David Tecchler (Austrian, Salzburg 1666–1747 Rome)ca. 1725

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sometime after the invention of the chitarrone ("large kithara") in Florence around 1585, various local forms of long-necked lutes were developed. One variant appearing in Rome at the end of the sixteenth century, dubbed the Roman arch lute, accommodated unfretted diatonic bass strings and was tuned to a pitch standard of about 386 hertz (a full step below the modern pitch standard), and was used in many churches. Only ten such instruments are known today, of which this example is the latest and one of the most beautiful. By the end of the through bass period, in the middle of the eighteenth century, the arch lute had become an indispensable instrument of the orchestra.

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  • Title: Archlute
  • Creator: David Tecchler (Austrian, Salzburg 1666–1747 Rome)
  • Date Created: ca. 1725, ca. 1725
  • Location Created: Rome, Italy
  • Type: Chordophone-Lute-plucked
  • External Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Collection Online
  • Medium: Spruce, ebony, ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl
  • Dimensions: Height: 70 3/4 in. (179.7 cm)
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1988
  • Creator Death Date: 1747
  • Creator Birth Date: 1666
  • Accession Number: 1988.87


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