> On Feb 13, 2018, at 3:38 AM, Luca Manassero <l...@manassero.net> wrote:
>  this could be a sort of proof that lutes extending to the contra-G
>   existed, but in that case why is this an unicum?

Because all the other 14-course lutes were lost in fires, or eaten by termites, 
or rotted in damp basements, or, if they were built like the Hoffman instrument 
we’ve been talking about, were converted into soup kettles or small boats?

We all know that surviving lutes are a fossil record—a tiny remnant of the 
instruments that were built and played in their day—but we constantly forget it 
and fall into the trap of assuming that what survives in that record is an 
indication of the numbers that existed three centuries ago.  It’s possible that 
there was only one 14-course German baroque ever, but far more likely that 
there were others that have perished over time.

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