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New early & traditional music blog

Stower 17 Jul 15 - 04:43 AM
Stanron 17 Jul 15 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,HiLo 17 Jul 15 - 08:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jul 15 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,gillymor 17 Jul 15 - 12:54 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 15 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Dave 17 Jul 15 - 03:18 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 15 - 06:09 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 15 - 07:42 PM
Jack Campin 17 Jul 15 - 08:22 PM
Richie 17 Jul 15 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,ripov 17 Jul 15 - 10:08 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jul 15 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,ripov 17 Jul 15 - 10:33 PM
Stower 19 Jul 15 - 07:45 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Jul 15 - 08:16 AM
Stower 20 Jul 15 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Jul 15 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Jul 15 - 03:43 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jul 15 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Dave 21 Jul 15 - 07:29 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jul 15 - 07:42 AM
Stower 21 Jul 15 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Dave 21 Jul 15 - 02:58 PM
Stower 24 Jul 15 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 15 - 11:05 AM
Stower 24 Jul 15 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 04:43 AM

I'd be grateful if Mudcatters would take a look at http://earlymusicmuse.com, a recently started blog on medieval, renaissance and traditional music (with a smidgen of baroque) and see what you think.

The idea is to appeal to both casual observers and specialists in mediaeval, renaissance and traditional music, so it's a mixture of starting point pieces for those new to the subject (which appears not to be out there) and new research and analysis. I've traced the history of the stunningly crafted and never before analysed Boissart mandore in the V&A, for example, with lots of photos of this beauty (with kind permission of the V&A).

Admittedly, it's weighted in favour of early music and will remain so, but there will be more on traditional music and the trad/early overlaps (of which there are many) - an article on the history of mental health (my area outside of music) in early and traditional song is on the way, for example, focussed initially on 'Spencer the Rover' and the 'Mad Tom of Bedlam' family of songs.

You can see on the blog index what's there and what's planned. So far an appreciation of Sydney Carter; introductions to the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods in music; on the history of the gittern, guitar, gemshorn, and lute; three articles on the myths, history and music of Greensleeves; and two articles on the aforementioned Boissart mandore.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stanron
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 07:44 AM

Looks like I'll be spending some time here. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 08:55 AM

Looks great, love early music. Thank you so much.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 10:40 AM

This looks like a good start, and it is clear and easy to navigate.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 12:54 PM

Looks like good stuff.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 02:58 PM

I'll give it a look, but I can't see a connection between 'Spencer the Rover' and mental health. In the early nineteenth century many men had to go roaming round the country looking for work or they and their families would have starved.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 03:18 PM

It would be the third line:

"He had been so reduced which caused great confusion"

a statement with which a lot of people can empathise.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 06:09 PM

Hardly a case for sectioning. 'Reduced' simply means 'reduced to poverty' here because of his wild ways. We also have the phrase 'not knowing which way to turn' which equates to 'confusion'. However the line 'He had been so reduced to poverty which caused him to not know which way to turn' doesn't scan very well in a song.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 07:42 PM

One of the loveliest CDs I have is called Cantigas de Amigo, interpretations of 13th century Galician secular music, including the seven cantigas d'amigo of Martin Codax. The recording was made by Ensemble Alcatraz with Kitka. It's fabulous. I'm also very fond of my Hildegarde of Bingen CD!


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 08:22 PM

'Reduced' simply means 'reduced to poverty' here because of his wild ways.

I don't think it is that simple. If you look at the OED, you see that the word "reduce" had an enormous range of meanings in pre-modern times, with that financial sense being a rather late development. The primary meaning is bringing back into a former place or condition: like the lines in "Worldes Blis"

and atte laste povre and bare
it lat man, wan it ginth agon


it's a more all-embracing kind of deprivation than simply running out of money. The idea is more that of all the processes of human development being unravelled and rolled back. We don't now have the conceptual scheme that the word fits into. (It may be the most surprising OED entry I've read).

Agreed, though, that the word doesn't imply anything specific about mental illness.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Richie
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 09:45 PM

Hi,

I like it, I've been a Baroque musician for many years.

Richie


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 10:08 PM

>steve gardham; you're obviously lucky and have never been there then. Plenty of others have, and not all come back to tell the tale.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 10:17 PM

I like it, I've been a Baroque musician for many years.

Better Baroque than broke (reduced!).


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 10:33 PM

but regarding the subject, some interesting stuff here. But I wish music didn't have to be compartmentalised. Surely those good folks alive in 1600, or 1200, or whenever, felt the music of their time was as modern as we consider - well, age distracts me from being bothered about the latest band - but you know what I meam.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 19 Jul 15 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for all your thoughts and contributions. To answer a couple of points that have been raised.

Mental health songs. I mentioned 'mental health' rather than 'mental illness' in relation to Spencer the Rover and other songs, as the very idea of where health ends and illness begins is fraught in medical, historical and personal terms, and can be subjective, so 'health' is a broader, catch-all idea. If Spencer leaves home looking for work, the song doesn't mention it. It just says 'reduced', which is open to all kinds of financial or mental health interpretations. But I can't think that someone who leaves home for some unexplained reason (as many people with mental health difficulties do, by the way), sleeps in the woods and laments because he misses his children can be a very happy man. Anyway, there'll be more in the article, when I've finished it, it will cover much more than this one song, and probably best argue with me, if you want to, and I'd be happy for you to, when it's complete.

GUEST,ripov - yes, I agree that it's a shame to completely compartmentalise music. Though I'd be hard-pressed to find links between hip-hop and medieval music, there are certainly links in style and actual content between early music and traditional music - sometimes it's a different word for the same thing. That's why the blog specifies medieval, renaissance and traditional, and you'll find big overlaps between them in some of the articles, including one on Coventry Carol I'll be putting up soon, probably today, which will take in the renaissance song, medieval mystery plays, Henry VIII and John Renbourn. And there's an article about those musical overlaps brewing, too.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jul 15 - 08:16 AM

Wow, it's brilliant. Just subscribed via my RSS feed. (I see it's powered by WordPress - any way to follow it there too, in my WP account? I don't get time to check these things as often as I'd like, so I tend to miss stuff, and two bites of the cherry are always better than one IMO.)

What about flagging it in Facebook's general early music group?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2204637648/

Looking forward to more! Well done -


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 20 Jul 15 - 01:38 PM

Well, thank you for your appreciation, Bonnie, and thanks for subscribing. I expect it is possible to follow the blog through your WordPress account, but I'm new to this and I'm afraid I can't tell you how. I did allow log-in subcribers, who'd be able to check a list of latest posts in their account, but I was deluged by spam robots (several an hour!) and so have disallowed that. Anyway, the front page gives all the latest blogs and I have a search facility and index page, so it's easy (I hope) to find what may be of interest.

For years I've resisted joining Facebook and your link can't get me to the general early music group without logging in. What do the group offer? Perhaps it's time I relented and join FB?


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 12:23 AM

Hello, Stower, Thanks for the link. I have read about the gemshorn and the guitar.

Your site is valuable indeed, but I think that it's hard to read. The typeface is too small and too light in weight. (Look at the difference between the type on the Mudcat and the type on your site.)

In the article on guitar, the paragraphs are too long for reading on the computer. If you compare the pages of a book with the posts of successful Internet posters, you will find that paragraphs are shorter and sentences are simpler.

For some reason, reading text on the Internet is more work than reading a book.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 03:43 AM

Ian,

The site is excellent, I particularly liked the article on Sydney Carter, and the fact that clips are embedded of the medieval instruments discussed. These are articles not blog posts, and the paragraph lengths are just fine, I didn't find a single one which I couldn't fit on a screen, and I did read the article on the guitar.

Leenia: the font properties can always be overridden in your browser preferences. This is the beauty of HTML/CSS, the page provider suggests a format, but the user always has the final control.

In Firefox (for Mac in my case but I don't think it is different in other versions):
Preferences -> Content -> Colors -> then set the drop down box which says "Override the colors specified by the page with my selections above" to "Always".

The grey text will then change to black (or any other colour you choose).

Similar with size.

Mudcat uses browser default I think (so will appear different to different readers).

And I don't know what is "a successful internet poster". I always thought that people were posting on the internet because they weren't particularly successful elsewhere. Including me.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 05:49 AM

Thanks for that useful tip, Dave!

Stower, the Facebook group I linked to is a general-interest one for early music, and it has over 12,000 members, including some very good names. I think it's definitely worth your while to interact there.

You can always lock down your own personal FB page and be as private as you want - but you're likely to miss out on a lot if you do. One of the things I like about it (and Mudcat) is the unexpected treasures that turn up (this includes people). I've made loads of "harp buddies" that way, and connected with many old friends from the past - which in my case was three countries ago, so it's a valuable communication channel to folks I'd totally lose touch with otherwise.

I think you should give it a try - you can always bail out later. But it's a great way to make contacts in your field of interest.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2204637648/


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 07:29 AM

Unlike Ian I do have a Facebook account, so I took a look. But it really reminded me why I gave up with Facebook, it presents things in an unstructured way with no real means to search for what you are interested in. And the posts are too short to describe what it is they are really talking about. I am sure there is good stuff there, but I am not prepared to wade through everything to find it. Sorry I find sites like Ian's with in-depth analysis of a topic or series of topics much more useful.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 07:42 AM

Totally agree - but it might entice some eyeballs for his blog, which is really what I was thinking of.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 02:26 PM

Well, thank you all for your comments.

Hello, leeneia. It would be impossible for me to find a font size that suits every reader, as the size of the font depends on your personal settings on your screen, so that's very easy to change from your end, as with how much fits on a screen. (I'm not sure how paragraphs become so long for you, as a whole paragraph invariably fits on my screen.) I don't know if the font colour can be universally darkened in the backroom of the site - I'm new to this, but I'll look into it.

Thank you, Dave. I really think Sydney Carter should be more known for his wider work, not just the songs everyone knows.

Bonnie, I think it may well pluck up the courage to have a look at Facebook, if only for the early music group. I did have some real trouble with FB some years ago. Maybe it's time to get over that now.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 02:58 PM

Sydney Carter is known to different people for different things, having sung one of his hymns in our congregation last Sunday, nobody knew that he also wrote the classic anti-war song Crow on the Cradle, or the shamefully ignored anti-racism song The White Buck of Epping. Or John Ball or Julian of Norwich. And in folk clubs you could play them One More Step, they would know it because they remember it from school assembly, but they wouldn't know it was his. Some of his Christian work is controversial to some (such as Friday Morning or Every Star shall sing a Carol), but only if you don't stop to think what he is saying. A truly great English songwriter and poet. Even his album with Sheila Hancock deserves a wider hearing.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 06:39 AM

Dave, I absolutely couldn't agree more. The White Buck of Epping is, IMHO, a work of great merit - erudite, with a humour that belies the seriousness of the subject and yet, like the bulk of Sydney's work, it has been overshadowed and left behind by the more famous work. I must start singing it again.

I've just added a piece on the bray harp to the blog, the standard European harp of the late medieval, renaissance and early baroque periods, from the 14th century (or before) right through to the 17th century, and even most early music groups with harps don't use the period instrument. I've included a sound file so you can hear for yourself.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the article on the bray harp, Stower.

I like your rendition of the Tristan's Lament.


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Subject: RE: New early & traditional music blog
From: Stower
Date: 24 Jul 15 - 01:44 PM

Thank you, leenia. The bray harp is such an exciting sound to me - I don't understand why more early musicians don't play it for the music of its heyday. I wonder if they think the sound is just too off-the-beaten-track compared to modern instruments. Anyway, I love it.


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