There are a number of good reasons tocompare lute and bandora pieces and for lute players to explore bandora repertoire. Renaissance bandora players probably came to the instrument from playing the lute since the two instruments were part of the same musical
world. Lutes and bandoras were played together in “broken consorts,” and bandora pieces are found among the lute pieces in a number of manuscripts such as Dd.2.11, Dd.9.33and Add. 31392. By exploring the solo bandora repertoire we can learn what makes it different from the lute solo repertoire. When pieces exist only as bandora solos, with no concordant lute piece, is it possible to re-arrange them back to into lute pieces, adding to the the lute’s repertoire? When this works well, a new lute piece has been “re-discovered.” When the transcription is a bit more cumbersome we can try to figure out why. Is the different tuning between the two instruments the cause, or are there stylistic nuances that were used on music for wirestung instruments? In this article, I am exploring the details — the different ways the chords were broken, the melodies divided, and all the other nuances that surface when bandora and lute arrangements/transcriptions are compared. A closer look at the music brings up more questions — which pieces are reallysolos and what sized bandora did the composer/arranger have in mind?