Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Christopher Berg


Johannes Kapsberger (1580-1651) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque era. Known for his compositions for the lute, and chitarrone, Kapsberger was a talented composer who worked for great patrons like Francesco Barberini and Pope Urban VIII. Kapsberger published his only surviving lute works in 1611, which contained eight lute toccatas, twelve galliards and twelve courantes. Music produced for the lute during the renaissance and baroque eras are products of their time. Published lute music was written in tablature and relied heavily on the performance practices of its day. Today, trained lutenists have the skills and knowledge needed to recreate this music, but because these works were written in Italian lute tablature and rely on performance practices, most modern classical guitarists do not have wide access to this era of their musical heritage. Today’s musician relies on the precision and detail provided by modern notation. This document transcribes and arranges Kapsberger’s eight surviving lute toccatas into modern notation while giving insight into interpretation and performance practices of Kapsberger’s era. This brings Kapsberger’s music into the modern era and provides present-day classical guitarists access to these essential works while laying necessary groundwork for future Kapsberger scholarship.


© 2019, Brett Edwin Floyd