Monthly Archives: October 2016

Body frets: Who needs them?

…those that be exercised in the same art, stop the strings justly … as cunningly as though they had frets.

Nowadays everybody uses tied gut frets as far as possible on the neck (usually up to the 8th fret), and wooden frets up to fret 12, but in the past it was normal to use no frets at all beyond the 8th.

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Corants by John Sturt and Jacques Gaultier

The ML lute book, (c.1610-40) is a major source for the music of John Sturt (fl.1612-1625) and he may even have been the main scribe (apart from the formation of the letter “e” the writing of tablature, final flourishes and text are very similar to the scribe of Berlin 40461 who apparently signed his name at the end of this corant).  

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