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Music for Renaissance Lute and Theorbo


The added a' string allows Renaissance lute tablature to be played directly without any retuning, since the shift in the third-octave spacing between the 2nd and 3rd strings, like on a guitar (5,4,5,5,5) to (3) and (4) almost automatically, as with a lute (5,5,4,5,5). The tuning of the first six strings is then exactly like that of a descant Renaissance lute (a' e' hgd A), the seventh string is then tuned to G, the eighth to E. If you shift the playing level to the strings 2-7 and tune the 4th string to f#, you get a tenor tuning (e' hf# d AE). If the tuning of the "standard lute", i.e. the alto lute, is to be retained, the first six strings are tuned two semitones lower (i.e. g' d' afc G), the seventh string is then tuned to F, the eighth to D, 9. and 10. as needed. If you now shift the playing level to the strings 2-7 - by retuning the 4th string to e and tuning the 7th string to D - the result is a bass tuning (d' aec GD).


Music for chitarrone (e.g. Kapsberger and Piccinini)


In principle, the standard tuning of the chitarrone corresponds exactly to that of the guitarrone (both in a). However, the first two strings of the chitarrone are tuned an octave lower, so the third string is the highest (re-entrant tuning, a , e, h, g,  d, A and then diatonic down ). In order to be able to play this music true to the original, the strings 1+2 on the guitar have to be exchanged for eg a g-string and a d-string, which are then each tuned two semitones higher.


Music for baroque lute and theorbo


Due to the significantly different stringing system of the baroque lute with (in semitones), there are major problems with the transmission here, it is almost impossible to keep the length of the tones as with the baroque lute. Here is the easiest way to change the tuning of the guitar like this: g',e',h,g,e,A,E,D,_C#,_H. So only two of the first six strings have to be retuned. The four low strings correspond exactly to the four low courses of the baroque lute, two semitones higher. Alternatively, you can of course also tune an exact baroque lute with f',d',a,f,d,G,D,C,_H,_A. Since the baroque lute has 13 courses, the remaining three courses must be played. Intensive studies have shown that this can be done almost without any problems: The sixth course of the lute is then fingered in the second fret of the sixth string of the guitar, the seventh course corresponds to the open sixth string. The eighth course is played on the third or fourth fret of the seventh string, the ninth course on the first or second (depending on the key). The 10th course corresponds to the 7th string, the 11th course to the 8th, the 12th course to the 9th and the 13th course to the 10th string. With a little practice, baroque lute tablature can be played directly from sight. With even deeper basses, the lowest strings are tuned lower, which may make compromises necessary.


Music for keyboard instruments


The added a' string is most noticeable in the transcription of music for keyboard instruments, since high tones occur here even in simple pieces. A core task of the gitarrone is the direct playback of works from the standard piano notation while maintaining the octave. This requires a lot of practice, but is quite possible up to pieces of medium difficulty. Very complex works need to be simplified. Typical harpsichord music goes up to the big C, so it can be played without any problems. Contra -, octave and other special guitar tunings By simply retuning the six low strings to E, B, G, E, _A, _E, it can be used as a contra guitar without any problems. If you keep the standard tuning and use a capo in the 7th fret, the tuning on the six high strings is e'', h', g', d', a, e, i.e. octave guitar. Due to the expansion of the fretboard, it can be played up to the highest frets without restrictions. Standard tuning without a capo automatically produces a fourth guitar, and tuning down two semitones produces a third guitar. The seven-string Russian guitar (tuning d', b, g, d, h, G, D) can be represented on strings 2-8 by retuning just like the Brazilian guitar in standard guitar tuning with an added capital C or contra-B.


figured bass


The extension of the tonal range upwards and downwards makes the gitarrone an ideal, easily transportable basso continuo instrument that can, for example, replace a harpsichord or an archlute in an ensemble.

Musical possibilities
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