This was made by David Van Edwards. There are no surviving originals to copy (most frustratingly, the Bodleian library in Oxford owned Henry Lawes's theorbo until well into the 19th century, when they burnt it because it was taking up too much space!) so this is reconstructed from the information in Thomas Mace's 'Musick's Monument', measurements in the Talbot manuscript,and a painting by John Michael Wright. This theorbo has much in common with the 12-course lute, from which it clearly developed, and uses a deep lute body copied from a small bass lute by Michael Hartung. It has 7 stopped courses, all double, and 6 bass courses, also all double and tuned in octaves. It is tuned in G, with one re-entrant course, (g d' a f c G F / E D C B' A' G'). The stopped string length is 80cm, and the basses increase gradually in length to 135cm. It has therefore a smooth transition in sound from the stopped courses to the basses, without the sudden change of timbre which characterizes Italian and French instruments. Its tone is very lute-like, with considerable sustain, quite different from the Italian theorbo sound. It is perfect for accompanying Restoration songs, instrumental music, and English opera - Matthew Locke, John Blow, Henry Purcell, Christopher Simpson, etc.
Literature on this instrument includes David Van Edwards's description of his masterly re-interpretation of the measurements in the Talbot manuscript,"Talbots English theorbo reconsidered', Fellowship of Makers and Restorers of Historic Instruments, Quarterly no.78 (January 1995), pp.32-33), and Lynda Sayce, 'Performing Purcell: A Question Answered', Early Music Review, 8 (March 1995), pp.14-15.
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