From a technical point of view mine Red Pistoys triy to faithfully reproduce the strings defined as "Red Pistoys" by Thomas Mace, who considers them excellent for the bass of the lute and similar to the Catlines of Bologna - that is, well committed and smooth even without sanding - but above all characterized by a beautiful dark red color, due to the use as a pigment of cinnabar, a mineral with a high specific weight.

It was Mimmo Peruffo who hypothesized that the low octaves of the sixteenth and eighteenth-century lutes, which present in the iconography a typical red color, were cords weighed down with cinnabar or minium (both pigments with a high specific weight), and that corresponded to the so-called Red Pistoys of Mace. The scholar has tried to prove his hypothesis by detecting presumably original bridges of ancient lutes, which have holes too thin for low strings in bare gut adequate.

We therefore cautiously share the hypothesis of Peruffo with respect to lutes, but we do not agree on the extension of the use of loaded basses on string instruments, in which only brown strings appear, which cannot be weighed down with cinnabar, but would seem simply be poorly sulphured cords, due to their thickness: after all, it is not clear why they should be weighed down with a different material.

In place of the Red Pistoys, for the bass of lutes (or string instruments in case you feel the need for thinner strings or a more powerful and ready to attack sound) it is suggested to use the Copper loaded strings.


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