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picture this: two bodhrans

GUEST,leeneia 13 May 10 - 12:19 AM
Seamus Kennedy 13 May 10 - 01:15 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 10 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 May 10 - 02:25 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 May 10 - 03:56 AM
Splott Man 13 May 10 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 13 May 10 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 May 10 - 11:09 AM
Manitas_at_home 13 May 10 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Gabriel Hound 13 May 10 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 May 10 - 01:45 PM
catspaw49 13 May 10 - 01:56 PM
gnu 13 May 10 - 03:33 PM
Mavis Enderby 13 May 10 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 May 10 - 05:49 PM
Geoff the Duck 14 May 10 - 04:31 AM
Howard Jones 14 May 10 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 May 10 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 14 May 10 - 11:38 AM
Howard Jones 14 May 10 - 12:43 PM
goatfell 15 May 10 - 09:39 AM
Manitas_at_home 15 May 10 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 May 10 - 11:07 AM
Geoff the Duck 15 May 10 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 May 10 - 06:05 PM
JohnInKansas 15 May 10 - 08:15 PM
JohnInKansas 15 May 10 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 May 10 - 11:35 PM
goatfell 16 May 10 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 May 10 - 10:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 May 10 - 10:13 AM
Tannywheeler 18 May 10 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 10 - 11:38 AM
goatfell 20 May 10 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 May 10 - 08:44 PM
Manitas_at_home 21 May 10 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 May 10 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 May 10 - 10:51 AM
Manitas_at_home 21 May 10 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 22 May 10 - 09:00 AM
Manitas_at_home 23 May 10 - 02:56 AM
Jack Campin 23 May 10 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 May 10 - 05:26 PM
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Subject: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 May 10 - 12:19 AM

Yesterday I bought a copy of the Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols. It set me back $1.98, but I figure I'm worth it.

The cover features a painting by the 15th C. painter Fra Angelico. It is called 'Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven,' and the original is in the National Gallery in London. You can see it here:

see the painting

I have enjoyed looking at the many instruments in the painting. There are two harps, instruments that look like predecessors of violins, wind instruments (including a 'double flute') and there are two bodhrans. Yes, two angels are holding up frame drums and playing them with tippers. Both drums have a cross bar.

Sad to say, there is nothing that resembles a recorder. That surprises me. I thought recorders had been around for a long time.

In the upper left area, next to the harper, an angel is playing an instrument that looks like part of an organ. Does anybody know how that would work? Maybe on earth it would require a bellows.

Finally, does anybody know what that angel is playing below and to the right of Jesus' feet? It is something roundish and dark gray.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:15 AM

I see three bodhráns, not counting the ones everybody has behind their heads.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 10 - 02:18 AM

It's a portative organ - a minature portable pipe organ.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 May 10 - 02:25 AM

" ... an angel is playing an instrument that looks like part of an organ."

On close inspection I think it's a type of early machine gun ... for shooting the bodhran 'players' with?!


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:56 AM

Sorry to disappoint, but if you magnify the picture to a point where you can see it properly, it turns out that the angel on the bottom row to the right of the two with organ pipes has a drum played with one hand and a pipe in the other. Some form of Pipe and Tabor. Note the drum has a line across it. Not a cross bar (that wouldn't be visible as it would be behind the skin) but actually a snare, traditionally made from twisted animal gut.
Of the two spotted at upper left, one has circular rattly things set into the rim, so is a tambourine. The one next to it also has a visible snare line and the stick is held at one end, not in the middle, so that places it as probably a tabor without pipe.
There is also a tambourine to the right of the pipe and tabor player.

The one that puzzles me is on the row below the two bodhrans, moving right we have a harp, a mandoline followed by an angel in blue holding what looks suspiciously like a "shaky egg".

Can't figure out the things which look like an organ, no obvious air supply. Perhaps a Heavenly Wind from somewhere?
An interesting band, whatever...
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 May 10 - 04:10 AM

A type of Glockenspiel/Xylophone/Marimba perhaps?


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 10 - 10:28 AM

Foolestroupe is right, they are portative organs like this.

Notice the bellows worked with the left hand.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 May 10 - 11:09 AM

Thanks for the link, Guest. And thanks, Foolstroupe. I have seen those portative organs in art many times, and I've wondered how they worked. Nice music on the link.

As for the 'double flute,' I once heard a player from the Andes do a tune on a flute like that. It was lovely.

Geoff, I think you are right about the snare. Europeans used to like their instruments to buzz. I have plucked a harp that had 'brays' that you could push in at the bottom of the strings to make them sound raspy. Today when a string is raspy, it goes to the harp regulator for a repair.

As for the drums, I noticed the tambourines. But I maintain that the others are round, you hold them upright, you play them with a tipper, and they are bodhrans. The Boss knows what's good.

I once saw somebody playing a drum in that manner in a book. It was a picture of a frieze from ancient Greece.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 13 May 10 - 11:24 AM

What makes a bodhran is the way it's played. If they're playing in either Limerick or West Kerry style they're bodhrans otherwise they're just frame drums but one is definitely a tabor because it's being played with a pipe. They also seem to be made of calfskin whereas goatskin or greyhound skin is preferred. The other thing to bear in mind is that bodhran players are not to be found in Heaven...


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,Gabriel Hound
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:33 PM

I doubt they would have bodhran players in hell either - there must be a special place of limbo for bodhran players - iscolated in their own special skip so as to not annoy anyone else.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:45 PM

"one is definitely a tabor because it's being played with a pipe"

I must say the logic of that eludes me.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 May 10 - 01:56 PM

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGG........................
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASA.HHHH.........................................
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG-AAAAAAAAAAAAAA-AHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR....................................
GET IT AWAY......GET IT AWAY.......AAAAAAAAADSDDRRRRGHHHHH..............................
AW SWEET JESUS HELP ME.......................................
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHH........................
I CANT TAKE IT ...............................
GET IT AWAY................................................
OHMYFUCKINGOOD CHRIST.....................................
GET IT OFF THE SCREEN ......................
GET IT OUTTA MY HEAD..........................................
AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRWWWWWGGGGGGHHHHH.......................................................



Spaw


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: gnu
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:33 PM

When I die and get to heaven, WITH MY HRAN, I am going to come back and haunt all you jokesters... in the middle of the night.

EVERY NIGHT!


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 13 May 10 - 04:51 PM

Leenia, you might find this interesting (pdf file, 4.1 MB so don't click on a slow connection)

It suggests there are:

3 lutes
7 trumpets
5 shawms (ancester of the oboe)
2 fiddles
2 lyres
3 organs
3 rebecs (bowed instruments)
2 tambourines
1 psaltry
1 double pipe
1 tabor
1 pair cymbals
1 pipe & tabor

I think I agree with GtD that there's definitely a shaky egg too...

Pete.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 May 10 - 05:49 PM

Sorry, Burton, your link only brought up a blank screen that claimed to be 'Done.' Is it an analysis of the painting (or is it a fresco) by Fra Angelico?

As for what kind of drums there are, I have looked up names such as tabor and tambour in reference books and have found them to be very loose terms.

It seems to me that something is off kilter when there are 7 trumpets, 5 shawms and only 3 lutes. I think one trumpet and one shawm would suffice, and they should be on the next cloud over.

One thing's for sure - Fra Angelico has access to a lot of yellow paint. Nowadays he would be judged politically incorrect for having only blondes among the angels.

Somebody tell Spaw that some drama queen is putting fake posts on the Mudcat and putting his name on them.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:31 AM

If there are 5 shawms, would it matter how many lutes? you wouldn't be able to hear any of them!
Quack.
GtD.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 May 10 - 05:34 AM

Fra Angelico was Italian, so it is probable that the picture represents Italian instruments rather than Irish ones.

Of the two players in the upper left of the picture, one is playing a drum with jingles, using the hand - probably a tamburello . The other is playing a snare drum, using a stick on the snare side - characteristics of a tabor .

In the lower right, there is another tamburello player and another tabor player (again the snare is clearly visible), this time also with a pipe which is a common combination.

One thing is sure - they are not bodhrans, which apart from coming from the wrong country only started to be used to accompany music quite recently (although what the Irish were playing in the 15th Century is anyone's guess)


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:22 AM

Geoff, I fear you are right. Putting the shawms on a different cloud might not be enough. They might need to be on a different celestial plane altogether.

As for all those names for drums, if you hold it like a bodhran and hit it like a bodhran, it's a bodhran, or maybe a tambour or a tambourine or a tabor or a taboret or a ...

We have a photograph of a statue that's in the Vatican Museum. It shows a woman in a tunic, seated and holding a round drum upright on her knee. She is striking it with a wand. Looks like another bodhran to me. Trouble is, I forget whether the statue was 400 years old or 2000.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:38 AM

Two Bodhrans in one session sounds like the beginning of the joke - "is two too many". But I have a beteter joke when all the drum/drummer jokes have been tried - other musos may not like it, but it is funny.

Yes one does look like it is being played with a tipper, but the other looks less typical Bodhran action, and is that a snare I see before my very eyes?

However I doubt they would call them "Bodhran" - I was told the earliest reference to the word (Paul Ryan will no doubt deny it) is in a Dictionary of Celtic Words (c1909). I put this to a scholarly gent who is considering a PhD in Morris - (history of, his knees are not up to the practical exam). He said "Yes but it has no descriptive meaning attached to it" so no-one knows what was meant by it. He also referred to the (earlier??) Sussex Riddle Drum when I mentioned Peter Kennedy & the Dorset Riddle Drum - I have seen the entry in his book.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 May 10 - 12:43 PM

"As for all those names for drums, if you hold it like a bodhran and hit it like a bodhran, it's a bodhran, or maybe a tambour or a tambourine or a tabor or a taboret or a ..."

It's not as simple as that. A bodhran is an Irish form of a type of drum which is found throughout the world. Some are played with the hand, some with sticks. A skin stretched over a round frame will inevitably look much the same whether it is from Ireland or India. It seems wrong to me to use the word to describe an instrument from a different culture simply because they appear superficially similar. However, on closer inspection they don't actually look like bodhrans, because they both have snares.

Besides, they're not being held or played like a bodhran. It's not clear how the one in the top left is being held, but the pipe-and-taborer in the bottom right clearly is not holding it like a bodhran, unless he has three arms - one hand is playing the pipe and the other is holding the stick. Usually the tabor is suspended from the arm holding the pipe (or the larger ones are slung around the body) and that's presumably how the player is carrying it.

In both cases the players are holding the stick by the bottom end, consistent with taboring styles and unlike most bodhran styles. So it seems unlikely that they are playing them like bodhrans.

I don't know what these drums would have been called in 15th Century Italian, but I'm confident it would not have been "bodhran".


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: goatfell
Date: 15 May 10 - 09:39 AM

even in heaven there is Bordhans Great! thank God no banjos or accordians!


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 15 May 10 - 10:31 AM

We've already been through this!


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:07 AM

Wrong, goatfell! The painting is of matins. They get out the banjos and accordions for vespers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMXCsLFi5o4


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 15 May 10 - 01:01 PM

He He He He He He.....
Quack!
Geoff,


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 May 10 - 06:05 PM

Well???......


Two Bodhrans

GfS


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 May 10 - 08:15 PM

I doubt they would have bodhran players in hell either - there must be a special place of limbo for ...

One of my favorite cartoon clips, I believe by Gahan Wilson, shows St Peter meeting newcomers to the gate with:

"I'm afraid there has been some misinformation where you come from.

Here's your accordion."


John


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 May 10 - 08:44 PM

Leenia -

Back several posts ago: Burton's link (http://www.philipresheph.com/a424/projects/engela.pdf) is to an article titled Musical Symbolism in Early Renaissance Italian Painting, 76 pages and quite slow downloading – at least today.

For some reason, my browser doesn't show a "progress" in the usual way on the bottom bar, but merely says downloading. Yours might just say "done." It took about ten minutes to download and look at 76 pages of it, but the bar on my browser says it's still "downloading." (I'm pretty sure it got done though.)

The "List of Illustrations" shows 28 "Figures" and they generally are decent quality images of works cited.

As the "progress bar" appears to give an erroneous result, those interested in "intellectual studies" of art of that era might want to visit the link (open in a new tab so you can go elsewhere while it loads, or such) and give it a decent amount of time to load. This would be the rare case where "Save Target As" might not work as well as letting it load in a browser tab/window and saving after it appears to be done (when you can see the last page?)

John


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 May 10 - 11:35 PM

John in, Are We in Kansas Yet?....I think the saying is, "Hell is filled with unemployed musicians" .............................................................................(so is the Mudcat forum!)

GfS


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: goatfell
Date: 16 May 10 - 02:24 PM

can you not take a joke!


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 May 10 - 10:14 AM

thank you, goatfell, dear

John, thanks for posting the explanation about the 76-page article. Speaking for myself, one of the few benefits of being old is that I don't have to spend time on intellectual studies of art.

I have the first sentence (and that's all) ready for my autobiography. It is: "In 1972 I quit taking James Joyce seriously and turned my thoughts to the study of geology."

I'm going to see if I can find a likely piece from the 15th C. that those angels can be playing.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:13 AM

I've always assumed that the word bodrhan is the Irish for tambourine, and originally would have included a range of frame drums, whether with a snare or bells, and however played.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:35 AM

I'm married to a bodhran player (& builder), Guest Mr. Red. We love bodhran/drummer jokes. When you gonna share??? Tw


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:38 AM

I think you're right, McGraw. There seem to be a lot of names for a few kinds of drum.

I've found another instrument. Go to the painting (link in first post) and enlarge it as much as you can. Then locate:

right half of choir
second row from top
ninth angel from the center (in blue robe)

That angel is playing castenets.

(When counting the angels, disregard halos of angels not visible.)

That angel had probably been guarding pilgrims on the way to Santiago, where it acquired a fondness for Spanish music.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: goatfell
Date: 20 May 10 - 03:10 PM

thank you as well


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 May 10 - 08:44 PM

I'm still looking for a MIDI of something from the 15th Century. It isn't easy.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 21 May 10 - 06:03 AM

Doesn't Phil Pickett's group, New London Consort?, do a lot of early Spanish stuff?


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 May 10 - 10:46 AM

Could be they do, but I'm looking for a MIDI. MIDI's can be heard, downloaded, edited and played by me and my friends.

One title that came up a lot when I googled 15th century music was 'Missa de l'homme armee.' Ogckegem, Dufay, de Prez... I've seen references to that more than once in books of music history.

Odd that the idea was so widespread but I cannot hear even one piece from those masses on the Internet.
========
If you are curious and wish to hear something beautiful and interesting, actually haunting from about 1200, check out the music of Perotin, of Notre Dame Cathedral. He would have been old-fashioned by the time of the painting of the angels, however.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 May 10 - 10:51 AM

Have a listen:

oldies


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 21 May 10 - 11:57 AM

I thought there were programs around to convert mp3 to MIDI. You can't expect people to put up MIDIs of their work when an mp3 captures the details of the performers.

You can hear that stuff on the internet if you play the mp3s.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 May 10 - 09:00 AM

convert mp3 to MIDI? Well, I don't think so.

Even if there were, I would be afraid to turn such a program loose in my computer. Sound programs are powerful and capable of doing a lot of damage, damage which the usual computer shop doesn't know how to fix.

The usual computer shop doesn't even understand perfectly normal stuff like Noteworthy Composer.

mp3 is the format for audiences; MIDI is the format for musicians.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 23 May 10 - 02:56 AM

I really don't think anyones going convert their records to MIDI and put it on the internet for free. Similarly for scores. Your best bet reaaly is to do it yourself either from recordings or from scores.


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 May 10 - 06:24 AM

Try this (legal mp3s):

Renaissance Masses 1440-1520


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Subject: RE: picture this: two bodhrans
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 May 10 - 05:26 PM

Thanks, Jack. That's in interesting site.

For anyone interested in MIDI on the net, take a look at the MIDI files on the site 'Kunst der Fuge' or at the Classical Music Archives. Our band has enjoyed many a wonderful piece from those sites and other, similar sites. However, pieces from the early 1400's seem thin on the ground.


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