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Don King with Liuto Forte
Perhaps you already love playing music from the 16th century on your guitar?
If so, why not consider taking up the lute?
The modern guitar is a beautiful instrument and perfectly suited to the music written to be played on it.
However, because I play and teach both the guitar and lute, I can attest that you will find that the music of the great lute masters of the 16th century
sounds so much more alive and vibrant on the instrument that it was originally written for.
Because the relative tuning of the guitar and lute are similar, this means that you will already have a left-hand technique which is perfectly fine for playing the lute. And most guitarists find it quite easy to adapt their right hand technique to playing the lute.
If you are a beginner
As an absolute beginner, you will find that it is just as easy to start on the lute as it is on the guitar, and there is a wonderful repertoire of beautiful beginner pieces for you to explore.
Why play the lute?
The rich resonance of the lute means that it is capable of producing the most beautiful sounds. And not only that, it has one of the largest and most richly varied repertories of any classical instrument.
This repertoire includes not only solo music, but a substantial body of songs, duets, and consort pieces, and so the lute offers opportunities for social as well as solo playing.
Because the lute was the most important and widely played instrument in the renaissance, it attracted the attention of the most accomplished composers, and this means that much of the repertoire is of very high quality, but at the same time, the simplest lute music can sound truly beautiful if played with a correct basic technique.
Obtaining a lute
In New Zealand it is not possible to walk into a music shop and see lutes for sale.
Lutes are hand-made instruments and are usually only obtained directly from a lute maker.
This has the advantage that you save money by not having to pay the considerable mark-ups charged by the importers and retailers. I am usually able to advise and help source lutes for students.
So if you are considering taking up the lute, contact me and we can discuss in detail how to get you started.