“There are hundreds of printed and manuscript books of music for plucked-string instruments from the late fifteenth century through the end of the eighteenth century. Most of these sources were written for the lute or guitar; there were also a few books for lesser-known plucked string instruments: the vihuela, cittern, bandora, mandora, and orpharion, as well as instruments related to the lute such as the arch-lute and theorbo. This site concentrates primarily on sources that employ a notational system called "tablature." Sources which can be played on these instruments but are in standard notation (such as those calling for continuo accompaniment) are not generally included.
The list contains basic bibliographical information for as many of these tablatures as I can find. Sources used include various volumes in the Répertoire international des sources musicales (RISM) series, the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2000), and Howard Mayer Brown's Instrumental Music Printed before 1600: A Bibliography (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1965). A variety of other sources were used as well, cited in the bibliographies for each entry, and new sources have come to light since the publication of the core bibliographic works.
This remains a work-in-progress, but I felt the inclusion of manuscripts and materials outside the sixteenth century was important enough to warrant a basic list, however incomplete. I currently have a list of prints and manuscripts from the late fifteenth century to 1800 (the RISM series cutoff) and will be completing information for this list and adding it to the page over the next few weeks. Detailed information on the tablatures will only be available from the sources I have studied either first-hand or from copies and will thus take much, much longer (I am beginning with the tablatures c1500).
Visit website for more information. (ed.)
Added on: Apr 16, 2010 | Hits: 963