This book reveals the most popular instrument in the world as it was in the age of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare.
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Christopher Page is a Fellow of the British Academy, Professor of Medieval Music and Literature at the University of Cambridge, and from October 2014 Gresham Professor of Music at Gresham College, London for three years. He holds the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association awarded for outstanding services to musicology. In 1981 he founded the professional vocal ensemble Gothic Voices, which now has twenty-five CDs in the catalogue, three of which won the coveted Gramophone Early Music Record of the Year award. In 2012, he was a founder member of the Consortium for Guitar Research at Sidney Sussex College, an affiliate of the Royal Musical Association. He has published many books and articles on early music, most recently a major study, The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years (2010).
Introduction; 1. Imagery; 2. Who owned a gittern?; 3. The gittern trade; 4. 'An instruction to the Gitterne'; 5. Sounding strings; 6. The gittern and Tudor song; 7. Thomas Whythorne: the autobiography of a Tudor guitarist; Conclusion; Appendices: Appendix A. The terms 'gittern' and 'cittern'; Appendix B. References to gitterns from 1542-1605; Appendix C. The probate inventory of Dennys Bucke (1584); Appendix D. Octave strings on the fourth and third course; Appendix E. The fiddle tunings of Jerome of Moravia, swept strings and the guitar; Appendix F. The mandore and the wire-strung gittern; Appendix G. The ethos of the guitar in sixteenth-century France; Appendix H. Raphe Bowle.
'The book is especially valuable because the author examines both the social and musical history of the guitar. Studies that focus just on one instrument can be sincere but dull, their pages filled with tables, measurements, stringing lists, and pretty pictures. Important information, to be sure, but missing a crucial point: these instruments were held in human hands and used for very human purposes. Here, Mr Page's book shines brightly ... Readers who want to learn all things about the guitar in Tudor England could do no better than to read this superb book.' Mark Kroll, Early Music America 'Christopher Page's study of the Tudor gittern presents the reviewer with a challenge, since it is impeccably conceived, comprehensively researched and exquisitely written; so what can one add beyond words of praise?' John Milsom, Early Music
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