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Thread: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

  1. #51
    Registered User zoukboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Eugene @ Mar. 07 2008, 03:49)
    However, there's nothing in it (at least in listening to the melodies), all in single monophonic lines, that I can detect that would imply any one tuning or instrument over any other. That anybody could speculate the author could roll into a gig, scratch these tunes down, and expect whatever musicians were on hand to play along is again a demonstration of the very point I was trying to make.
    My bad - I should have copied this from jk245 to show what I was replying to:

    Quote Originally Posted by (jk245 @ Mar. 06 2008, 17:43)
    One thought about the way that 14th century music was passed from player to player without benefit of printed music. It is unlikely that itinerant players could either obtain or read printed notation. What occurred was like one person whispering a 'secret' from one person to the next and then having the last in the line repeat the fractured ode. By the time the originators of the tune started in southern Italy and ended in the north who knows what the result was.
    Quote Originally Posted by (Eugene @ Mar. 07 2008, 03:49)
    Peripheral, but I have read that the manuscript is from northern Italy, not Sicily.
    Yes, of course. It is thought to have been from Umbria or Tuscany - late 14th C.



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  2. #52

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    Of course. Carry on...and enjoy!

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by (zoukboy @ Mar. 07 2008, 12:02)
    It is thought to have been from Umbria or Tuscany - late 14th C.
    ... a land blessed with a unique musical heritage and many fine, fine, really very, very fine amateur musicians.

  4. #54
    Registered User zoukboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (billkilpatrick @ Mar. 08 2008, 11:02)
    Quote Originally Posted by (zoukboy @ Mar. 07 2008, 12:02)
    It is thought to have been from Umbria or Tuscany - late 14th C.
    ... a land blessed with a unique musical heritage and many fine, fine, really very, very fine amateur musicians.
    Which? or both? Don't you live there, Bill?
    Roger Landes
    http://rogerlandes.com
    The Hal Leonard Irish Bouzouki Method:
    http://www.halleonard.com/product/vi...?itemid=696348
    "House to House" with Randal Bays
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bayslandes
    "The Janissary Stomp" with Chipper Thompson
    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rogerchipper

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by (zoukboy @ Mar. 08 2008, 14:11)
    Don't you live there, Bill?
    eh-yep' ...

  6. #56
    Love My Eastman MD305 gregorx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Dead link.
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  7. #57
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    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Dead link.
    Eastman MD305 mandolin
    Epiphone Special ll electric
    Jay Jr. Dreadnought, cutaway, electric/accoustic

  8. #58

    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Quote Originally Posted by gregorx View Post
    Dead link.
    well, it is 11 years old or more, can't tell which link you are referencing.
    Play it like you mean it.

  9. #59

    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Just to add information to justify the necrobump, the mandore (ancestor of the mandolin/mandola) was often tuned DADA, as shown in the Skene Manuscript.

    There are many interesting writings regarding the advantages of open tunings which are leveraged to great effect on fretted instruments in older musics, and on the color schemes used on fretboards to enable playing diatonic scales on a chromatically fretted neck.

    I'm a little skeptical that there was no way of notating music *and* tuning intervals at the time of European medieval music. Paper was available, *and* cheap. (Books on parchment were acceptable as collateral for loans, while paper was only used for tutors and other cheap books.) We have surviving examples of a few things, including of the aforementioned manuscript written by one musician for others for a wedding. Is it really likely that one example came out of the void, without a supporting musical culture?

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Regarding the "authenticity" of historically informed performance, it is true that we don't know exactly what things sounded like a couple hundred to a thousand years ago. So any claim to "this way is correct" is open to argument--and I have seen musicologists throw their arms up and walk out of the room over such discussions.
    BUT...
    Where some people go wrong is to say anything goes, to play Bach like it's Rachmaninov or sing Renaissance a cappella with a huge vibrato. You can do that if it makes you feel good, but it disrespects the music and the work of scholars who studied it. We do have some records--written or notated--that offer valuable information on how things were done different times in different places. And we know those sources (Zarlino, Fux, Quantz et al.) did not always agree. But we have enough information to have general guidelines and to know that some practices were not employed until the 19th century. I performed a Medieval Yule Feast with 6th graders, using music from the 12th to 14th Centuries (Really early Renaissance I guess). So I know about bending the rules of historical performance. But we pronounced the English and French in period style, we dressed in makeshift costumes, and we even had some recipies from a medieval cook book. Much of the music was modal, with Landini cadences, drones, and parallelisms.We had local musicians playing recorder, viola da gamba, krumhorn, and virginal. Most of all we had the spirit and energy of the music, without souping it up with piano and lush harmonies.
    I respect and appreciate any well-informed attempt to perform old music with the sound and style of the period.

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  12. #61

    Default Re: Changing the tuning for medieval sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Just to add information to justify the necrobump, the mandore (ancestor of the mandolin/mandola) was often tuned DADA, as shown in the Skene Manuscript.

    There are many interesting writings regarding the advantages of open tunings which are leveraged to great effect on fretted instruments in older musics, and on the color schemes used on fretboards to enable playing diatonic scales on a chromatically fretted neck.

    I'm a little skeptical that there was no way of notating music *and* tuning intervals at the time of European medieval music. Paper was available, *and* cheap. (Books on parchment were acceptable as collateral for loans, while paper was only used for tutors and other cheap books.) We have surviving examples of a few things, including of the aforementioned manuscript written by one musician for others for a wedding. Is it really likely that one example came out of the void, without a supporting musical culture?
    I think this little article is a good illustration of the kind of questions that can arise when trying to determine medieval tuning schemes: https://earlymusicmuse.com/lifting-t...on-the-vielle/.

    Yes, there is a fair amount of medieval music notated, but it almost never specified instrument. Prescribing instrumentation (especially for solos) was a byproduct of renaissance music making. Tablature came to be widespread in the renaissance, and that, of course, absolutely requires a standardized approach to tuning (or at least to tuning intervals).

    The Skene manuscript, e.g., was 17th c. and arose in a place still steeped in a late-renaissance aesthetic at that thime. An aside: 4th-tuned mandolins had already come into being in Italian places crafting an early-baroque aesthetic.

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