French Lutenists
French Lute Music in Sweden


Kenneth Sparr ©

Stockholm, Sweden 1998






This article was first published in Le luth et sa musique II, Paris 1984, pp. 59-67 and presented as a paper at the conference at Tours, Centre d'Etudes Supèrieures de la Renaissance, 15-18 September 1980. A Swedish version of the article was published as Franska lutenister och fransk lutmusik i Sverige SGLS 13/1980 No. 2 pp. 17-29. This English version has been updated with new findings.

16th Century

The first reliable proof of the presence of the lute in Sweden is the mentioning of a "Conrado luternista" in 1439-1440. Conrado was probably of German origin and foreigners were to dominate the history of the lute in Sweden. In the 16th century and during the reigns of Gustavus Vasa and particularly those of his son, Eric XIV and John III, a court life of continental pattern developed. This also meant that musicians in greater number, and among them lutenists, were employed at the royal court. The first lutenists are mentioned in the account books of the court for 1532 and they were Germans. Most of the lutenists in royal service during the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century were in fact Germans.(1)

The contacts between Sweden and France during the 16th century were not very frequent, but Eric XIV (1533-1577) ought to have been well acquainted with French culture: one of his teachers was Dionysius Beurreus, a French Calvinist, and in his service was the French nobleman Charles de Mornay. Furthermore, Danzai, the envoy of the French king, reported that Eric spoke French very well and that he was an able musician. We have some indications of Eric's interest in the lute. In 1552 he ordered two lutes and the following year he had four lute-books bound "for the needs of His Lordship". In 1561 he ordered not less than seven new lutes and from an inventory of his library, dated 1568, we learn that he then owned "two lute-books bound in yellow and gilded.(2) This background has its interest in connection with an important lute tablature manuscript (Uppsala university library, Vok. mus. hs. 87, Codex carminum Gallicorum. The dating and provenance is uncertain, but it has been suggested that it could belong to the period 1542-1572 and that it, in spite of the Italian tablature system used, could be of French origin. It consist mainly of intabulated French secular songs and Italian madrigals. Dance movements are lacking and the instrumental pieces are very few: some ricercare by Francesco da Milano and Giaches organista together with a fantasia by Albert de Rippe. In the manuscript are also two pieces in French tablature, probably added later on. Although we have no positive evidence it has been suggested that the manuscript was used at the court of Eric (then a duke) at Kalmar around 1558-1560. Eric had in fact several musicians employed in his service during this period, but none of them is specified as lutenist of French origin. A closer study of the sources may however throw further light on this issue.(3)

A temporary guest at the Swedish court was the French lutenist "Johan Cortimis denaz[?]ina", who in 1556 received a noteworthy high sum of 20 dollar for his travel costs to France. He is also mentioned in another document from the same year as "Joannes Cortini".(3a) Eric XIV was followed on the throne by his brother John III. In the service of the latter a lutenist was employed 1571-1573 whose name could indicate a French origin. He is called either "Renatus de Plessis", "Renatus Duplissis" or "Renatus luthinista".(4) It has been assumed that he could have been an emigrated French Protestant, but taking into consideration the catholic inclinations of John III at this time, this assumption seems too speculative.(5) In one of the music manuscripts at the Uppsala University library, Vok. mus. hs. 76b, the signature of the French lutenist, guitarist and publisher Guillaume Morlaye is found. This was discovered in 1985 by Jean-Michel Vaccaro and as I earlier had shown there is a link between this manuscript and three other manuscripts in the same library: Instr. mus. hs. 412, Vok. mus. hs. 76c and Vok. mus. hs. 87 with the presence of the same handwriting in all four manuscripts. It even seems highly probable that all these manuscripts were in fact written by Morlaye himself and the manuscript Vok. mus. hs. 87 may have belonged to him. Nothing is however known about the provenance of these manuscripts and how and when they came to Sweden. One cannot rule out the possibility that Guillaume Morlaye, who in 1552 and 1553 published two books of "psalmes et cantiques en vulgaire françoys" and in 1554 a "Premier livre de psalmes mis en musique par Maister Pierre Certon... reduictz en la Tablature de Leut...", due to religious persecutions fled to Sweden after 1577. This remains to be confirmed or ruled out by further studies of Swedish and French sources.(6)

17th Century

In the first three decades of the 17th century the German lutenists dominated completely at the court, which of course does not exclude French lute music from being performed. Some hints of a possible repertoire can be found in a lute manuscript (Skokloster Castle Library, PB fil. 172, Per Brahe's lutbok), compiled by the nobleman Per Brahe the younger in 1620 during his stay in Giessen, Germany.(7) This manuscript, however, as well as another lute manuscript in the same library (Carl Gustaf Wrangel's bibliotek 2245) dated 1622, is clearly the work of amateurs. They contain courantes, ballets and voltes, some specifically called French and there are concordances with music in the printed books of Fuhrmann, Vallet and Robert Ballard. The music of Vallet is also represented in a manuscript (Stockholm, Musikmuseet, 63/64/7:2), where one can find, among estate inventories and promissory notes, three preludes, one pavan and one passomezzo from Vallet's first book.(8)

A fantasia by "Maistre Lespine", printed in Vallet's second book, appears in another version in a manuscript (Norrköping City Library, Finspong 1122 fol.), which entirely consists of music by Lespine. The writer of the manuscript has used a pre-printed tablaturebook (that is with only staffs and no music) from the printer Pierre Ballard and on the page with the printer's label the content of the book is described as "Balets, Alemandes et Sarabandes par L'Espine". To these can be added courantes, gavottes and the fantasia called La rauissante... No clear evidence exists but it is possible that Lespine visited Sweden c. 1620.(9) In this context it is interesting to note that there are several pages with lute music by Lespine in a diary of a dancing-master (Royal Library, Stockholm, S253). Some dates are given: "1617, a Brucelle", 1619 and 1620. The identity of the dancing-master is not known, but the text is written in French. In the tablature-part of the diary you can find preludes, courantes, ballets and voltes, all in viel ton and for a 10-course lute.(10) The Lespine-book in Norrköping was probably brought to Sweden c. 1640. It seems likely that it came from France in this period. Some of the pieces in this manuscript appear in another one (Norrköping City Library, Finspong 9096:11) and here the owner of the manuscript, Louis de Geer has written his name and the date 26 January 1640. Louis de Geer (1622-1695) a Swedish nobleman, seems to have stayed in Paris during the period 1639-1640. It is quite possible that he during this stay had lessons from a lute-teacher. Could this teacher have been Jean Aymé, joueur de luth?(11) A "Mr Ayme" is noted in another manuscript (Norrköping City Library, Finspong 9074) containing, among other things, two allemandes for the lute, of which at least one can be attributed to René Mesangeau. As well as another manuscript (Norrköping City Library, Finspong 9096:1) de Geer also brought a copy of Tablature de luth des differents autheurs of 1638 from Paris to Sweden.

Another traveller to Sweden and with a French origin was Charles Ogier. He had a subordinate position at the French embassy to Sweden which took plave in 1634 to 1635. Interestingly enough the first part of his memories from this embassy was published by his brother François in 1656 in Latin and under the title Caroli Ogerii Ephemerides sive inter Danicum, Svecicum, Polonicum... Ogier's manuscript is now in the British Library. Anyway, among the participants of this embassy was a person named Varenne which is of interest in this connection. Varenne obviously was a skilled skilled singer and performer on the lute and in Ogier's account he is mentioned in a few places. Ogier does not mention which function Varenne had in the embassy, but he is primarily connected with musical activities. On 4 April 1635 Ogier writes: ...while Varenne, who is a distinguished musician , played, we sang and danced... Some time later on 10 April 1635 the embassy visited Jacob Pontusson De La Gardie at his manor Jacobsdal. On this occassion "Varenne entertained them with playing on the lute and singing to the lute". Varenne sang at a gathering on 4 May 1635 at the castle of Drottnmingholm. The lute is also noted in other circumstances. On 26 February 1635 Ogier met the daughter of a vicar "who could both play the lute and speak Latin". (11b)

Whether or not the large collection of French airs de cour, which is kept in the Royal Library, Stockholm, was used for actual performance in Sweden is difficult to tell. A suitable audience would of course have been the royal family with its suite. There are eleven of the books printed by Ballard, starting with Airs de differents autheurs... Huictiesme livre of 1618 and ending with Anthoine Boësset's Airs de cour... Seiziesme livre of 1643. They are all bound together in one volume.(12)

During the 17th century a number of lutenists and singers were employed at the court. We know the names of at least 19 lutenists of which six were French, As I have stated earlier the Germans dominated and the presence of the French lutenists was rather restricted in time: from 1644 to 1653. This coincided with the employment of other French musicians and reflects a change in musical taste.(13) The first French lutenist to be employed was Bechon, who stayed at the Swedish court from 1 January 1644 to 31 December 1647. Unlike many of the other lutenists he was a member of the "Hofkapelle" and his rather low rate of wages in 1644-1645 indicates that he then chiefly worked  as an ensemble-musician. In the years 1646-1647 his wages raised considerably and in rank he was just below the leader of the "Hofkapelle". Unfortunately the Swedish sources do not throw further light on the identity of Bechon.

Alexandre François Voullon, singer and theorboe-player, came to Sweden in December 1646 together with a group of French viol-players, which count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie had recruited in France. In a letter dated 25 November 1648, Voullon paid reverence to de la Gardie and included a "Sarabande nouvelle. Laquelle a este tres bien recue de sa maiesté", Voullon participated as a singer in the musical performances during the coronation of queen Christina in 1650 and his stay at the Swedish court lasted until 30 June 1653. Later on he was employed by Christoffer, landgrave of Hesse, as he told de la Gardie in another letter c. 1665. In this letter Voullon also mentions that he had sung and played thorough-bass on the theorboe for the resident de Crousse in Hamburg. Roughly ten years later, in September 1675, he returned to Sweden to participate in the festive entertainments in connection with the coronation of Charles XI. During this stay he probably also performed for the queen dowager and for which he received 20 rixdollar.

The next French lutenist to be employed was Béthune and he must have been very qualified as he was the highest paid musician of any category at the court during the period 1620-1720. On 26 June 1649 he received a royal letter of appointment and he remained in Swedish service until September 1651. Unfortunately his Christian name is not given anywhere, but some notes in Swedish sources can perhaps throw further light on this issue. In a court ballet, which was performed in November 1649 "the son of a French lutenist, named Betun" played the part of Cupido.(14) Béthune seems to have brought his family with him to Sweden as several members of it participated in the entertainments at the coronation of queen Christina. Béthune himself, his brother and his son are listed among the lutenists who played on this occasion. Even a "Mademoiselle Bethune" is mentioned in this connection. "Hercules Bethun" and the "two Bethun" appear in another court ballet, performed in January 1651. Hercules probably acted the part of a dryad, which could suggest that he was a rather young person and the "two Bethun" acted the parts of two of the Muses.(15) Even though it is difficult to prove I am inclined to believe that Hercules was the son of Béthune, who in turn could be Michel de Béthune. The brother then could be Josias Béthune.(16) Besides it is noted in the account books of Danish "Hofkapelle" that "the Frenchman Béthune" in the year 1702 received 50 rixdollar for giving the king lessons on the angélique.(17) This Béthune can hardly have been Michel or Josias. Who was then "Béthune le cadet"? Lionel de la Laurencie suggests that he could be identical with Michel de Béthune, but this is questionable in the light of these facts.(18)

The identity of another French lutenist at the Swedish court is even more obscure. His name was Picquet and he is first mentioned in the list of musicians participating at the coronation of queen Christina on 26 October 1650. Picquet was well paid and he later appears in the account books from 1 January 1651 to 31 December 1652. As can be seen there were a number of lutenists engaged at the court in the middle of the 17th century and there could have been need for a person to take care of the instruments. In fact, there even was a lutemaker employed between 1651 and 1653. His name was Noël Alliamez and he seems to have worked in Paris too. His daughter Anna Maria was baptised on 9 May 1652 in the German church in Stockholm.

With the exception of the tablatures from Norrköping there is only one more musical document from this period of intense activity, but its provenance and dating are very uncertain. This document is a lute tablature manuscript (Stockholm, Stiftelsen Musikkulturens Främjande, no shelve number) containing music by Ennemond and Denis Gaultier. The most interesting pieces in the manuscript are the contreparties to Courante Le Canon, to Tombeau de L'Enclos and to an unidentified Sarabande. These contreparties seem to be unique. Even if this manuscript is hardly representative of the lute music repertoire in Sweden at this time we have other evidence of the strong French influence on keyboard and lute music in this country. If we look at the ten most copied pieces in Swedish tablatures for keyboard and plucked instruments from the period 1650-1720 we find that French compositions dominate almost completely. The most popular pieces seem to have been Courante La Belle Homicide by Denis Gaultier followed among others by Courante Dubut and Courante L'Immortelle by Ennemond Gaultier. It is to be noted that the tablatures are of Swedish provenance and therefore ought to reflect musical preferences during this period.(19)

Many Swedish noblemen accompanied with their tutors made peregrinations in Europe during the 17th century and a stay in Paris was mandatory. An example of this is the Swedish king Charles X Gustavus’ illegitimate son Gustaf Carlson who together with his tutor Erik Lindschöld (1634-1690) (who later as secretary of state to Charles XI was to become an important person both politically and culturally in Sweden) travelled around Europe in the 1660s and 1670s. In the educational scheme for Gustaf Carlson there was one hour of lute playing each day (in which by the way the tutor also took part!). “The lutenist” arrives at 10 o’clock and give them alternately exercises” which Lindschöld stated in a letter from Strasbourg in 1660. In the beginning of December 1666 they arrive in Paris and soon start their lute playing activities again, probably with a Parisian lute teacher. (19b)

Another visitor to Paris was the young count Claes Johansson Ekeblad (1669-1737) who in his diary for May 1687 noted:

Begynte iagh speela på Luta hoos gallot gaf een Louis d'or om månan för tre gånger om wickan [I started to play the lute with Gallot and I paid one louisdor each month for three lessons a week]

Two years later, in 1689, Ekeblad also studied the lute with Jacques Gallot and the same year he attended Gallot's private concert with "een admirable stor och skiön musique [an admirable, great and lovely music]". Ekeblad also had flute lesson from one of the members of the Hotteterre family for which he paid one Dukat a month (noted 14 May 1687). (19c)

The music of Charles Mouton appears to have been known in Sweden in the 1670s judging from a list of music books, which was compiled in 1779. The passage that concerns Mouton is worth quoting in full:

1679. Pièces pour le Clavecin, signées des Note de Tablature, avec l'Avertissement de Mouton, servant à l'intelligence des Pièces contenues dans son livre imprimé. Mscr i Notboksformat.

Not. Detta är en widlöftig skrifwen Claver Not-Bok, som tillhört Fru Märta Ribbing, hwilken på främsta sidan tecknat sitt namn och årtalet 1679, säjande tillika sig hafwa ärft denna Not-Bok efter sin Sal. Herr Fader. [Note. This is a comprehensive manuscript book of keyboard music which belonged to Mrs. Märta Ribbing, who wrote her name and the year 1679 on the front page, also saying that she had inherited this music book from her late old father.](20)

The keyboard manuscript mentioned does not seem to have been preserved. However, if this notice is correct some conclusions may be drawn. Firstly that one of Mouton's lute books, maybe the first one, was printed before 1679 and secondly that there has existed keyboard versions of his music. One copy of Mouton's second book was bought in Paris by Johan Arndt Bellman (1664-1709), during a time member of the "Hofkapelle" as alto singer, Bellman has written the date 27 February 1699 and it could be the date of purchase. Whether or not he bought the book directly from Mouton is of course impossible to tell. If he did so a minor correction in the preface could have some significance: "Je fais grauer vn second [crossed over and replaced with a "3"), qui sera dans peu de temps au jour". This could indicate that the third book was not published, if ever, before 1699.(21)

We have more details about other Swedish visitors to Charles Mouton. The young nobleman Hans von Fersen (1683-1736), during his peregrination together with his preceptor Carl Gustav Heraeus, met the lutenist in 1699-1700. Hans von Fersen and Carl Gustav Heraeus arrived in Paris with their servant Peter de la Rose on 14 November 1698. They lodged at l'Hotel du Man, rue des Grands Augustins, in the St- Germain-de-Près-area, a central point in Paris. Very soon they got a singing teacher for Hans von Fersen, a "M. Preston" and also "M. Le Seure" as his teacher on the angelique. Hans von Fersen soon wanted to change to the baroque lute and he evidently had fell seriously in love with the lute although his father did not really approve. Heraeus also points out to Hans von Fersen that the baroque lute is a very difficult and "slow" instrument to master. von Fersen was however eager to learn and Heraeus in May 1699 contacted  Charles Mouton to ask for lessons for Hans von fersen. Mouton then lived at Rue Saint-André-des-Arts, quite nearby Heraeus' and von Fersen's lodgings. For a start Heraeus hires a lute from Mouton at two livres per month. On 30 May 1699 Heraeus buys "Moutons Musicbuch" at 1 livre. von Fersen's interest in and progress with the lute seems to have been growing fast and it did not take long before they bought a lute from Mouton at the price of 56 livres. We have an exact date for this purchase, 13 October 1699, and this was the highest single expense during the whole peregrination. Hans von Fersen also had lute lessons with Mouton for a monthly fee of 14 livres and these lessons probably went on for many months. Mouton evidently was a good teacher and von Fersen an ambitious pupil. Perhaps it was Mouton who arranged (and under his supervision) that Hans von Fersen could perform on the lute for the Polish envoy general Jordan and his daughters in April 1700. The last information about the contacts between Mouton, von Fersen and Heraeus dates from March 1700, when Heraeus buys a copy of "Mr. Moutons Notenbuch" at the rather high price of 6 livres. Whether this was Mouton's second lutebook we may only guess. Later in 1700 Hans von Fersen was called back to Sweden as a voluntary in the Swedish army in Poland. (21b)

A French Seventeenth Century Lute in Sweden

There also other traces of French influence in Sweden during the seventeenth century. An interesting example is a preserved French lute which may have been used and played upon in Sweden in the later part of the seventeenth century. The scarcity of preserved French lutes from this period is remarkable and the possibility of another preserved French lute by an identifiable lute maker from the golden age is certainly of utmost interest. It is indeed very surprising that there may be another French lute from the seventeenth century that has been generally unnoticed, even though most of the relevant information has been available at the Stockholm Music Museum since about1900 and the rather detailed description in the museum’s first catalogue (printed 1902). The description in the catalogue is as follows:

(36). Lute, marked: ‘Du… à Paris 1672’, (brand marked at the bottom) and on a piece of paper inside: Repareradt af Johan Jerner, Stockholm 1792. The repair seems to have consisted of the addition of a new neck of the same theorbo-type as the Swedish lute to the decidedly French body. Gift from the music trader Bengt Dahlgren Ltd.

The low inventory number and the inclusion of it in the first catalogue suggest that this lute was among the first instruments to form the collection of the Stockholm Music Museum, which was started in 1899. The first cataloguer did not observe that the information at the end-clasp could be read as ‘Dubu…a Paris 1672’ (at even closer inspection ‘Dubuc’ or ‘Dubut’). Unfortunately, damage makes the name difficult to read. The cataloguer further did not record another handwritten repair label beside the one by Jerner. Unfortunately this repair label is partly concealed by the Jerner repair label and by paper reinforcement between two ribs of the back. This makes the label difficult to read and interpret, but the text seems to be the following: ‘Renov: Holmiæ / 1738 et 55’. Above this text is possibly the repairer’s name - a fragment can be seen. The last letter of the surname may be ‘g’, ‘j’ or ‘y’. The identity of the repairer is yet to be determined. Another repair was done in 1755 and the final repair and conversion was made by Jerner in 1792. This lute (or at least parts of it) may originally have been made by the French lute maker Nicolas Dubuc (?Dubut, ?du But) in Paris. He was born 1637/38, died after 1692 and of him it is noted:

… en 1671, Nicolas [?Dubuc, ?Dubut] âgé de 33 ans, est ’Maître faiseur d’instruments’, lorsqu’il épouse à St-Germain-l’Auxerrois, Barbe Caillot. Sans doute a-t-il déjà une situation sociale en vue, car il a pour témoin son ami Philippe Lallemant, peintre à l’Académie royale. En 1691 et 1692, il est encore cite comme facteur’ ou ‘maître pour les instruments à vent.

The name suggests a possible family relation with the famous lutenist or lutenists with the surname ‘Dubut’, of which Pierre Dubut (père) is the most famous. ‘Dubut fils’ or ‘Dubut et ses deux fils’ are also mentioned in connection with pieces of lute music, but the relationships and identities of these are still obscure. Due to the common lack of Christian names and the variations in spellings of the surname (Dubu, Dubut, Dubuc) it is difficult to be certain about the identity of Nicolas Dubuc (?Dubut); and the mention of him as a wind instrument maker in 1691 and 1692 may seem problematic. It is hardly likely that an instrument maker is active both in making wind and stringed/plucked instruments as the workshops must be equipped quite differently from one another. The simple explanation can be that there are two different instrument makers with very similar names. As mentioned above, seventeenth-century French lutes are now extremely rare and if this lute is by Nicolas Dubu[?c] (?Dubut) it is the only surviving instrument by this maker and from a period when French lute music reached its peak with Denis Gaultier’s printed lute books. Normally a maker’s name is found on the inside of the back as a label or as brand mark on the soundboard; in this case we cannot be certain that the maker’s name, place and date were actually put there by the maker himself. The original label may have disappeared when the lute was restored and changed, and the restorer may have transferred the maker’s name to the end-clasp.

In my opinion the only original part of the M36 Dubu[?c] lute is the back. This applies to many other old lutes; it also seems to be the case with the Des Moulins lute in Paris. Several details show, however, that the back comes from a very old lute and that it originally may have been built as an eleven-course baroque lute of the type used by French lutenists in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The back is made of an unidentified hardwood, with an irregular and knotty structure; it consists of nine ribs without spacers. The inside linings of the back are probably from the repair or conversion in the eighteenth century. The back has a very classical form used by early Italy-based lute makers such as Laux Maler and Hans Frei. Interestingly the width and length of the body are close to those of the other French seventeenth century lute with nine ribs made by Jean Des Moulins, dated 1644 and now in the Musée de la musique in Paris, inventory number E.979.2.69. The outline of the body of the M36 lute is however more slender than the Des Moulins lute. The body width of the M36 is 311 mm, the body length is 536 mm and the body depth is 160 mm. Very similar body outlines and measures can be found in near-contemporary lutes by Joachim Tielke, dated 1676, 1680 and 1696. The end-clasp is simple and very neat, though it has perhaps been somewhat trimmed when fitting a new soundboard. The strap button on the end-clasp lies too near the soundboard which suggests a later and simple misplacement of the button. The changes to this lute are immediately apparent: the strange bridge placement, the rose and the theorbo arrangement typical of Swedish lutes in the 1790s and quite in accordance with the conversion made by Jerner, the lack of points at the joint of the fingerboard to the soundboard, the rather narrow neck. The soundboard shows no traces at all of an earlier bridge placement and the wood quality of the spruce is rather modest (similar to other Swedish lutes). The half-binding (purfling) around parts of the soundboard is rather thick and looks very unconvincing. It has unfortunately not been possible to do a closer study of soundboard barring, but it seems highly unlikely that the original barring was transferred to the new soundboard. The soundboard has one transverse bar under the centre of the rose, one transverse bar between the rose and the neck placed 200 mm above the front of the bridge, one transverse bar between the rose and the bridge placed 50 mm above the bridge and finally two transverse bars between the front of the bridge and the end-clasp placed at 35 mm and 110 mm below the front of the bridge. This gives a total of five bars, whereas the standard Swedish lute only had four. The additional bar between bridge and end-clasp was probably added due to the long distance between the bridge and the end-clasp. The neck and fingerboard of the lute originally had a width of 99 mm where the fingerboard meets the soundboard, which is quite in accordance with other eleven-thirteen course lutes. The joint between body and neck shows obvious signs of conversion, patched with wood from the fitment of a new neck. As the strap button on the back lies very close to the neck joint we cannot rule out the possibility of loss of material of the original neck block and the body. The strap button is most likely a later addition. (21c)

 18th Century

As I have pointed out earlier the French influence on lute music in Sweden is obvious even in the beginning of the 18th century. An important and extensive manuscript (Kalmar County Museum, KLM 21.072) seems to be little known. It contains over 200 pieces, where quite a few are by French composers as Dufaut, Mouton, Mercure, Gallot and Gaultier. Some of these pieces seem to be unique. The prefatory instruction is copied from Le Sage de Richée's Cabinet der Lauten... of 1695. The owner of the manuscript, Otto Fredrik Stålhammar, has written his name and the year 1715, probably the date of the acquisition, on the inside of the front cover. The main part of the manuscript therefore ought to have been compiled between 1695 and 1715. It has been suggested that the manuscript originally came from Austria and composers from this region are also well represented: Losy von Losinthal, Hinterleitner and Weichenberger. Jacques Bittner's Pieces de Lut has been copied almost completely.(22) Another manuscript (Kalmar County Museum, KLM 21.068), which partly consists of intabulated pieces for a bowed instrument, also has belonged to Stålhammar. The lute tablature part covers 24 pages and there are pieces by Campra, Gallot, Ennemond and Denis Gaultier, Mouton, Mercure and Jean Baptiste Lully, This manuscript was compiled after 1697. We have short notice that in 1716 “fik Monsieur Aremius för 5 monader har lert Sophia Luisa [Wachtmeister] spella på luttan 40 dsmt” [Monsieur Aremius received 40 silver solar for having learnt Sophia Luisa Wachtmeister during five months to play the lute]. (22b)

The last lute tablatures of Swedish provenance where French music is represented are two manuscripts in Lund Universtiy Library (Wenster G 34 and G 37). Both manuscripts have in some instances the same content. G 37 is dated 30 November 1712 and contains also a short lute instruction in Swedish. In the manuscript one can find music by Ennemond and Denis Gaultier, Mouton, Pinel, Campra and Dubut. G 34 contains "the pieces of Israel Pourell, lutenist in Stockholm", whose father was of French origin.(23)


1. Norlind, T. & Trobäck, E., Kungliga hovkapellets historia. Stockholm 1926.

2. Hambraeus, B., Codex carminum Gallicorum, une étude sur le volume Musique vocale du manuscrit 87...(Uppsala, 1961). Andersson, I., Erik XIV (3d Edition, Stockholm 1948) pp. 23 and 165. Handlingar rörande Sveriges historia, Ser. 1, Konung Gustaf I:s registratur. 23 (Stockholm, 1905) p. 423. Odén, B., Kronohandel och finanspolitik 1560-1595 (Lund, 1966) p. 101

3. Hambraeus, op. cit. I also have had a cursory look at the account books from this period in Riksarkivet.

3a. Hedell, K. Musiklivet vid de svenska hoven med fokus på Erik XIV:s hov (1560-68) p. 308 (Uppsala, 2001)

4. Cotte, R. Compositeurs français émigrés en Suède, p. 6 (Paris, 1962).

5. Morlaye, Guillaume. Oeuvres pour le luth II. Manuscrits d'Uppsala, p. XXVIIff. (Paris, 1989).

6. Riksarkivet, Räntekammaren. 1572

7. Ruden, J.O., Per Brahes lutbok in Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 1977, p. 47ff.

8. Lindgren, A. Dans och lutspel i fordna dagar, in Svensk Musiktidning, 24/1890 p. 147ff.

9. Lachèvre, F., Un joueur de luth et compositeur des courts princières, Charles de Lespine, Parisien... (Paris, 1935). See also my article about Charles de Lespine in Die Laute Nr. III, 1999, pp. 42-63. This article is also available on the Internet as Charles de Lespine Lutenist and Composer.

10. Brinson, P., Background to European Ballet... Leiden, 1966. p. 117f.

11. Lesure, F., Recherches sur les luthistes parisiens à l'époque de Louis XIII, in Le luth et sa musique 2e éd. (Paris, 1976), p. 223. Brossard, Y. de, Musiciens de Paris 1535-1792... (Paris, 1965), p.14.

11b. I'm grateful to Erik Kjellberg who made me aware of Charles Ogier's notes concerning Varenne. Ogier, C. Från Sveriges storhetstid. Franske legationssekreteraren Charles Ogiers dagbok under ambassaden i Sverige 1634-1635. (Stockholm 1978).

12. The collections represented are RISM 16189, B3291, 16229, 16236, B3292. Estienne Moulinié, Airs avec la tablature , 1624 and by the same Airs de Cour... Second livre 1625, RISM B3293, 162811, B3295. François Richard, Airs de cour... 1637, Anthoine Boësset, Airs de cour... Seiziesme livre, 1643. Royal Library Mus. not. vis.

13. Unless otherwise specified the following biographic information on the French lutenists has been taken from Kjellberg, E., Kungliga musiker i Sverige under stormaktstiden... (Uppsala, 1979).

14. Ekeblad, J., Johan Ekeblads bref utgifna av Nils Sjöberg. 1. Från Kristinas och Cromwells hof. (Stockholm, 1911) p. 73.

15. Grönstedt, J., Svenska hoffester I. ... (Stockholm, 1911) pp. 157 and 159.

16. Brossard, Y, op. cit., pp. 31 and 34.

17. Thrane, C., Fra Hofviolonernes Tid. Skildringer af det Kongelige Kapels Historie 1648-1848. (Kopenhagen, 1908) p. 408.

18. Laurencie, L. de, Quelques luthistes français du XVIIe siècle, in Revue de Musicologie 8/1923 pp. 145ff.

19. Rudén, J.O, Stormaktstidens 10 i topp, in Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 58/1976 pp. 25-52.

19b. Ingers, E. Erik Lindschöld – biografisk studie. Lund 1908, pp. 44-45 and 64. Also cited by Hammarlund, A. Monsieur Mouton, lutan och civilisationsprocessen, Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 88/2005.

19c. Kjellberg, E. Frankreich in Schweden. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der musikalischen Migration im 17. Jahrhundert in Europa in Scandinavia. Kulturelle und soziale Dialoge in der frühen Neuzeit. Studia septemtrionalia. Band 2. Frankfurt am Main 1994 p.182. Also cited by Hammarlund, A. Monsieur Mouton, lutan och civilisationsprocessen, Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 88/2005.

20. Ekholm, E. Samling til et Svenskt musikaliskt Bibliothek... År 1779. A copy is in the Music Library of Sweden, Stockholm

21. Mouton, C., Pièces de luth sur différents modes. Premier et deuxième livres. (Paris, 1698). In the facsimile reprint, Génève, 1978, the correction made in the Bellman copy is not mentioned in F. Lesure's introduction, nor is it reproduced.

21b. Hammarlund, A. Monsieur Mouton, lutan och civilisationsprocessen, Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 88/2005, pp. 27-44. Hammarlund, A. Ett äventyr i staten. Carl Gustav Heraeus 1671-1725 Från Stockholm till kejsarhovet i Wien. Stockholm 2003 pp. 101, 106-107

21c. Sparr, K., Remarks on an Unnoticed Seventeenth-Century French Lute in Sweden, the Swedish Lute (Svenskluta or Swedish Theorbo) and Conversions of Swedish Lutes, in the Galpin Society Journal LXII April 2009, pp. 209-234

22. Sparr, K., Musik för luta i Kalmar. Tabulaturhandskriften KLM 21.072 i länsmuseet, in Kalmar län 1977, pp. 50-73.

22b. Flöög, S. Sophia Lovisa von Ascheberg – Herre i sitt hus. Grevagården stenhuset i staden. Blekingeboken 83/2005, p. 71.

23. Sparr, K., Israel Pourell - lutenist och musikant i stormaktstidens Stockholm, in Gitarr och Luta 25/1992 No. 2 pp. 49-57. Also on Internet as Israel Pourel - lutenist och musikant i stormaktstidens Stockholm.

See also Israel Pourel - Lutenist and Musician in 17th-Century Stockholm. Luths et luthistes en Occident - actes du colloque 13-15 mai 1998. Paris 1999, pp. 217-233.

Additions, corrections are most welcome to  


© Kenneth Sparr