Fretting Patterns — supplemental handout by Peter Forrester.

Part of: Wood and Wire — a lecture by Peter Forrester.

See also the other supplemental handouts:

Last updated Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
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Originally published in Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine. Reprinted by permission of Peter Forrester and The Lute Society.


Top. 4 course diatonic pattern suitable for North European repertoire. Also for the top 4 courses of the small 6 course Italian cittern, e.g. Campi, R.C.M.; Anon, Rome.
2nd. Pattern suitable for traditional large Italian cittern circa 1600. e.g. Augustinus, V&A; "Amati", museo Bardini, Florence.
3rd. 4 and 6 course chromatic pattern.


Fret factors for sixth comma meantone
Fret 1. .0605 7. .3320
2. .1075 8. .3724
3. .1614 9. .4037
4. .2034 10. .4398
4. (diatonic Italian) .2121 11. (chromatic) .4708
5. .2515 11. (diatonic) .4736
6. .2968 12. .5000


Further information is available in:

  • Eugen M. Dombois, "Varieties of Meantone Temperament Realized on the Lute," Journal of the Lute Society of America 7 (1974), 82-89. Corrections in: 8 (1975), 106 and 9 (1976), 108.
  • Eugen M. Dombois, "Lute Temperament in Hans Gerle (1532)," The Lute, 1982 part 1, The Journal of the Lute Society, 3-13.
  • Martin Shepherd, "The Well Tempered Lute," Lute News 41, (March 1997), 8-10.


How to cite this page: Forrester, Peter. "Fretting Patterns." Renovata Cythara: The Renaissance Cittern Site. Ed. Andrew Hartig. 19 July 2017. 19 August 2017. <http://www.cittern.theaterofmusic.com/articles/fretting.html>.


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