The Lute in the Dutch Golden Age

Musical Culture in the Netherlands ca. 1580-1670

Jan W. J. Burgers

The Lute in the Dutch Golden Age

Jan W. J. Burgers

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

296 pages | 34 color plates, 99 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2
Cloth $115.00 ISBN: 9789089645524 Published February 2014 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Closely associated with the social elite, the lute occupied a central place in the culture of the Dutch Golden Age. In this first comprehensive study of the instrument’s role in seventeenth-century Netherlands, Jan W. J. Burgers explores how it functioned as the universal means of solo music making, group performance, and accompaniment. He showcases famous and obscure musicians; lute music in books and manuscripts; lute makers and the international lute trade; and the instrument’s place in Dutch literature and art of the period.

Enhanced by beautiful illustrations, this study constitutes an important contribution to our knowledge about the lute and its Golden Age heyday.

1. The lute and its music in Europe

The early history of the lute in a nutshell

The historical development of the lute

Related instruments

Theorbo and archlute



Lute cittern


The notation of lute music

2. Prelude: the lute in the Netherlands before 1600

The rise of the lute in the Middle Ages

The lute publications of Phalèse

The lute in Antwerp

Lutenists in the Northern Netherlands before 1600

3. Music in the Dutch Republic

The Republic of the Seven United Provinces

Musical life in the 17th century

The lute in musical culture

Music lessons

Students and music

4. Lutenists of the Golden Age, c.1580-1670

Joachim van den Hove

Nicolaes Vallet

Other lutenists of the Golden Age: a survey

5. A lutenist of standing: Constantijn Huygens

6. Lute music

The Thysius Lute Book

Other manuscripts with Dutch lute music

Manuscripts with music by Joachim van den Hove

The printed lute books of Van den Hove and Vallet

The lute books of Joachim van den Hove

The lute books of Nicolaes Vallet

Valerius’ Neder-landtsche Gedenck-clanck

Nicolaes Vallet’s playing instructions

7. Infrastructure: lute building and the lute trade

The lute trade

Luthiers in the Dutch Republic


8. The lute in the arts of the Golden Age

The lute in literature


The lute as a symbol in paintings

9. Postlude: the lute in the Dutch Republic, 1670-1800

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