Hi Stuart,

That is what I thought, it is probably a mistake of Carpentier about the english guitar. But I don't understand well the tuning you write, you mean it is french? The cistre is tuned : E-A-D-E-a-c#-e for a seven course cistre. I don't know the tuning you write Stuart, but in France Le Blond, Deleplanque, Renault & Chatelain etc... used to build also 6 course cistre, often with 5 double course and one single bass which is very similar to the english guitar. Maybe the 6 course cistre is the french version of the english guitar tuned C-E-G-c-e-g ? I have no documents and that is a topic i really don't know. What do you think?

Ritter could be the english translation of Reithre, you're right. But this Mr Reithre lived in Paris and I think was probably French. But this idea is interesting, if we have time we should serach further and deeper around this question.

Carpentier is not talking about its origins but about its popularity, he says that the cistre was very popular in Germany and Flanders. He's talking about english guitar in another book if I remember well.


He mentions this tuning a couple of times both in words and in musical notation and he repeats it in his 'Methode'. I've only ever seen this tuning in Carpentier.

The tuning that would be like the French cistre would be: C-F-G-C-E-G and this is mentioned in a British publication of music by D. Ritter (who, I wonder, may be the same as the Mr Reithre mentioned by Carpentier?)

Damien, my French isn't very good. What do you think Carpentier is saying about the origin of the cistre? He talks about its existence in Germany and Flanders but doesn't mention Britain.


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