Baroque

Name: Baroque guitar.
Type: Lute > Chordophone.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#:
Period: 1600-1750.
Tuning: E-B-G-D-A
Country: Many [in Western Europe].
Region: Western Europe & Europe.

Description: The Baroque guitar [c. 1600–1750] is a string instrument with five courses of gut strings and moveable gut frets. The Baroque guitar replaced the Renaissance lute as the most common instrument found in the home. The earliest attestation of a five-stringed guitar comes from the mid-sixteenth-century Spanish book Declaracion de Instrumentos Musicales by Juan Bermudo, published in 1555.

History: The first treatise published for the Baroque guitar was Guitarra Española de cinco ordenes [The Five-course Spanish Guitar] c. 1590, by Juan Carlos Amat. The baroque guitar in contemporary ensembles took on the role of a basso continuo instrument and players would be expected to improvise a chordal accompaniment. Intimately tied to the development of the Baroque guitar is the alfabeto system of notation.

MusicianRegion / DateTuning
Ferdinando ValdambriniItaly, 1646/7E-B-G-D-A
Gaspar SanzSpain, 1674E-B-G-D-A
Antoine CarreFrance, 1671E-B-G-D-A
Nicolas DerosierNetherlands, 1690E-B-G-D
Francisco GuerauSpain, 1694E-B-G-D-a

Citations: Harvey Turnbull, The Guitar – From The Renaissance to the Present Day 3rd, impression 1978 London: Batsford (ISBN 0 7134 3251 9) p. 15: Chapter 1 – The Development of the Instrument. Lex Eisenhardt, Bourdons as Usual – In The Lute: The Journal of the Lute Society, vol. XLVII 2007.