5-Course guitar

Johannes Magnus Lang I (Mango Longo)Early half of the 17th century

Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

Today the instrument resembles a chitarra battente, as we can notice from the sound board bent at the bridge, and from the metal strings hooked on pins driven into the bottom-block of the body. Moreover, the neck has been shortened. Evidence of this can be found in the brusquely interrupted decorative motif and in the fact that the back of the pegbox has been tampered with at the joint with the neck. It is currently impossible to establish when these changes were implemented but they were unquestionably performed on an instrument that was initially a typical Baroque guitar. The rich ornamental refinement, which can be appreciated in the use of ivory for ribs and fingerboard, in the decoration of the neck and the sides, and in the composition of the rosette created with thin layers of wood and parchment, still survive in this guitar.


  • Title: 5-Course guitar
  • Creator: Johannes Magnus Lang I (Mango Longo)
  • Date Created: Early half of the 17th century
  • Location: Comune di Milano - Museo degli Strumenti Musicali
  • Physical Dimensions: w25,5 x h81,9 x d14,8 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Musical instrument
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Raccolte Artistiche del Castello Sforzesco.
  • External Link: http://strumentimusicali.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Wengè (?), spruce, ivory, mother-of-pearl
  • Art Form: Musical instrument
  • Original title: Chitarra a cinque ordini
  • Artist Nationality: German
  • Artist Death Place: Italy
  • Artist Death Date: Before 1631
  • Artist Birth Place: Füssen
  • Artist Birth Date: Know since 1599

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