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Lute guitar

A lute guitar or German lute (German: Gitarrenlaute, Deutsche Laute or Wandervogellaute, less commonly a lutar (modern Turkish), gui-lute or gittar) is a stringed musical instrument, common in Germany from around 1850. The instrument has a regular six-stringed guitar setup on a lute bowl,[1] however there are many theorboed variants with up to 11 strings.

The instrument is associated with the Wandervogel countercultural movement in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.[2][1]

The name German lute is sometimes also used for the waldzither, for both gaining the status of a national instrument in the early 20th century.



The headstock commonly ends in two styles, either a head (representing animals or humanoids) or a curve (into a flat finial, carved or undecorated). Less commonly, instead of gears, wooden pegs may be used to tune the strings. Lute guitar headstocks are thinner and more curved than their modern guitar counterparts.

Neck and fretboard[edit]

While the neck of a lute guitar is very similar to that of a modern classical guitar, the fretboard (or fingerboard) design is often different. The fretboard of a modern guitar extends down over the soundboard all the way to the sound hole. However, the lute guitar's fretboard may stop at the bottom of the neck, with the frets continuing down the soundboard independently. The fretboard is occasionally scalloped.


The body of the lute guitar is similar to the rounded body of the traditional lute. Several ribs (or panels) of curved wood (usually maple or rosewood) make up the back of body, glued to a wooden frame underneath. These ribs are sometimes painted to resemble the traditional (or stereotypical) perception of a medieval minstrel or jester. For example, ribs may be painted in alternating colors (e.g. white, green, white and so on).

Sound hole and rosette[edit]

A modern classical guitar usually has a simply cut sound hole. Lute guitars, however, may have intricate designs carved into the soundboard, such as geometric patterns or representational decorations such as flowers, castles, and scrolls. Alternatively, a simple hole may be cut and a pre-carved disk of wood then glued onto the inside of the soundboard; in some cases, multiple layers of disks are designed in a cascading effect.


The bridge of a lute guitar works in the same manner as a modern guitar bridge, but also serves as a decorative piece made in various shapes, sizes, and styles, often elaborately carved, for example, ending in swirls on each side.


  1. ^ a b Jeffrey Noonan (1 January 2008). The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 209–. ISBN 978-1-60473-302-0. 
  2. ^ Lute News: The Lute Society Newsletter. The Society. 2003. pp. 21–22. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lute_guitar — Please support Wikipedia.
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28 news items

Cranston Herald

Cranston Herald
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:07:30 -0700

“There's no wrong answer to how a piece of music makes you feel.” He played a piece that was written for a Lute guitar, rather than a classical guitar such as his own, and talked to the students about the other types of instruments he plays. “I play ...

Allentown Morning Call

Allentown Morning Call
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:00:21 -0800

Ayreheart's original music reflects its members' eclectic tastes, melding traditional Renaissance material with folk, Celtic, bluegrass, classical and jazz. The band includes Brian Kay, vocals, lute, guitar and komuz (an ancient fretless string ...

Batesville Herald Tribune

Batesville Herald Tribune
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 04:05:27 -0700

Pelon will perform melodies from around the world on archlute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, bowed psaltery, Kiowa courting flute ...
The Whittier Daily News
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:33:45 -0800

... mariachi players stand in a line, there's a lyre-shaped table, a violin-shaped bottle of maple syrup, old violin cases, 11 vintage violins hanging in a glass case, a flat-backed lute-guitar, walls covered with garage-sale style prints of people ...
The Times (subscription)
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 04:48:45 -0700

With the English Concert's harpsichord, lute, guitar and single strings on one side of the Old Vic stage, and its oboes, recorders and bassoon on the other, we took our seats (or standing places) to dances from The Fairy Queen. To Purcell's audience ...


Sun, 31 Aug 2014 23:07:33 -0700

Friday, November 21 at Rothesay Joint Campus - Fires of Love (Renaissance and Baroque music on lute, guitar, percussion and voice), featuring Scots and English music of the Jacobean era. Friday, January 9, 2015 at Rothesay Joint Campus - Jean ...
Broadway World
Fri, 16 May 2014 03:06:12 -0700

For its 2014 Countryside series, Apollo's Fire proudly premieres "GLORY ON THE MOUNTAIN: An Appalachian Journey." Created and directed by Jeannette Sorrell and starring singers Amanda Powell and Ross Hauck, the program will be performed in 8 ...
Houston Chronicle
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 15:05:29 -0800

"It's similar to the lute, guitar, banjo or mandolin, and other plucked instruments." She'll be performing Lou Harrison's "Concerto for Pipa With String Orchestra," which the late American composer created for her in 1997. As well, she'll play "Blue ...

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