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All fingers and thumbs: some thoughts on left-hand fingering

Many lute players today have played the guitar before starting to play the lute, and while it was obvious that right-hand technique would have to be different for the lute, to cope with double strings, lack of nails, and possibly even “thumb-inside” – it has generally been assumed that the left hand was already well trained and needed no real consideration.

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Fantasia by Benedict de Drusina

Benedict de Drusina (c.1520 – after 1573) published his Tabulatura at Frankfurt an der Oder in 1556.  It starts with four fantasias: the first and second appear in publications by Matthäus Waissel (the second also in various other sources including Besard’s 1603 anthology).  The third is cognate with a piece by Melchior Newsidler and a version is also found in the Siena Lute Book (without title,

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