Technology and craft of early stringed instruments, c. 500-1550

Saturday, November 6, 2010
 Institute of Musical Research
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
Room G22/26

See below for directions to G22/26

This study day will focus on pragmatic features of instruments of monoxylic (carved body) design.  We will examine evidence from extant instruments along with contemporaneous theoretical writings, iconography, and technology, to consider the constructional details of early instruments, and by extension, the skills of the maker and how this craft was shared.  

The study day will feature presentations and roundtable discussions by scholars, archaeologists, musicians, and instrument builders, and will also include a small exhibition of reconstruction instruments. 

10:30-11:30, Strings and tuning
John Irving, Welcome
Justine Bayley, Brass wire finds
John Koster, String topics
Daniel Larson, Early gut strings: some practical considerations

11:30-11:45 Coffee Break

11:45-12:30, Tuning and tools
George Stevens, Notes and observations from a maker's workshop
Alice Margerum, Archaeological small finds: pens or plecta?
Michael Fleming, Woodworking tools in 16th c Oxford

12:30-1:45 Lunch Break

1:45-4:00, The craft of the medieval instrument maker
Jan-Ellen Harriman, Observations on the reproduction of the Trossingen lyre soundboard
Graeme Lawson, Knowledge, tradition, and design: who built the earliest medieval lyres?
Dorota Poplawska, Elblag instruments
Kate McWilliams, The Met mandora and the Vienna rebecchino: products of a single workshop?
Lewis Jones, Surviving instruments

4:00-4:15 Coffee break

4:15-4:45 Citoles and Cetras
Marc Lewon, The Cetra, a 15th c Orpharion?
Topic discussion: citole frets

4:45-5:30: Discussion and informal exhibition of reproduction instruments

Senate House is located directly to the north of the British Museum, in the block surrounded by Russell Square, Montague Place, and Malet Street.  You can enter it from the east (Russell Square) or west (Malet Street).  

From the east, go to the top corner of Russell Square and walk past the entrance to Stewart House.  Continue down the dead end road towards the archways in front of you.  Once under the archways, turn left and enter the building (the building to the right is marked Library).  Room G22 is ahead towards the coffee shop and down the corridor on the right.

From the west, walk north on Malet Street away from the British Museum, and turn right into the first main building entrance.  There is currently a lot of construction around this entrance.  Walk past the construction and under the archways.  Turn to the right and enter the building (the building to the left is marked Library).  Room G22 is ahead towards the coffee shop and down the corridor on the right.

Back to Citole Symposium