We've been over the gut/string-length issue rather too many times here, for me at least, but feel free to hack it out again if you so wish, gentlemen. I'm more interested in WHY anyone would go to the trouble of adding all those extra strings at the upper octave? There is only one bar in the two Granata pieces I have (one needs, obviously, to look at the entire publication) where a ninth course D is followed by an E on the fourth course, second fret. Such leaps are not unfamilar in other scores of the period. I say 'leap' assuming the ninth course at the lower pitch. If it is at the higher octave, why not play the E also as an open course - if you did a rest-stroke thumb stroke from the 9th course onto the 8th, you are already there, so why leap up to the fourth course? The following bass note is the 6th course.
I think the shape of the Grammatica instrument tells us something about its role - it looks like an archlute (might even be one) whose prime function is probably accompaniment. That would imply lower octave basses. Strad The Lad might have had the figure-of-eight guitar shape in mind, which might have been a completely different instrument to the one in the painting. And who knows what Granata had in mind? Or Gallot? I'm enjoying playing it. Wolfgang is a good luthier. The thing works (albeit with nylgut strings). Trying not to get emotionally attached to it. On Sunday it will be back in Germany, and on sale from http://www.zupfinstrumente-emmerich.de/English/index.htm Rob -- References 1. http://www.zupfinstrumente-emmerich.de/English/index.htm To get on or off this list see list information at http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute-admin/index.html