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date: 20 October 2019

Angélique(i) (Fr.: ‘angel lute’; Ger. Angelika; It. angelica).locked

  • Ian Harwood
  •  and Tim Crawford


(Fr.: ‘angel lute’; Ger. Angelika; It. angelica).

A two-headed lute with ten single strings on the lower head and six or seven on the upper. Its characteristic diatonic tuning greatly restricts its compass, but the tone of the open strings is full and clear. An instrument of the lute family, tuned in this way, was depicted by Praetorius (Theatrum instrumentorum, pl.xxxvi), who said it was played like a harp. The 23 strings shown, however, run between a sloping bridge and a single pegbox angled to one side. The name ‘angel lute’ or ‘angélique’ is found in the late 17th century and the 18th. The instrument can usually be distinguished by the ten pegs of the lower pegbox. James Talbot (GB-Och Music 1187, c1695) gave the tuning for the 16-course angel lute, spreading diatonically on ‘white’ notes from D to e′. He also said that the instrument had nine frets and was ‘more proper for slow and grave lessons than for quick and brisk by reason of the continuance of sound when touched which may breed discord’....

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