Developing in the early 17th century, the theorbo became one of the most common continuo instrument in Europe. Known in Italy as the chittarone this large 14-course bass lute had an extend neck and was often made with multi-ribbed backs and soundboards carved with triple rosettes. Tuned in a re-entrant style, the theorbo offered new tonal possibilities for a diverse range of composers including Caccini, Kapsberger and De Visee. With its extended string lengths and grand form, a theorbo is essential for the early operas of Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Handel. I make several models after historic examples by noted makers including Tieffenpruchar and Buchenberg with stopped string lengths that range from 76 cm to 94 cm.