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The Numbers of Ribs – and their Influence on the Sound

Lute bodies are put together with an uneven number of ribs. This can vary between 9 and 65. We work largely with 11 and 19 ribbed bodies.


We have observed, in disagreement with earlier assumptions, that the difference in sound between an 11 and a 19 rib instrument is that the brightness of the intrinsic tone of an instrument sinks with the increase of ribs, becoming thus more mellow. This in turn leads to an improved capacity for air resonance within the instrument which improves particularly the deeper frequencies. Players who desire an imposing bass without an increased depth of lute body are therefore well advised to take a higher number of ribs.

The especially common occurrence of higher numbers of ribs in thorough bass instruments seems to have been not only determined by questions of decorativeness or the lack of raw materials for broad ribs. These reasons may, of course, have been instrumental in the discovery in thorough bass instruments of such welcome acoustical side effects.