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Playing Since: 2009

Experience Level: Expert/Professional

Tom Berghan has made 119 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

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Occupation: Engineer & Musician

Gender: Male

Age: 64

My Instruments:
1) Gibson RB-250 tube & plate flange, early 70s
2) Banjo d'Amore (Orpheus) - Dan Knowles, 2011
3) 1929 Gibson TB-2, four string
4) 5-string Buck Creek - Arthur Hatfield, 2012
5) Gold Tone Fretless Bass Banjo BB-400 Custom, bass tuning EADG, 2010
6) Minstrel "early" banjo, after Joe Sweeney, by James Hartel, 2016
7) 2014 Mini-Banjo (Soprano 5 string) by Marvin Walker,

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
In general I like the "old stuff" and older styles. I admire many of today's younger "progressive" artists, most notably Rhiannon Giddens, but I have always enjoyed collecting records from the 1920s through to the early 1960s. That fifty year period of American music is my favorite: Bluegrass, Old Time, Blues, Hokum, Rags, Swing, Hillbilly, Country, & Rockabilly. That's for me!

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Visible to: Public
Created 6/23/2009
Last Visit 6/23/2017


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Ciaccona, played on the tiorba

Posted by Tom Berghan

9 people like this

Play count: 366
Size: 3,200kb, uploaded 1/4/2010 10:40:53 PM
Genre: Other / Playing Style: Other

Tom Berghan The tiorba is a very old and obscure Italian instrument in the lute family. It has 14 single strings made of gut. It was popular in the 17th century. Like a banjo, the tiorba has a reentrant tuning, and I think it has a sonority somewhat similar to an open back banjo. The piece is a dance called a Ciaccona. It was composed by a famous tiorba player named Johannes Kapsberger. His name is German but he lived and worked in Italy. There is a photo of my tiorba on my home page (Also known as theorbe, or theorbo)

11 comments on “Ciaccona, played on the tiorba”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 @7:39:41 AM

We ,liked this
BrittDLD1 Says:
Thursday, January 21, 2010 @7:52:38 AM

Hrmmph... mutter, mutter, mutter....
Needa find someone to break dis guy's fingas..
mutter, mutter.... He's tooo good.

Frailblazer Says:
Thursday, March 11, 2010 @10:39:06 AM

Beautifully played. I don't know if you've heard of the archguitar or not. Check out Peter Blanchette I think you'll enjoy his music and specifically the instrument he plays.

- Ric
Tom Berghan Says:
Thursday, March 11, 2010 @12:22:24 PM

Thanks Ric! I enjoyed looking at Peter's site. There are several instruments in the world that go under the name "Arch Guitar," but they all have lots of strings! And, I am from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest where the "Harp Guitar" was invented by Knutsen over a hundered years ago . . . and here in the Northwest the Harp Guitar has made a small comeback. If it has strings (few or many), a fingerboard, and is plucked with the fingers in some manner (up or down), then I love it!
Thanks again,

PS . . . you can find more of my lute and theorbo recordings at
(all free)
jbalch Says:
Thursday, March 11, 2010 @5:03:46 PM

MAGNIFICENT! WOW...Thanks for posting it!
brokenstrings Says:
Thursday, March 11, 2010 @8:33:43 PM

Very beautiful. Tiorba, not theorbo?
Tom Berghan Says:
Friday, March 12, 2010 @4:11:07 PM

Hi Jessica, "A rose by any other name smells just as sweet"
Tiorba is Italian. Theorbe is French, Theorbo is German. Take your pick! ;-)

Today most people in America do tend call it by its German name. But I tend to favor the Italian and French music myself. This piece is Italian, so I called the instrument by its Italian name. And my instrument is constructed in the Italian fashion.
jimh269b Says:
Monday, June 7, 2010 @5:31:12 PM

i think you could make music on a grapevine tom,just great
Dan Knowles Says:
Friday, January 21, 2011 @5:49:09 PM

Thanks for reminding to look here... this is so very nice!
DEmery Says:
Friday, January 21, 2011 @6:04:33 PM

Absolutely beautiful Tom. David E.
mwc9725e Says:
Saturday, May 14, 2011 @8:15:07 AM

A lovely piece, and a lovely-sounding instrument played extremely well. Sounds much like a classical guitar to me.

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