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TAS: Theorbo Acquisition Syndrome. 

I really need one of these babies to add to my bassy instrument collection.  The 7 extra strings have a longer scale than my 4/4 double bass.  Never mind your 6 string basses, this has 14 "courses".  The idea is that you fret the top 7 strings and pluck the bottom 7 with your thumb to create a bass line.  This particular one appears to allow some of the "bass" strings to be fretted too.

image.thumb.png.681d4b10f4aff0bf01bea60eb5d73bf5.png

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Ooh and someone has built an electric one.  Not so fine looking mind.

image.png.4feb0365c807bf9644db14e1642fa659.png

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Love them, me, and have done so since the early 70s - a period when we could just walk into our local music shop and try and buy Renaissance instrument copies. What a wonderful time!

Based on my experience with the viola da gamba, I'd say: "Do it! Do it!" 🙂

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Have you seen the orchestra of the enlightenment? I’d never heard of a theorbo until I saw them. I believe the neck is hinged.

 

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Just downloaded Elizabeth Kenny's solo works from linn records!  I used to go in the the early music shoppe at every opportunity but never saw an actual theorbo.  Did have a go on a Racket tho, but last year when I decided to buy myself the " build your own racket" kit for Xmas found they'd discontinued it 😞

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Have you seen this guy? I bought one of his albums last year.

 

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Posted (edited)

How do you tune it? 

I don't know which is more mad, this or the bass balalaika our mandolinist keeps trying to make buy 

Edited by Maude

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I went to a concert in Norwich Cathedral a few years back featuring the superb Norwich Baroque group. Their theorbo player is blind..!

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Stops him looking at his fingers I guess. 

But he must have an incredible memory for sequences of notes.  I need a chord chart for an 8-bar blues and once forgot the opening bass line to Miles Davis' All Blues (the pianist had to play it to me so I could join in)!

As I struggle to learn 5-string bass after decades playing but four strings ... I am increasingly amazed at these people's skill.

Image result for baroque lute

(not a Theorbo but an 18 course baroque lute with 24 individual strings to tune)

On 27/07/2019 at 20:18, BassTractor said:

Based on my experience with the viola da gamba, I'd say: "Do it! Do it!" 

... my experience with (my Dad's) viola da gamba is that it has too many strings, which are tuned in unequal intervals (not even the same intervals as a guitar) and all the music is written in the one clef I never previously had to read and POLYPHONICALLY so you have to read lots of notes in a strange clef at once.   It was my, retired professional 'cellist, Dad's retirement project and out-witted even him!

Theorbo and lute music seems to be mostly written out in Tab - which is something else I've never mastered. :¬)

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Lute music..? paging @Witters :) 

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Posted (edited)

 

Found this quite interesting: the same R. de Visée prelude played on four different instruments: theorbo, lute, baroque guitar and harpsichord.

 

 

Edited by BassTractor
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