Teaching & Studying the Lute: International Conference Bremen 2019

Edited by John Griffiths & Sigrid Wirth

The curiosity to hear music of ages past played on original instruments or historical copies has become one of the most significant recreative movements in recent cultural history. Thanks to the initial experimental work of pioneers over a century ago, contemporary music culture now values listening to music of past ages with the ears of those who first heard it. We understand it as similar to the sensory vitality that is restored into old paintings when centuries of varnish and tarnish are removed. Early experimentation was transformed into expertise, and historical performance practice has grown to become a multi-million dollar industry.

The lute is a principal player on this revivalist stage and is now taught in many conservatories and music academies throughout the world. This book, based on a conference held in Bremen in September 2019, explores themes that pertain to teaching an ancient instrument in a modern institutional setting and the pedagogical challenges for both teaching and learning. It encompasses a discussion of aspects of modern teaching practice (Pascale Boquet, Jakob Lindberg, John Griffiths), the inner workings of historical technique (Paul O’Dette, Nigel North), improvisation and continuo playing (Joachim Held, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Bor Zuljan), using the right instrument (Michael Lowe), and the continuing exploration of newly rediscovered repertoire (Franco Pavan).


Peter Croton, Joachim Held
From the Editors
Sigrid Wirth, John Griffiths
1. Historical Pedagogy and the Lute: Education to Match Aspirations
John Griffiths
2. Teaching Historical Lute Technique in the 21st Century: Exceptions to the Normal Rules of Renaissance Lute Fingering
Paul O’Dette
3. “Tut, Tut!!” – The Articulate Lutenist
Nigel North
4. Reflections on the Important Skills Needed by a Professional Lutenist
Jakob Lindberg
5. Teaching Contrapuntal Improvisation to Lute Students: Canon at the Lower Octave
Bor Zuljan
6. New Sources for New Learning
Franco Pavan
7. Teaching the Lute to Children
Pascale Boquet
8. Teaching Basso Continuo at the Master’s Level
Joachim Held
9. Gaspar Sanz and his Laberintos ingeniosos: Improvisation and
Composition on the Baroque Guitar

Xavier Díaz-Latorre
10. The Historical Lute: What Lute Teachers Need to Know
Michael Lowe