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Re: Lute tablature

From: Taco Walstra
Subject: Re: Lute tablature
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 09:57:35 +0200
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On Wednesday 21 May 2003 20:30, David Raleigh Arnold wrote:

> Guitar tab is utterly beneath me.  I have utter contempt for it.  Banjo
> tab is necessary to supplement notation, not to replace it.  Lute tab
> is the language of a dead instrument, and it is a large part of the
> reason that the instrument is dead.  Of course one needs stems, but tab
> stems aren't worth much because tab only has *one voice*, and that is a
> *serious* limitation in spite of all the braggadoccio coming from some
> other lute players.  DaveA

Sorry but I'm afraid you don't know where you're talking about. First of all 
which 'lute tab' do you refer to: there is german lute tablature, spanish 
lute tablature, french lute tablature and italian lute tablature?  All of 
them are completely different. French tablature is the most readable, but 
historically italian tablature is the most used. 
Tab has ofcourse NOT one voice. Renaissance music is always polyphonic and 
lute tablature is as well. It's one the things a lutenist has to learn: the 
figure out what is the polyphonic structure inside (all different types of) 
tablature. If you mean that the typesetting is only 'one voice' then you are 
The reason that the lute is 'dead' has nothing to do with lute tablature. At 
the start of 18th century baroque lute music was not written anymore in 
tablature, but in normal notation. The popularity of lute tablature was 
because it made music playable on many different tuned instruments. The 
reason for disappearance in the 18th century is mainly because of the 
popularity of the harpsichord. 
Taco Walstra

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