The salterio was a highly popular instrument among Italian and Spanish aristocrats in the 18th century. In many cases it was the dukes, counts and countesses, priests, nuns and cardinals themselves, who took delight in playing this little trapezoid, gilded, beautifully ornamented instrument. The original salterio repertoire encompasses all genres of the time. It was played in the church, in the theater and in the private pallazzi of the noblemen. We know of its existence trough the scores, which are all preserved in manuscripts, and the original instruments that and can be found in museums and private collections throughout Europe.
A salterio solo concert is possibly the best way to make first acquaintance with this instrument. An extraordinary feature of the instruments is the application of two completely different playing techniques, which offer a huge variety of sound colors. In a solo concert, the listener can clearly follow all these nuances of sound, which are produced by different sticks, fingers, and plectra. Between the pieces, I will give insights to the history of the salterio and it’s current state of research.