Internationale Luitdagen | International Lute Days

Utrecht 3 and 4 september 2022



Understanding Galante Style, the Rococo period of music

Dr. Rebekah Ahrendt – Earl Christy – Dr. Frank Legl – Klaus Martius

SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 9.30 a.m. - 12.45

Tivoli Vredenburg Club Nine

Duration: 3.15 hours

PRICE: € 10,00


In four lectures this symposium will explore the rococo Style Galante in the final heyday of the lute. The context in which the music was written, the social circles in which it was performed and the role of women as salon owners and lute players are outlined. The speakers will also address how this music developed, how it influenced performance practice and the consequences for the development of the instrument.

The symposium is in English.


9.30 - 10.15 Dr. Rebekah Ahrendt - Becoming galant(e)

10.15 - 11.00 Earl Christy - Obbligato


11.15 - 12.00 Dr. Frank Legl - Music for the Lute at the Electoral Court in Munich from about 1740 to 1770

12.00 - 12.45 Klaus Martius - A Brilliant Farewell of Lute Making in the second half of 18th century in Germany

Dr. Rebekah Ahrendt: Becoming galant(e)

Rebekah Ahrendt is Associate Professor of Musicology in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. Prior to joining Utrecht’s faculty, she was Assistant Professor in the Yale University Department of Music and a Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University.

A specialist in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, though with interests across the longue durée, Ahrendt’s scholarship proposes thinking about mobility musically, by tracing the processes by which ideas, people, and practices are transposed.

Trained as a violist da gamba, she is sympathetic to (though somewhat suspicious of) the lute, but welcomes this opportunity to carry on the legacy of her beloved mentor, Prof. Daniel Heartz.

Earl Christy: Obbligato

Music written for lute as an obbligato instrument is not a common or well known genre, but it has a surprisingly substantial surviving oeuvre. From arias in operas and oratorios through small ensemble settings to full concerti and concerti grossi.

This lecture will emphasize the beginnings and the evolution of this neglected form with a particular focus on instrumental works. From duos and trios to concerti, we will explore this flowering of obligato music for baroque lute and how it reached its zenith during the Galant era.

Earl has a specialization in late Baroque music and has done extensive research in archives and libraries across Europe. This resulted in various publications about “forgotten” aspects of the lute.

Dr. Frank Legl: Music for the Lute at the Electorial Court in Munich from about 1740 to 1770

The lecture will bring selected examples illuminating the role of the lute at the electorial court in Munich between 1740 and 1770. The focus of the lecture is on the lute playing members of the family of the elector Karl Albrecht, the later emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. This allows an exemplary view on the practice of chamber music with lute at a court of the high aristocracy.

Although the music is lost, we can reconstruct how the music was transformed for the private use of the music making members of the electoral family. For example we can recognize how a piece of solo music was changed into chamber music.

Another interesting topic, which is addressed in the lecture, is the types of lutes which were used at the court in Munich.

Klaus Martius: A Brilliant Farewell of Lute Making in the second half of 18th century in Germany

After studies in Latin and German Philology and before his retirement Klaus Martius used to work from 1987 to 2020 as conservator of ancient musical instruments at “Institut für Kunsttechnik und Konservierung” of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. He published on the technology of historical instruments, particulary on lutes, bowed string instruments and conservation of musical instruments and documentation techniques and participated amongst others in Martin und Johann Christian Hoffmann-Geigen- und Lautenmacher des Barock and recently Füssen Lute and Violin Making- A European Legacy.

His presentation will introduce the lute types used during the 18th century: 13 course lutes with different riders, angled and swanneck (double and triple), angelique, mandora and colacione.

Ernst Gottlieb Barons chapter of important lute makers in his famous „Investigations of the lute“ (1727) reads almost like an early antiquities guide to the lute: barely a third of the makers listed there are counted among Baron's contemporaries in favor of their well-known predecessors. This is consistent with the fact that lute making in the 18th century increasingly involved the converting of old lute corpora, where existing lutes were adapted to modern musical requirements. Measured against the stock of historical lutes still preserved until to our days, it is evident that the number of instruments in this way „repaired“ significantly exceeds the amount of newly made lutes.

At the same time the lute makers had to meet increased demands, especially for their professional clientele. While earlier lute players only had the possibility to choose an suitable instrument from the wide range of offered lutes, the lutes (newly made and converted ones) now had to be adapted to the individual needs of the musicians, especially when it came to playability and stronger tone.

Nederlandse Luit Stichting

Rijn- en Schiekade 15, 2311 AK Leiden


RSIN nummer: 8519.23.719

KvK: 55960936

Bankrekening: NL81 INGB 0006 1498 17