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19 October 2011

VIDEO: Viola da spalla - difficult made easy

The muses of Musicology and Performance practice do not like to cross the roads. They are too different. When they meet they are rarely happy. Both are busy. There is time either for one or for another but rarely for both. When I wrote my 40 pages article about the viola da spalla for the Galpin Society Journal I knew this. Actually I wrote it for myself however I still wanted the message get through to a larger group of performing musicians, not to just musicologists. After all, violin-makers do not make instruments for musicologists (sorry!)

So, some time after the article was published, I thought about a 5 minutes entertaining video (here it is below)

which would  summarise the 40 pages scientific article which even I did not read after it has been published. If you are not a musicologist or instrument-maker specialised in historical instruments it may seem unbearably boring: tones of dates, and names, and names, and names and none of that stuff has anything to do with the music. So, when this movie has been made I still worked in Japan, hence the Japanese subtitles... not to mention my deep connections with the Japanese culture. The point is that there was the time when the cello was a "modern" instrument not widely known, not readily accepted by players and, specially, not by the publishers - who would buy music written for an unknown thing? Would you? The funny thing, is that the re-discovered version of this instrument is experiencing exactly the same situation as it did in the end of the 17th century: "what the hell is that!?"

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