or theorbo)

TUNINGS AND FINGERING

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The lute is generally tuned in fourths more or less as a guitar.