Posted on January 6, 2010September 7, 2021 by Dale Phillips Review: Lutes, Viols and Temperaments by Mark Lindley Review: Lutes, Viols and Temperaments by Mark Lindley Reviewed by Edward L. Kottick Originally published in American Lutherie #2, 1985 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000 Lutes, Viols and Temperaments Mark Lindley Cambridge University Press, 1984 Out of print (1999) This book represents a landmark of scholarship that cannot be ignored by those who deal with fretted string instruments, whether scholar, maker, or player. Mark Lindley, one of the world’s experts on this complex subject, summarizes everything that can at present be said about the ways in which theorists and performers viewed the problem of temperament on fretted string instruments between ca. 1520 and ca. 1740. He does a brilliant job of sorting out the writers. He explains how some of them misunderstood the mathematical principles involved in reckoning temperament, and he shows how many of them, in turn, have been misinterpreted by modern scholars. The information is laid out clearly. Quotations from original sources have the English translation in parallel columns: thus, if Lindley draws an inference from the primary material, you are free to disagree and draw your own. The mathematics of temperament are presented clearly and, in many cases, masterfully, as in his explication of the distinction between the ratio of 18:17 and 12th root of 2. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.