Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century

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

Italian Guitar Music of the Seventeenth Century

Battuto and Pizzicato

Lex Eisenhardt

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.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782046875), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

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?


Eisenhardt discusses many topics of interest to the player as well to the scholar. . . [H]ighly recommended for anyone seriously interested in the Baroque guitar, the period or the music written for the instrument. SOUNDBOARD MAGAZINE

An important study for all performers concerned with the relevance of the five-course guitar as a solo instrument and its role in one of the largest printed repertories of secular song in the 17th century. The biggest virtue of Eisenhardt's book is its careful, thorough analysis of the complexities encountered when performing solo music for the five-course guitar [or guitar-accompanied song]. This book will prove especially useful, then, for the modern performer interested in the five-course guitar, upon whom ultimately falls the task of answering the many remaining riddles that arise from the instrument's widely acknowledged imperfections. EARLY MUSIC

[E]ngaging, 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

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

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