20 Best Lute Book Reviews 2020 (Best Books To Learn Lute)

Best Lute Book

Best Lute Book

Are you a player looking to improve on your playing skills on musical instruments like lute and guitar? You need an excellent lute book to achieve your desire. Apart from taking you through the basics of the musical instrument, you will get to learn different songs by experienced composers of the past. Some of these composers are John Dowland, Michael Cavendish, Robert Johnson, among others. The book also takes you back the memory lane, providing you with some important history that you need to know as a player.

What are the Best Lute Books to Buy?

2. Diana Poulton: A Tutor For Renaissance Lute

  • Suitable for Recital Programmes
  • Principal of Tablature Notation
  • Suitable for Beginner to Advanced Students

1) Frank Koonce: WG100 - The Solo Lute Works

  • Transcriptions of the Complete Solo Lute Works
  • Modern Guitar Notation
  • Combination of Scholarship & Practical Performance Solutions

3) David Nadal:
Lute Songs
of
John Dowland

  • 43 Dowland's Songs
  • Dowland's Original Lute Tablature
  • Modern Transcription for Guitar

Bear in mind that these books differ in terms of complexity, volumes, topics covers, featured songs, and the likes. As such, you need to understand what you need in a lute book before picking up any of these books.

Asides, there are numerous lute books available on the market, so you have to pick the best from the hundreds of other books. We have come up with twenty great flute books that are worth buying. This book will offer you the value that you desire. Furthermore, we included their date of publications and also gave you a brief account of the books' contents. This will enable you to make a perfect choice.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Lute Book

You have to be aware of some critical factors before you pick your desired lute book. For instance, you have to consider your experience, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player. This will guide you on the type of lute book to buy. Apart from that, the author’s reputation and the content of the book should be taken into consideration. Here are the essential factors that you must consider before you purchase a lute book:

  • Authors Experience

The experience and reputation of the author matter a lot when choosing a lute book. It is advisable to go for a book written by an experienced author, as this will reflect in the quality of information presented in the book.

  • Playing Skill

As mentioned earlier, you should consider your playing skills before making your purchase. If you are a beginner, then you should go for a simple-to-follow book that follows a progressive approach. Some of the books on our list start from beginner level to a more advanced level, allowing the player to progress accordingly.

  • Contents of the Book

You should have an idea of what the book contains. This will tell you if the lute book contains relevant information that you need. Therefore, you should always endeavor to go the content of the book before making your buying decision.

  • The Quality of the Book

Another important factor that buyers should consider is the book quality. The quality of the book has to do with the print quality, layout, bound quality, among others.

20 Best Lute Book Reviews

1. Frank Koonce: WG100 - The Solo Lute Works

If you need an easy-to-understand lute book, then you should not underestimate this excellent book by Frank Koonce. The dimension of the book measures 9.5 x 0.5 x 12 inches, while it contains about 142 pages. The book comprises all the solo lute works of Bach. You will be pleased to know that Bach’s work is presented in a contemporary guitar system. It is worth mentioning that this book is well articulated and thorough.

The book is designed for music to make it easily accessible and to prevent awkward page-turning. It features left-hand fingering, clear music notations, and a proper layout. Some of what you will find in the pages of this book are historical data, discussion on baroque performance, interpretative remarks, among others. It also features convenient foldout pages. This book was published on January 1, 2012, by Kjos Music Company.

2. Diana Poulton: A Tutor For Renaissance Lute

Are you looking for a comprehensive lute book that comes with everything you need to start playing the musical instrument? If that is your desire, then you must make this book your companion. The book is designed for beginners and advanced players. Schott published this book on November 1, 1991. The book is easy to read, and it contains about 148 pages. This book is described as a beautiful instructional book for those having little or no knowledge about the flute.

Furthermore, the dimension of this unique flute book measures 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches. The book comes with lots of helpful tips that are ideal for those who want to learn the musical instrument on their own. If you need a complete and thorough guide on how you can play the flute, then you should not joke with this excellent book from Diana Poulton.

3. David Nadal: Lute Songs of John Dowland

Do you need a helpful lute book that is designed to make you an excellent lute player within a short space of time? If yes, then you should make this lute book your practice companion. Dover publication published it on July 10, 1997. The book was written in English, and it is 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches in dimension. The book contains a compilation of Dowland’s song, which was transcribed by David Natal for guitar and voice.

It is an exciting book that comes with original lute tablature, vocal line, among others. This excellent book is well arranged, and it comes with great ideas for flute players. The book is attractively bound and present in an easy-to-follow format. It is ideal for guitarists, singers, and all music enthusiasts who want to enjoy beautiful songs.

4. Lute Suites for Guitar (Classical Guitar Series)

Are you searching for a highly comprehensive lute book to learn the playing techniques of the musical instrument? If that is true, you should not overlook this excellent book. Jerry Willard fingered and edited the book. Furthermore, its dimension is 9 x 0.3 x 12 inches. The book is newly transcribed and annotated. Apart from that, it features performance and historical notes.

Music Sales America published the book on January 1, 1992. The book is a must-have for modern guitarists who are interested in Bach. Also, it is recommended for players who desire to enhance their skills from intermediate to advanced level. This book is described as a clear and excellent edition and will be a great addition to the library of any classical guitarist. Some of its features are beautiful layout, comprehensive, detailed, clear presentation, and great pieces.

5. Continuo Playing on the Lute, Archlute, and Theorbo

This unique flute book is described as an essential link between the present and the unknown of the Renaissance. It is easy to follow, practical, and detailed. The book is ideal for both intermediate and advanced players. The dimension of the product measures 8.3 x 0.7 x 11 inches, while it contains about 320 pages. The book is written in English.

Indiana University Press published the book on August 22, 1987. If you need one of the best resources for learning the continuo on the lute, then you should go for this book. It comes with lots of illustrations, readable texts, as well as relevant musical examples. If you desire to learn more about old music and continuo playing, then you should make this book your choice.

6. John Dowland’s Lute Songs: Third and Fourth Books

John Dowland authored this book. He was an English musician who was known throughout Europe as a great composer. He composed about 88 songs. The book comprises about 144 pages. It is recommended for all categories of players as well as those who are interested in high-quality music. The book is written in English, and it was published by Dover publication in May 2002.

Furthermore, this unique book can be used in different ways. These are lute tablature, musical notations, as well as vocal melody. The three words that describe this great book are: inexpensive, complete, and accurate. You will be pleased to learn that the book comes with a clear lute tablature, which makes it easy to read.

7. Peter Croton: Performing Baroque Music on the Lute

This book is authored by Peter Croton, who is a recording artist and an active performer. He is an experienced teacher with several years of experience. It contains a wealth of information and insight for today's players. The handbook aims to help theorbo and lute players discover the essential tool they need in order to accomplish their goals. Createspace independent platform published this article on June 24, 2016. It is written in English, and the book is 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches in dimension.

It is an ideal source material for both experienced and beginner players. The book is informative, and it is well written. It focuses more on rhetorical practice and practice, which is vital when it comes to performing music of the baroque era. It has about 279 pages.

8. Ben Salfield: The Lutenist’s Handbook

This book is described as an excellent resource for beginners. The book is designed to answer a lot of practical questions that border on the playing techniques of the musical instrument. It is recommended for learners who not have access to a trainer or tutor who is an experienced lutenist. If you an intermediate or a seasoned player that desires to know more about lute playing, then you must not joke with this excellent book by Ben Salfield.

Furthermore, the book is highly comprehensive as the author provides information about different areas of flute playing. It contains exercises that are aimed at making you an advanced player. Apart from that, the author advised both performing and experienced players. The dimension of the book measures 6.7 x 0.2 x 9.6 inches. Peacock Press published the handbook on March 17, 2016.

9. Rob MacKillop: Introduction to the Lute

This is an excellent book by Rob Mackillop. It is aimed at beginner players as well as guitarists who have the desire to play Renaissance lute music. This music can be played either on the guitar or lute. Therefore, the book includes both guitar and flute tablatures. Apart from that, it features biographies of lute composers, techniques, as well as a piece of general advice for players who want to buy lute. You will also find information about stringing, turning, and others in the book.

This book is 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches in dimension, and it was published by Mel bay Publication in December 2016. It is written in English, and it comprises 100 pages. It also features a chord chart, and every bit of the book is recorded. Players can download the recorded version online. Rob Mackillop did the audio recording.

10. An Elizabethan Songbook - Lute Songs

This is a 243-page book that comprises 84 songs selected by W. H Auden, Chester Kallman, and Noah Greenberg. This book consists of Songs and ballads from Elizabethan age. Doubleday and Co. Incorporation publish the book. It is written in English, and it is in 7 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches in dimension. Furthermore, this songbook is highly recommended for players and music lovers.

The book was well written, and it is easy to understand. It contains complete lyrics for all songs as well as full standard musical notation. If you love English songs and poetry, you will find this book interesting. The book features some of the fascinating moment in the history of songs and poetry.

11. Matthew Spring: The Lute in Britain

Are you interested in knowing about the history of lute? If yes, you should consider this exciting book. The book is packed full of valuable information regarding the past and the playing of the musical instrument. It is a comprehensive book that is highly comprehensive. Oxford University Press published this book on September 27, 2001. The book is voluminous as it comes with 568 pages. The book is written in English.

This book is recommended for players who have been misled in the past by the wrong historical account. You will gain fresh insight and information from this unique book. This book is a must-have for players and music lovers who seek factual information regarding the history of the musical instrument.

12. Mark Lindley: Lutes, Viols & Temperaments

Are you looking for a lute book that explains how to tune a violin or lute well? If yes, you can take advantage of this unique book. The tuning of lute requires a certain level of knowledge to do the right thing. For proper tuning of the lute or violin, players recognized the correct spacing of the frets around the instrument's neck. Mark Lindley authors the book. He looked at the different approaches to solve the problem by writers from the 1520s to the 1740s.

Cambridge University Press published this book on July 27, 1984. In this book, some distinguished composers were given attention. These composers are Marais, Dowland, Milan. Also, some seminal figures in the history of modern science like Mersenne, V. Galilei, and Lord Brounkier were recognized in this lute book.

Some of the important things the book contains are conclusions about the baroque and Renaissance performing practices, practical instructions, as well as an informative appendix by Gerhard C. Sohne. The appendix details the historical use of geometric curves and proportion in the design of the musical instrument.

13. Gunnar Folsom: The Complete Works For Solo Lute

Do you seek a lute book that will boost your knowledge about the musical instrument? If that is the case, then you should give this book a try. It comprises all the solo lute works written by Sebastian Bach. It comes in an easy-to-read format. CreateSpace independent publishing platform published the book on July 1, 2015. The dimension of the book measures 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches.

Gunnar Folson meticulously adapts this book for marimba. This is done with a precise notation for easy understanding. The performance note is an excellent addition to the book. Apart from that, the lute book is designed to guide the reader on personal interpretation. Some of the features of this unique book are excellent transcription, super clean layout, and many others. This book is highly recommended for every bach enthusiasts.

14. Tobe A. Richards: The Renaissance Lute Chord Bible

Described as a book the provides a complete solution for both novice and experienced musician, the Renaissance Lute Chord Bible is an ideal choice for every music lover. It features about 1,728 chords. You will be pleased to learn that the layout of the book is not complicated, and it follows a logical sequence starting from standard major chords to a more esoteric thirteenth adopted by several players of jazz.

This product was published by Cabot books on February 27, 2016. Whether you play pop, jazz, rock, folk, or any other music genre, this book offers an ideal reference source in every situation. Some of what you will come across in this guidebook are fingerboard layout, chord construction, fingering, tuning, FAQs, harmonic intervals, slash chords, among others. This book is aimed at making players more flexible so that they can understand chords that are complex and more advanced.

15. Complete Lute Works (Ricordi Guitar Library)

Are you looking for an easy-to-read lute book that is designed to boost your knowledge about the musical instrument? If yes, then The Complete Lute works is an excellent choice. It features an excellent transcription of chaconne and Bach lute. It is well structured for easy understanding. Hal Leonard published the book on June 1, 2003. And it is written in English.

This unique book is meant for players as well as music enthusiasts who want to know more about the Lute playing. It comes with about 108 pages. If you need a detailed book on the lute, then you should not overlook this excellent book.

16. Handbook of Guitar and Lute Composers

If you need a well-structured book that contains every bit of information you need as a player, then the Handbook of Guitar and Lute Composer is worth giving a try. Each chapter of the book deals with a musical instrument like the Vihuela, Baroque guitar, among others.

With its unique structure, players can easily point out the composer of a particular instrument during any period. It is worth mentioning that the book contains valuable contributions from renowned guitarists like Margarita Escarpa from Spain, Magnus Anderson from Sweden, David Tanenbaum from the United States.

The book was published on August 11, 2016, by Mel Bay Publications incorporation. The lute book gives a list of over 400 guitar and Lute concertos from the Baroque era to present times. The book starts with a short introduction about Lute-like musical instrument and guitar, as well as their histories.

If you need a lute book that contains an exciting dictionary of authors for guitar and love, then you should go for this unique handbook. This lute book is highly recommended for both professional and amateur players.

17. Rob MacKillop: Renaissance Lute Repertoire 

This book can be view either as an independent edition of 6th-century lute tablature or as a sequel to the other introduction book he wrote for guitars. It is a highly informative book that contains helpful information and guidance for Guitar and Lute players. The book was published on April 1, 2019, by Mel Bay Publications. It is 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches in dimension, and it contains about 80 pages.

It contains the music by Francesco da Milano, John Dowland, Vincenzo Galileo, among others. The flute book features a fantastic collection that offers an exciting and detailed overview of music for the renaissance lute. Furthermore, the printing is clear, making it easy to read.

18. Rebecca Kite: Anthology of Lute & Guitar Music

The Rebecca kite's lute book features a fantastic collection of solos following a progressive approach. This book is a must-have for every player who improves on their playing skills. The book features different composers. Apart from that, it can be played using a 4.3 marimba. This book is recommended for those who want to learn sight-reading. This book is ideal for style studies, recitals, professional practice, juries, among others.

Alfred Music published this book on October 1, 2014. It is worth mentioning that this unique book is a popular choice among students, teachers, as well as experienced marimba players around the globe. It employs a progressive, step-by-step approach, starting from beginning to advanced level. The dimension of this book measures 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches.

19. Ondrej Sarek: Lute Music by Nicolaus Schmall

This book contains about 22 interesting and short compositions by Nicolaus Schmall von Lebendorf, who is a lute player as well as a Baroque composer. It is published independently on February 5, 2020. This book is easy to comprehend, and it is ideal for both beginner, intermediate, and professional players. It is 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches in dimension.

It contains about 29 pages, and it is written in English. Ondrej Sarek compiles this book. If you need a book that comes with exciting songs for harmony and melody, then you should make this book your choice.

20. Mark Phillips: Best Lute Songs

Do you need a complete flute book that comes with twelve fascinating songs by Renaissance composers? If yes, you need to give this excellent flute book by Mark Phillips a try. The book is well structured and arranged for better understanding. CreateSpace published the book on March 19, 2018. It is a concise book of 28 pages.

These twelve songs are presented in tablature as well as standard notations. Examples of these songs are Rest, Sweet Muse by Francis Pilkington, Since First I Saw Your Face by Thomas Ford, What a Day? By Philip Rbosseter, As I Worked Forth by Rober Johnson, Come, My Celia by Alfonso Ferrabosco, Come Live with Me and Be My Love by William Corkie, and many other beautiful songs.

The songs have been transposed to their original key, making them suitable for soloists with bass or alto range. Guitarists are required to raise the pitch using a capo for tenor and soprano singers.

Choosing The Best Lute Books

There is no short cut to achieving your goal of becoming a professional lute player. The first step is to have a perfect understanding of your needs and then go for the best book for self-learning. However, a lot of players couldn’t achieve this goal because they did not buy the right guidebook.

2. Diana Poulton: A Tutor For Renaissance Lute

  • Suitable for Recital Programmes
  • Principal of Tablature Notation
  • Suitable for Beginner to Advanced Students

1) Frank Koonce: WG100 - The Solo Lute Works

  • Transcriptions of the Complete Solo Lute Works
  • Modern Guitar Notation
  • Combination of Scholarship & Practical Performance Solutions

3) David Nadal:
Lute Songs
of
John Dowland

  • 43 Dowland's Songs
  • Dowland's Original Lute Tablature
  • Modern Transcription for Guitar

Buying the right lute book starts by knowing what is required to make the right buying decision. Some of the factors that you should consider are the contents of the book, the author's reputation, your skill level, among others.

All in all, lute books are guidebooks that are highly recommended for lute players or music lovers who desire to enhance their musical knowledge.

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