Andrew Rutherford wrote:
   Re the cittern and the Moravians, Lanie Graf published something in a
   recent Moravian Archives journal all about citterns, Moravians and
   Frederick Hintz, the furniture maker turned guittar maker.  You can
   find the relevent (sp?) info on her ning page.
   By the way, Hintz claimed to have "invented" the English guitar.  I
   think he may have invented the major-chord tuning for the cittern when
   he moved to England...   andy r


What is the reference for the claim by Hintz, that he invented the English guitar? And what date?

I think the chordal tuning may well pre-date the 1750s. But definitely something happened in Britain the 1750s.Well lots of things happened then - but in the world of citterns. Several contemporary accounts describe the (English) guitar/guittar as new or newly introduced, and, as far as I know, no instruments and no publications date from before the 1750s. And the typical (English) guitar/guittar has a chordal tuning, on six courses of wire strings with the top four courses paired and the bottom two, single. As far as I know, no cittern with that tuning and stringing arrangement exists before the 1750s. And the instrument tended to be called a guitar/guittar and the music is not in tablature.

I've tended to suppose that the immediate origin is a four-course instrument - four pairs of strings, tuned chordally, gceg, probably German, probably played with the fingers, not a plectrum.And then someone in Britain, probably in London, added the two single basses and somehow started a huge fashion for the instrument among the well-off. So that many, many instruments were made and lots and lots of music published for the next 20-30+ years.

Maybe Hintz was the man! Maybe he thought of the idea of an elegant but simple instrument for well-off amateurs. He added two single basses to extend the range of notes of C major. He discarded the tablature concept and just had almost everything in C major. Hintz made instruments, he published some music and, I can't remember, but perhaps he was a publisher of music too. But he (or whoever it was) must have had very good connections for the fashion to take off so well amongst the more well-to-do.

Hintz also published some hymn tunes. I wrote out a few of them ages ago. They are quite unlike most EG music, three-part block chords, rather than running single lines. But they're not like the Moravian choralbuch either.


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