Lute – a musical stringed plucked instrument with frets on the neck and a pear-shaped body.
History of occurrence
The lute is one of the ancient musical instruments, the exact date and place of appearance of which is not known for certain. The first drawing on a clay tablet, vaguely resembling a lute, is dated to the middle of the second millennium BC. Archaeological excavations testify to the use of this tool in Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Thanks to the Bulgarians, the short-necked lute became popular in the Balkans. In the XNUMXth century it became widespread in Asian countries, especially in Persia and Byzantium, and in the XNUMXth century it was brought by the Moors to Spain. Soon the tool becomes popular everywhere. In the XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries it was played in Italy, Portugal and Germany.
As the instrument spread, the appearance and technique of playing it changed, but the common features remained. Wood is used to make the lute. The soundboard is oval in shape, made of thin wood, more often spruce, has a single or triple ornate rosette rather than a sound hole. The body is made of hardwood: cherry, maple, rosewood. In the manufacture of the neck of the lute, a light tree is used. The main difference between the lute and other stringed instruments is that the neck does not hang over the soundboard, but is placed on the same level with it.
Rise in popularity of the lute
In the Middle Ages, the instrument had 4 or 5 paired strings. It was played with a plectrum. The size was the most varied. The musicians used the lute for accompaniment, which was mostly improvised. Time has left its mark on the number of strings. At the end of the Renaissance, there were ten paired strings, and baroque musicians were already playing on fourteen. There were instruments with nineteen strings.
The XNUMXth century became golden for the lute. It has become one of the most widespread musical instruments in Europe. In many paintings of that time, artists depicted people playing lutes. The playing technique has also changed. As a rule, a mediator and fingertips were used to play it.
At the end of the XNUMXth century, after the abandonment of the plait, the number of lute players increased. Over 400 pieces have been written in Europe for this musical instrument. The most important contribution was made by Francesco Spinacino. Increased expressive possibilities, thanks to the works of John Dowland.
At different times, such composers as Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Vincento Capirola, Karl Kohout and many others wrote their works for the lute. Modern composers – Vladimir Vavilov, Toekiko Sato, Maxim Zvonarev, David Nepomuk, are also known for their works.
The place of the lute in the XNUMXth century
In the XNUMXth century, the lute was almost forgotten. Only a few of its varieties remain in Germany, Ukraine and in the countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula. In the XNUMXth century, several musicians from England decided to restore the lost popularity of the lute. The British lutenist and musicologist Arnold Dolmech was especially successful in this. Already since 1970, solo performers and musical groups began to include playing the lute in their concert program. Lucas Harris, Istvan Shabo, Wendy Gillepsy used works from the Middle Ages and Baroque.