Historical Lute Construction


by Robert Lundberg
Photographs by Robert Lundberg and Jonathon Peterson

Robert Lundberg’s landmark book, Historical Lute Construction, is by far the most comprehensive and authoritative work on the subject of understanding and constructing authentic lutes. The material in this remarkable book originated with the Erlangen Lautenbaukurs, an annual seminar presented by Lundberg in Erlangen, Germany beginning in 1978, which were then presented, along with a complete step-by-step instruction in lute construction, as a series of nineteen articles presented in American Lutherie over a seven-year span (1987-1994). These articles were then revised, expanded, and augmented into this definitive book form by the GAL Staff and Mr. Lundberg before he passed away in 2001.
Organized in two sections. “Section One: The Erlangen Lectures” covers the historic development of the lute from the 15th through the 18th centuries with over 100 photos of ancient lutes taken by Lundberg and 50 diagrams. “Section Two: Practicum” covers the construction of the lute in minute detail with over 600 step-by-step photographs by Jonathon Peterson and a dozen diagrams. Appendices include the Erlangen Series lute plans (complete reduced images of seven lute plans drawn for the GAL by Robert Lundberg); list of ancient lutemakers, catalog of extant ancient European lutes, glossary, bibliography, practicum summary, and index.

Robert Lundberg’s encyclopedic knowledge, insightful analysis, and mastery of woodworking techniques grew out of a distinguished 30-year career in which he examined and measured over 250 extant ancient lutes and built hundreds of fine instruments. This is a book about the soul of lutherie. In these pages you will stand at the workbench of a master luthier as he shares with you in detail the fruits of a distinguished career of scholarship and craft. It will be a rich source of inspiration to any luthier. The insights, information, and techniques in Historical Lute Construction will broaden every instrument maker’s horizons and change the way they look at musical instruments. It is a unique resource of tremendous value to makers of all kinds of string instruments and belongs in the library of every serious luthier. Robert Lundberg spent fifteen years in close collaboration with the GAL staff to produce Historical Lute Construction. It is a monument to his understanding, scholarship, and skill, as well as his support of the Guild’s mission of information sharing.

Hardcover, 280 pages, B&W photos and reduced plan drawings.
Members $65, Nonmembers $72

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