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I base my Renaissance lute on an instrument by Giovanni Hieber from 1561. While the original was a 7-course lute, I have also adapted it for 8-10 courses. Generally I use 11 ribs to form the shell, however my most recent lute had 19 scalloped ribs and I find that it had a brighter tone that projected better. As a modern builder of historical instruments I think that adaptations of historical plans are acceptable as long as they are made in the spirit of the original period.