Travis Carey, Luthier
Maker of Renaissance and Baroque lutes

Six Course lutes

This lute is based on the instrument by Hans Frei, C34 in the Vienna Kunsthistorischesmuseum, the so-called "Small Frei". This lute was built in the first half of the 16th century, probably as a 6- or 7-course instrument, which was then converted to 10 courses (and subsequently 11 courses) in the 17th century. My design is a reconstruction, based on iconographic evidence, of how the lute might have appeared in its original state.

This lute has a string length of 62.5cm and tunes in g'. It has 11 ribs of curly maple, a neck, fingerboard and soundboard edge-binding of pear, pegs and bridge of plum, and fingerboard edge-binding of English boxwood. The model shown has a blunt fingerboard cut-off extending intothe upper area of the soundboard, a design feature seen in many contemporary paintings; the lute can also be made with fingerboard points. The designs of the rose and the bridge points are both based on those of the lute by Hans Gerle in the Vienna KHM.

This lute is also available in a 7- or 8-course version, or in a 10- or 11-course version that preserves most of the features of the Small Frei in its present state.



60 cm 6 course lute


This lute is my version of an early-to-mid-16th century instrument. No lutes survive intact from this period, and so the design is my own, based on the earliest known examples and on iconography from the period.

The lute has 9 ribs of birdseye maple, and a pear neck, fingerboard and pegbox. The pegs and bridge are of plum. In keeping with pictorial evidence, there are no fingerboard points; instead, the fingerboard and belly meet blunt at the body-neck joint. This model has a fingerboard edge-binding of English boxwood, and soundboard binding of pear.

The lute has a 60cm string length and tunes in g'.


wood detail 6 course rose neck and back

Travis Carey, Luthier
207-8696 Barnard Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 5G5
Phone 604-872-8522
email: tcarey@sasktel.net