Melos Presents: Historical Instrument Minutes

Melos Presents: Historical Instrument Minutes

The Vielle with Heather Schreiner

Melos instrumentalist Heather Schreiner discusses the “vielle”, or medieval fiddle, an ancient bowed stringed instrument appearing in medieval literature and stories. It was extremely popular with troubadours, in royal households, and even in the church. Vielles can be heard in Melos concerts accompanying other musicians. Have a look!

Video Music:

Porque ben Santa Maria, Cantiga 327, by Alfonso X El Sabio (1221-1284)

Further listening:

Ensemble PAN, Danse d’Abroz (vielle and lute):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra6AjoIXUPw&list=OLAK5uy_mwKtRUVLbTDSVzmD8Dp5KQ9Rzksp2XAz4&index=11

Ensemble PAN, J’ai mon cuer (2 vielles):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpkkYeW6HQU&list=OLAK5uy_mwKtRUVLbTDSVzmD8Dp5KQ9Rzksp2XAz4&index=8

Medieval dances played on vielle:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPKhBkLgFLk

Cantiga 100, Santa Maria Strela do Dia (Alfonso X El Sabio, 13 c), on vielle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuHgWntaEEI

Jordi Savall playing 3 pieces: (Anon) Lamento; (Anon) Saltarello; (Alfonso el Sabio) Cantiga 353, Quen a omagen da Virgen:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YocpO7R8kMo

Sources:

David Munrow: Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Ian Pittaway:  https://earlymusicmuse.com/vielle-introduction/

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vielle

Photo Sources:

Art photos:  Public Domain from Wikipedia

Instrument photos by Heather Schreiner

Melos Rehearsal photo by Elizabeth Cohoe

The Harpsichord with Jeff Hamacher

Jeff Hamacher presents the harpsichord, a keyboard instrument at the center of music making in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The discussion includes information about its mechanical functioning and sound, particularly in contrast to the piano, as well as its musical role in performances of historical repertoire.

Presenter, Video Editor, and Historical Instrument Minutes Series Producer: Jeff Hamacher

Background music: J.S. Bach, Fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier No. 21, Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major

Further Listening

J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHjbRMIIhuM

F. Couperin, Trois Leçons des Ténèbres

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LxJoPDRPak

H. Aston, Hornepype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNk-Q7u1AAA

Image Sources & Licenses

1 – A double-manual harpsichord by Ruckers 1646 (modified by Taskin 1780)

original image by Wikipedia user Gérard Janot

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpsichord#/media/File:ClavecinRuckers&Taskin.JPG

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

2 – Detail of the mechanism of the Harpsichord by Christian Zell

original image by Wikipedia user Sguastevi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpsichord#/media/File:MDMB_418,_detall_de_clavicèmbal,_Christian_Zell,_Museu_de_la_Música_de_Barcelona.jpg

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

3 – Harpsichord jack and action

original image by Wikipedia user Njohan with modifications by Wikipedia user Jeff Dahl

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpsichord#/media/File:Harpsichord_jack_action.svg

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

4 – Early piano replica by the modern builder Paul McNulty, after Walter & Sohn, 1805

Original image by Paul McNulty

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano#/media/File:FortepianoByMcNultyAfterWalter1805.jpg

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

5 – Grand piano action

Original image by Olek Remesz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_(piano)#/media/File:Fortepian_-_mechanizm_angielski.svg

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

6 – A double-manual harpsichord by Titus Crijnen in Holland, 2004

original image by Wikipedia user Aviad2001

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpsichord#/media/File:Klikli.jpg

image retrieved on 1 July 2020

Creative Commons License link

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

7 – A harpsichord and double bass perform basso continuo for a small ensemble

Original image by Wikipedia user Nahefoto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basso_continuo#/media/File:Soloquartet_and_strings.jpg

image retrieved on 13 July 2020

Public domain

Baroque bassoon with Katie Legere

Katie Legere introduces the Baroque bassoon, including a comparison of its physical structure to that of its modern counterpart, a description of its tonal qualities, a discussion of how it was used by composers of the era, and a sample from one of the bassoon’s most prolific Baroque composers.
Video producer & editor: Katie Legere
Melos Historical Instrument Minutes series producer: Jeff Hamacher
References:
Further Listening:
Boismortier – Sonata in G major for bassoon & continuo
Fasch – Sonata in C major for bassoon & continuo
Vivaldi – Concerto in E minor for cello & bassoon

 

Melos Presents: Historical Instrument Minutes

The Rebec with Heather Schreiner 

Melos’ musicians are not performing these days, but we are still practicing. And we have a whole lot of cool instruments that no one has ever seen or heard of before. This is a rebec, an ancient bowed stringed instrument seen in some beautiful Medieval and Renaissance art. It was a very popular instrument for centuries, with its nasal tone–good for both church and dances. Have a look!

Rebec recording taken from documentary soundtrack: Dry Bones – Christianity In Transition: Andrea Budgey, rebec, Sine Nomine Ensemble for Mediaeval Music. Courtesy ACTD, Holly Gwynne-Timothy.
Melos instrumentalist Heather Schreiner discusses the “rebec”, an ancient bowed stringed instrument seen in some beautiful Medieval and Renaissance art. It was a very popular instrument for centuries, with its nasal tone–good for both church and dances. Rebecs (soprano, alto and tenor) are heard in Melos concerts accompanying other musicians. Have a look!
2nd slide – photo Heather Schreiner
3rd slide, 1st photo (2 rebecs) – from Wikipedia, Picture from the Cantigas of Santa Maria. ‘Original publication: late 13th century. Immediate sourcehttp://www.christianrault.com/fr/publications/the-emergence-of-new-approaches-to-plucked-instruments-13th-15th-centuries“, Wikipedia considers it public domain as it is more than 100 yrs old
3rd slide, 2nd photo (rebec and lute) – Rebec and Lute Players depicted in Cantigas de Santa Maria / Public Domain (from website https://brewminate.com/music-of-the-middle-ages/ )
4th slide, 1st photo (angel with rebec) from Wikipedia, the citation is “Detail from “Virgin among Virgins” (1509), by Gerard David“, Wikipedia (US) considers it public domain
5th slide, dancers with rebec etc – Pinterest (from Google)-site disappeared
6th slide, last photo (Cretan lyra) – H.S.
Other good rebec youtube links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq14UTeppnY Tina Chancey demonstrating the rebec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8aihAgJQmY
   Tant es Gaya, troubadour song, played by Ernst Stolz on soprano rebec
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTy-Rpo9Ppk  Cantiga 119, played by Ernst Stolz on tenor rebec
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I92FoBnStFc&list=PL0lBrGzI5jEXScOi1mcetVajXz6OaFZpe  Cinderella film from 1922, Renaissance dance music played by Tina Chancey (renaissance violin, rebec, viol) and Brian Kay (lute)