Music notations

originally posted by Peter Estes


I can not tell from the picture on the cover of Curse of the Mistwraith, is the Lyranthe a bowl backed instrument like a Lute? Or, perhaps, is it flat backed, similar to your mandolin?

The wood stove (technically a Petite Godin coal stove)is gone. Sometimes I do miss it on cold winter nights.

Peter - !!!

How cool! I still cherish and play the INCREDIBLE guitar you built me!

As to whether the Lyranthe is bowl backed, or at least, carrying some sort of curvature (as a violin does, on the front) - that is the way I picture it, but - you tell me. as the master luthier - could such a construction handle the tension on so many strings??

What have you been up to? I do hear from you at the oddest moments…

And, sorry - I cannot mourn the woodstove that "ate" what you considered your substandard instruments - some of them -could- have survived in the world - are you still such an unremitting perfectionist?

originally posted by Walt

Oh wow! Fellow musicians among us! If you ever figure out a working copy of Elshian's lyranthe, and figure out how to produce them better than one a year (hehe!) count me in as one who's drooling for one!

And Janny, you of all people should know that perfectionism never goes away! :^)

Hugz, Walt

originally posted by Pete Estes


The Lyranthe looks like such a long necked instrument. Lutes have many strings but have short wide necks and I imagine are tuned to a low pitch.

The Irish Bouzouki has double courses of strings and a long neck but the one picture I could find of one has but 6 strings, three courses. The same article indicated that Robin Williamson plays a 10 string Bouzouki.

The Lyranthe on the cover of Curse of the Mistwraith looks like it has 10 strings over the finger board and 4 free floating ones(the drones?)so maybe it is conceiveable. It would certainly make an interesting project.


Peter - the four free floating ones are two courses of drone strings - think Mountain Dulcimer.

If you ever want to try an interesting project, holler - it would be Quite interesting.

There are five courses over the fretboard. Think E, A, D, G, and one course that would alter in varied tuning - much as open tuning does to facilitate playing in certain guitar keys…

I'd leave it to you how long the neck needed to be to get a reasonable range of octaves.

originally posted by Pete Estes

I was thinking Mountain Dulcimer too. The Irish Bouzouki I saw had metal geared tuners. Your Lyranthe tuners look more like lute/violin/dulcimer pegs.

My memory of the descriptions of the Lyranthe leads me to think that it was strung with wire(metal) strings. I will have to do some rereading. At the bridge the strings look like they are tied on like gut lute strings or classical guitar strings.

Thankfully it looks like you gave the neck a sturdy look. I looked at my banjo and I have a hard time thinking how a neck that thin and long could survive the tension of double courses of strings and two outboard double courses pulling it to one side.

Lutes developed more strings as time went on. Perhaps a first draft (a prequel?) of the instrument might be somewhat simpler in design. You know how much tension there is in a 12 string guitar even with the lightest strings.

Pete - yes - but you could build a tension rod into the neck…the winding pegs were pegs - due to the technology. and the strings had windings - done by hand. Wire inners, though the bass strings may have had a gut inner.

originally posted by Pete Estes

Building some tension in the neck to counteract the pull of the strings seems like a good idea. I would vote against an adjustable rod though. Carving a pocket in the head stock for an adjustment wrench might weaken that area too much.

You'd have to disturb that carved rosette for adjustment if it was designed to be accessed through the sound hole.

I would vote for a heafty neck of a sturdy wood like maple or cherry. I'd probably be wrong but that would be my vote.

You'd know best how to approach this, I'd imagine.