Vincenzo Galileo about glued frets etc.

Updated 12.10.95.

In the Usenet newsgroup somebody wrote:

"There is very little historical evidence for using the split frets, however. And there is (I think) even less for the small glued-on auxiliary frets that lutenists sometimes use to correct individual notes."

There is one important source, which shows that inequal fret positioning and glued-on auxiliary frets were used in 16th century lutes:

Vincenzo Galilei wrotes about them in his 'Fronimo' in 1584. He is actually very much against the use of them. So there must have been those who used them! Otherwise there would not have been any reason to oppose them thru many, many pages!

Some clips (from the translation of Carol MacClintock, American Institute of Musicology, Hanssler-Verlag, 1985) (starting on page 155):

Galileo seems to fight for the usability of different keys and different sized instruments?

In my lutes I use unequal fret spacing - depending of the key, and tastini for the first fret of 4th string. So I do have a famous opponent! :-)

Arto Wikla

[Addition in 18th August 2005: All the "Il Fronimo" is on-line in the web! The link!]

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