International Transport of Instruments

Carrying or shipping a musical instrument across international borders, where the instrument is subject to customs inspection, has become a significantly more risky proposition in recent years.  It is no longer just a question of being assessed a duty or tariff, but rather, as a function of the ornamentation or simply the wood species of which it is constructed, the instrument can be mutilated or even confiscated.  Documentation of the date and materials of construction may be critical in preventing this.  If you think your instrument might be at risk, please consult a lawyer/solicitor for advice.  A Certificate or “Instrument Passport” may be available from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to simplify the process of crossing some borders.

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Historical Lutes and Related Instruments in North American Museums

Lute Art in North American Museums

    The list of links to artworks depicting the lute and related instruments has outgrown its original location here, and it has been moved to its own separate page

The Web Gallery of Art
Search this robust site for artworks from medieval to modern times.

Resource Materials for Scholarly Research on the Lute



An extensive iconography of the lute, compiled by Mary Rasmussen, University of New Hampshire, divided geographically and chronologically:
  • The FoMRHI Bulletin on line in PDF format.  This journal contains many articles relating to historical lute construction and stringing. The complete tables of contents are posted on a separate page where they can be searched easily in your browser.
  • General References
  • Handbuch der Notationskunde” by Johannes Wolf (Leipzig, Breitkopf und Härtel, 1919), freely available in many formats, including several for e-readers. Lute tablature is treated in Chapter 2, beginning on p. 35.
  • Taking Care of Your Lute:  simple straightforward instructions compiled by Jiří Čepalák



        Clips on YouTube illustrating the use of the lute and vihuela in various styles of music.
    • Asteria performing fifteenth century music.
    • Paul O’Dette performing sixteenth century lute music.
    • Duo Chambure performing a vihuela duet, an intabulation of Cancion de sibiuit by Adrian Willaert, from the collection Silva da sirenas published in 1547 by Enríques de Valderrábano.
    • Nigel North performing John Dowland (written ca. 1600).
    • Robert Barto performing eighteenth century lute music by Silvius Leopold Weiss.
    • Robert Barto – an Allegro movement from a Weiss Sonata.
    • Ronn McFarlane performing two of his own contemporary compositions.
    • Christopher Morongiello performing on lutes from the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

    Other North American Sites Related to Historically Informed Performance

       Geographical    Topical

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