Writings

I have written some articles on lute and guitar related subjects for Nostalgia, the news letter of the Lute & Early Guitar Society of Japan, for teaching purposes and just to make things clear for myself. A few of these can be read on-line:

On Music

– A Lesson in Polyphony
Taking a two part intabulation by Fuenllana as a lesson in how to play polyphony on a lute.

– 16th century lute music
Explaining something about the lute and the different forms of lute music in the 16th century.

– Charles V and the Regrets-chansons
Some facts and speculations why Luys de Narváez called his version of Mille Regrets ‘the song of the emperor’ (La canción del emperador).

– Continuo Playing on Baroque Lute
A series of lessons.

– Dowland Puzzles
Small puzzles in John Dowland’s When the poor cripple and other lute songs.

– Fontana
The text on Giovanni Battista Fontana and his Sonate a 1. 2. 3. per violino, o cornetto, fagotto, chitarone, violoncino o simile altro istromento, as it appeared in the booklet of the cd with this music I recorded with the Icarus ensemble.

– Ligatures and coloration in late renaissance music
A quick reference card for understanding ligatures and coloration in late renaissance music. You can also download it as a convenient everything-at-a-glance paper (A4-size) at Ligatures (pdf-file). (208Kb).

– Lute music from a 17th century traveller to Japan
Engelbert Kaempfer (1651 – 1716), author of The History of Japan (1727) played the lute and left a mansucript with music for baroque lute, part of which was composed by his brother Johann Andreas.

– Lute Music from the Zeghere van Male MS
An intabulation of one of the polyphonic pieces from the Zeghere van Male Manuscript.

– Malheur me bat
A detailed comparisson of Johannes Ockeghem’s Malor me bat from Ottaviano Petrucci’s Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A (1501) and Francesco Spinacino’s intabulation in his Libro Secondo (1507).

– Maria Intabulations
In the beginning of the 16th century Sebastian Virdung and Arnolt Schlick made a private battle public in their music publications. There’s a lesson about playing intabulations in it for us.

– New Dowland Solos
Two new arrangements of Dowland pieces I made.

– Paladin Pastiches
Tracing two cases of musical borrowing involving works by Morlaye, Paladin and Phalèse.

Phalèse’s Bookshelves. A series on the sources of the publications with lute music by the 16th century printer Phalèse.
– Phalèse’s Bookshelves
– Phalèse and Attaingnant

– Singing English Lute Songs
Some thoughts on performing Elizabethan lute song.

– Quando io penso al martire
Comparing several sixteenth century intabulations of this madrigal.
You can also download this article, including all the intabulations on separate pages as well as the complete score, in one pdf-file (1,84Mb).

– Terzi’s intabulations
Something about the lute duets by Giovanni Antonio Terzi, and especially about the (un)playability of his intabulations of vocal examples that serve as frameworks for these duets.

– The Sound of One Hand Clapping
Looking in detail at Francesco da Milano’s intabulation of the first nine measures of Josquin des Prez’ Pater Noster, and drawing from it some lessons for playing this piece.

A series of lute lessons inspired by the teachings of Zen. In these lessons I try to establish a school of lutedō: the Way of the Lute.
1. Zen in the Art of Lute Playing
2. Cultivating the Flower. Zeami on lute playing.
3. Lute Recipes by Dōgen.
4. Genjōkōan – Realising Music Through Lute Playing.
5. The Sound of Silence – Ma in Music.
6. Zen in the Art of Listening
7. Walking the Music
8. One Moment of Music
9. The Kōan of Playing Lute
10. To Play Lute is to Play Lute
11. Bach, Weiss and Nō
12. Instruments in their natural environment
13. It’s Zen to be HIP

On Lutes

– Calculating String Tensions
Explaining the why and how of calculating strings for lutes. Again, theory followed by practical advice.

– String Choice
Some thoughts on why it makes sense to use historical strings on an historical instrument.

– Go for Gut and Gut strings, a work in progress
This is my personal story of how I came to use gut strings and why I like them better than anything I have used before.

– Mean-tone temperament for lute
To better understand a little of the mathematics behind mean-tone temperament, but most of al to have a practical DIY-guide how to tune your lute to mean-tone temperament.

– Pythagorean temperament for lute
A DIY-guide to tune your lute to Pythagorean temperament.

– Symbolism of Lutes in 17th Century Paintings
A lute is a ‘noble’ and ‘delicate’ instrument, but its symbolism in 17th century paintings can be a little more worldly.

Various

– Finale Manual
Some years ago I have written a manual for Finale, the music notation software from CodaMusic. It is in Dutch, it’s for the older version Finale 3.7, but it might still be of use for someone. It has a Dutch-English glossary of musical terms used in Finale. You can download it at Finale37boek (pdf-file) (337kB).

– Home Recordings
In 2007 I bought a recording device and two microphones. Recording technique was new to me, and on this page you can read about and listen to my attempts to record my own lute playing. Maybe it is of some use to others wanting to learn about recording their own playing