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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. (see de:Deutsche Basslaute)

The instrument is associated with the Wandervogel countercultural movement in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.[2][1]:151

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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85 news items

Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 01:01:05 -0800

Based in Vancouver since 2006, Konstantin Bozhinov is a lute, guitar, and accordion player specializing in improvisation, composition, and arranging. Konstantin spent many years playing folk music from his native Bulgaria. Konstantin is the accordion ...

Audiofanzine (Communiqué de presse) (Blog)

Audiofanzine (Communiqué de presse) (Blog)
Tue, 15 Dec 2015 09:33:08 -0800

Precision Sound annonce la sortie de Folk Lute Guitar, un nouvel instrument virtuel pour les adeptes des ballades folk et classiques. Folk Lute Guitar échantillonne un luth classique, à manche court et cordes à nylon. Precision Sound précise que l ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 11:18:41 -0800

Because of an injury, Barnes has abandoned playing the Irish pipes, but he still plays lute, guitar, mandolin and a vintage harp-guitar built by two Norwegian-immigrant brothers about a century ago in Wisconsin. Renaissance and Celtic music have many ...

Rappahannock News

Rappahannock News
Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:36:29 -0800

With percussionist Steve Bloom and Joseph Cunliffe on lute, guitar, mandolin and viola da gamba, Barnes and Hampton will perform Christmas and holiday music from Ireland, Galician Spain and Scotland, as well as traditional Irish tunes. Barnes and ...

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 23 Sep 2015 08:45:00 -0700

Once More to the Lake. The newsy parts of New York City Ballet's fall season arrive next week, with the Fall Gala and its four — count 'em, four! — premieres, but first comes “Swan Lake.” This streamlined production of the Russian classic ...

The Quietus

The Quietus
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:15:00 -0700

After successful duo collaborations between Jarmusch and lute/guitar maestro Jozef van Wissem, he too has been wrapped into the fold, and works with SQÜRL regularly both on stage and in the studio. On this current foray across the eastern half of the ...

Cleveland Scene Weekly

Cleveland Scene Weekly
Thu, 11 Jun 2015 10:04:15 -0700

The ensemble — which also includes Amanda Powell (soprano), Ross Hauck (tenor), Susanna Gilmore (fiddle), Kathie Stewart (flute), Brian Kay (lute, guitar, banjo), René Schiffer (cello), Jeannette Sorrell (harpsichord and direction) — is celebrating ...

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 ...

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