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To tune a lute or viol really well one must see to the exact spacing of the frets tied round the neck of the instrument. In this authoritative work Mark Lindley surveys different approaches to the problem as described from the 1520s to the 1740s by a variety of writers. Attention is given to some distinguished composers (Milan, Dowland, Monteverdi, Marais) and to some seminal figures in the early history of modern science (V. Galilei, Mersenne, Lord Brouncker) as well as to a number of encyclopaedic or didactic writers on music (Gerle, Bermudo, Ganassi, Zarlino, Praetorius). The book includes practical instructions, conclusions about renaissance and baroque performing practices, and a substantial appendix by Gerhard C. Sohne on the historical use of proportions and geometric curves in lute design.