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Thread: Historical mandolins and cultural preferences

  1. #51
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    Hi Eugene and Alex,

    That the Viennese took to six-course "guitars" quickly is perhaps not surprising... since (as both of you point out), there was a strong germanic (and Italian!?) tradition for playing mandoras tuned to six-course guitar-like intervals and pitches going back into the early 18th century, and perhaps beyond... I will... for the present... reluctantly restrain myself in the interest of keeping this thread on topic. :-)

    Let me just say that I am beyond thrilled to be having these fascinating conversations with all of you from our various corners of the globe.

    All the best,

    Eric
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Let me just say that I am beyond thrilled to be having these fascinating conversations with all of you from our various corners of the globe.
    Me too! I don't get anything like this at home (save on the rare occasions I find an excuse to visit Mr. Ophee). One day we must all convene for a pint of smooth stout.

    PS: I see a message to Dartmouth's lute list has just been rolled right down your mandora alley, Eric.

  3. #53
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    Since you are both ´on line´ I´d like to say: me too!

    I enjoy this very much and although I like to keep the topic as close to it´s title, am preparing a responce to Eugene latest (guitar) message and, if you like I can see if I have some more details on the Mandora in Vienna, for you Eric.

    I hope Richard finds some time to react on the latest developments here.

    Best and stay sharp!


    Alex




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    Thanks Alex, that would be great.

    If (as Tyler asserts), the mandora is the "liuto" found in the Guiliani and Hoffmann quartets, then it is certainly relevant to understanding late 18th-century Viennese cultural preferences. Interestingly, those similar quartets (again, according to Tyler) seem to imply both Milanese (Hoffmann) and Cremonese (Guiliani) tunings. Given the similarities in the instrumentation of these works, I wonder if we might further anticipate a similar "sound" for the mandolin?

    That's not too far off-topic, right?... :-) We can always start a new thread if needed.

    Eric
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

  5. #55
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    No, as far as I am concerned, that´s very much ´in line´ with the topic here.

    Alex

  6. #56
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    Hello Eugene, Richard, Eric and others,


    To be able to get some insight into the confusing subject on the development of plucked instruments, I´d like to go a bit more into the early guitar subject since it also touches on the history of the mandolin outside Italy.

    I put the essay together with parts that are taken from previous writings which I did for several music magazines (such as the periodical of Dutch Lute society) and lectures that I gave at Music Academies and music courses. It is also #updated with material that I thought would be of interest here at our topic.

    It is also a good start for my promise to Victor to write #on the subject of history of the German mandolin.

    I hope you´ll all have a nice time reading it.


    Greetings,

    Alex.





    # # # # # # # # # # # # # # EARLY GUITARS AND MANDOLINS
    # # # # #
    # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # in France, Germany and Austria
    # # # # # # # # #

    # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #written by Alex Timmerman ©

    # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #24th of December 2003



    Part I.




    Guitar developments...

    To begin with I´d like to quote Eugene in his last message: #“Tyler & Sparks (2002) write that J.A. Otto, a luthier in Weimar, believed he had invented the 6-string guitar some time after 1788. #Of course, there were already 6-string guitars in Italy before then” and “Even more interesting, Otto wrote that the guitar was introduced to Germany as a 5-string instrument”.

    As learned from written sources this was the case in Austria (Vienna) and more important because of it´s early appearance in France (Paris), where about 11 years earlier we can find evidence that the five-string guitar was known.
    Paris was also the town where several tutors written for the 5-string guitar were published of which the most important are the ´Nouvelle méthode de la guitarre ou lyre´ (published in Paris around 1790) written by Guillaume Pierre Antoine Gatayes (1774-1846) and the ones by Pierre Francois Olivier Aubert´s #(1763-1830) and Antoine Marcel Lemoine (1763-1817).

    The sixth string was mentioned by Gatayes first, but it was in connection with the Lyra guitar, while the other authors Lemoine and Aubert (´Nouvelle méthode pour la lyre ou guitare à cinq et six cordes´ (±1800), deal with both the five- and six-string guitar. That in France the adding of the sixth string took place in just a decade is best illustrated when the year of publication of a method and it´s reprints, are compared.

    Especially in Lemoine´s case this can be seen very clearly: the 1st #edition, the ´Nouvelle méthode courte et facile pour la guithare´, was written exclusively for the five-string guitar and published around 1795; the 2nd for ´Guitare et Lyre´ was published in 1801-2 and is in fact a copy of the first edition, but enlarged with a chapter on the six-string lyra guitar; in Lemoine´s third published method (1808) he describes the six string possibility only and without a specific distinction between the guitar and the lyre guitar.


    The mentioning of the Antoine de L'Hoyer (1768-1852), as a performer on the 5-string guitar in his early career as a guitarist, is therefore certainly well at it´s place here. Especially since he was a Frenchman of origin and after leaving (fleeing) his homeland in 1791 for Coblenz, he lived for longer periods in Hamburg and St. Petersburg (here he stayed - according to M. Ophee´s prefaces in the editions of L´Hoyer´s re-published music - from ±1803 to 1812). L´Hoyer finally returned to France again, where he died in Paris.

    Often to much attention is given to the violin- and guitar maker Jakob Augustus Otto (1760-1829/30) declaring himself as the “inventor” or that he “claimed” that he was the first to do so.

    Even Tyler & Sparks (2002) speak about (quote): “Unfamiliar with what was happening elsewhere in Europe led a violin maker from Weimar, Jacob Augustus Otto, to claim erroneously that he was the first luthier to add a sixth string to the guitar (at some point after 1788”).

    In fact, when is read more carefully what J. A. Otto himself writes about this matter - in a separate chapter - in his treatise: ´Über den Bau der Bogeninstrumente...´ (Weimar, 1828), we find out that he gave credit to someone else and that he only makes us aware of a ´small improvement´ by himself concerning the strings which he had developed for the instrument (quote): “The use of covered strings for the D and G is a small improvement of my own ”.
    Of importance here is the first mentioning of a covered g (3rd) string in the history of the guitar. As we shall learn the A (5th) was already covered.


    To get the right idea of what it is about, here a compiled quotation (taken from the - mostly - correct English translations by H. Turnbull and J.P. Bone) of what Otto wrote.

    Jacob Augustus Otto: “The late Duchess [Anna] Amalia of Weimar [1739-1807] introduced the guitar into Weimar in 1788, I was immediately obliged to make copies of this instrument for several of the nobility; and these soon becoming known in Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin, so great a demand arose from them, that, for the space of sixteen years I had more orders than I could execute. I must take the opportunity here to observe that, originally, the guitar had only five strings. The late Herr Naumann, capelmeister at Dresden, ordered the first guitar with the sixth or low E string, which I at once made for him. Since that time the instrument has always been made with six strings, for which improvements its admirers have to thank Herr Naumann. During the last ten years a great number of instrument makers, as well as joiners, have commenced making guitars; so that, since that time I have entirely relinquished the business, and now turn over any orders which I receive to my sons at Jena and Halle, who are much occupied in that way”.

    Otto gives also useful information about where the original five-string guitar was made and how it was strung: “The use of covered strings for the D and G is a small improvement of my own. In the guitar as brought from Napels, a thick violin string was used as only the A was covered”.

    So neither the Duchess nor Otto, but Johann Gottlieb Naumann (1741-1801), a prolific Opera composer and one of the last generation lutenists residing in Dresden, should be credited for the implementation of the low 6th string to the guitar in Germany. Also it was Naumann who brought the guitar from Italy to Weimar (and likely to the Duchess) and it was he who urged Otto to make the first six-string guitar there.

    Further more so since there are other preserved early six-string examples known that were made around that time in Germany.

    Noticeably for our subject is that this Johann G. Naumann stayed in Italy from 1757 to 1764 (again in ´65 and in ´72) and that he applied a mandolin - together with pizzicato strings - in his opera “Achillo in Scyro” (1762) as the accompanying instrument to Achilles aria: ´Duldet die Seele Amors Befehle´ (Janssens). Naumann was appointed court and church musician in Dresden from 1764 till his death.




    (To be continued) Guitars and Mandolins ©




  7. #57
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    Part II. Guitars and Mandolins by Alex Timmerman ©



    Another interesting example in terms of the guitar and it´s development, is found in the music composed by the sister-, bassoon-, guitar- and lutenist Christian Gottlied Scheidler (1752-1815) from Mainz/Frankfurt. His well-known D-major composition ´Duo pour guitarre et violon´ lacks the 6th string completely in the original edition.

    It is quite possible that again here we find us in the company of a five-string guitar.

    Also his two sonatas for solo guitar are of interest because both require only a low G on a 6th string (as pointed out by Tyler and Sparks). My assumption is that in this case the 6th string was not played with the left hand because it was lying next to the fingerboard.
    This development probably stemmed from a procedure seen on guitars that had been originally made to carry five double strings, but were altered by simply stringing the guitar with single strings. Only the two strings of the 5th string pair were left on but the lowest was tuned to a low G (or E) and acted like a 6th string on the guitar. Evidence for this is found on some of the (originally designed) double strung guitars in a later placed longer nut designed to carry six strings. The longer nut gave place to five strings at the fingerboard and a sixth string, acting as a bourdon, outside the fingerboard. #

    Of course Scheidler lived in Mainz and Frankfurt, places much more westward, but very near to Antoine de L'Hoyer´s self chosen place of exile Coblenz...

    Before Giuliani settled in Vienna (1806) the (6-string) guitar was popularised through public appearances by guitarists of the first hour, like Leonard von Call (1767-1815), Franz Tandler (1782-1806), Wenzeslaus Thomas Matiegka (1773-1830), and Simon Molitor (1766-1848).
    Leonard von Call must also be named here as a composer for his ´Variantions´ Op. 8 for violin or mandolin and guitar, was one of the first chamber compositions with mandolin to be published in Vienna (1803). #

    Simon Molitor, a German musicologist, can be seen as the most important person to introduce the guitar in Vienna in the period before Giuliani, as he played, composed ànd wrote about the instrument. He worked in Vienna since 1798 after residing in Italy (1796/ 97) and it seems clear that he became ´addicted´ to this “new” six stringed type of guitar during his journeys and that he brought it back home with him. Together with the playwright Wilhelm Klingenbrunner (1782- after 1826) who was a devoted guitar player, he published the method ‘Versuch einervollständigen Anleitung zum Guitarrespielen´. It was published between 1806 and 1811 by one of the most important Viennese publishing houses named the “Chemische Druckerey”.

    In the preface of the tutor Molitor and Klingenbrunner give the reader detailed information on the development of the guitar and about how it was strung through the ages. They give insight in the number of string-pairs ‘beyfügung des fünften Chors’ (the adding of the fifth string-pair) of the double strung guitar, but also informed that it was not known where this was seen first; in Italy or France. They finished saying that the guitar with that string arrangement was known already for some time in Germany as the ‘französische Guitare’ [chitarra Francese], but that this name did not give a definite answer about the origin of the instrument.



    Towards mandolins with single gut-strings

    Of interest to our subject “Historical mandolins and cultural preferences, Late classical period mandolin types” is that this early Viennese tutor through the mentioning of: “man schaffte die unbequeme doppelte Besaitung ab…” [´one does away with the inadequate double stringing...´] clearly shows that the single strings on a guitar were given preference above the older double (gut) strung type. Of importance here is that a reason is given for single strings: double stings were inadequate (or: awkward). With other words: they caused problems...
    What kind of problems is not mentioned but one can imagine that these range from tuning problems, loosening pegs etc. up to the (double cost) of the strings.

    Other information in the preface like: “Man war zufrieden, wenn zum Gesange nur so beyläufig etwas mitklang”, #[´people were happy, when to the singing there was some sound around´] point out that the (five-string) guitar was liked about 1790, but still was seen as a curiosity. In this state ”schlich sich das Guitarespiel vor ungefähr 18 bis 20 Jahren in Oesterreich und Deutschland ein, wo es vorher sehr selten gewesen war…” [guitar playing slipped for about 18 to 20 years ago into Austria and Germany, where it was seldom seen before...´].

    Ongoing Molitor and Klingenbrunner wrote “Verbesserung durch Beyfügung der sechsten Saite, nämlich des tiefen E” [´improvement because of the adding of the sixth string, namely the low E´] and the added sentence “welches bey uns bald allgemein wurde…” [which soon became common here...´] that after this period it was because of the most important change that the six-string guitar pushed aside the five string model and became soon popular (in Austria).


    Again, if read carefully, Molitor stressed that the 1st improvement of the guitar (strung with five double strings) was that it could easily be improved by just stringing it with single strings. This suggests that at first a double course guitar was used with a headstock equipped with 10 tuning pegs, but that it was strung with five single strings.

    A practise that was not uncommon at the time in Paris, as is seen in the richly illustrated method by Charles Doisy (act. 1800-d.1807): “Principes Généraux de la Guitare dédiés à Madame Bonaparte” (Paris, according to T. F. Heck it was published between 1800/03). In it images of double course guitars are shown of which several are strung with single strings. # #



    (To be continued) Guitars and Mandolins ©




  8. #58
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    Part III. Guitars and Mandolins by Alex Timmerman ©



    Alterations on Mandolinos

    It is not un-thinkable that a similar treatment was given to the double strung Mandolino and that this manner preceded the creation of the Milanese mandolin. That type was originally designed to carry six single strings that were fastened in a much shorter peg head on to six lateral standing tuning pegs and a six-hole tie-bridge.

    Evidence for this practise I have encountered on several survived examples (Mandolinos) and is also found in paintings of that era or a little later.

    A late example of an oil painting by Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880) titled ´Mandolinenspielerin´ (1865) can be found on page 25 in ´Das Grosse buch der Zupforchester´ (1993) written by M. Henke. This brilliant painted nearly photo-realistic work shows a beautiful woman holding a wonderful late Mandolino strung with six single strings that she plays with a two phalanx long (!) dark brown (wooden?) quill.

    Feuerbach, a Neo-classical painter was mainly educated in Germany. From 1850 onwards he became more international orientated with a love for painting historical subjects. He therefore travelled to study with the painter Gustaaf Wappers who lived in Antwerp (1851) and it is known that he stayed a year later in Paris. #After a short period in Karlsruhe he moved to Rome, and lived there from 1856 to 1873.
    His work displays a perfect synthesis between humans and culture inwhich nearly always a certain calmness is noticeable. From 1873 to 1876 Feuerbach was professor at the Academy in Vienna.



    Towards Milanese developments

    A survived example of an originally double strung Mandolino that was altered into a Milanese strung type is now preserved in the Museo degli Strumenti Musicali in Milano. Sometime in it´s existence the twelve-hole tie-bridge was taken of and replaced by a later six-hole example that because of it´s more heavier design, shows great resemblance with the guitars made in northern Italy in the last decade of the 18th century. A picture of this instrument can also be found in the book ´Schöne Musikinstrumenten´ (1979) by Friedemanm Otterbach (page 31).

    The oldest original Milanese examples that I have found date back to around 1750. As far as I know no five-string examples of the Milanese type are known which makes it acceptable that the Milanese mandolin was introduced in music circles in northern Italy around that time.
    It became more popular in the last quarter of that century as an alternative to the Mandolino that appeared to be in it´s final state of it´s development.


    As is known through the research by a.o. Zuth, Robert Janssen, James Tyler and Paul Sparks that we know that the Mandolino had enjoyed popularity in Vienna, since it was here that the Italians Francesco Conti and Filippo Sauli were appointed musicians at the Habsburg Court in the first quarter of the 18th century. Both as theorbo players and Conti also as a composer. The latter included the Mandolino in his opera ´Calatea vendicata´ (1719).
    Important to realize is that their survived Sonatas and Partitas belong to the earliest known music manuscripts for Mandolino (four double string model) ànd that these were stored through the ages not very far away from Vienna, in Raudnitz (Roudnice) in the music library collection of the Bohemian Franz Joseph Lobkowitz (1772-1816). They were thought to have been lost but have been located again: Tyler lists them as being found in the University Library in Prague.


    As far as is known today no method was available to study the Mandolino or the Milanese mandolin in Vienna. Only as late as in 1817 there is the mentioning of Fouchetti´s method (!) in the trade catalogue of C.F. Whistling, and F. Hofmeister (Leipzig, 1817) as: ´Methode de Mandoline à 4 et à 6 cordes´.

    As is pointed out so well in the edition of his French language tutor of 1770, Fouchetti himself indicates the two mandolin types as the: ”mandoline a six cordes”, and the new type as the: “mandoline à quatre cordes”, after which he then goes on clarifying the precise number of strings for each type: “La Mandoline à six cordes, en contient douze, parce qu’elles y sont doubles, comme dans la Mandoline à quatre cordes” (page 5 of the´Methode pour apprendre facilement á jouer de la mandoline á 4 et á 6 cordes´, Paris and Lyon, 1770. Original copy in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands).

    I haven´t found a copy of this - what I think could most likely be a re-issue of the original Fouchetti method - #Whistling and Hofmeister mandolin method by Fouchetti yet, but as you can imagine I am very much interested in comparing it with the original edition. Even if there are no text changes (which could be very easily be made by simply removing the last sentence in italics above) made that point towards a preference for single- and gut-strung mandolins or in case no copy mentioned by Whistling, and Hofmeister is found, it is interesting that exactly this method was chosen to be published here. #




    And the Cremonese preference

    A more drastic alteration of a Mandolino into a four-string Cremonese mandolin (Bortolazzi´s type with gut strings) is seen in a saved specimen that is now kept at the Musikhistorisk Museum & Carl Claudius Samling in Kopenhagen.
    In fact it is the earliest dated Mandolino that is known to excist. It was made by Matteo Nisle and has got a hand-written label with the text: Matteo Nisle – Leutaro – Rom 1681. The instrument has undergone a number of big changes during the period of its existence.

    I have examined the instrument and here is the outcome of my investigation: The most radical of these are that it now - instead of it´s original gut-fret fingerboard - has a fingerboard that continues up until the sound hole in which no fewer than seventeen metal (!) frets are placed and that the original bridge is replaced by a so-called ‘pin bridge’. On this bridge, another fret serves as starting point for the four strings.
    Also a simple wooden ‘lining’ serving as a decoration is fitted on either side of the fingerboard as well as round the sound hole. #The fingerboard itself lies flush with the soundboard.

    All this points to a working procedure that was very common with guitar makers in Italy and Austria round 1800.

    Another adjustment to make the sickle-shaped peg box look ´original´ to carry four tuning pegs in total is done by filling the remaining holes with wood.
    Fortunately, with a view to the instruments original number of strings, this is still retraceable. On the inner sides of the head one can clearly see four original holes on the left- and three on the right side. The holes that do not fulfil any function are stuffed with wood and are no longer visible from the outside.
    Here again, it is interesting to see that like lutes, the oldest (survived) Mandolinos, made in the second half of the seventeenth century, originally had three double strings with only one highest string, the so-called ´chanterelle´.

    It is important to know also that players and makers didn’t hesitate to alter an old instrument in order to create a newer type. In this case, because the mentioned alterations are typical characteristics seen on early Viennese guitars, it is quite possible that it was done in Vienna around 1800 (circle of Johann Georg Stauffer).
    And as already pointed out the Cremonese mandolin was much appreciated there...

    Today Nisle’s originally made Mandolino (stringed: 3x2+1string) is strung with four gut strings, like the Cremonese mandolin and in the way Bartholomeo Bortolazzi (1773-c.1840) describes it in his tutor “Anweisung die Mandoline von selbst zu lernen, nebst einigen Übungsstücken” (published in 1805 by Lipsia Breitkopf in Leipzig. An original copy is found at the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands).

    That Bortolazzi´s method was published by a publishing house as important as Lipsia Breitkopf (later: Breitkopf & Härtel) shows that he was regarded as a man of distinction and that the Cremonese mandolin type was well accepted in Viennese music circles. #
    It´s therefore not surprising that Austrian and German luthiers soon would make their own examples of both the above-described mandolins. #




    Back to developments in Vienna.

    After the French occupation in 1805 and 1809, Vienna became the most significant music centre of Europe. The development of the six-stringed guitar started by Italian builders is clearly seen here.
    The guitars used by guitarists like von Call, Molitor, etc. were made in Italy or else copied closely after their example. Outward features of the subtle Italian guitars during this period are the decorations, the tie-bridge, and the position of the twelfth and occasionally the eleventh fret on the soundboard.

    Because of the growing interest in the guitar and the rising demand of good instruments, Viennese violinmakers and other wood manufacturers (often working as furniture makers) were occupied with the building of the instrument.
    This was likely the reason why the importing of Italian guitars was stopped, of which the best examples were built, among others, by the Milanese Antonio Monzino (1725- ±1800), the Turin based Carlo Guadagnini (±1768-1816) and - from southern Italy - the Neapolitans Antonio Vinaccia (±1734-after 1796), Antonio Gagliano I (±1740- after 1800) and Giovanni Battista and his son Gennaro Fabricatore (±1745- after 1824).
    One must not forget that these makers were almost always members of a large instrument maker families with a long working tradition making instruments (guitars as well as mandolins) and that here only the most well known are mentioned.

    In the first decade of the 19th century the Viennese making of a guitar was mostly derived from Italian methods, and the first representatives of the Viennese builder’s school, such as Johann Anton Ertl (1776- 1828), Martin Stob (1778-1838), and Johann Georg Stauffer (1778- 1853), produced guitars according to that example. Only after 1815 a clear sobering down of the appearance of the “own “ Viennese guitar model is seen.

    This Viennese model was quickly popularized as can be concluded by the relatively many Viennese guitars that have survived from that period and because of growing demand that could barely be met at the time. This is why first violinmakers and other wood craftsmen - often trained in the cabinetmaker guild - saw the opportunity for (more) work and occupied themselves with the manufacture of guitars and why there came an end to the Italian import.

    After the disagreements and hassle in the cabinetmakers- and musical instrument makers guilds about who were allowed to make musical instruments, agreement was met to leave free the manufactory of guitars and that the right(s) for making these popular (folk) instruments was controlled and regulated in official so-called patents. These patents could last for five year and be prolonged for another year or two, gave the sole rights to maker to make guitars with a certain model of his signature.

    Also improvements in playability like among others, the choice of fret metal, fingerboard adjustments (radius, extension, floating, etc.), metal tuning mechanism(s), neck (iron bar implantation) and the adding of extra basses etc. etc. #
    As a result to all of this a more plain guitar design developed and the recognisable Viennese copies of the often beautifully decorated Italian guitars disappeared.

    The mandolin had undergone a similar development as the few survived example show an equal sober but effective design.

    This became even more clear around the twenties at the starting years of the Viennese ´Biedermeier´ time, a period in the Arts in which the accent was focussed on unpretentiousness and honest beauty, that lasted from 1815 up to the Viennese revolution in 1848.


    © Alex Timmerman.


    I hope you enjoyed this. Any thoughts etc. etc. are most welcome!


    Best regards,

    Alex.




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    Wow Alex! Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful and very detailed contribution. As it happens I got your note while listening to G.F. Guiliani and G. Hoffmann quartets!

    I'm especially interested in the evidence that you mention for double-coursed instruments that were converted to single stringing: One six-course mandolino -> Milanese mandolin and one early four-course mandolino -> Cremonese mandolin.

    To round out the list, I will again mention the Neapolitan mandolin that I have seen that was converted to single courses. In fact, I'm looking it right now! :-) This instrument was clearly built as a typical double-strung Neapolitan instrument and I would place it roughly circa 1775-1790. The mandolin is quite fancy, complete with an inlayed mirror in the peg-head, and though its label has been mostly torn out, I suspect that it may be related to G.B. Fabricatore based on a number of elements. Of course, I have no clue whether it ever spent any time in Vienna. :-)

    It is impossible to say for sure whether this instrument carried single gut or metal strings. In any case, they would have been attached over the bottom end of the instrument to the four surviving string-pegs. The bridge is very tiny and thin and, as I said before, this bridge has been on this instrument for a very long time. I see no evidence of a larger "Neapolitan" bridge, though it would have surely had one originally. My own opinion is that instrument was converted to single strings within 10-20 years of its manufacture. Fortunately, it seems to have been largely left alone since then.

    The depressions made for the strings in the bridge are very slight indeed. The grooves cut in the nut are considerably deeper and their breadth would seem to me to be wide enough to handle fairly thick (gut?) courses. Two (non-matched) period pegs accompany this instrument. It is obviously easy to loose friction-fit pegs if there are no strings attached!

    Anyway, thank you again for your generous and informative posting. I'm going to go back and read it again when I have more time.

    All the best,

    Eric
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

  10. #60
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    Thanks Eric!


    I am happy that you enjoyed it.

    Very interesting what you tell about the altered Neapolitan mandolin.

    I hope to see it some time!


    Greetings,

    Alex

    PS. about your (quote): "I'm especially interested in the evidence that you mention for double-coursed instruments that were converted to single stringing: #One six-course mandolino -> Milanese mandolin and one early four-course mandolino -> Cremonese mandolin.", I can add that here I only mentioned two different examples to illustrate developments of the two mandolin types most popular in Vienna.




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    Alex, Eric (et al), very interesting. I won't challenge the vienesse ghosts of the past about single course mandolins or they way they might have been played. From a player's perspective and that of someone who has spent the better part of his musical life playing on single strings (violin) and the efforts related to tuning double courses (mandolins, harpsichords, pianofortes, etc.), I do find the sound of the single course instrument (even without tremolo) very dry compared to double courses. Why the change in taste? Of course, it is easier and cheaper to maintain and setup a single course instrument. It is also easier to play. This leaves the simple matter of adapting one's taste to the sound. Given that most modern mandolinists (so-called acoustic players) now accept without question to perform with microphone and electronic amplification, that synthesizers of all sorts are accepted in modern music as the equal or superior of their acoustic cousins, it is not at all surprising. Whether this 'requires' a given peformance on a given instrument in a given manner of play in order to be 'authentic' is another question worth pondering. In anycase, it is worth trying to see how far one can go with this 'equipment' and make artistic value judgements later. Incidently (for Eric), I don't believe any 4 double course mandolins from the 18th and even most of the 19th century had more than 4 hitchpins (in place of a tailpiece to attach strings), they always attached 2 strings to a given pin.

    Thanks again to Alex for sharing his research (Eric too), this has been a great run.

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    Hello Richard,

    Thank you, it has been nice to sort out things and to share information here! I hope also other readers will benefit from it.

    By the way, I looked in Paganini´s guitar music for early evidence for tremolo. I found and excellent example of this in the Andantino of his ´Minuetto e Andantino´ (Sonata MS 84, no 33). #The Minuetto acts as a kind of ´Prelude´ to the Andantino.
    The Andantino is just great; it is build up of a bass line made of chords played with the thumb of the right hand. In itself already very beautifull and even more so because it accompanies a marvellous singing and graceful tremolo melody. The complete Sonata is about 5 minutes long and for me a great example that illustrates the use of tremolo in ART music at the time. According to several musicologists who made intensive studies to the live and work of Paganini as a composer for the instrument, including my friend and P. Paolini (guitarist and scholar)
    Paganini´s guitar music was written at various times between 1803 to 1823.

    The fact that this piece is so beautiful and well written for the guitar (it´s style can be compared with the Tarrega's famous tremolo piece "Recuerdos de la Alhambra"), gives credit to the thought that, if the tremolo style was executed tastefully on a mandolin of that time, probably no one would have had any objections. It is perhaps not the best evidence for tremolo on the Cremonese- or Milanese mandolin, but to my taste a very good argument to be used to come as near as possible in favor of it. Especially when in discussion with those who disaprove any tremolo in the Hummel and van Beethoven etc. music.


    Best,

    Alex


    PS. That is, if one chooses to play these pieces with a quill...




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    Hi Richard,

    Yes, I agree with you that four hitch-pins are typical for early Neapolitan mandolins and that two strings were tied to each pin. I was just trying to describe the setup and make it clear that even though this instrument had been altered for single stringing, it retained the original string attachment method with strings attached to the end of the instrument.

    I suppose everyone has their own taste but to me, the sound of single gut strings plucked with a plectrum is quite appealing (especially for this music). That said, I also like the ringing sound of the Neapolitan instrument in brass, and of course doubled gut courses plucked with the fingers. I see these as different colors in our understanding of an increasingly diverse and interesting pallete for our instrument.

    As for tremolo, I'll only comment that on Mr. Galfetti's recording of the Hummel, he inserts various small ornaments where one might equally insert a small tremolo. Perhaps he too felt a void that needed filling in this music. I do like the judicious or ornamental use of tremolo (as I think Richard has done on his recording) rather than providing it as a continuos feature.

    Even if we do reach some concensus around single gut courses in this music, we can't rule out the influence of the earlier Neapolitan instrument.... just as harpsichords probably co-existed with increasingly-popular fortepianos.

    As for six-course guitars... I'll just say that I continue to find it interesting that (to use Alex's words) "the last generation of lutenists" seem to have been influential, both in the commission of six-course guitars, as well as writing and performing music on them (Johann Gottlieb Naumann, Christian Gottlieb Scheidler, etc.). I guess I just see the six course guitar, not as a new "invention" as much as an adaptation or response by those who would have at least been familiar with the long-standing tradition of six-course (and more) mandoras that used exactly the same intervals and tuning since the early 18th century. (Apparently by 1806, Scheidler's guitar had seven courses ("A Brief Look at the 'Last Lutenist'", Thomas Schall, LSAQ, Volume XXXVII, No. 2, May 2002)).

    I have found that many modern lutenists like to ignore the mandora because though it is shaped like a lute, it is tuned like a guitar... some modern guitarists do the same because though its tuned like a guitar, its shaped like a lute! :-)

    Hopefully we, as lovers of things with "mando" in their names, can bring perspective to these matters over time :-)

    All the best,

    Eric

    ps - Alex, I'm intrigued with your observation that, at least in some cases, the sixth course on the guitar served as a non-fretted bourdon. It seems to me that there are certainly musical examples in mandolino music that would be served by such an adaptation of five-course mandolinos since only open G's are indicated. Also, even if its not required for the music, I find that the presence of the lower G-string often contributes considerably by vibrating sympathetically with harmonics in support of higher played notes. We should keep our eyes open for non-fretted sixth courses on surviving historical mandolinos!
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

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    Hi Eric,


    I´d like to explain a bit more to your PS in the previous post

    (Quote):
    1) "Alex, I'm intrigued with your observation that, at least in some cases, the sixth course on the guitar served as a non-fretted bourdon. It seems to me that there are certainly musical examples in mandolino music that would be served by such an adaptation of five-course mandolinos since only open G's are indicated".

    Yes, that is what I meant with these early guitar "bourdons". They were and could only be played as open strings.

    (Quote)
    2): "Also, even if its not required for the music, I find that the presence of the lower G-string often contributes considerably by vibrating sympathetically with harmonics in support of higher played notes".

    I agree, that is likely one of the reasons that eventually the sixth string was standardised on both the guitar and Mandolino. (And on the double strung guitar in Spain and - only for a short period - in France). In all these cases the adding of sixth bottom string (two octaves down from the first string (-pair) helped the instrument sound better and to become more powerful.

    (Quote)
    3): "We should keep our eyes open for non-fretted sixth courses on surviving historical mandolinos!".

    I have found at least(!) one five double gut strung Mandolino (private collection) that was altered in it´s time to carry six double strings. Because the alteration of this gorgeous instrument showed such fine craftsmanship and because of other factors I am inclined to think it had been a players instrument.


    Of course it is very much a matter of taste, but since you both (Richard and Eric) touch the matter of sound, single and double gut strings and finger versus plectrum playing #on mandolins again, I´d like to say that taste did not changed here (in Vienna) over night.


    I do not agree with Richard that single strings sound ´very dry´, but that is perhaps because I also play the guitar and lute (from an early age). As a matter of fact I quite like the the warm well-projecting pizzicato sound of these fretted instruments. An answer to Richard´s "Why the change in taste?", can perhaps be found in that the Mandolino in Vienna (and northern Italy) was known to be played with the fingers (or - in Vienna - had been known to be played in that manner).

    The preference in stringing plucked/finger style played instruments (as we have seen was the case with mandoras and guitars) with single strings could very well have been the reason for Mandolino players to do so as well.

    But for the rest there was no change:

    The reason to play the single strung Mandolino (or the Milanese type) finger style could lay in the fact that people were used to do so.
    For a ´sudden´ change to use a quill was - and is - not that easy at all. So there is your answer to your question Richard (quote): "It is also easier to play. ?". Yes, they just kept playing finger style.

    Perhaps this changed a bit with the arrival in Vienna of Bortolazzi and why a new generation of Cremonese- and Milanese mandolinists choose to use wooden quills.

    #
    With regard to sound preferences I already tried to make clear cultural inter-actions - by mentioning Conti and Sauli - both Italian musicians that were employed at the Habsburg Court in the first quarter of the 18th century. And that since then there had been a flourishing cultural exchange between what today is the northern part of Italy and Austria (Vienna).

    Furthermore because there has always been a kind of rivalry between the north and the south of Italy (Rome versus Neapels / rich versus poor).

    In the 18th century Italian musicians were all over Europe and - seen the historical ties - it does not surprise that northern Italian musicians thought first of going to Vienna, while those of Napels sailed to Marseille and travelled from there to Lion and finally, to Paris. These are among the reasons why in my opinion the metal strung Neapolitan mandolin found its way so easy to France and why the Mandolino, it´s single strung sister instrument, the Milanese mandolin and the Cremonese mandolin caught on in Vienna.

    Remember that Bortolazzi, in his late twenties, came with his son (a child prodigy on the guitar) straight away from Brescia (northern Italy) to Vienna.

    Of course WE today, are not ´hindered´ by these historical connections between countries etc. and that is why we like all mandolin types (to a certain degree, that is...). I couldn´t have said it better than Eric (quote): "I see these as different colors in our understanding of an increasingly diverse and interesting pallete for our instrument".


    Eric, your sentence (quote): "Even if we do reach some concensus around single gut courses in this music, we can't rule out the influence of the earlier Neapolitan instrument....", is rather complicated, because several issues are put together in it.

    My direct reply on this is the following:
    1) I like a consensus, but fail to see why this is necessary in cases like the Hummel Concerto which obviously composed for the Cremonese mandolin with four gut strings and the compositions by van Beethoven that are intended for the Milanese mandolin with six single gut strings.

    Also for the Hummel plectrum style is the logical conclusion as is pointed out in the method by Bortolazzi to whom the Concerto was dedicated. As for the van Beethoven compositions; finger style seems to be the original way to play these.

    2) (Quote) "we can't rule out the influence of the earlier Neapolitan instrument...."

    I don´t think, although it was probably known, that the Neapolitan mandolin played an important role in the Art music in Vienna. So, if it had any influence it was perhaps only because it was played with a (feather) quill.



    Best,

    Alex #©


    PS 1. As for the Giovanni Hoffmann works, single strings are possible and so is the use of a (wooden) quill as justified by Tyler (Early Mandolin, page 39). But then again finger style and double strings are possibilities too.

    PS 2. The other way around is similar: for quill players #it is also difficult to adopt a good fingerstyle of playing (and this is very much the same for plectrum playing mandolinists today, and simply the reason why so many music originally intended to be played fingerstyle, is recorded feather style... #).

    But,.... # # #enjoy!




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    Hi Alex,

    Thank you for the geographical perspective, your last note has made me much more comfortable in my own subjectivity (as if I needed help in that area :-)). I like your north/south argument very much, and it makes the point *very* well for a different aesthetic in Vienna than was present in France. I think this kind of geographic and cultural "evidence" is key for understanding these matters. And yes, I had somewhat missed your point before.

    As for consensus, I agree that it is not necessary, but it is certainly nice where we can find it. As I've said, uninformed consensus can also hinder our understanding of the past. This particular discussion has been extremely useful for my own personal "perspective" on this music and period, consensus or no.

    You state "and the compositions by van Beethoven that are intended for the Milanese mandolin with six single gut strings."

    I personally like this idea but I think I'll sit back and read the responses to see if there is consensus. :-) I think I remember Tyler and Sparks giving Beethoven to the instrument in fifths... which seems consistent with at least the Kucharz connection... or do I now need to re-think Mozart too!? Maybe that's our next thread... :-)

    All the best,

    Eric
    "The effect is pretty at first... It is disquieting to find that there are nineteen people in England who can play the mandolin; and I sincerely hope the number may not increase."

    - George Bernard Shaw, Times of London, December 12, 1893

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    Alex, where do you get the connection between Beethoven and the 6 course (single or double) Milanese type mandolin other than he was active in Vienna? His mandolin teacher was a violinist who also played 'mandolin' (of some sort), surely there were Neapolitan type instruments (or Cremonese for that matter) in Vienna as well as other parts of Europe. The very fact that Bortolazzi would complain about this instrument (neapoitan) bespeaks that he was disturbed by its presence (omni-presence). It's like the business of the tremolo. Certain mandolinists complained about its use (or abuse) which would lead me to believe that it was more common than not (especially poor execution of the technique). #The music sits very well on an instrument tuned in 5ths (sight readible).

    Alex, I too love the guitar and lute and even the single strung mandolin, but the sound is indeed less complex (dry) than the equivalent double strung instrument (not necessarily louder or richer in tone). If you include tremolo as part of the expressive-technical arsenal, than it becomes even more apparent the difference. #Galfetti's approach on the Cremonese instrument with the Hummel sonata byfilling out sustained notes with divisions or ornaments makes a lot of sense and would be my solution as well on such an instrument.




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    Hello Eric,

    I forgot to reply on your

    (Quote):
    1) "I guess I just see the six course guitar, not as a new "invention" #as much as an adaptation or response by those who would have at least been familiar with the long-standing tradition of six-course (and more) mandoras that used exactly the same intervals and tuning since the early 18th century".

    Yes, in Vienna(!) all these circumstances helped to evolve the guitar as a six single strung instrument. Towards the twenties the awareness among the Viennese guitarists of the mandora as a seven-, eight and nine single strung plucked instrument of which the four highest strings were tuned like the guitar, would also quicken the acceptation of the seven and eight strung bass-guitars. At a much earlier time than elsewhere in Europe. This happened in a period that the six string guitar in Vienna had already pushed aside the Mandora.

    (Quote):
    2) "(Apparently by 1806, Scheidler's guitar had seven courses ("A Brief Look at the 'Last Lutenist'", Thomas Schall, LSAQ, Volume XXXVII, No. 2, May 2002)).

    Yes, this idea stems from a review in the The Leipziger Musikzeitung, 22 Januari 1806.
    The review was written on a concert that was (among others) given by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler, his pupil Dem.[ademoiselle] Jung on ´guitar´, and a certain Mr. Arnold on the Violoncello. The writer, who is very praiseworthy about the performance given by the three musicians, then - a bit furtheron in his text - states #that Scheidler´s guitar had seven strings ("Seine Guitarre hat sieben Saiten").

    Although this would have been possible at the time (I have found several seven- and eight stringers made by makers working in Europe´s main Capitals that were built before and around 1800 and the fact there is also a written source (±1808) that informs about improving the guitar by adding a seventh and eigth string), I am nevertheless convinced that here a different type of ´guitar´ was used by Scheidler and his pupil. Scheidler´s guitar type was called "Sister" and/or "Deutsche Guitarre", an instrument that had developed along side the guitar, from the various German Zister types.


    Probably Mr. Thomas Schall, (I haven´t read his article in the LSAQ May ´02) wasn´t aware of the publication of the book/catalogue: ´Gestrichen und Gezupft´ (November 1997, Herne) written by Dr. Andreas Michel of the Musikinstrumentenmuseum der Universität in Leipzig who, when I was examining the plucked instruments of the museum in 1998, informed me about his research on the "Deutsche Guitarre", the maker of this instrument type - a mr. Johann Bindernagel working in Gotha and the connection with Scheidler.
    In the book/catalogue, Andreas Michel recalls a publication in the Allgemeinen Musikalischen Zeitung of 1801, written by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler himself(!) explaining the "Sister" and/or "Deutsche Guitarre" as an #instrument strung with seven gut-strings and tuned like: G - c - f - g - c' - e' - g' (Tuning cart). Interesting is the tuning in fourth for the three lowest strings and the chord tuning of the four highest strings (similar to the "English guitar"). About the strings and how to play them, Scheidler gives the following information (free translation).

    Scheidler: "The manner to hold the Sister is completely the same as with the ´französischen Guitarre´. When the strings are plucked the three wound strings are stroked with the thumb, and the four plain (un-wound) with the consecutive fingers. It can in some cases also happen that the thumb has to be used to play the middle g string. the little finger is only used very seldom".

    Here we find evidence that Scheidler knew of the excistance of the ´Chitarra Francese´ and that all the fingers
    (p-i-m-a) of the right hand were used by inventive players like Scheidler was himself, as early as 1801!


    Greetings,

    Alex Timmerman ©




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    I'm just back in to read your essays. #Very nice, Alex, very thought provoking.

    I think this discussion may have arisen in part because I wrote my assumption that Hummel was writing for Cremonese mandolins in both famous instances. #To the list of those who seem to believe Malfatti played Hummel on a Neapolitan mandolin I will add Alison Stephens (from the liner notes of her modern-instrument recording of the sonata) and Paul Sparks (1995). #Sparks writes "...Signor Fr. Mora de Malfatti, Beethoven's physician and the recipient of Hummel's Grande sonata for mandoline and piano." #"Mandoline" is highlighted as this is the term of convenience by which Sparks differentiates the Neapolitan mandolin from instruments tuned in fourths. #He doesn't address the Cremonese mandolin outside of occasionally specifying "Cremonese." #Sparks does write of the Brescian mandolin, the descendant of the Cremonese (although he uses the two terms as equivalent), still being popular in Germany in the early 20th c.

    On Beethoven writing for Milanese mandolin, the music seems generic enough that I really can't draw any conclusions (but please take my amateur impressions for what little they are worth). #Sparks again writes of Beethoven writing for and his dedicatees playing Neapolitan mandolins ["mandoline"], but offers no instrument-specific evidence.

    In spite of the popularity of single strings in Vienna, the Neapolitan-type family of instruments did persist and eventually evolve into all the myriad modern forms: steel-strung bowlbacks to F-5 to Ovation/Crafter/etc. #Classical-era publications for mandolin seem to have considerably waned by the early 1800s. #Still, Neapolitan mandolins were being built and were still present. #As I've discussed with some of you (especially Alex), I own an anonymous ca. 1835 French-made Neapolitan-type mandolin, probably from the shop of Clement Eulry (thanks again to Alex for the solidly likely attribution). #I like to imagine that the original owners of instruments similar to mine would have happily played the Hummel sonata, the Beethoven works, or Neapolitan folk songs...or any other music for that matter...if such music fell into their hands. #Maybe this wasn't Hummel's intended instrument, but I suspect Hummel was much more interested in selling copies than dictating appropriate performers, especially given the offering of violin as alternative.

    A bit of a side line. #It is interesting that the standard guitar seems to have evolved from an instrument with five courses of paired strings to a brief, intermediary 5-string instrument to a 6-string instrument in much of the world. #I do think this suits homophonic music with a clear melody line very well. #Single strings would have fallen very much in line with the rising taste for a simple symmetry of contrasting musical ideas and the sonata form that came with the rise of the classical age. #However, the guitar came to be a 6-course instrument in Spain comfortably before the massive popularity of the 6-string guitar elsewhere. #It was still widely used as strummed song accompaniment there. #As a stellar example of misinformed liner notes, Volta uses the 6-course guitar as the allegedly intended instrument for Paganini's works to specify the "Chitarra Francese" on the Volta/Aonzo CD of Paganini music. #The sound is inappropriately diffuse for strictly punteado music of that era. #Grobert would be steamed!




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    Hi Eugene,

    Nice you are back.

    I looked it up and found for the word ´provoking´ alternatives like: irritating and boring. Is that what you mean with ´provoking´?


    Greetings?

    Alex

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    Alex, provoke means also to encourage a response or act. Thought provoking is a common expression in English meaning to inciting 'reflection' or interest. Totally positive and I and certainly all of us wish you, Het Consort and all mandolin friends in Holland a wonderful new year!

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Alex @ Dec. 29 2003,14:00)
    I looked it up and found for the word ´provoking´ alternatives like: irritating and boring. Is that what you mean with ´provoking´?
    You need a new English dictionary, Alex! #Like Richard says "provoking" here should have nothing but a positive connotation. #On second look, I see I typed "though" where I had intended to type "thought;" I have edited that error away. #The most appropriate definitions of provoke offered by Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1996, Gramercy Books, NY) would be "to incite or stimulate to action" or "to give rise to, induce, or bring about." #Thus, "thought provoking" means a thing is interesting enough to have inspired profound contemplation...as your essays always do.

    ...Oh, and Happy New Year too!




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    Hello Richard, Eric, Eugene and others,


    (First Richard and Eugene, thank you very much for the explanation of the word ´provoking´. I wasn´t sure and must say that I like this much more. Especially so because what I found was quite disturbing. And I do rather a lot of guitar talking at this ´mandolin´topic, you see, so...)

    Thanks also for the nice New Year greetings! Be sure we all here wish you and all the others here a really good New Year! #


    Back to mandolins.

    The Beethoven issue:
    (Quote) Eric: “I think I remember Tyler and Sparks giving Beethoven to the instrument in fifths... which seems consistent with at least the Kucharz connection...”

    Yes, Tyler and Sparks do not give the pieces by van Beethoven a lot of explanation; they only refer to the instrument as: ´mandoline´, from which one gets the impression that it was tuned in fifth (Cremonese- or Neapolitan mandolin).

    But the quarter tuned mandolino and Milanese mandolin in G can with ease be options too.

    I also have played these pieces on the Roman- (Embergher) and (Calace) Neapolitan mandolin - I put emphasis on these two types because of the difference in neck width - and on finger style played double strung Mandolino and single strung Milanese mandolin.

    For advanced players there are no big problems to overcome regardless on what type they perform the music.

    Nevertheless I have come to the conclusion that the Milanese mandolin has most likely been the original choice by van Beethoven to write his pieces for. #

    If time permits and if there is interest in it, I will go into the music and explain to you - by fingering the notes - why I believe so and why I think it can best be played finger style. (Perhaps someone here [Richard?] has them scanned in the computer; I don´t have a scanner yet, so that would be most helpfull. I than can add my fingering in red and publish relevant bits and pieces here).


    On Eric´s (quote): “or do I now need to re-think Mozart too!?”
    I can say that I already pointed towards this matter in my post on this topic of Dec. 19 - 2003 (19:53), saying: “even in this particular Mozart case (his Aria) originally a Cremonese mandolin was involved...” So, yes I think this would be a good thing to, do since I have come pretty near to think that it was played in Prague on a Cremonese mandolin.


    As for violinists [of that time in Vienna] playing mandolin (to quote Richard): “His [van Beethoven] mandolin teacher was a violinist who also played 'mandolin' (of some sort)”, I´d like to say that this has in my opinion not so much to do with what mandolin type is involved here.

    This because I see it like this: the mandolinists of the time were very much capable (like we are today...) to play more than one mandolin type. #

    In Vienna perhaps even three (!), since the difference between the double strung Mandolino and the single strung Milanese mandolin (both being played finger style) isn´t that great.

    Also when placed in time (I mean in chronological order) this would mean that the Viennese mandolinists first played one (or perhaps both) of the two last mentioned types and then changed to the ´new´ Cremonese mandolin that was so well popularised by a great virtuoso like Bortolazzi (and for which the only available method was published).

    This isn´t such a strange idea if one compares it with what happened in the south of Italy around 1740 with the sudden rise of the Neapolitan mandolin and it´s fast spreading in France: All those Mandolino players switching over to the Neapolitan mandolin... .
    And, although it was still mentioned it in the tutors written by Corrette and Fouchetti - the latter even wrote that he liked it more that the Neapolitan type -, the Mandolino in France was soon be to put aside (±1780) in favour of the mandolino Napolitano.

    What also can be #concluded from this is that in France both mandolin types were played at the same time by the same people (for instance Fouchetti himself and the fact that his method is the only one that gives real playing advice for the Mandolino).
    It was in those days very much the case as it is today (with Richard and Eric and myself in particular), to play several mandolin types with different tunings and their own playing techniques even more so performing on other string instruments like the violin, guitar and lute... .


    On Richard´s comment (quote): “surely there were Neapolitan type instruments (or Cremonese for that matter) in Vienna as well as other parts of Europe”, I´d like to emphasize that I try with my explanations here, to reveal some of the differences in preference by cultures (our Topic).
    Therefore I do not really understand the addition “for that matter” in the above sentence, because for me there is a lot of preference and difference between both types and - more important - it is the quintessence of our discussion.

    Also I like to reply on Richard´s (I hope you don´t mind) next line (quote): “The very fact that Bortolazzi would complain about this instrument (Neapolitan) bespeaks that he was disturbed by its presence (omni-presence)”.

    Of course it is likely that the Neapolitan mandolin was around. This is already pointed out in previous posts.

    But unlike in France where, in the second half of the 18th century several tutors and a great number of music was published for the Neapolitan type, there is (yet) no real written evidence found for that type in Austria (Vienna). Neither in Art music nor in folk music. Comparing this with the high status of the Neapolitan mandolin in France, it leaves me with the thought that it likely did not play any significant role in Vienna.


    Best,

    Alex

    Alex Timmerman ©




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    Alex,

    Ok, you need to elaborate on the Beethoven pieces. I've played them on the 6 course mandolino and do not find them particularily natural to this tuning (instrument), compared to the pieces by Hoffman or others who did write specifically for this type of mandolin. Maybe the Adagio ma non troppo, perhaps? We have another piece that should be dealt with that was published in this part of the world, the sonata of Neuling. Do you think that this should be better served on the Cremonese instrument? Why do you think that finger style was predominant on the mandolin in Vienna in the latter part of the 18th century? I see no connection with single or double course stringing that would make me think of one technique or the other. I will have a Cremonese instrument (copy built by Daniel Larson) sometime in the first quarter of the new year. I'll let you all know how it works out in practise and especially acoustically compared to it's double strung cousin.

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    Oh yes, this stupid © copyright sign I was told to put in, because of the facts, thoughts and links and things I write about are mostly new or differ from what has been written by others. And because of my forthcoming book on the History of the Mandolin and it´s nomenclature.

    That´s why.

  25. #75
    Registered User Alex Timmerman's Avatar
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    Hello Richard,

    I am preparing a tremolo chapter for you and post it later this evening.

    Your wonderful Hummel, Beethoven and Neuling CD is accompanying me!

    Greetings,

    Alex.

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