Chitarrone music

Updated 3.4.2013 /.../ previous update 15.6.2010. / © Arto Wikla 8.10.2008

In the late renaissance (c. 1580-1600) and in the baroque (c. 1600-17??) periods many different types of extended lutes were popular. One group of these was called by names chitarrone, tiorba, theorbo, theorboe, theorb, .... Common to this group was a special way of tuning the two (sometimes one) "highest" strings one octave lower compared to other groups of lutes. This created a little "harp like" sound and sonority to these instruments. Robert Spencer's article Chitarrone, Theorbo and Archlute is a well written introduction to the extended lutes.

To make me practice, I've made some videos of my chitarrone (=theorbo) performances, which are far from perfect... ;-) To make this page more useful, I've also included the music here. Perhaps it is interesting to see and hear the music - written and played music. And so it is up to you to play these pieces more beautifully and clean than I do ... :-)

The chitarrone in these videos is model Magno Dieffopruchar 1608, Venezia (Royal College of Music No.26) made by Timo Kontio 2003.

The French theorbo music got 3.3.2009 a page of its own:

Pieces by Bellerofonte Castaldi from his printed book "Capricci a due stromenti / cioe tiorba e tiorbino / e per sonar solo / varie sorti di balli e fantasticarie" played by a small theorbo/chitarrone. Actually Castaldi himself is playing quite small an instrument in a picture in his book! My instrument here is an archlute (Stephen Barber, 1987) stringed and tuned to a high theorbo.

... long time, no see ... ;-)

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See also my pages 11-course lute music / French theorbo music / Archlute music / 10-course lute music / Chitarrino music.
There are also some other arrangements, intabulations, etc. in my Contributions page.

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