The Lute Society of America, founded in 1966, is devoted to the lute and its music. Membership is open to anyone, anywhere – scholars and listeners as well as amateur or professional players. We share information through our publications, here on our worldwide web pages, and at one or two annual Summer Seminars. Smaller regional meetings are occasionally sponsored as well. Many of our members subscribe to one or more of the e-mail forums operated by Wayne Cripps, in which discussion centers on the lute in general or on more specialized areas relating to historical plucked instruments. There are also several Internet social networking groups on Ning devoted to the lute, the cittern or the vihuela and early guitars.
For those who are not familiar with the lute, it is a plucked-string musical instrument. Its construction features a deeply rounded, ovoid body fabricated out of thin strips of wood glued together edgewise. The body is closed by a wooden soundboard or table to which the bridge is glued. The strings are tied around the bridge and stretched along a neck fitted with a number of tied frets. The strings then extend into one or more pegboxes, where they are tuned by adjusting the tension. The strings are stopped or fretted with one hand while plucking with the other. The lute was popular and widely used in Europe from about the 12th century AD until well into the 18th century. After a period of disuse lasting about a hundred years, interest in the historical European lute slowly revived during the 20th century. Some audio and video examples of lute playing are available on our “Downloads” page.
Members of the Board of Directors:
The Lute Society of America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Donations are welcome and are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.