|Only three real vihuelas have survived:
- The "Guadalupe" (pictures above), now in the "Musée Jacquemart-Andrée"
- The "Chambure" in the "Cité de la Musique" (Paris), and
- The "Vihuela de Quito", in the "Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús"
Another instrument strung with five double courses built in 1581, in
Lisbon by Belchior Dias, now in the Royal College of Music (London), could
have been a vihuela, but many consider that it actually is better catalogued
as a renaissance or baroque guitar.
|A magnificent 6-course baroque vihuela by
Francisco Sanguino (Sevilla 1768), exhibited in the museum of José
Luis Romanillos at Sigüenza (Spain).
In the baroque period there are also instruments called vihuelas that
differ from the baroque guitars that the vihuelas are strung with courses of
The Renaissance Spanish Vihuela is a project I've been thinking about for
years. No one gets into early lutherie for the money (no one with a clue,
anyway), so I got an involuntary crash course in the discipline after I left
the university. I've learned a lot about early lutherie since then, most of
it the hard way.
Over time, I've noticed that people who love early music love also its
instruments. And because the prohibitive prices of the authentic ancient
ones, a replica can perfectly do the job. But good replicas are also scarce
because many only try to be aesthetically similar leaving the historical,
acoustical and musical subjects in a second or third level.
Making a good replica of a relatively unknown musical instrument it's a
scientific job with a huge dose of artistic tasks. But aspiring creative
types are pretty easily discouraged by the spectre of the "starving artist."
It doesn't have to be that way! And not enough people realize that.
So, I want to produce replicas of a renaissance Spanish vihuela. The
"Guadalupe", probably. Same dimensions, materials and constructive
procedures and an expert labour, though not so decorated(1)
with a starting price of 1800 euros (€). This is typically less than half
the price of this type of instruments nowadays. It is the policy of the
Renaissance Workshop Company, to produce also a kit with the same high
quality materials and all the time-consuming parts already done for those
who, for any reason, prefer to build the instrument by themselves. This kit
will have a price of 600 €. We will also prepare the set of documentation
(full size drawing, instruction manual and pictures of the building process)
with the standard license to be sold at about 85 €.
From our experience, we know that surviving with those prices is quite a
challenging objective. In this business all the materials of the best
quality are really scarce and expensive and come often from abroad. The
transportations and import duties are also very burdensome, if not strictly
The instrument wouldn't just be for professional musicians, either.
People who want to have a very good instrument at very affordable price can
benefit from this Renaissance Spanish Vihuela, either finished or in kit
The Renaissance Workshop Company and myself have a six-month schedule
from a successful renaissance Spanish vihuela to manufacturing.
We though to replicate the 'Guadalupe' simplifying the ornamentation and
eliminating the number or the stones, but leaving the place just in case
some want to have them added. You can decide to replicate any other vihuela
instead of the 'Guadalupe'.
Whatever your contribution is, you will be consulted to define the above
open points of the project. Your opinion and vote will be taking into
account proportionally to your contribution level.
How we are using the money
The 15,000 € we need would go towards paying all the implicated people a
fair price for their work and all the materials and producing costs of the
first five finished instruments and ten kits.
As you can see, we work with a very tight budget and can not squander
We have designed and manufactured many other instruments and kits prior
to the Renaissance Spanish Vihuela, that now form part of our permanent
catalogue. You can find those instruments and kits for sale just in this
website. I encourage you to buy them and check out how well they're made.
Hope you decide to contribute! Thanks again.
Even though this is one of the open points of this project, we envision
three levels of decoration for the finished Vihuelas priced 1800 €, 2200 €
and 2600 € respectively. This is typically less than half the price of this
type of instruments nowadays.
Spanish Lotería Nacional
The Lotería Nacional the most traditional of Spanish games is part of the
Spanish history. The Lotería celebrates 200 years in 2012, two centuries of
making thousands of dreams come true, making the hopes of millions a
reality. Every week LAE brings you a bit of luck.
LAE is the responsible for the management and marketing of
lotteries and gambling nationwide. LAE is an acronym for Loterías y Apuestas
del Estado, a state-owned company established by Royal Decree-Law 13/2010,
of 3 December, adscribed to the Ministry of Economy and Finance through the
general Directorate of State Assets, with registered address at C/ Capitán
Haya 53, 28020 Madrid and holder of Spanish Tax ID Nº A86171964.
According to the amount collected, we will buy for the same draw
different numbers. Those numbers and the amount that you play will be
communicated to you in advance.
Typically we will share the money buying different tickets finished in 0,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Due to the prize policy of the LAE, three of those numbers will
necessarily have a refund and so, the minimum 30% refund is guaranteed.
With less probability, in an ordinary draw, there are many other prizes,
being the maximum of about x40000 (40,000 times the amount paid) and much
more in extraordinary draws.