Sound clips

  1. Chip Booth
    Chip Booth
    Let's hear what you do with them!

    I'll start off with my Lawrence Smart:
    Desvairada part 1.mp3

    This is not a great recording, but it gets the basic sound across. The Smart is used to play both melody and rhythm.
  2. Eddie Sheehy
    Sarabande on a late teens 10-string Vega Cylinderback...

  3. Chip Booth
    Chip Booth
    Cool instrument Eddie. The C string seems to ring out well for a 15" scale length.
  4. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Crested Hens which I did for the Song A Week Social Group on the Paul Shippey 10 String....

  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    When I saw his thread yesterday, I decided to get my own 10-string out of the cupboard for the first time in several years -- it's a lovely instrument, but I've been struggling to think of a musical context in which it makes sense. Playing around with it on the weekend, I think I have now found the right type of music for this particular instrument: early music (medieval/renaissance) dance tunes!

    This 10-stringer is a conversion of an anonymous 1920s waldzither. As waldzithers go, this one is quite unusual: it has a much shorter scale than most at 400mm (460mm is usual) and it was built as a 10-string, not the normal nine-string. Original string configuration was 2-2-2-2-1-1, i.e. two separate bass strings tuned to different drone notes. One of the basses was fretted, the other unfretted like on a harp guitar (the nut had an extension sticking out beyond the edge of the fretboard). I replaced the nut and set it up as a five-course instrument tuned in fifths, CGDAE, i.e. a mandola/mandolin hybrid. A bit shrill on the E course (it's a .008 gauge), but it works pretty well over the whole range. I've added a photo of the waldzither to this group's photos.

    So, here are two dance tunes, "Saltarello" (no idea which one -- they seem to go by numbers, but my source doesn't have one) and "Alli In Midbar". For both of them, I decided to make use of the full range by transposing it downwards by a fifth after each repetition, i.e. playing it one string down.

    "Saltarello" is played four times through, first in its original key (G-dorian), then a fifth down in C-dorian, then another fifth down to F-dorian, and then back up to G-dorian. I wonder whether this may actually have been the way it was played anyway, as the tune seems to invite the transposition: the final note is a fifth down from the starting note, so each repetition starts at the final note of the previous one, leading naturally into each other. I'm really quite pleased with the way this works.

    "Alli In Midbar" is Spanish, I think -- I don't know anything more about it -- and as it is played on only two strings, I can do the same transposition one more time: the tune is played five times through, first in first in D-minor (Aeolian), then a fifth down in G-minor, then another fifth down to C-minor, then another fifth to F-Minor, and then back up to D-minor.

    I like this way of playing early dance tunes: the tunes are often very short, so this way one can repeat them and at the same time stop it from being monotonous by continually changing key.

    1. Saltarello:

    2. Alli In Midbar:


    PS: These clips were recorded specifically for the "10 Strings" social group. I only noticed afterwards that this is a moderated group and membership requires the moderator's approval. While waiting, I've already posted the links over in the "Medieval Mandolin" social group, where they are equally on-topic. Apologies to those who see this twice.
  6. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Martin, you have a great collection of instruments and a great repertoire.......thanks for posting.....
  7. Chip Booth
    Chip Booth
    The late John McGann's wonderful version of Shenandoah on a Smart fanned fret 10 string

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