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Thread: Carlo(s) Curti

  1. #1

    Default Carlo(s) Curti

    There are some duets written by this composer in my e-book Mandolin Duos from around 1900. Like with some other composers included in this collection, I didn't expect to find much information about him on the net.
    But Wikipedia has an article about this musiscian, who was born in south Italy in 1859 under the name of Carlo Curti and immigrated to the USA, where he helped to popularize the mandolin.
    Later, he went to Mexico, changed his first name to Carlos and lead the Orquestra Típica Mexicana, which is regarded as a predecessor of mariachi bands.
    He is best known probably for his mandolin method, which is still printed by Wolfhead Music.
    Mandoisland has some more information on this method book:
    The piece I played is a Maestoso, that's originally written as a mandolin duet, but I tried to play an approximation of the second mandolin on my guitar:

    My question: does anyone of you know his Complete Method for the Mandolin ?
    Sheet Music Plus sells it, and it seems like a good book for a slow learner like me.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Carlo(s) Curti

    For what it's worth, Curti is often credited with launching the popularity of the mandolin in North America during its "Golden Age."

  4. #3

    Default Re: Carlo(s) Curti

    It seems, no one knows his Complete Method for Mandolin. One more reason for me to order it! Yesterday it arrived at my house.
    It's spiral bound and that helps save your nerves.
    There's a short introduction on how to hold the mandolin, how to read musical notation and some basic exercises and from no.25 on, there follow a lot of duets with a quite simple pupil's voice and a quite complex teacher's voice.
    I recorded the second piece but the teacher's accompaniment was too difficult for me, so I played an aproximation of it on my guitar.

    After these duets in the first position, the upper positions are taught (up to the seventh!), ornamentation and a thing he calls "Natural Picking", that seems halfway between strict alternate picking and economy picking. But I didn't play any of these exercises, so I can't really define it.
    I think, I'm going to play some of the duets, even in the advanced section, they look quite playable. The Maestoso in my first post is also included.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Boyes Hot Springs, California

    Default Re: Carlo(s) Curti

    In my research I found out more than I bargained for. He was almost completely deaf by early 1900s and his wife blew her brains out a few years later. I’m guessing because he could no longer bring home the $$ that he earned with the “Spanish Students.” A sad conclusion but yes, he is often given credit for launching the careers of Vincent Leon and Domenico Tipaldi. I’m of the opinion that the soaring mando mania was happening all by itself regardless of his early traveling entourage.

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