John Bull: Keyboard Music (Diary 2014-08-24)

Keyboard Music by John Bull (“Dr. Bull’s Jewel”), played by Kathryn Cok, with a glimpse on related works by William Byrd (“Have with yow to Walsingame” BK 8, “Quadran Paven & Galliard” BK 70), included in the recording of all of Byrd’s keyboard works with Davitt Moroney


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Harpsichord Tuning

(…) Tuning with a tuning meter is different (…) in several ways: primarily, there is no “chained” tuning, i.e., every tone is tuned individually and independently, i.e., the pitch of any string (within the first octave) does not depend on the tuning of any other string, and the resulting tuning accuracy is only given by the accuracy of the tuning of all individual strings — and by the accuracy of the tuning meter. Tuning can be done in the common (and convenient) range a .. a’ for all tuning schemes — or in any other range given by the tuning scheme / table…


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Interval Tuning for Harpsichords

This posting probably is mostly designed to write past tuning pains off my chest … I stated that I frequently tune(d) our harpsichord — to say the truth: I’m not sure I like the tuning process as such, but I liked the challenge of tuning, at a time when we used recipes based on interval tuning: we did not have electronic tuning aids for a number of years. The basic challenges in interval tuning fall into several categories…


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What Tunings Did Bach Use?

People probably regard Bach as being the baroque composer, though in aspects like his preference for traditional polyphonic forms such as fugues and canons (he was a master at writing, even improvising the most complex of fugues) he must have been regarded a rather traditional composer at his time. On the other hand, he did expand into new, previously (almost) unexplored keys on the keyboard and thus may have helped advancing music towards the pre-classical era…


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Encounters with Music Instruments

… in a family with 5 boys. My mother had been playing recorder when she was young. I remember that she had 2 – 3 recorders (alto and soprano). With 5 boys there was very little chance for quiet times to play — and for the instruments to survive! Once we got our hands on these instruments, we ruined them quickly by biting into the mouthpiece, destroying the labium with screwdrivers or needles, etc. …


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