pennsicdance: tuning gambas in high humidity

(John) Byron Boyd lutenist at
Mon Aug 29 22:31:42 PDT 2005

I'll try your technique during Pennsic XXXV, unless I play in similar 
conditions sooner.  My plan was to see if the strings would become saturated 
so that they would remain stable, but after increasing the tension several 
times while retuning I feared that a string might break, so I quit.  I 
remember that Master Ottavio wished me luck in keeping it in tune.  On the 
last day of the War I played it during the daytime in Merchant's Row and did 
not need to retune it.

Was Jordi Savall playing in the outdoors?  Humidity is not a significant 
problem in an air-conditioned concert hall.

Do you remember the joke?


> I successfully played my gamba at the war some years ago. After some
> experimenting, it seems that the key is to have really sticky pegs
> (generally guaranteed by the high humidity), and then to play for a
> while after tuning to see if anything plans on slipping. I saw Jordi
> Savall in concert last year, and He did the same thing. He even told a
> gamba joke in the middle of the process...
> -- Gregory 

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