- After A. Stradivari. Mainly based on the MS 750 template at the “Museo Stradivariano” in Cremona which results in the ideal body dimensions for an instrument tuned in E (66-67 cm).
-After after Alexandre Voboam, 1676 (Paris, Musée de la musique, E. 1532).
A ¨Classic” example of the work of the Voboam family and the French School of guitar making.
- After Matteo Sellas, 1614 (University of Edinburgh).
A recent example of a Stradivari guitar based on the MS 750 template at the “Museo Stradivariano” in Cremona
(click on the pictures to enlarge)
During its history of more than a century and a half, Spanish, French, and Italian composers of the 5-course guitar developed an idiom distinctly different from that of the lute. Their idiomatic music explored the higher ranges of the instrument and introduced many ingenious resources like "campanelas" and "rasgueado" which, together with the distinctive sound of the instrument, created an entirely new style of music with a rich and varied repertoire.
Many 5-course guitars have survived, especially the heavily decorated ones, which collectors tended to keep rather than the plainer models. A look at contemporary iconography shows that instruments with relatively little ornamentation were quite common. We have no shortage of instruments to copy or draw inspiration from. Museum collections contain many instruments by makers such as Matteo and Giorgio Sellas, René and Alexander Voboam, Giovanni Tessler, Matteo Sellas, Joachim Tielke and Antonio Stradivari. The surviving Stradivari instruments are beautifully proportioned and have few ornaments, but they are among the most elegant and graceful examples of surviving instruments.