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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Dissemination Of Lute Music in Renaissance Society:The Case Of Tablature Sheets

  • Author(s): Minamino, Hiroyuki
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The change in lute playing from the monophonic ensemble style using the plectrum-plucking technique to the polyphonic solo style using the finger-plucking technique took place sometimein the mid 15th century. Once this had happened the performance of polyphonic compositions arranged for solo lute required the lutenist-composers' understanding of the counterpoint of thecomposition before it could be performed. The lutenist-composers needed to record what they composed and to remember it for future perfonnance. These  requirements resulted in the invention of a notation system suitable for this purpose. Consequently several types of lute tablature were devised in the third and fourth quarters of the fifteenth century.

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