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Lute, about 1630, probably Italian. Museum no. 1125-1869

Lute, about 1630, probably Italian. Museum no. 1125-1869

The lute, which derived from the Arabic Ud, came to Europe in the 13th century via Islamic Spain. The lute was adopted throughout the whole of Europe, becoming the most important instrument in Western music in the centuries that followed. Lutes were relatively cheap to make and were the most popular instruments in the Renaissance, though they were also made with the most expensive materials for rich households and patrons.

Many Renaissance paintings and prints show lutes being played in different circumstances: in church, in palaces, in a domestic environment, in street processions and in taverns. The lute was an instrument that many amateurs played and was certainly not only for professional musicians.

Audio: Washa mesa, Der Hupff Auff, Gassenhauer

This instrumental piece of music is from a book published in 1536 by Hans Neusidler in Nuremberg, Germany. This recording was made by the Royal College of Music especially for the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries thanks to an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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Glam Rock: Dandies in the Underworld (Hardback)

Glam Rock: Dandies in the Underworld (Hardback)

Drawing on the collections of the V&A, Glam Rock narrates the story of glam and explores its impact on fashion, theatre and film. In the early 197…

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What is Luxury?

25 April – 27 September 2015. What is Luxury? interrogates ideas of luxury today, addressing how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity.

VIsit the V&A exhibition What is Luxury?

Event - Norfolk House Music Room Concerts Summer 2015

Fri 03 July 2015 18:30–19:30

SPECIAL EVENT: Listen to evening concerts performed by musicians from the Royal College of Music in the beautiful setting of the Norfolk House Music Room.

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