lute, tablature, transcription


Kurt Dorfmüller's essay is from Le luth et sa musique, a volume of proceedings from the 1957 research symposium of the same name that gathered a number of eminent scholars at the beginning of the modern era of lute scholarship and performance revival. In it, he inquires into the unique nature of German lute tablature, its mostly latent capacity for expressing polyphony, and the types of music for which it is more or less suited. He ends by proposing a set of guidelines for establishing a "mainstream practice" for transcription not only from German tablature but also from tablature in general. Appended to the essay is a transcript of the short discussion following the delivery of Dorfmüller's original paper at the symposium for which it was prepared.


This article was originally published in French as “La tablature de luth allemande et les problèmes d’édition,” in Le luth et sa musique: Neuilly-sur-Seine, 10–14 septembre 1957, ed. Jean Jaquot (Paris: C.N.R.S., 1958), 145–57. The translation is by Ellwood Colahan.

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