Martyn Hodgson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:  Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 09:00:21 
+0100 (BST)
From: Martyn Hodgson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: [VIHUELA] Re: Why re-entrant tuning?
To: Alexander Batov <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

  Dear Alexander,
  I am genuinely open minded about all this and remain to be convinced either 
way:  clearly, some guitars seem to have been converted to be wire strung with 
shorter necks and folded bellies - possibly in the mid 18th C (but why done not 
earlier?), however there seem to be examples (eg the Hill one) where this is 
not the case and we have an earlier instrument set up with folded belly, end 
string fastening and short neck.   I think much more work needs to be done here.
  Also, I'm not so sure about the the presumption that the folded mandolin 
belly had to be invented before such a constructional technique could be 
applied to the guitar.
  Battente guitars could make use of Alfabeto which, presumably, pre-dates the 
6 course tablature Ricetti mentions.
  Finally,  I'm even more unclear about non-folded belly instruments which have 
string end fastening - like Coste's Lacote guitar much later,  this could be 
simply an alternative gut stringing arrangement.
  der Batov <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

With no attempt to convince you but there is hardly any point to look for
chitarra battente much further beyond mid-18th century (i.e. chronologically
coinciding with the arrival of Neapolitan mandoline). Perhaps this can also
suggest what sort of strings it could be strung with ...

The most comprehensive research on surviving battente guitars was made, as
far as I know, by Valentina Ricetti around mid-80s and published in the
Liuteria magazine (in two subsequent issues). I corresponded with her at the
time and supplied information on the three original battente guitars from
the St-Petersburg collection (she reproduced the picture of one of them in
her article). She also send me what in her words was _supposedly_ the
earliest surviving tablature for battente guitar which, if I remember it
right, looked like a chart of chords written out on six lines.
Unfortunately I don't have neither the magazines not the tablature fragment
with me at the moment, otherwise I could have given you more precise

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martyn Hodgson" 
Subject: [VIHUELA] Re: Why re-entrant tuning?

> Ta Monica.
> Re low breaking stress of early wire, I find it of interest that many
> extant battente seem to have a shorter neck than conventional 17thC
> guitars. However the position of the 11th fret (ie generally close to the
> neck/body join) remained the same as with gut strung instruments and this
> is, of course, possible because the battente with folded/bent belly had a
> much higher bridge position than 'conventional' instruments.
> I'm aware of a few late 90's revisionist theories that all these are
> fakes or 19/20thC instruments apeing ealier instruments, but am
> unconvinced.
> A good example of an early short necked battente is in Baines (Nos
> 294/295) - I wonder where it is now? It's always seemed very genuine to
> me, but...
> Interestingly, on the opposite page is a guitar by 'Matteo Sellas' dated
> c. 1630(?) (Nos 285-7) which I think was rebuilt in the 18thC as a
> conventional gtr but was probably originally a battente (ie folded belly -
> the mark is clear, short neck) - prhps this is indirect evidence that the
> earlier battente tradition had declined by then.
> MH

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