Welcome to my lute page. Here you will find free sound files. Feel free to ‘Share’ them. Scroll down for videos.

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First, music from the Balcarres manuscript from Edinburgh and Fife, c.1695-1705, for an 11-course lute. I have recorded here the first 81 pieces in the collection of 252.


The following is music from the Panmure 5 manuscript, which is of Scottish provenance, while containing mainly French lute music and a few Scottish pieces.


Here are a few beautiful pieces from the Wemyss manuscript, from the Fife region of Scotland, compiled by a teenage girl, Margaret.


Bach’s 2nd Cello Suite in my own transcription for 11c lute, now in Gm:


Here is a recording I did at home of a rather beautiful piece by John Dowland, and on the MP3 page on this site  you can hear and download recordings I have made on various lutes.

10 responses to “Lute

  1. How does one best hold a lute? The guitar is conveniently shaped to sit on the lap of the player, but how does one stop the lute trying to escape?

  2. Dear Myscha,

    It is indeed a problem. Some players use a strap, others use a piece of a rubber mat between their body and the lute, which helps keep it still. They are not the easiest of instruments to hold, but don’t let that put you off playing one!

  3. Dear Rob,

    just found your new shiny website – nicely done and very well arranged.

    I know this is not a Jukebox, but if you ever wonder which piece to record next, I for one would love to hear a (second) interpretation of Port Jean Lindsay, now on your M. Prior lute.
    Not that your first video of it isn’t overwhelmingly beautiful already, but rather because I can’t get enough of it!

    Best regards and take care,


  4. Cheers, Teja. It is indeed a beautiful piece. I’ll return to it someday, for sure.


  5. Great! Looking forward to it.

    Furthermore I was wondering about something else. I share your opinion about short scale guitars with all their benefits. Yet I was wondering, if, regarding vihuela pieces, you actually prefer them over a “real” vihuela, and if so, why?


    • Good question. First of all, I enjoy playing the vihuela. It looks different, has a different feel, and I think it helps me get closer to what the composer had in mind. On the other hand, vihuela music can sound great on small guitars with gut strings – great but different.

      I’m not sure which I prefer most, which is quite an admission, considering the price difference…I was genuinely surprised that vihuela music could sound so good on a cheap guitar with good-quality gut strings. And judging by all the emails I’ve had on the subject, I am not alone :-)

  6. Beautiful playing :)

  7. John W. Pierce

    Hi Rob,
    As usual, wonderful playing. :)

    Quite a long time ago I ran across a reference to a note in an early-to-mid 17th century lute book where the instructor advised his student to not play behind her head or do other things tavern players did to get more money. I’m fairly certain the young lady was English rather than Scottish. Unfortunately, I either didn’t write down the reference or, more likely, have managed to lose it. Do you by chance remember having ever seen such a comment in any of the early lute books? This isn’t of any real importance. It’s just one of those little things that seems to surface with annoying frequency as I get older and sends me on fruitless searches through old notes, computer files, Google searches, etc.

    • John, sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve heard of this in connection with the baroque guitar, not the lute. But I can’t remember the source. It’s a good story, anyway. Nothing is new…

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