The Lute Online Resources Portal (LORP): Lute Building

 

LUTE BUILDING

Scroll down this page to find lists of: ONLINE RESOURCES, INTERNET DISCUSSION FORA, BOOKS AND DVDs, PLANS, COLLEGES AND CLASSES FOR LUTE BUILDING

A number of craftsmen around the world make lutes on a full-time professional basis; see lute makers. Others make lutes semi-professionally, and making a satisfactory instrument is feasible for the competent amateur wood worker. If you get into difficulties, lute makers are friendly, and will often be prepared to give a little advice.

ONLINE RESOURCES

Illustrated report of Andrew Atkinson's project to build a lute using only methods available in the 16th century, on the Lute Society website:
www.lutesociety.org/pages/building-lute-original-methods

A film of luthier Stephen Gottlieb (1945-2014) in his workshop making a lute, filmed for the BBC series In the Making in 1979: www.editor.net/lutemaker/inthemaking.html

Project of building a viola da mano, on the website of Martin Shepherd: www.luteshop.co.uk/Viola_da_Mano.html

Clive Titmuss, building a vihuela: earlymusicstudio.com/library/vihuela-building-part-1/

Back issues of the Fellowship of Makers and Researchers of Historical Instruments Quarterly include a number of papers relevant to lute building: www.fomrhi.org/pages/communications

Youtube films:
How to make a lute in five minutes, by Martin Shepherd: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMBMGRcRbG0
Historical 13 Course Baroque lute construction, by Tom Blassick: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mIxgfNs3Ao
How to make a lute neck by Martin Shepherd: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd-UedFlu2c
Luteslideshow.mov by Art Robb: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys5deCIvCGk
Making lutes with Lauri Niskanen: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtyqOmxKoOc
Paolo Busato, two lute bowls in one minute: www.youtube.com/watch?v=exfQ10SUIrk also pegmaking 'piroli' at www.busatolutes.com/Video.htm
Yaron Naor, films of making various lutes and baroque guitar (Search for Yaron Naor plus name of instrument): www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Udo0R6DlM

Search www.youtube.com for ‘lute making’ or similar, for related material

For a glimpse of the speed, skill and strength of the old craftsmen, making refined objects with simple tools, see these films made in rural Sweden in 1923-4, of craftsman working wood and metal:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGDkliy1DEU
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdli9W_JRNs&list=PLoWfVtL_t4Qzpx1Ar3GKWxmW_fd--h3KL
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IzPg8b0Qcg&index=2&list=PLoWfVtL_t4Qzpx1Ar3GKWxmW_fd--h3KL
www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1dh5G-FCRU&list=PLoWfVtL_t4Qzpx1Ar3GKWxmW_fd--h3KL&index=3

Early European Decorated Tools: earlyeuropeandecoratedtools.vpweb.co.uk/default.html

INTERNET DISCUSSION FORA

Lute builders discussion group:
To subscribe send a message with the word ‘subscribe’ in the first line to:

BOOKS AND DVDs ON LUTEMAKING

The current standard work on lute making in English is Robert Lundberg's Historical Lute Construction, published (posthumously) by the Guild of American Lutemakers:
www.luth.org/books/lute_book.html

The luthier David van Edwards publishes a set of plans with CD ROM, with instructions and photographs of every stage of, of either a renaissance or a baroque lute. There is also a webpage with frequently asked questions and the possibility of online support:
Build your own renaissance lute www.vanedwards.co.uk/renlute.htm
Build your own baroque lute www.vanedwards.co.uk/course.htm

The Lute Society publishes a shorter booklet, with an accompanying plan, for the construction of a renaissance 7-course lute, available at www.lutesociety.org/pages/catalogue#n

There is a German language book, Lautenbau, by Ekkehard Sachs, available from Amazon:
www.amazon.de/Lautenbau-Ekkehard-Sachs/dp/3848263122
or BoD, Books on Demand
www.bod.de/buch/ekkehard-sachs/lautenbau/9783848263127.html

A DVD on How to build a “Vihuela de Mano” with José Luis Romanillos & Jaume Bosser is available from El Centro de la Vihuela de Mano y la Guitarra Española “José Luis Romanillos” in Siguenza, Guadalajara, at romanillos.org/

PERIODICALS ON INSTRUMENT MAKING

Journals including occasional papers of relevance to lute builders include:

Fellowship of Makers and Researchers of Historical Instruments Quarterly: fomrhi.org
De Bouwbrief, Dutch language colour illustrated magazine for instrument builders: www.huismuziek.nl

PLANS

There are two kinds of lute plan: a technical drawing of a surviving historic instrument, and a plan made by a modern maker for the use of the lute maker today, which will draw on elements of different historical models.

Drawings of many historical instruments can be obtained from participating museums via CIMCIM, The International Directory of Musical Instrument Collections; these are listed on the CIMCIM website: homepages.ed.ac.uk/am/iwd.html

The Lute Society sells technical drawings of historic instruments at: www.lutesociety.org/pages/catalogue#ma
and builders plans at:
www.lutesociety.org/pages/catalogue#m

The Guild of American Luthiers sells lute plans by Robert Lundberg (see BOOKS ON LUTEMAKING above):
www.luth.org/plans/instrument_plans.html#lute

Members of the Asociación Argentina de Laúdes y Guitarras Antiguas with plans they are willing to share can be found at:
www.aalga.com.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=71

David van Edwards sells plans for the use of those wanting to build their own renaissance or baroque lute, in a package with CD ROM and online support, see BOOKS ON LUTEMAKING above.

TRAINING AS A LUTHIER

There are few colleges where one can study lute construction specifically. For those wanting to train as lute makers, it may be more practical to study on a general musical instrument building course, and then attend a shorter course to learn the details of lute building – possibly on a residential summer school, or in evening classes over a long period.

COLLEGES OFFERING FULL-TIME INSTRUMENT BUILDING COURSES

Canada

Travis Carey's Vancouver workshop blog, The Lute's Progress: thelutesprogress.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/calling-all-lute-makers.html?spref=fb

Italy

Civica Scuola di Liuteria di Milano: civicascuoladiliuteria.it/

United Kingdom

London Metropolitan University (formerly College of Furniture) BSc in Musical Instruments (no specific lute making module):
www.thecass.com/courses/undergraduate/bsc-hons-musical-instruments

West Dean College, course in Making Stringed Musical Instruments (no lute making module): www.westdean.org.uk/CollegeChannel/FullTimeCourses/MakingStringedMusicalInstruments.aspx

Newark College, courses in Musical Instrument Crafts (no lute making module):
www.westdean.org.uk/CollegeChannel/FullTimeCourses/MakingStringedMusicalInstruments.aspx

SHORT COURSES AND EVENING CLASSES IN LUTE BUILDING

Spain

El Centro de la Vihuela de Mano y la Guitarra Española “José Luis Romanillos” in Siguenza, Guadalajara has organised vihuela building courses
romanillos.org/

Escuela de Violeros de Zaragoza, www.muslyramus.es/

Switzerland

The Association Guitare et Luth runs a summer course in lute building at Gruyere castle
www.anselmus.ch/fr/association.htm#signet_03

United Kingdom

Lute maker David van Edwards runs evening classes in lute making in his workshop in Norwich
www.vanedwards.co.uk/class.htm

USA

Dan Larsen (of Gamut Music) hosts lute making summer schools in Duluth, Minnesota:
www.gamutmusic.com/news/the-david-van-edwards-lute-making-course-in-duluth.html

Travis Carey teaches lute building on the Lute Society of America summer seminars:
thelutesprogress.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/calling-all-lute-makers.html?spref=fb

The Guild of American Luthiers offers help and support of all kinds:
www.luth.org

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