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Saturday morning quotes 4.42: Economizing

February 28, 2015

In the old days before music was free, the idea of musicians generally tightening the belt and finding ways to economize brings to mind historical examples, such as this response by the late Christopher Hogwood.

Good instruments becoming more expensive and difficult to obtain, the following photo demonstrates how we used to economize in bygone days.  Of course, one has to be very good friends to get this close in the summertime, even out of doors.

Ron+Bill4blog
Since the repertory is not extremely demanding, such duet playing allows ample opportunity for discussing the latest fashion in clothing styles, metaphysical conversation, storytelling, balancing one’s checkbook, and chord substitution.
Then there is the more challenging sort of economizing.

Ron+Alex4blog

 

Rehearsing with another favorite musician “A Galliard for two to play vpon one Lute at the end of the Booke,” for a concert of music from John Dowland, A Pilgrimes Solace that also included all the lute duets attributed to Dowland – and then some.  This particular piece is not recommended for those who may be experiencing back problems.

 

Skipping the left-hand technique, we quote from Thomas Robinson, The Schoole of Musicke (London, 1603), found in his “Generall Rules.”

“…Now for your right hand, called the striking hand leane upon the bellie of the Lute with your little finger onelie, & that, neither to far from the Treble strings, neither too neere, and although you ought to lean lightlie, yet carie your hand steddilie, not sliding out of his place, also remembering, to leane lightlie upon your arme upon your Lute, for otherwise it will paine the sinewes and hinder your play.”

That’s all.

 

2 Comments
  1. dan Winheld permalink

    Wow- I hear you guys, been feeling the pain myself more & more as the years pass & I get older & broker. Not yet reduced to HAVING to play “My Lord Chamberlin’s Galliard on only one lute yet, but we’re getting there. Lute purchase days are over, just trying to keep the car running.

    I am down two lutes, and three to go. The archlute’s belly has collapsed in reverse (bulging up to the strings) and the 6 course has finally sprung a brace. Nobody in the S.F. bay area able or willing to take them on, and I’m not ready (yet? May have to!) to fix them myself. I am finding that the cheap student classical guitar I’ve owned for a few years is becoming my friend. Well, I started life with no lute, felt elated when I had one- now it’s time to go gracefully backwards; ebb and flow- impermanence, mortality, and all that. Even Raymond Fugger couldn’t take his hundreds of lutes with him.

    You haven’t seen the double-bowed instrument thing at its best until you see Tobias Hume’s duet performed by the right couple. (I did, Julie Jefferys and Peter Halifax- great show by those two wonderful people!) Like watching Shiva or four-armed, two-headed Avalokiteshvara amusing himself.

    At one point, Tobias Hume was reduced to eating snails that he caught, so impoverished had he become late in his life. It’s never been easy for artists.

  2. Clare Fewtrell permalink

    I’d love to hear the Dowland; it that Alex Rakov?

    I hope the new job is going well Donna. It was lovely seeing – and hearing – you both in Anabel Taylor Chapel.

    Very best wishes Clare

    Ron or Donna posted: “In the old days before music was free, the idea of musicians generally tightening the belt and finding ways to economize brings to mind historical examples, such as this response by the late Christopher Hogwood. Good instruments becoming more expensive”

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