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1he mandore in the 16th and 1 th centuries

James 1yler



Oten when one consults the majority o today's standard reerence works on instruments, one
comes away conused by the jumble o inormation, usually rehashed accounts o entries rom
other standard reerence works published earlier in the 20th century, which generally treat
instruments as caged specimens quite diorced rom the music which was written to be played
on them.
Using the practical experience o haing correlated, studied and played through their suriing
repertoires, it is my aim in this article to try and dispel some o the conusion surrounding the
important amily o treble lute-type, gut-strung instruments called 'mandores' and 'mandolini'. I
hope to show that there was an instrument in the 16th and 1th centuries which was airly
consistent in its physical properties, tuning characteristics and playing technique, typically called
the 'mandore',
1
that this instrument was particularly associated with northern Lurope ,especially,
as we shall see, lrance, and seems to hae become obsolete by the end o the 1th century, and
that in Italy this same, gut-strung instrument, known in the 16th century by the generic term
'mandola', was deeloped by the mid-1th century into an instrument with its own distinct
tuning, technique and music, and became known by the speciic term 'mandoline'. 1his
instrument is not to be conused with the relatiely modern, metal-strung, Neapolitan
instrument, tuned like a iolin, which is the standard mandolin o today. 1he old-style mandolin
,'mandolino',, tuned in 4ths, has a long and ascinating history and a repertoire which includes

1
Later, in the 18th century, there was a larger instrument, very like the modern guitar in its tuning (though still having the shape oI a lute),
grounded in German baroque traditions, which was typically called the 'mandora'. I plan to discuss this instrument and its own special
repertoire in a Iuture article.
works by such composers as Vialdi, lummel and Beethoen.
1hanks to the brilliant research work done by Laurence \right,
2
it is now known that the small,
lute-like instrument o the Middle Ages called, until recently, the 'mandora' by modern writers,
was originally called the 'gittern' ,or etymological equialents, such as the qvivterv,. By the mid-
16th century the terms 'gittern' ,Lnglish, and gviterve or gviterre ,lrench, became generally used
or the small, our-course, renaissance guitar,
3
but it was still also occasionally used ,until well
into the 1th century, or the instrument which, during the 16th century, became known as the
'mandore'.
4

Under the name qvivterv, the mandore is amiliar to us rom the illustrations ound in Sebastian
Virdung's Mv.ica getvt.cbt ,1511, and Martin Agricola's Mv.ica v.trvvevtati. Deva.cb ,1528,
enlarged 1545, ,illus. 1,. 1hese writers say nothing speciic about the instrument, howeer, and it
is to the Spaniard Juan Bermudo that we must turn or the earliest inormation about it. In his
Dectaratiov ae iv.trvvevto. ,1555,, Bermudo speaks o the bavavrria ,libro segundo cap. xxxii and
libro quarto cap. lxiii and lxix, as haing three strings in the ashion o a rabet. le also mentions
that some players used rets and others did not, the instrument being so small that it was diicult
to ret it so that it was well in tune. 1he three strings were tuned to the interals, rom highest to
lowest, 5th and 4th or, the opposite, 4th and 5th. Bermudo gies no pitch names. As we proceed
we shall see that these interals are characteristic o the mandore. Bermudo also mentions that
some players tuned in 5ths, and that there were other bandurrias with our and ie strings. le
does not describe the shape o the instrument but, as the bandurna shared the stringing o a rabet,
it is possible that it also shared its shape. As we hae no irm eidence rom the 16th century as
to what precisely a rabet was, howeer, we cannot be certain as to its shape.
In the 1th century, Sebastian de Coarrubias ,1e.oro ae ta tevgva ca.tettava o 1611, . 119, deined
rabet as a three-stringed, bowed instrument all o one piece and high-pitched, and the bandurria
as being like a little rabet, all in one piece and hollowed out.
1he Spanish sources, then, seem to suggest that the early bavavrria, a small lute- or rebec-like
instrument with 5th and 4th tunings, was the mandore, though, as we shall see, our rather than
three was the more expected number o strings or the mandore.
Contemporary inormation about the tuning o the instrument used in lrance appears in a
manuscript o 1585
5
which illustrates a our-course mandore and includes a chart in lrench lute
tablature giing the ollowing interals: rom the irst ,highest course, downward, a 5th, a 4th
and a 5th. Speciic pitches are not gien. 1he irst known music or the mandore, Pierre Brunet's
1abtatvre ae Mavaorre, was published in Paris in 158. Unortunately this book is now lost, as is
the next known publication, Adrian Le Roy's iv.trvctiov ovr ta vavaorre ,Paris, 1585,.
6
Pertinent
here is the inormation gien by Pierre 1richet who, though writing in about 1640,

states that he
actually saw Le Roy's 1585 book, that Le Roy said the mandore originated with the people o
Naarre and Biscay, whose instruments were somewhat larger, and that although some did not
use rets, now ,Le Roy's time, nine rets were common. It is worth noting 1richet's comment
that Le Roy's instruments had our single strings.
Since we know that Adrian Le Roy's suriing books or the lute, guitar and cittern all had a
great deal o repertoire in common ,especially in the area o dance music,, Le Roy oten
presenting the same pieces arranged to suit the particular instrument, it is possible, assuming the

2
L. Wright, 'The Medieval Cittern and Citole: A Case oI Mistaken Identity', GSJ30 (May 1977), pp. 8-42.
3
J. Tyler, 'The Renaissance Guitar 1500-1650', EM 3/4 (October 1975) and The Earlv GuitarA Historv and Handbook (London, 1980), pp. 25-
34.
4
Wright, op cit, p. 22, quotes Cotgrave's dictionary oI 1611: 'MandoreA Kitt, small Gitterne, or instrument resembling a small
Gitterne'.
5
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale MS Ir.9152, I.166. This was prepared by Jacques Cellier between 1583 and 1587 to be presented to
King Henri III, and contains drawings and inIormation on several instruments as well as a whole range oI other, non-musical subjects.
See S.Jeans and G. Oldham, 'The Drawings oI Musical Instruments in MS Add. 30342 at the British Museum', GS/13 (1960), pp. 26-31.
6
Described in H. M. Brown, Instrumental Music Printed Before 1600. A Bibliographv (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), under the headings |15782|
and |1585,|.
7
Traite des Instruments de Musique, Paris, Bibliotheque de 1'abbaye Sainte-GenevievelMS 1070), ed. F. Lesure(Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1957).
missing mandore book was treated by Le Roy in the same ashion, and using both the
inormation we already know about the instrument and that which ollows, to reconstruct much
o the music in the lost Le Roy book.
8

1he earliest source giing the mandore's speciic tuning pitches is Michael Praetorius' ,vtagva
Mv.icvv o 1619. In a chart or the vavavricbev on page 28, he gies the ollowing three tunings,
plus a ourth tuning on page 53:



Note that tunings one, three and our hae the amiliar 5th, 4th, 5th interals, and tuning two,
the 4th, 5th, 4th interals, tuning combinations which relate to those o both Bermudo and
Cellier ,in his 1585 manuscript,. 1o my knowledge, the mandore is the only plucked instrument
o this time that used these tuning combinations.
Praetorius gies the ollowing urther inormation about the instrument:

Pandurina: Mandrichen. It is known by some as bandrichen, by others as mandor or mandurinichen
,because it is easy to handle and play,. It is like a ery little lute with our strings tuned thus: g d' g' d".
Some are also strung with ie strings or courses and go easily under a cloak. It is used ery much in
lrance where some are so practised on them that they play courants, oltes, and other similar lrench
dances and songs as well as passamezzi, ugues and antasias either with a eather quill as on the cittern or
they can play with a single inger so rapidly, eenly and purely as i three or our ingers were used.
loweer some use two or more ingers according to their own use. ,p. 53,

Praetorius then gies an illustration o a vavaraev in his plate 16, which reeals it to be a ery
small, round-backed instrument with our strings, a sickle-shaped peg box and a string length o
exactly hal that o the neighbouring chorlaute ,the standard lute,. Praetorius' standard lute was
tuned to g' suggesting that his tuning 1 at g" is the most appropriate or the instrument he
illustrates as a mandore ,vavaraev,. Praetorius, then, gies us some idea o the tuning and
playing technique o the mandore. But what music or the instrument actually suries
1o my knowledge, the earliest suriing music or the mandore is the sizeable collection o
manuscripts in Ulm ,Stadtbibliothek, Depositum Schermar, MSS 132, 132 Kapsel, 133a, 133b
and 239,.
9
Collectiely, these comprise oer 314 olios o lrench tablature or a ie-course
'mandour', dating rom about 1625 to 1630, with the year 1626 marked in two o the
manuscripts. 1he tablature requires an instrument with the interals 5th, 4th, 5th, 4th ,no pitches
are gien, and, because in many o the chords the notes to be plucked are not on adjacent
strings, the music seems to be or a lute-like or inger-style right-hand technique rather than a
plectrum technique.
1he style o the writing is that o the melody in the treble with ery sparse, rudimentary

8
The complete lute music oI Adrian Le Roy is being made available in a modern edition by the Centre National de la Recherche
ScientiIique (Paris, 1962-). His guitar music has been published in a Iacsimile edition by Editions Chanterelle (Monte Carlo, 1979).
9
Not listed in KISM B/VII, W. Boetticher, Handschriftlich Uberlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen (Munich, 1978), but Boetticher brieIly
notes them in his article, 'Zur inhaltlichen Bestimmung des Iur Laute intavolierten HandschriItenbestands', ActaMusicologica,5l (1979) pp.
199-200.
harmony, or suggestions o harmony, beneath. I we assume the pitch to be a high one, such as
Praetorius' g", there are no true bass notes at all. 1his suggests a small melody instrument which,
like a iolin, can play unaccompanied i so desired, but which normally requires the support o at
least one other instrument playing a bass line, or, better still, a small 'back-up' ensemble. In
practice, this sort o treble plucked instrument makes an excellent 'melody' instrument in an
ensemble, especially when playing dance music, and, in act, the Ulm manuscripts consist almost
exclusiely o dance music and popular airs.
Although these manuscripts were eidently copied by a German, the bulk o the repertoire they
presere represents a aluable record o the music or the lrench ballets de cour and other
pieces in use at the court o Louis XIII. Many well-known items are included, such as v
Rerevavt ae t ^icota. ,also known as vore atativo,, a 1igvovve, a 1attette, Pavtatov and ravte ae
rittage. But the manuscripts also contain many ballets written or speciic court occasions. An
example is the attet ae Crevovitte ,MS 133a, . 32,. In order to discoer what that court occasion
was one would irst attempt to ind concordances or the music, beginning with a search or any
other suriing music with the same title. As it happens, music is known rom a certain 'Ballet
des Paysans et des Grenouilles danse le 28 juillet |160|', or example, the ie-part setting
presered in Michael Praetorius' 1er.icbore ,1612,.
10
But a comparison o this piece with the
mandore setting in the Ulm manuscripts reeals that the two pieces are unrelated.
loweer, in the same Praetorius collection one discoers an anonymous our-part 'ballet' ,mod.
edn. p. 163, which is the same music as the mandore setting. One can now add 'la Grenouille' to
the title o this anonymous 'ballet'. 1he continuing search or concordances turns up a lute duet
simply labelled 'ballet' in Besard's 1hesaurus larmonicus, 1603 ,. 150V-151,, as well as seeral
Lnglish lute sources the earliest o which ,Cambridge Uniersity Library, D.d.9.33, .5, is dated
c!600 and gies the title ta battat ae.fotte..
11
1his suggests three things: irst, that the title attet ae
Crevovitte might be descriptie o the steps or a particular character dance in a more well-known
ballet, secondly, that this well-known ballet might hae been the attet ae. otte. fait ar MM.
a.vrergve et a..ovierre, which Margaret McGowan dates rom 1598,
12
and thirdly that our
mandore piece rom 1626 is actually a rather late ersion o a piece current nearly two
generations earlier.
Other pieces o ballet music in the Ulm mandore manuscripts are the attet av Ro,, a Ro,atte, the
attet vorvoravi, the attet ae. vicota., the attet av grava 1vrq, and arious other untitled ballets and
'entrees'.
1he battet. ae covr were not merely entertainments, but ery important political unctions and
intriguing court rituals.
13
Unlike the literary, historical and social aspects o the ballet rom this
early period, the music o the ballet has yet to receie a speciic, extensie and up-to-date study.
\hen such a study is undertaken, I hae no doubt but that the Ulm mandore manuscripts will
proide inaluable inormation on the subject.
Reerences to certain important composers o ballet music and dancing masters at court
occasionally occur in conjunction with the mandore. lor instance, Jacques, Sieur de Belleille
,died c. 164,, composer and 'conducteur des ballets' to Louis XIII rom about 1615, was
apparently a noted irtuoso on the mandore.
14
1hough Belleille's only suriing music is, as ar
as is currently known, some treble and bass ballet scores and 11 lute pieces, one would like to

10
Modern edition: Opera Omnia, 15 (Berlin, 1929), pp. 141-3. For Iurther inIormation on all the ballets oI this period, see M. McGowan,
Lart du Ballet de Cour en France 1581-1643 (Paris, 1963).
11
Other sources are: London, British Library, MS Add. 38539, I.20, 'ballet' (Ior lute); Haselmere, Dolmetsch Library, MS II.B. I, I.137,
'ballet' (Ior lute); London, R. Spencer Library, Board Lutebook, I.43, 'a ballet'; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 31 H28 CLowther
Lutebook'), I.345, 'ballett'. This last is transcribed by A. Sabol as item 221 in his Four Hundred Songs fa Dances From the Stuart Masque
(Providence, R.I., 1978). See his notes Ior its possible use in English masques.
12
M. McGowan, op cit, p. 255.
13
For a truly eye-opening account oI the meaning and importance oI the ballets see R. Isherwood, Music in the Service of the King
(Ithaca and London, 1973).
14
His surviving lute music and biographical inIormation are tound in A. Souris and M. Rollin, Oeuvres de Chancv, Bouvier,
Belleville . . . (Paris, 1967).
think that some o his mandore settings might possibly surie in the Ulm manuscripts.
1he same collection is also the earliest source or a piece by 'Bocan' ,bravte av avcave,, whose
real name was Jacques Cordier ,b1580,. A colleague o Belleille's and one o the oremost
dancing masters o his time, Bocan is irst mentioned as superising masques at the Lnglish
court in 1610 and 1611, and later as tutor to the queens o Spain, Poland, Denmark and, o
course, lrance. le was also a brilliant iolinist and it was said that the amous '24 iolins o the
King' in Paris were 'les disciples de Bocan'.
15

1he bravte av avcave is also ound in a mandore collection published by another important com-
poser o both ballet music and airs de cour, lranois, Sieur de Chancy ,a1656,. Chancy had a
long and eentul career at court, irst in the serice o the Cardinal de Richelieu and later as
'Maitre de la Musique de la Chambre du Roi'. le published many books o airs, and some o his
treble and bass ballet scores, as well as about 13 o his lute pieces, surie in manuscripts.
16



Chancy's irst publication was his 1abtatvre ae vavaore ,Paris, 1629, which is dedicated to
Richelieu ,see illus. 2,. It is or a our-string mandore with the usual tuning interals o a 5th, a
4th and a 5th, but also contains pieces requiring two other tuning arrangements. 1he irst, known
as 'a chorde aallee', requires the irst string to be lowered so that the interals become a 4th, a
4th and a 5th. 1he second, 'accord en tierce', requires the irst string to be lowered so that the
interals become a major 3rd, a 4th and a 5th ,see illus. 3,.

15
H. Prunieres, Le Ballet de Cour en France (Paris, 1914), pp. 175, 209.
16
A. Souris and M. Rollin, op cit, pp. xiv-xvi. Included is a transcription oI the Iirst three pieces Irom Chancy's mandore book.

Chancy's music oers a whole range o high quality, sophisticated repertoire, similar to contem-
porary lute music. \ritten in lrench tablature, the collection contains seen suites, each usually
consisting o a 'Recherche' ,an unmeasured prelude,, two or three courantes and a sarabande.
One o the suites comprises the 'Branles de Boccan' ,see illus. 4,.



1he irst branle uses the same musical material as the bravte av avcave o the Ulm manuscript. It
is ollowed by another, untitled branle, then bravte ga,, bravte ae Poictv, ravte aovbte ae Poictv, ravte
ae Movtiravae and ta Carotte. 1his is, in act, a common sequence o branles. 1he collection also
includes some separate pieces: Pa..evai.e, v ve rerevavt ae . ^icota. ,also ound in the Ulm
manuscript,, 1otte ]e rev vovrir av cabarat, rotte ovr Daraov, and te. Rocavtiv..
All the music contains chords which are always arranged on adjacent strings, implying a plectrum
technique. 1hough Chancy gies no playing instructions, merely an illustration o a mandore and
a tablature chart or tuning by interals ,no pitches are gien,, we are ortunate in haing another
source o inormation which relates speciically to Chancy's music and his mandore, Marin
Mersenne's amous arvovie |virer.ette ,Paris, 1636,.
1

In his section on the mandore ,Lire Second des Instruments, . 93-5,, Mersenne uses Chancy's
tablatures to explain the instrument. le illustrates a our-string mandore with nine rets, it is
described as being 1.5 eet long, which, according to Mersenne, was the usual length. 1he oot in
Mersenne's time was about 32.8 cm, so the oerall length o the instrument was a quite small
49.2 cms. As to the nature o the instrument, Mersenne says that it played aboe the consort o
lutes, that its liely and sharp sound was ery penetrating, and that the best players moed the
quill plectrum so ast that they seemed to play simultaneous chords.
Mersenne also describes Chancy's three tunings and, ortunately, gies speciic pitches, saying
that the irst ,5th, 4th, 5th, tuning is the most usual:

le states urther that the mandore can also hae six or more strings, and can be played with the
ingers or with a quill ,tvve, held either between the right-hand thumb and index inger, or tied
to one o the other ingers.



S Lxplanations of tuning and tablature for the mandore, with a passage from the second 'branle de Bocan'
in Chancy's 1ablature de mandore, from M. Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle (Paris, J636)

Mersenne gies bars 16-18 o Chancy's second 'bransle de Bocan' ,see illus. 5, to explain the
tablature and its signs: the dot under a note means that the beginning note is plucked in an
upward direction ,this is important or the sound, he says,, a diagonal or cured line means that
the beginning notes must be held by the let-hand ingers, the ornament sign x means a
trevbtevevt and one 'chroche' requires one or two trevbtevevt., while one 'noire' requires two or
our. le ends by reprinting in ull Chancy's second piece rom the 1629 book, an allemande
,neglecting, howeer, to mention that it requires the 'chorde aallee' tuning,.
Mersenne's contemporary, Pierre 1richet, reerred to earlier in connection with Adrian Le Roy,

17
A Iacsimile edition has been published by the Centre National dc Recherche ScientiIique (Paris, 1965). An English translation oI the
material on instruments has been published by R. Chapman, Mann Mersmne. Harmome Universelle, The Books on Instruments (The Hague,
1957).
gies much the same inormation about the mandore.
18
But 1richet also describes a ie-string
instrument with the tuning o a 5th, a 4th, a 5th and a 4th ,giing no speciic pitches,, as well as
with the irst string 'a chorde aallee'. In addition, he states that the mandore can hae ie or six
double courses o strings, and that the quill is held between the thumb and index ingers or,
sometimes, tied to another inger. 1richet urther mentions that some players use the index
inger alone or plucking the strings, while others employ all the right-hand ingers except the
little one, in lute ashion. le concludes by paraphrasing Mersenne's comment that many people
like the mandore or its liely sound and great carrying power, and that it can easily dominate in a
consort o lutes.
Another important mandore manuscript, dating rom around 1630-50, is the Scottish 'John
Skene Manuscript' ,Ldinburgh, National Library, MS ADV.5.2.15,.
19
It contains music or a ie-
course 'mandor' in lrench tablature ,inger-style technique,, most o which requires the usual
5th, 4th, 5th, 4th tuning ,no pitches gien,, but there is also one section, beginning with
instructions 'to tune the Mandor to the old tune o the Lutt' ,pp. 81-2,, which describes, in prose,
how to achiee the interals 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, which are, indeed, those o the irst ie courses
o the standard renaissance lute ,though in Britain and elsewhere this tuning was, as Skene
implies, becoming old-ashioned,.
20
I one can assume his mandore to hae been a typically small
instrument intended to be tuned an octae higher than the lute, then his mandore tuning or this
section o the manuscript would be g", d", a',, c'.
1he Skene manuscript preseres settings o earlier Lnglish masque tunes, such as Privce evrei.
Ma./e, aa,e tiabetb. Ma./e, M, ora a,i. Cvrrava, Coveaiav. Ma./e and ovver.et. Ma./e, as
well as settings o such well-known Lnglish pieces as !bat if a aa,, ^igbtivgate, Mate ivve and
tooai. of 1eare. ,actually Dowland's 'Sleep wayward thoughts',. Most interesting is Skene's setting
o the rog Cattiara in which, ater a plain statement o the theme, he oers a whole series o
rapid, single-line diisions around the melody, a style which suggests the possible use o this
setting in a consort, with the mandore taking the lead.
1he manuscript also contains some international aourites, such as .tvav ^icbota. ,v rerevavt
ae . ^icota.,More Patativo,, Pantalone ,ergava.ca,, ravgitt |branle, of Poictv and 1ee etta
,1eo.ette ^ivfe by Gastoldi,. But most o the pieces are Scottish popular tunes, such as M, aaie
avaiav. itt, ovvie;eav va/i. vei/te of ve and Mave ve varie ve qvotb tbe bovvie ta... Interestingly,
the Scots tunes all do seem to hae the distinctie 'pentatonic' melodies which we hae come to
associate with Scottish olk music o the 18th and 19th centuries.
Skene himsel appears to hae been an amateur, or the manuscript is written in a hand distinctly
inexperienced in writing tablature, and the pages are ull o mistakes and corrections, the latter
sometimes only succeeding in making matters worse. Since he was a beginner, he requently
marked down let-hand ingerings which, had they been used on a largish instrument, would
hae required some rather awkward stretches. It is thereore possible to assume that Skene's
mandore was probably rather like the mandore described by Mersenne and 1richet. But despite
the many problems it presents or the transcriber and editor, Skene's mandore manuscript is well
worth the eort or anyone interested in the delightul Scottish and Lnglish repertoire it
preseres.
1here are three sources o mandore music rom the mid-1th century, which unortunately do
not surie, by the lutenist Valentin Strobel ,the younger, o Strasbourg, giing urther
indications o the instrument's use in ensemble: Covcert fvr 1 Mavaora vva avtev oaer fvr 1 avtev
vit Di./avt vva a.. ,1648,, Covcert fvr 1 Mavaora vva avtev oaer fvr 1 avtev vit Di./avt vva a..

18
See Iootnote 7.

19
This is actually seven short manuscripts bound as one. It is discussed and indexed (inaccurately) by W. Dauney, The Ancient
Melodies of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1838), who also transcribes a selection oI the pieces. Some reIerence works, such as W.
Boetticher, RISM (op cit, p. 98), give its date as C1615-35, but the music's style, especially in the Scots melodies, suggests a later
date.
20
On pp. 221-4, Skene describes how to tune a ten-course lute to the 'sharp tune' and the 'Halt tune', both oI which are similar to the various
contemporary lute tunings oI Britain and France.
,1654,, ,vbovie fvr avtev vva 1 Mavaora ;oaer fvr 1 avtev vit Di./avt vva a.., ,1654,.
21

Some o the music they contained seems to surie in another orm, that o a later 1th-century
keyboard transcription ,Darmstadt Staatsarchi MS 289,. 1hough this transcription is now also
lost, there is a photographic copy o it in the Paris Bibliotheque nationale ,RLS. Vmc. 42,1,,.
1he manuscript, in German keyboard tablature, is entitled 'Allemanden Couranten, Sarabanden,
Giguen, Caotten auss underschiedlichen 1onen mit sonder-barem lleiss on der Lauten und
Mandor au das Spinet on einem beedes der Lauten Mandor und dess Claier Verstandigen
abgesetzet, Anno 162 den 18 May'. It contains seeral items o music by Strobel and is in itsel
an interesting document o 1th-century transcription practice.
Another reerence to the mandore is in Athanasius Kircher's Mv.vrgia |virer.ati. o 1650 ,p. 46
and the acing plate,, but the mention is ery brie, seems to hae been culled rom Mersenne,
and gies no new or practical inormation. Kircher shows a our-string instrument and gies a
tuning ,at g" pitch, based on Mersenne's. 1he lute, mandore and cittern are all rather cursorily
discussed as a group o typical plucked instruments, Kircher reealing his attitude towards them
in this sentence ,translated rom his tedious Latin prose,: 'And although it scarcely beits a
Philosopher o Music to lower himsel to them, since they hae become cheapened by use and
are indeed the proince o a low type o artisan |i.e. the practical musician|, yet because we hae
begun to describe instrumental music, it being part o our plan, so we will here begin, in order
that we will not seem to hae let anything out o this "Musurgia" ' ,p. 46,.
Returning to the realm o practical music-making, we ind another interesting collection rom the
second hal o the 1th century. 1his is a manuscript containing music or both guitar and
mandore, now in Bloomington, Indiana, in the library o Proessor Paul Nettl.
22
1he mandore
portion requires a ie-course instrument with the interals 5th, 4th, 5th, 4th, and the lrench
tablature is or inger-style technique. O German proenance, the manuscript contains about 50
anonymous pieces or mandore, including 13 courantes, 15 sarabandes, 3 allemandes, a
'tambour', a bouons, a cannarie, a ciacona, two preludes, and a antasia.
A urther source o mandore music is ound in yet another guitar manuscript, in the Bodleian
Library, Oxord ,MS Mus. Sch. C94,.
23
Known as the De Gallot Guitar Books, it seems to hae
been compiled by a lrench musician, lenry lranois de Gallot, and,or other musicians
associated with the Lnglish Restoration court around 1660-85. 1he composers are arious
members o the de Gallot amily, as well as lrancesco Corbetta ,a ery prominent musician at
court during this time,, lrancois Du laut and seeral unidentiied Lnglish writers. Amongst its
160 olios o guitar music are two ,. 131-2, which are headed 'per la mandore' and contain
lrench tablature or a ie-course instrument with the ollowing three interal arrangements: 5th,
4th, 5th, 4th, major 3rd, 4th, 5th, 4th, and minor 3rd, 4th, 5th, 4th ,no pitches are gien,. 1he
music requires inger-style technique. No composers' names are attached to the our courantes,
our sarabandes and the gigue or mandore, nor is much known about the circumstances in
which this music might hae been played and heard-although there is a painting in the National
Portrait Gallery, London, by Philip Mercier ,illus. 6,, which does oer a clue. lrederick, Prince
o \ales, and his sisters are engaged in playing some chamber music. Presumably lrederick is
playing the bass on the cello, while one o his sisters plays continuo on the harpsichord and
another sister the melody line on the mandore.


21
These titles are quoted in E. Pohlmann, Laute, Theorbe, Chitanone, 4th edition (Bremen, 1975), p. 119. He quotes Mendels Musikalishes
Conversations-Lexicon. One cannot be sure iI the original titles were in German, French or Italian. Note that the titles quoted use the spelling
'mandora' which, iI not Mendel's editorial spelling, would mark the Iirst appearance oI it Ior this repertoire.
22
Boetticher (RISM, op cit, p. 47) dates this manuscript 1700-80, but the type oI repertoire and style oI the music suggest
that it must certainly date Irom a century earlier.
23
The manuscript (actually two bound together) is described by Donald Gill, 'The de Gallot guitar books', EM 6/1 (January 1978), pp. 79-
87. Gill, however, does not mention it in his useIul summary oI inIormation, 'Mandore and Calachon', FOMRHI 19 (April 1980), pp. 61-3.



Although the date o the painting, 133, is later than the de Gallot manuscript, the painting
neertheless seems to portray rather nicely the sort o genteel, courtly pastime or which the
manuscript might hae been used.
lurther inormation can be ound in Antoine luretiere's ..ai avv Dictiovvaire ,1685,. \hile he
does not include a separate entry or the instrument in this irst edition, at the end o the lute
entry he mentions the term 'luthe', which he says is a term applied to the mandore with more
than our courses, 'thus the instrument approaches nearer to a lute'. lis 1690 edition o the
Dictiovvaire does hae a short entry describing the mandore, in which luretiere gies some
indication o right-hand technique, commenting that the melody is usually played on the irst
course with a plectrum tied to the index inger and the other three courses are plucked with the
thumb. A much more detailed description o the arious kinds o mandore rom the end o the
1th century is James 1albot's notes on musical instruments, compiled between 1685 and 101
,Christ Church Library, Oxord, MS Mus. 118,.
24
1albot describes and measures a range o
dierent types o mandore, the irst o which is somewhat larger than Mersenne's. It is a six-
course instrument with nine rets, an oerall length o about 61 cm and a ibrating length o
about 43.2 cm. 1albot urther describes the stringing system ,on this particular instrument, as
haing the irst three courses single, the ourth double in unison, and the ith and sixth double
in octaes. le calls the instrument the 'mandore' ,this is a correction rom 'pandore', which he
irst wrote down,. le then gies notes on the mandore taken rom the works o Praetorius,
Mersenne and Kircher, and, in addition, a description o how to tune to the interals o a 5th, a
4th and a 5th. le also notes that the strings are 'sometimes wire', this is the irst and, it would
appear, the only mention o metal strings or these instruments. le then brings up the term
'mandole', and quotes his inormant, 'Mr Lewis', as saying: 'Mandole properly 5 courses,ranks

24
The inIormation on the mandore is described and edited by M. Prynne, 'James Talbot's Manuscript IV: Plucked Stringsthe
Lute Family', GSJ 14 (1961), pp. 62-8.
whereo the lowest double the rest single'. le then gies the tunings in sta notation or the
'mandole', irst rom a Mr Shore:

And then rom a Mr linger:

Note that these hae an interal arrangement o a 4th, a 4th, a major 3rd, a 4th ,and a 4th,,
unlike the usual 5ths which we hae come to expect ,remember, howeer, 'the old tune o the
Lutt' which is mentioned in the Skene manuscript,.
25
1he second tuning is one mentioned by
Michael Praetorius in ,vtagva Mv.icvv, ii ,1619, p. 51,, not as one or the mandore, but or the
'Kleine Octalaut', this being the highest in his uniorm amily o proper lutes.
26
lrom 1albot's
manuscript it would appear that by the end o the 1th century the traditional mandore,
2
with its
distinctie tuning, had all but disappeared, and the term was used or all small, lute-like
instruments.
1o my knowledge, the sources already discussed are all those suriing which contain music or
the mandore, though I am hopeul that more sources will come to light as a result o this
article.
28

Clearly, the mandore and the music known or it are particularly associated with northern
Lurope and, especially, with lrance. But southern Lurope, and especially Italy, also knew this
little instrument, and by the mid-1th century the Italians had deeloped it into a distinctiely
Italian instrument, which became known as the mandolino.

Larly Music, ol. 9 n 1, January 1981

25
Talbot also measures an instrument which he calls both an 'arch-mandore' and an 'arch-mandole'. It is like a small theorbo
with six courses on the Iingerboard and seven single basses on an extended neck. The tuning given is: C, D, E, F, G, A, Bflatt/cc,
ff, flatbb,dd,a(sic),c".
26
By the end oI the 17th century, however, the lute had become a much more complicated instrument, with at least 11 courses oI strings,
and, in England, France and Germany, a radically diIIerent tuning Irom Praetorius' 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th.

27
The spelling 'mandora' was to become the more prevalent one in the 18th century. See Iootnote 1.
28
Several sources described by Boetticher (RISM, op cit) as Ior 'mandora', or six-course lute, or Iive-course guitar, Irom the late 17t h
and 18th centuries, are Ior the later and larger instrument with guitar-like tuning described in Iootnote 1, and thus are not included in this
article. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Mus. MS 40179 (c 1680-90) is an example. Boetticher describes it as a Iive-course guitar tablature, though
the term 'Bandour' is used in the MS. Others, described as six-course guitar or lute tablatures, are in Iact Ior lyra viol (e.g. Lund, University
Library, MSS Littera G.28, G.31, G.35 and Norrkoping, Stadsbiblioteket, MS Finsp. 9096.3).