Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands

Complete lute works Pierre Phalèse


This unique publication brings together the complete lute works published by the Louvain publisher Pierre Phalèse.  The collection has an introduction and extensive critical commentary on individual pieces by Jan W.J. Burgers.



About the collected volumes

For the first time this unique collection of 3 volumes brings together the seventeen books with over 1200 lute works published by the Louvain publisher Pierre Phalèse between 1545 and c. 1575. These works, partly by anonymous authors and partly by well-known lutenists such as Francesco da Milano, Albert de Rippe and Valentin Bakfark, include all instrumental genres of this period: abstract preludes and fantasias, various dance forms such as passemezos, padoanas, galliardas, almandes, and branles, and intabulations of vernacular songs (French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch) as well as Latin motets. Some of the anonymous pieces probably stem from foreign lute books that are now lost, but the majority must have been composed by local lutenists from the Southern Netherlands.


Phalèse’s corpus of lute works offers an invaluable insight into musical life in the Netherlands during the middle decades of the sixteenth century. It shows which lute composers were known, which instrumental genres were popular and, thanks to the many intabulations of vocal polyphony, which composers were preferred. In all musical genres the influence of foreign (especially French and Italian) tastes can be traced.


All of Phalèse’s lute music is now presented for the first time in a modern critical edition. The introduction to the collection places the lute books in their historical context by focusing on aspects such as Phalèse’s role in their production, his editorial method, the contents of the books, their didactic plan and the sources that were used. In the extensive critical commentary on individual pieces, Phalèse’s versions are closely compared with the original sources.


- 3 volumes in stiched softcover binding, published as collector item

- ca. 1500 pages

- English

- Publication date: August 2023



About the editor

Jan W.J. Burgers (1953) is a historian and worked until his retirement at the Huygens Institute (Royal Academy of Sciences) and the University of Amsterdam. Besides his professional work, he has published extensively on the lute and the early Romantic guitar. Publications from his hand include monographs on the lute in the Dutch seventeenth century and on the guitarist Francesco Molino, as well as several editions of lute music by Dutch, English and German composers.



Music from the Republic - Special projects

This publication is part of the series Music from the Republic - Special projects.  Previous publications in this series include collections of lute music from Joachim van den Hove and Thysius. 

> Early registrators get a special discount price for one other lute edition published by the KVNM (€25 instead of €85-€95).