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Encyclopedia > Theorbo
Theorbo
Theorbo

A theorbo (from Italian tiorba, also tuorbe in French, Theorbe in German) is a plucked string instrument. As a name, theorbo signifies a number of long-necked lutes with second peg-boxes, such as the liuto attiorbato, the arciliuto, the French théorbe des pieces, the English theorbo, the archlute, the German baroque lute, the angelique or angelica. The etymology of the name tiorba has not yet been explained. It is hypothesized that its origin might have been in the Slavic or Turkish "torba", meaning "bag" or "turban". Image File history File links Size of this preview: 148 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (158 × 640 pixel, file size: 20 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Given by Cezar MAteus (the author of the instrument) expressly for Wiki I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 148 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (158 × 640 pixel, file size: 20 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Given by Cezar MAteus (the author of the instrument) expressly for Wiki I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to... A medieval era lute. ... An Archlute by Matteo Sellas, Venice, 17th century The archlute (Italian arciliuto, German Erzlaute, Russian Архилютня) a European plucked string instrument was developed around 1600 as a compromise between the very large theorbo, the size and re-entrant tuning of which made for difficuties in the performance of solo music, and... A medieval era lute. ... Angelique may refer to: Angelique - a GxB series including video games, manga, and anime Angelique (Dark Shadows) - a Dark Shadows television series character Marie-Joseph Angélique - executed French slave known as Angelique Angélique (play) - by Lorena Gale, winner of the 1995 duMaurier National Playwriting Competition in Canada Angelique...


Theorboes were developed during the late sixteenth century, inspired by the demand of extended bass range for use in opera developed by the Florentine Camerata and new musical works based on basso continuo (such as Giulio Caccini's Le Nuove Musiche). Musicians adapted bass lutes (c.80+ cm string length) with a neck extension to accommodate open (i. e. unfretted) bass strings, called diapasons or bourdons. The instrument was called both chitarrone and tiorba. It is important to note that, although theorbo and chitarrone are virtually identical, they have different evolutionary origins, the chitarrone being a descendant of chitarra italiana (hence its name). The Florentine Camerata was a group of humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals in late Renaissance Florence who gathered under the patronage of Count Giovanni de Bardi to discuss and guide trends in the arts, especially music and drama. ... Caccini, Le Nuove musiche, 1601, title page Giulio Caccini (October 8, 1551 – December 10, 1618) was an Italian composer, teacher, singer, instrumentalist and writer of the very late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. ... The word diapason (pronounced ) is another name for the musical interval of the octave, especially in the context of Pythagorean intervals. ... The name Bourdun is derived from the French word for buzz and normally denotes a stopped flute/flue type of pipe in an organ, though in organ building the stop has no buzz, but rather a very dark, heavy tone, strong in fundamental, with little overtone development. ... Chitarra Italiana is a lute-shaped plucked instrument with 4 or 5 single (sometimes double) strings, in a tuning similar to that of guitar. ...


Similar adaptations to smaller lutes (c.55+ cm string length) produced the liuto attiorbato and the archlute, also similar-looking but differently tuned instruments. An Archlute by Matteo Sellas, Venice, 17th century The archlute (Italian arciliuto, German Erzlaute, Russian Архилютня) a European plucked string instrument was developed around 1600 as a compromise between the very large theorbo, the size and re-entrant tuning of which made for difficuties in the performance of solo music, and...


The tuning of large theorboes is generally characterized by the octave displacement, or re-entrant tuning, of the uppermost or of the 2 uppermost strings, thus limiting the upper range of the instrument. The courses, unlike those of a Renaissance Lute or Archlute, were usually single, though double-stringing was not unknown. Typically, theorboes have 14 courses, though a very few pieces from the Early Baroque period require a 19-course theorbo. The strings of a harp A string is the vibrating element which is the source of vibration in string instruments, such as the guitar, harp, piano, and members of the violin family. ... A course is a pair of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually plucked together as if a single string, in musical instruments such as the lute, vihuela or mandolin. ... A medieval era lute. ... An Archlute by Matteo Sellas, Venice, 17th century The archlute (Italian arciliuto, German Erzlaute, Russian Архилютня) a European plucked string instrument was developed around 1600 as a compromise between the very large theorbo, the size and re-entrant tuning of which made for difficuties in the performance of solo music, and... A course is a pair of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually plucked together as if a single string, in musical instruments such as the lute, vihuela or mandolin. ... A course is a pair of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually plucked together as if a single string, in musical instruments such as the lute, vihuela or mandolin. ...


In the performance of basso continuo, theorboes were often paired with a small pipe organ. Most prominent players and composers of the chitarrone in Italy were Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger and Alessandro Piccinini. No solo music for the theorbo has been known from England so far, but William Lawes used it for his chamber music. In France, theorboes were appreciated and used in orchestra music just as well as in chamber music until the first 3rd of the 18th century (Nicolas Hotman, Robert de Visée). Court orchestras at Vienna, Bayreuth and Berlin employed theorbo players still after 1750 (Ernst Gottlieb Baron, Francesco Conti). Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... Organ in Katharinenkirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany // The pipe organ (Greek ὄργανον, órganon) is a musical instrument that produces sound by admitting pressurized air through a series of pipes. ... Johann(es) Hieronymus Kapsberger (also: Giovanni Girolamo or Giovanni Geronimo Kapsberger), (1580 - 1651) was a German-Italian virtuoso performer and composer of lute, theorbo and chitarrone music during the early Baroque period. ... Alessandro Piccinini (1566-1638), Italian lutenist and composer. ... William Lawes (1602–1645) was an English composer and musician. ... Robert de Visée (c. ... Ernst Gottlieb Baron (1696 - 1760) was a German lutenist and composer. ...


Solo music for the theorbo is notated in tablature. Example of numeric vihuela tablature from the book Orphenica Lyra by Miguel de Fuenllana (1554). ...

Contents

Theorbo tuning

15-course Theorbo tuning chart. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


This is theorbo tuning in A. Modern theorbo players usually play 14-course instruments, though (lowest course is G). A number of Theorbo players will use an alternative tuning in G, a whole step lower, to facilitate playing in flat keys, which are unwieldy on instruments tuned in A, better suited for sharp keys. In music, tuning is the process of producing or preparing to produce a certain pitch in relation to another, usually at the unison but often at some other interval. ... In music, tuning is the process of producing or preparing to produce a certain pitch in relation to another, usually at the unison but often at some other interval. ... Figure 1. ... In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes (for example, the white notes on a piano keyboard) unless otherwise altered with... Figure 1. ... In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes (for example, the white notes on a piano keyboard) unless otherwise altered with...


While usually players will have the top two courses down an octave in reëntrant tuning, this does create problems for voice leading and the playing of harmonies above the bass when accompanying and playing Basso Continuo. A solution is to have only the top course down an octave (English theorbo). A course is a pair of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually plucked together as if a single string, in musical instruments such as the lute, vihuela or mandolin. ... In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or 8va) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double the frequency. ... In music, voice leading is the continuity between pitches or notes played successively in time. ... This article is about musical harmony. ... Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervallic content (the intervals which make up a sonority), later chords, in relation to a bass note. ... A course is a pair of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually plucked together as if a single string, in musical instruments such as the lute, vihuela or mandolin. ...


The diagram above shows the typical diatonic tuning of the bass strings, and these may be retuned to whichever key the player is working in. They not only come in extremely useful at cadences (for many lovers of Baroque Music, the thump of low plucked strings is a most satisfying sound), but provide sympathetic resonance even when not played, enriching the general sound of the instrument. In Music theory, the diatonic major scale (also known as the Guido scale), from the Greek diatonikos or to stretch out, is a fundamental building block of the European-influenced musical tradition. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750 (see Dates of classical music eras for a discussion of the problems inherent in defining the beginning and end points). ... Sympathetic strings are strings on musical instruments which begin resonating, not due to any external influence such as picking or bowing, but due to another note (or frequency). ...


Players

The important living theorbists include Lynda Sayce, Pascal Monteilhet, Edin Karamazov, Eduardo Egüez, Nigel North, Hopkinson Smith, Paul O'Dette, Andreas Martin, Rolf Lislevand, Christina Pluhar, Matthias Spaeter, Terrell Stone, Jakob Lindberg and Stephen Stubbs inter alia. Lynda Sayce is a lutenist and theorbo player, living near Oxford, United Kingdom, known also as a scholar of musical history and a writer on the history of the lute and theorbo. ... Edin Karamazov is a Bosnian musician-lutenist (born in 1965 in Zenica, Bosnia). ... Hopkinson Smith is a lutenist. ... Paul ODette is an American lutenist, conductor, and music researcher specializing in early music. ... Terrell Stone is an American lutenist and recording artist. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... Stephen Stubbs (born 1951) is a lutenist and director and has been a leading figure in the European early music scene for nearly thirty years. ...


Literature

Ekkehard Schulze-Kurz, Die Laute und ihre Stimmungen in der ersten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhundert, 1990, ISBN 3-927445-04-5, available at the author's homepage


Robert Spencer, Chitarrone, Theorbo and Archlute, in: Early Music, Vol. 4 No. 4 (October 1976), 408-422, available at David van Edward's homepage


See also

  • Torban, a Ukrainian relative of the theorbo

The torban or teorban is an Eastern European musical instrument that combined features of the Baroque lute with those of the psaltery. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Theorbos
  • The virtual home-page of the theorbo
  • More information on theorboes
  • Chitarrone, archlute and theorbo by Robert Spencer: the definitive work on these terms
  • Marcello Armand-Pilon, lute-maker
  • Matthew Wadsworth Recordings
  • The homepage of Andreas Martin
  • http://www.amphionconsort.com/id4.html Yair Avidor on theorbo

  Results from FactBites:
 
German Theorbo (321 words)
In fact, the theorbo is essentially a lute.
The tuning of this German theorbo is identical to the Baroque lute (AA,BB,C,D,E,F,G,A,d,f,a,d’,f’).
Playable examples of original theorbos and such do not exist, and if they do, are in museums with much more prestigious names than mine.
Theorbo at AllExperts (429 words)
As a name, theorbo signifies a number of long-necked lutes with second peg-boxes, such as the liuto attiorbato, the arciliuto, the chitarrone, the French théorbe des pieces, the English theorbo, the archlute, the German baroque lute, the angelique or angelica.
Theorboes were developed during the late-sixteenth century, inspired by the demand of extended bass range for use in opera developed by the Florentine Camerata and new musical works based on basso continuo (such as Giulio Caccini's Le Nuove Musiche).
The tuning of large theorboes is generally characterized by the octave displacement, or reentrant tuning, of the uppermost or of the 2 uppermost strings, thus limiting the upper range of the instrument.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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