The Lute Online Resources Portal (LORP): Frequently Asked Questions


If you have a specific question or area of interest, the simplest thing may be to contact one of the lute societies, or join one of the online discussion groups An enormous store of advice and information can be found in the archived emails of the lute discussion groups; see Wayne Cripps’s page

On the website of The Lute Society:, See also:
On the website of the Societa del Liuto: ‘per chi inizia’:
On Wayne Cripps’s personal website:
A general (mostly mediaeval) Early Music FAQ site:
John Buckman’s renaissance lute beginner page:

SPECIFIC TOPICS, listed alphabetically

Note that the archive of discussions on Wayne Cripps’ Lutenet: can be searched by topic.

Care of your lute

On Jiri Cepelak's website:
Booklet on care of your lute by David van Edwards, available from The Lute Society:
Didier Jarny, Guide d'entretien de votre luth, Societe francaise de luth:

Fret placement for different temperaments

See also 'Tuning and temperament' below.

Beier string and fret calculator:
Hoffmann fret calculator:
Alexander Hopkins fret placement calculator:
Jeff Lee’s lute fret calculator
Lute Society of America fret calculator spreadsheet:
Niskanen Lutes free calculator:
Theatre of Music tunings and temperaments page:
Olive Wadsworth fret page:

Martin Shepherd has summarised historical evidence for body frets at his Luteshop website:

Fret tying

Advice on tying on frets can be found at:
Paolo Busato:
Gamut Music:
David van Edwards:
John Redmood:
Ning Early Guitar (nylon frets):
Youtube film of tying on
There is a section on tying frets in David van Edwards's booklet on The Care of your Lute, available at:

Improving a poor quality, cheap lute

On John Buckman’s pages:

Musicians’ injuries: repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome etc.

An ordinary websearch reveals plenty of websites, for instance:
Musicians and injuries:
Musicians’ Injuries:
The Treatment of overuse injuries in musicians:


Each of the printed tutors under teaching materials has an account of ornamentation in lute music.
Especially useful studies are:

Martin Shepherd ‘The interpretation of signs for graces in English lute music’ The Lute (1996) available at
George Torres, ‘Performance practice technique for the baroque lute: an examination of the introductory avertissements from seventeenth-century sources’ JLSA xxxvi (2003)available from
Per Kjetil Farstad, ‘Ornaments in 18th century German Lute Music’ in Die Laute ii (1998)available from under Jahrbuecher

Performance practice

Links to historical writings on performance practice:
On the website of the Sociedad de Vihuela, bibliography on performance practice:


On John Buckman’s pages:
Fomrhi Quarterly 137, 139,


A standard work on historical pitch is Bruce Haynes, A History of Performing Pitch, The Story of A (2002), widely available for purchase online.
Other significant papers have appeared in Fomrhi Quarterly, and in the Galpin Society Journal,

Historical pitch on Martin Shepherd’s site:

Right-Hand Technique

On Martin Shepherd's site:
Extracts from the treatises on Wayne Cripps site:
Brian MacEvoy essay on right-hand technique:
Ralph Maier essay on dedillo:
Historic paintings illustrating technique on Jean-Marie Poirier's site:
Essays on right-hand technique have appeared in Lute News 54, 94, 101, 102, 106,
Evidence for nail technique on Richard Sweeney's website:

Tuning and temperament

See also 'Fret placement for different temperaments' above

A standard work is Mark Lindley, Lutes, Viols & Temperaments (Cambridge University Press, 1984) available at

Ross Duffin on Vallotti temperament, Case Western Reserve site:
On Kyle Gann’s website:
Joe Monzo, Tonalsoft encyclopedia of microtonal lute theory, ‘John Dowland’s Lute Fretting’:
Tuning systems by Catherine Schmidt-Jones
David van Ooijen on meantone,
On Martin Shepherd’s site:
Scala, software for experimenting with temperaments, Huygens-Fokker website: