The Lira da Braccio

The Lira da Braccio

Sterling Scott Jones
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/22/1995
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-20911-5
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This is an essential book for those interested in renaissance instrumentation as well as for potential players." —Early Music Review

Sterling Scott Jones wrote a marvelous and very welcome work which can be warmly recommended to all musicians, musicologists, and instrument makers interested in early music, its instruments, and performance pratice.... This work is of the highest scholarly and, at the same time, practical value (which is extremely rare!): It certainly opens up a new era in the research and use of the lira da braccio." —RIdIM/RCMI Newsletter

Sterling Scott Jone’s exceptional book is... welcome as a practical study of the instrument, with its emphasis on iconography, and with its fingering charts, tuning instructions and playable musical examples." —The Consort: European Journal of Early Music

The 16th-century lira da braccio may be the missing link between the medieval fiddle and the modern violin. This is a brief history of the lira da braccio, a handbook for its use, and selected repertoire.

Author Bio

STERLING SCOTT JONES resides in Munich, where he was a founding member of the Studio der frühen Musik. He now performs on early bowed string instruments with various groups.

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Table of Contents


1. A Short History of the Lira da Braccio
2. Some Early Citations
3. Extant Instruments
4. The Lira da Braccio in Works of Art
5. Chords and Fingering Charts
6. Selected Repertoire
Marco Cara, S’io sedo a l’ombra amor
Jacob Arcadelt, O felici occhi miei
Annonymous, Con pianto e con dolore
Marco Cara, Io non compro piu speranza
Alfonso della Viola, Music tol Sacrificio
Anonymous, Romanesca, Pasamezo de lira (fragment)
Anonymous, Aime sospiri
Biagio Marini, Capriccio

Pesaro Manuscript and Transcription
Anonymous, Ayme sospiri (Excorial Manuscript)
Biagio Marini, Capriccio per Sonare il Violino con tre corde a modo di
Fingering Chart for Alto Tuning
List of Instrument Makers