LUTES

Evidence suggests that the lute was introduced into Europe by the Moors through Spain during the late middle ages and derives its name from the Arabic 'al Ud' (literally ~ the wood). The earliest forms were carved from a single piece of wood (see Gittern) but by the renaissance the curved back was constructed from separate ribs of wood and became an object of exceptionally fine craftsmanship, held in the highest musical esteem.

Any lute made by me typically contains 6 - 8 different types of wood. This has a direct and beneficial influence on the balance and functionality of the instrument and is intended also to be visually pleasing. Any lute made by me typically contains 6 - 8 different types of wood. This has a direct and beneficial influence on the balance and functionality of the instrument and is intended also to be visually pleasing. Typical Renaissance lute tuning is G,c,f,a,d?,g? or the same intervals converted to various different pitches. There was no definition of standard pitch during the Renaissance period and it?s likely that lutes (among other stringed instruments) were built to fit individuals? hand size, within certain parameters of tuning and pitch. Many surviving original lutes were later converted to accommodate more courses of strings to keep up with changing musical fashions and thus prolong their useful working lives. Similarly, you will notice below that I offer various choices which share the same body shape; I am simply working in the same manner.

The pictures below are examples and many of these show decorative extras, the cost of which would be in addition to the basic prices shown - further details at the bottom of the page.

I always have a choice of woods available for backs (see information page).

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QUICK REFERENCE TO LUTE PRICES

Cases are available on request and prices will vary according to instrument.

Student Lutes

I can offer a price reduction to full-time students on a standard, basic model lute - 6 or 7 course.

Lute models ~ after Gerle, Hieber, Venere, Frei
Venere, Bologna 6 or 7 Course String lengths between 58.5cm and 60cm.
Quite a small, yet well proportioned instrument with a 9 rib back which works well pitched at g' or a' with suitably adjusted stringing.
6 course £2850
7 course ££2950

Click on pictures for more information

Eberle Treble Lute A very attractive instrument with a 19 rib back and a string length of 44cm for a pitch of c'' or d". The original is a 7 course with 9 frets on the neck ~ it could also be built as a 6 course.
7 course £2500
Gerle, Vienna 6,7 or 8 Course String lengths between 60cm and 62cm. Although the original is a 6 course, the design and size of its body make this a good 'general purpose' instrument which allows conversion for more strings - although I favour a slightly increased string length for 8 courses. 11 rib back.
6 course £2950
7 course £3100
8 course £3300
Hieber, Brussels 6,7 or 8 Course String lengths between 59cm and 62cm. Based on information from two 7 course instruments in Brussels, this design has a back of 13 ribs with a slightly flattened back profile which some players prefer. Again a good medium sized instrument which converts well.
6 course £3050
7 course £3200
8 course £3500
Frei, Warwick 6, 7 or 8 Course Can also be made to this design but they would suit longer string lengths.
6 course £2950
7 course £3100
8 course £3300
9,10 or 11 Course String lengths between 63cm and 67.5cm. This design with a flattened back profile of 11 ribs, has a longer body shape characteristic of lutes of this type.
9 Course A string length of around 63cm suits a 9 course instrument built to this model. It can be built to accommodate a double top string as is required according to some sources from the Jacobean period when 9 course instruments were particularly popular.
£3650
10 Course String lengths between 63cm and 65cm. the longer length accommodates 10 frets on the neck and gives a borderline scale length for a pitch of g', f' or f#. It is perhaps better suited to renaissance tuning pitched at f# ~ can also be used for other French tunings of the period. The top 2 courses are single strings.
£3850
Baroque
11 Course
67.5cm string length for the D minor tuning pitched in f'. The 11th course is carried outside the fingerboard and the two top courses are single strings - the top one carried by a treble rider.
£4150
Tenor & Bass Lutes 6 or 7 course can also be built on the Hans Frei mould. Pitched in e' or d' with string lengths of 68cm - 72cm.
7 course £3200
Click on pictures for more information
Decoration

The above instruments are all offered with sound hole decoration (rose) as standard.

Some examples of the more popular decorations for lute are given as follows:

Separator lines between ribs - £20 per line

Neck and pegbox veneering - from £280

(Standard necks will usually be made in sycamore or similar. Veneering can be done in ebony, holly or steamed pear.)

Black staining - £150 (Necks and pegboxes can also be stained black as an alternative to veneering.)

Fingerboard points - £140

Inlaid heart - £90

Half edging - £200

Varnish finish - £300

(Examples of some or all of these decorations can be seen on the Gerle 8 course and the Hieber 7 course pictures above)

QUICK REFERENCE TO LUTE PRICES