Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century

Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century

Battuto and Pizzicato

Lex Eisenhardt


University of Rochester Press



One of Europe's foremost experts on early guitar music explores this little-known but richly-rewarding repertoire.
In the seventeenth century, like today, the guitar was often used for chord strumming ("battuto" in Italian) in songs and popular dance genres, such as the ciaccona or sarabanda. In the golden age of the baroque guitar, Italy gave rise to a unique solo repertoire, in which chord strumming and lute-like plucked ("pizzicato") styles were mixed. Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century: Battuto and Pizzicato explores this little-known repertoire, providing a historical background and examining particular performance issues. The book is accompanied by audio examples on a companion website.

Lex Eisenhardt is one of Europe's foremost experts on early guitar. He teaches both classical guitar and historical plucked instruments at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He has produced a number of highly acclaimed CD recordings, and has given concerts and masterclasses in Europe, the United States, and Australia.


December 2015
10 black and white, 123 line illustrations
266 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580465335
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS023060, MUS006000
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Audio Examples
The Rise of the Five-Course Guitar in Spain and Italy, 1580-1630
Italian Guitarists at Home and Abroad
Solo Music
Stringing Matters
Pandora's Lyre
The Baroque Guitar Unmasked?


Overall, Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century is engaging, well written, and well researched. It is a much-needed contribution to the current discussion of baroque guitar history (...), stringing, and performance. His summary of past and current thought on performance related issues, combined with his references to translated original source material, allows even novices to understand and engage with the issues presented. LUTE SOCIETY OF AMERICA

Presents the issue of tuning in a practice-based approach, written by one of the foremost performers on the instrument. A fascinating . . . exploration of the repertoire of the Baroque guitar in Italy, how it was exported to France and how also in Spain there was a revival of instrumental music inspired by folklore in which the guitar played an important role. To make his arguments more clear, we can listen to many musical examples on-line. NOSTALGIA (LUTE & EARLY GUITAR SOCIETY OF JAPAN)

In every sense a worthy successor to (Tyler's) The Early Guitar. Mr. Eisenhardt has long been known as a skilful and sensitive performer on a wide variety of historical guitars and with the present work he has shown himself to be equally impressive as a scholar and writer. Well worth the attention of anyone with an interest in the music of the 17th century. EARLY MUSIC REVIEW Full review at

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