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Thread: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi (1549-1609): Il primo libro della musica a due voci (1598)
    Bicinium No. 9

    This is the ninth out of twenty duets for non-specified instruments, published by G.G. Gastoldi in 1598, along with 12 duets by other late renaissance composers. These duets (or "bicinia") were intended as instructional material to introduce students to polyphonic music, but they are arguably more appealing and more modern sounding than many more complex renaissance pieces.

    I have used an edition by Richard Yates in treble and octave-treble clefs. The same edition is also available at IMSLP in many different combinations of clefs:

    https://imslp.org/wiki/Il_primo_libr...vanni_Giacomo)

    More editions specifically of Bicinium No. 9 are at:

    https://imslp.org/wiki/Bicinium_No.9...vanni_Giacomo)

    I have played this duet on mandolin and tenor guitar.

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia bowlback mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



    Martin

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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Well done, Martin. That one takes a lot of counting! I've played quite a few similar things from the period, always fun to do. I've never recorded a duet with myself, though, which would probably be a disaster. You did well.

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Thanks, Rob! I agree these renaissance duets are good fun -- there are quite a few of them, by different composers, but Gastoldi's are among the most satisfying. I also recorded Morley's "There Was A Lover And His Lass" recently (link).

    Counting would be a lot easier with a click track, but it makes the performance sound less spontaneous. On my recent recordings, including this one, I haven't been using any click track or other guide -- the first mandolin part as seen on the video image is played and filmed entirely free-hand from scratch. I then extract the audio and overdub the second part onto the original audio. Keeping good time is essential for that, to leave enough gaps for the second voice. You can see me nodding my head in time in the video to make sure I don't lose my place in the pulse.

    Martin

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    I got out my copy of the Robert Yates edition of these Gastoldi duets again, and have recorded Bicinium No. 10 now as well.

    Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldo (1554-1609): Il primo libro della musica a due voci (1598)
    Bininium No. 10


    Same instrumentation as for No. 9, i.e. mandolin and tenor guitar (tuned GDAE), but with the addition of a second tenor guitar playing a high G crotchet rhythmic drone. I had originally recorded that crotchet rhythm track when I ran into problems when I wanted to overdub the second voice onto my mandolin video -- both parts are so rhythmically complex, and so different from each other, that I needed something to indicate the pulse throughout the piece. The intention was to delete this track once I had successfully recorded the second duet part. However, when I listened back I prefered to have the rhythm as a drone for a bigger sound and some musical tension.

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar (x2)



    Martin
    Last edited by Martin Jonas; Oct-01-2021 at 7:10am.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Thank you, Martin.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Awesome work. I'll have to check out these duets.
    Zachary Graft
    Celtic and Christian fiddle and mandolin music
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    There goes Martin again! I just can't keep up with your postings of beautiful and interesting music.
    I looked at the version with Alto and Bass clefs; I'll try this with my K4 and a Mandola friend--she is a much better player and more fun than a click track.
    I am trying to broaden the view of what's available and "appropriate" for "classical" mandocello. My "air quotes" are not meant as sarcasm: Serious scholarly people disagree on what fits the instrument and on exactly what is meant by classical. These pieces, from the 16th Century would not be called classical by a strict musicologist (at least not the ones I worked with). But we use the term broadly to describe things that have artistic merit and are not clearly pop or commercial.
    I will thank you again (and promote your work in my CMSA MCello session) for your many contributions to the classical mandolin family.
    jim

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Duet No. 9 for mandolin & tenor guitar (G.G. Gastoldi, 1598)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    There goes Martin again! I just can't keep up with your postings of beautiful and interesting music.
    I looked at the version with Alto and Bass clefs; I'll try this with my K4 and a Mandola friend--she is a much better player and more fun than a click track.
    I am trying to broaden the view of what's available and "appropriate" for "classical" mandocello. My "air quotes" are not meant as sarcasm: Serious scholarly people disagree on what fits the instrument and on exactly what is meant by classical. These pieces, from the 16th Century would not be called classical by a strict musicologist (at least not the ones I worked with). But we use the term broadly to describe things that have artistic merit and are not clearly pop or commercial.
    I will thank you again (and promote your work in my CMSA MCello session) for your many contributions to the classical mandolin family.
    jim
    Thanks for the kind words, Jim. I've enjoyed these Gastoldi duets for quite a few years now. As far as CMSA rules about playing pieces in their original instrumentation are concerned, I don't think they apply here -- these pieces had no specified original instrumentation and were intended by the composer as practice and teaching pieces for any two instruments at the performer's choice. Mandocello and mandola are a perfectly legitimate combination.

    Two-part renaissance pieces intended for teaching are called bicinium and there are lots of them. Check IMSLP.

    Martin

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