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Giovanni Paolo Foscarini (c.1600-c.1650)

The guitar as an accompanying instrument was extremely successful for several decades in seventeenth century Italy. The instrument could easily provide both harmony and rhythm, the mostly simple bass lines could be quickly incorporated into the pieces’ chordal framework and it was very well suited to the rapid changing of harmonies and had a strong sound. Around 1630 Giovanni Paolo Foscarini brought in an important innovation, incorporating an element of lute-playing into guitar music, the strummed pizzicato style. The so-called battuto-pizzicato style was to leave its imprint on all music for baroque guitar up to and including the time of the French School.


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