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Wound gut strings
'F' type

The earliest mention of wound strings known to us dates back to 1659 (Hartlib Papers Project: Ephemeredes) and 1664 (J Playford: An Introduction to the Skill of Music...), but they were not used widely for some decades thereafter: in fact the earliest iconographical evidence showing musical instruments strung with wound strings in the bass register dates to 1680. According to Rousseau (Traite' de la Viole, 1685) it was the Viola da gamba player Sainte Colombe who first introduced them into France around 1675, but the most important English Lute and Viola da gamba tutor, Thomas Mace's "Musick's Monument", in 1676 does not mention them at all. According to John Talbot's MS (ca.1700), Lute, Violin and Bass Violin-bass strings are still the usual gut ones, namely Lyons or the dark red Pistoys. Only in the early decades of the 18th Century did wound strings definitively get the upper hand of traditional gut strings, thus revolutionizing music making to this day. Musicians interested in strict period correctness would therefore use plain gut basses for repertoire earlier than 1680, but wound strings definitely make the instruments easier to play. Bear in mind that most instruments are set up by the luthier for wound basses, and modifications may be necessary in order to use plain stringing.

"F" type strings are designed with the aim of recreating the typical proportions and materials of the wound strings in use in the mid17th-19th Centuries, using finest quality gut core and pure silver wire. This historically accurate construction is much different from modern strings, as supported by historical evidence and by measurements taken from original string fragments. This is our best answer to the needs of musicians who are seriously interested in the faithful reproduction of the musical repertoire of the past. Order in the violin and viol families.

Backgroung painting by Elias_van_Nijmegen
Public Domain
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