Are You Ready To Baroque
May 7, 2008 6:33 AM   Subscribe

In addition to violins, violas and cellos, there are also Stradivarius guitars. Two still exist: one in South Dakota and one in the Ashmolean in Oxford (see a reproduction of the Oxford one here). These are Baroque guitars, strung a little like modern ones without the low E string and with the other five strings doubled. Instructions for Baroque guitar.

Courteous and friendly Reader, as thou hast seene before what my good will hath beene to pleasure thee in the practise of the Lute, so heere in this booke poste thou mayest perceave my endevoure continued to acquant thee likewise with the stately Orpharion...
posted by motty (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Love those pictures of old instruments at The curious shapes remind one of bad drawings of guitars.

And motty, as a tireless promoter of the musicalinstrument tag, I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest that you add the musicalinstrument tag.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:07 AM on May 7, 2008

I had no idea that the Brazilian viola caipira (10-string cowboy guitar) was so similar to the baroque guitar. Thanks for the links!
posted by umbĂș at 7:16 AM on May 7, 2008

It's unfortunate that there's only two left, because it you were too connect four of them together ass-to-ass and give the resulting monstrosity to Michael Angelo Batio it would be a total EXSHREDVAGANZA.
posted by The Straightener at 7:34 AM on May 7, 2008

Hey, check out the cool oval-shaped soundhole on the guitar at the top of this page. After they made that, they....

baroque the mold!

*Medieval drum rimshot*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:39 AM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have seen the one in Oxford with mine own beady eyeballs. It's kinda small.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:41 AM on May 7, 2008

slobber slobber slobber
posted by nosila at 8:06 AM on May 7, 2008

I guess this was before Stradivarius went electric at the Salzburg Festival?
posted by PenDevil at 8:22 AM on May 7, 2008

Gonna lay down my old guitar...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:32 AM on May 7, 2008

The unfortunate ultra-rarity of these guitars explained by the tendency of arrogant superminstrels to smash them on the stage after a virtuoso performance, as well as a large number that were destroyed by luters.
posted by nanojath at 10:26 AM on May 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

The question is, did the techniques used on the violins also work on the guitars? Do they sound any good?
posted by Xoc at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2008

Oh wow. More instructions.
posted by motty at 5:12 PM on May 7, 2008

An all too brief audio link from the concert Philippe Quint gave the NJ cab drivers with his Stradivarius after one of them returned it to him.

Wish there was more.
posted by eye of newt at 9:51 PM on May 7, 2008

Just realized the recovered Stradavarius story was covered yesterday at Metafilter, though without the audio link.
posted by eye of newt at 10:00 PM on May 7, 2008

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