JulianBreamGuitar.com

Thomas Goff lute 1951 - additional pictures

Thomas Goff lute 1951 - with original treble rider and base rider added later.

Thomas Goff appears to have built at least four lutes for Julian Bream.

Thomas Goff 1951 - Lute No. 1 - 7-courses  (modern copy of a 16th-century seven-course lute)

  • Finished in 1951 by Thomas Goff from London England with assistant J.C. Cobby.*BC *LN
  • This lute appears to be primarily built of maple wood for the ribs, mahogany neck and pegbox.*BC
  • The front is a fine-grained spruce and a gilded pearwood rose soundhole.*BC  Bridge is a guitar style saddle. *LN
  • Pegbox: originally designed pegbox with a flared end and a central spine to take short violin or viola-length pegs.*LN
  • Pegs: 12 tuning pegs with the highest string on a rider.*LN Bears the brass monogram of 'JAB' *BC
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: 14 frets total -nine metal 'T' shape (similar to guitars) and five wooden frets glued on the body.*BC
  • Fingerboard: 
  • Course: 7-courses -lowest 5 courses are doubled and the highest two are single strings.
  • String length: not known. Weight - not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning DD-GG-CC-FF-AA-D-G?????
  • Julian describes this lute as his favourite Goff lute.

-Lute used for the recording of The Golden Age Singers' album Dowland: Ayres for Four Voices, Vol. 2  in 1954/1956.

-Lute used for the recording of the album Elizabethan Lute Songs: vol. 1 of An Anthology of English Song in 1955

-Lute used for the recording of the album Julian Bream Plays Dowland recorded in 1956

-Lute used for the recording of the Alfred Deller's album Monteverdi Il Ballo Delle Ingrate recorded in 1957

-Lute used for the recording of the album A Recital of Lute Songs recorded in 1958


*** By 1957 - 58, Thomas Goff adds a second rider to this lute for the lowest string turning it into an 8-course lute


-Lute used for the recording of the album The Golden Age of English Lute Music recorded in 1960
-Lute used for the recording of the album An Evening of Elizabethan Music recorded in 1962
-Lute used for the recording of the album Rodrigo, Vivaldi, Britten recorded in 1963 (selection 4-13)
-Lute used for the recording of the album Julian Bream in Concert recorded in April 1963
-Lute used for the recording of the album Lute Music from the Royal Courts of Europe recorded in April-May 1966
-Lute used for the recording of the album Dances of Dowland recorded in 1967
-Lute used for the recording of the album Sonatas for Lute and Harpsichord recorded in 1969

Thomas Goff lute 1951 - with treble rider

Julian Bream with the Anton Smith lute.

Sources of information on all Goff lutes:

Julian Bream: The Foundations of a Musical Career by Stewart W. Button

A Life on the Road by Tony Palmer and Julian Bream

The Art of Julian Bream by Graham Wade

Brian Cohen's website

Bream's Lutes a tentative chronology by David van Edwards, Lute News No. 135, Oct 2020

David Rubio 1967 Lute No. 118 - 8 courses  (copy of 17th-century lute with eight courses and 14 strings)

  • Constructed by David Rubio in 1967 while still in New York.
  • The lowest six courses are doubled and the highest two are single strings.
  • Woods: primarily built of maple wood for the ribs, ebony veneered neck and pegbox.
  • Top: fine-grained spruce and a rose soundhole.  Bridge is historical-not guitar style saddle preferred by Bream.
  • Pegbox: designed pegbox is historical in appearance.
  • Pegs: more historical in appearance
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: eight nickel silver frets (similar to guitars) and six wooden frets glued on the body.
  • Fingerboard: 
  • Course: eight-courses
  • String length: not known. Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning
  • This lute does not appear to have left the shop with Bream. He requested a different bridge- a bone saddle bridge.
  • Rubio decided to just make Bream a new lute than to risk damaging the top when changing the bridge.
  • This lute was then sold soon afterwards to Michael Jaffee of the Waverly Consort.
  • This lute is currently in a private collection.

Julian Bream on lutes (taken from Frets magazine 1981):


The stringing and tuning setup of lutes underwent considerable change during the lute's reign of nearly 300 years as the favourite parlour instrument in Europe. Bream decided on his setup primarily because it enabled him to play a breadth of different styles of lute music. He explains: "In England, the eight- and the nine-course lute became quite fashionable towards the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century. The classical lute - the lute of the high Renaissance that Milano used - was a six-course instrument. A seventh course, originally the low D, was added; but so much music, particularly continental lute music, requires the F on the seventh coarse. So I find that the seventh-course F and the eighth- course D, the instrument serves the needs of a broad range of lute music quite well."


"I would have liked to have a ninth-course. That was the lute Dowland used in the early seventeenth century. I think that would be ideal. Some people advocate ten courses, because for some of the English pieces, and indeed, the French pieces, you need a low C. But then I think the instrument gets a little cumbersome. Not cumbersome to play, necessarily; but the top strings pick up a lot of resonances and overtones from the bottom strings, and the treble tends to suffer against all those bass strings".


Strings for lutes:
He basically uses a mixture but they are mainly La Bella strings. 


Thomas Goff Lutes

Thomas Goff - Thirteen-course theorbo [sic. Goff’s description] ‘German’ baroque lute.

  • Date unknown - Thomas Goff from London England with assistant J.C. Cobby.*BC *LN
  • This lute appears to be primarily built of maple wood for the ribs, mahogany neck and pegbox.*BC
  • The front is a fine-grained spruce and a gilded pearwood rose soundhole.*BC  Bridge is a guitar style saddle. *LN
  • Pegbox: originally designed pegbox with a flared end and a central spine to take short violin or viola-length pegs.*LN
  • Pegs: All courses housed in single reflex pegbox.*BC bearing the monogram of 'JAB' *BC
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: 14 frets total - nine metal 'T' shape (similar to guitars) and five wooden frets glued on the body.*BC
  • Fingerboard:
  • Course: thirteen-courses
  • String length: not known. Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning
  • This lute was never used on any Julian Bream recordings. Unknown if Bream ever performed with it in public. 

Anton Smith Lutes

Sources of information on all Rubio lutes.:
-A Life on the Road by Tony Palmer and Julian Bream
-The Art of Julian Bream by Graham Wade
-"The English Gentleman Luthier, David Rubio: An Identity Born in the USA" by James Westbrook, Journal of the America Musical Instrument
Society Vol. XLV 2019.
-Webmaster's numerous communications with Dr James Westbrook.
-Bream's lutes, a tentative chronology by David van Edwards, Lute News No. 135, Oct 202o

Luc Breton Lutes

David Rubio lute 1967 No. 127- additional pictures

Anton Smith 197_ Lute No. __- 8 courses  (copy of 17th-century lute with eight courses and 14 strings)

  • Constructed by David Rubio in 1967 - had just moved to Semley, Wiltshire
  • Woods: primarily built of maple wood for the nine ribs, ebony veneered neck and pegbox.
  • Top: fine-grained pine and a pierce and carved rose - more historical in appearance.
  • Bridge: ebony with bone saddle
  • Pegbox: designed ebony pegbox with single rider for highest coarse.
  • Pegs: ebony lute pegs.
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: seven nickel silver frets (similar to guitars) and five wooden frets glued on the body.
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Course: eight-courses -the lowest six courses are doubled and the highest two are single strings.
  • Length: body 19 7/8 inches (50.5cm)?
  • Scale length: 26 1/16 (66.3cm)?
  • Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning DD-FF-GG-CC-FF-AA-D-G????


*This lute appears in the front and back cover but apparently not on the recording of the album The Wood So Wild recorded in June 30 & July 1,2 1972.

Thomas Goff lute 1951 - with both riders base rider.

David Rubio 1967 Lute No. 127 - 8 courses  (copy of 17th-century lute with eight courses and 14 strings)

  • Constructed by David Rubio in 1967 - had just moved to Semley, Wiltshire
  • Woods: primarily built of maple wood for the nine ribs, ebony veneered neck and pegbox.
  • Top: fine-grained pine and a pierce and carved rose comprising of fleur-de-lys, floral and geometric motifs.
  • Bridge: ebony with bone saddle
  • Pegbox: designed ebony pegbox with single rider for highest coarse.
  • Pegs: ebony lute pegs.
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: eight nickel silver frets (similar to guitars) and six wooden frets glued on the body.
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Course: eight-courses -the lowest six courses are doubled and the highest two are single strings.
  • Length: body 19 7/8 inches (50.5cm).
  • Scale length: 26 1/16 (66.3cm).
  • Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning DD-FF-GG-CC-FF-AA-D-G????
  • This lute was sold at Sotheby's, London, in December 1991.
  • This lute appears to have been made with the same wood that was used for the top on the No. 118 lute above.
  • As of 2003 update, this lute was appraised at $20,000 R..E. Brune. Shrammguitars.com


-Lute used for the recording of the album Elizabethan Lute Songs (with tenor Peter Pears) recorded in April 1969.
-Lute used for the recording of the album The Wood So Wild recorded in June 30 & July 1,2 1972.
-Lute used for the recording of the album Concertos for Lute and Orchestra recorded in June 3, 1975.

-Lute used for the recording o  the album Lute Music of John Dowland recorded in April 23-25, 28, 29, 1976.

-This lute used in a television programme



David Rubio 1968  Lute  - 8 courses  (copy of 17th-century lute with eight courses and 14 strings)

  • Constructed by David Rubio in 1967 - had just moved to Semley, Wiltshire
  • Woods: primarily built of maple wood for the nine ribs, ebony veneered neck and pegbox.
  • Top: fine-grained pine and a pierce and carved rose comprising of fleur-de-lys, floral and geometric motifs.
  • Bridge: ebony with bone saddle
  • Pegbox: designed ebony pegbox with single rider for highest coarse.
  • Pegs: ebony lute pegs.
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: nine nickel silver frets (similar to guitars) and six wooden frets glued on the body.
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • Course: eight-courses -the lowest six courses are doubled and the highest two are single strings.
  • Length: body 19 7/8 inches (50.5cm).
  • Scale length: 26 1/16 (66.3cm).
  • Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning DD-FF-GG-CC-FF-AA-D-G????


-Lute used for the recording of the album Music of Spain, vol. 1 - Plays Milán & Narváez recorded in 1979

(the lute on the album cover is not the 1968 Rubio lute used for the recording. The picture is of a younger Bream with the Thomas Goff lute).

Luc Breton built three lutes for Julian Bream


Luc Breton 1984 - Lute No. 1 - Peartree Lute - 10-courses  (modern copy of a 17th-century 10-course lute)

  • Finished on the 17th of August 1984 by Luc Breton of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • This lute is primarily built of pear tree wood, ebony veneered neck and pear pegbox.
  • The front is un-polished Spruce with an intricate carved rose soundhole.
  • Tuners: proportioned peg-box and peg-box extension with 19 tuning pegs.
  • Neck width 83cm at the nut. Eight gut frets and four further ones set into the spruce table.
  • The fingerboard is in line with the soundboard (true of all historical instruments).
  • The lowest nine courses are doubled and the highest one is a single string.
  • String length 63,3 cm and weighing less than one kilogram (average weight of most historical instruments).
  • Tuning for this lute, as per Mr Breton, is g', d'd', a'a', ff, cc, gg, Ff, Ee, Dd, Cc (from high to low)
  • No known recordings were made with this lute.
  • This lute was returned to the builder once the Lute No. 3 was presented to Julian Bream.


Luc Breton 1985  - Lute No. 2 - Cherrytree Lute - 10-courses  (modern copy of a 17th-century 10-course lute)

  • Finished on the 25th of July 1985 by Luc Breton of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • This lute is primarily built of cherry tree wood, ebony veneered neck and pear peg-box.
  • The front is un-polished Spruce with an intricate carved rose soundhole.
  • Tuners: proportioned peg-box and peg-box extension with 19 tuning pegs.
  • Neck width 83cm at the nut. Eight gut frets and four further ones set into the spruce table.
  • The fingerboard is in line with the soundboard (true of all historical instruments).
  • The lowest nine courses are doubled and the highest one is a single string.
  • String length 63,3 cm and weighing less than one kilogram (average weight of most historical instruments).
  • This lute had a larger shell.
  • Tuning for this lute, as per Mr Breton, is g', d'd', a'a', ff, cc, gg, Ff, Ee, Dd, Cc (from high to low)


This lute used for the recording of the album Fantasies, Ayres and Dances recorded in September 2-4, 1987.

This lute used for the recording of the album Two Loves recorded in April 22 and September 20-22, 1988.

This lute used in a television programme where he appeared with the Julian Bream Consort 1987 to support the album

   release Fantasies, Ayres and Dances (youtube link).

This lute used in the television programme 'Two Loves" with Peggy Ashcroft to support the album release Two Loves   

    (youtube link - the Ashcroft segments were edited out in this video). 1987-88 video.

This lute was used on many solo performances as well as performances with The Julian Bream Consort.

Like many other instruments in the Julian Bream collection, this lute was sold through Kent Guitar Classics in 2008.



Luc Breton 1990 - Lute No. 3 - Cherrytree Lute - 10-courses  (modern copy of a 17th-century 10-course lute)

  • Finished on the 24th of May 1990 by Luc Breton of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • This lute is primarily built of cherry tree wood, ebony veneered neck and pear pegbox.
  • The front is un-polished Spruce with an intricate carved rose soundhole (different than the carved rose on the 1985 lute).
  • Tuners: proportioned peg-box and peg-box extension with 19 tuning pegs.
  • Neck width 83cm at the nut. Eight gut frets and four further ones set into the spruce table.
  • The fingerboard is in line with the soundboard (true of all historical instruments).
  • The lowest nine courses are doubled and the highest one is a single string.
  • String length 63,3 cm and weighing less than one kilogram (average weight of most historical instruments).
  • This lute has a smaller shell (Julian Bream preferred the smaller sized pear-shaped shell.
  • Tuning for this lute, as per Mr Breton, is g', d'd', a'a', ff, cc, gg, Ff, Ee, Dd, Cc (from high to low).
  • No known recordings were made with this lute.
  • Like many other instruments in the Julian Bream collection, this lute was sold through Kent Guitar Classics.


***The information for the three Breton lutes has been verified by Luc Breton.


Luc Breton has built over 300 lutes of all kinds (renaissance and baroque lutes as well as theorboes). He is also a builder of classical guitars, Baroque guitars, viols, violins, cellos as well as hundreds of bows for any kind of bowed instruments.

Additional picture of the lutes above

Thomas Goff 1960 - Lute No. 2 -  8-courses  (modern copy of a 16th-century seven-course lute)

  • Finished in 1960 by Thomas Goff from London England with assistant J.C. Cobby.*BC *LN
  • This lute appears to be primarily built of maple wood for the ribs, mahogany neck and pegbox.*BC
  • The front is a fine-grained spruce and a gilded pearwood rose soundhole.*BC  Bridge is a guitar style saddle. *LN
  • Pegbox: originally designed pegbox with a flared end and a central spine to take short violin or viola-length pegs.*LN
  • Pegs: 14 tuning pegs with the highest and lowest string on a rider.*LN Bears the monogram of 'JAB' *BC
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: 14 frets total - nine metal 'T' shape (similar to guitars) and five wooden frets glued on the body.*BC
  • Fingerboard:
  • Course: 8-course - lowest 6 courses are doubled and the highest two are single string.
  • String length: not known. Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning DD-GG-CC-FF-AA-D-G?????
  • Thomas Goff stated that this was Julian's least favourite Goff lute.

David Rubio lute 1968 ???

Lutes:

Lutes owned by Julian Bream while a professional lutenist.

Anton Smith lute

David Rubio Lutes

Luc Breton lute No. 2 - additional pictures

Thomas Goff  - Lute No. 3 -  Thirteen-course baroque lute.  (modern copy of a baroque lute)

  • Date unknown - Thomas Goff from London England with assistant J.C. Cobby.*BC *LN
  • This lute appears to be primarily built of maple wood for the ribs, mahogany neck and pegbox.*BC
  • The front is a fine-grained spruce and a gilded pearwood rose soundhole.*BC  Bridge is a guitar style saddle. *LN
  • Pegbox: originally designed pegbox with a flared end and a central spine to take short violin or viola-length pegs.*LN
  • Pegs: Extended neck/pegboxes in the manner of Hoffman.*BC Bears the monogram of 'JAB' *BC
  • Neck and body: dimensions not known.
  • Frets: 14 frets total - nine metal 'T' shape (similar to guitars) and five wooden frets glued on the body.*BC
  • Fingerboard: 
  • Course: thirteen-courses
  • String length: not known. Weight: not known (significantly more than a historical instrument).
  • Tuning for this lute is .... from low to high tuning
  • This lute was never used on any Julian Bream recordings. Unknown if Bream ever performed with it in public.