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Historical Performance Practice
That it's way simpler than it sounds...
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Demoiselle
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July 30, 2016 - 5:01 am
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There's one little video on YouTube and having seen that you know everything about it. We should not forget, this style was first! In that late 1700s baroque music was just old-fashioned stuff and not really interesting. Later, in the 1800s began a Lutheran Bach hype, which again made baroque music a little popular. But then violin players (like other instrumentalists) where used to the style of their romantic period—and this was the way they fiddled Bach and Handel: bombastically overblown and hysterical as the whole romantic period was. The baroque period had been a very down-to-earth generation who rejected any kind of overdo and would accuse the male violinist in the following video of being unrestrained, affected and mannered:

Of course we're not supposed to completely live the moral of the 1600s and early 1700s. It's just a question of what a modern listener likes better. And if you find the lady much better than the man, you obviously like music of the baroque period better than romantic music. But this is not where this topic ends if you look beyond baroque music. It is beyond my musical world, but nonetheless enlightening. A couple months ago I bookmarked a video of a Mozart interpretation I found very interesting. The 20th century also not played Mozart in his original style and involved styles of the romantic period. Here they do it historically informed—just try to find extended vibratos...

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Charles
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July 30, 2016 - 1:54 pm
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Interesting to hear the difference. On the Bach piece, I'd say I definitely prefer the baroque version. I've frequently heard Bach described as "mathematical". In the baroque version, you can hear that - every single aspect is there for a reason, and to get that effect, you couldn't do it any other way.

The modern version (or romantic version) was just another flowery piece, showing off "look out fast I can play, and with so much vibrato".  I saw no difference between it and hundreds of other pieces I've heard, all instantly forgettable.

Glad to know Bach actually deserves his reputation after all. Notice some of the same things with the Mozart piece, although it wasn't as drastic a difference.

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Demoiselle
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I hear and feel the music differently. I hear no math, it's just honest feeling and expression which touches my heart. I hope I'm not alienating any lover of romantic stylistics, but to me the man's expression sounds affected. But this is how I hear and feel it very personally, considering possible that he deeply feels what he is playing and that listeners who love his style feel that too. To me it's just too much, completely overloaded, utter overdo.

To a friend of Historical Performance Practice the honest expression of this lady is just deeper than what the man does. I do think, music involves mathematics or rather arithmetic, but this is not all and it isn't the main thing. I prefer to understand it in a broader way and call music part tonal science. But the difference of math and music are feeling and expression. And the woman involves a lot of feeling and expression while playing her interpretation. I cannot believe, Bach was playing his violin, clavichord or an organ just unemotionally! I imagine him rocking while doing it. And I think it was what he loved most and it showed while he was playing. And then look at the man while she is playing: he is smiling at her and looks like he also loves it. He downright reacts like he's falling in love with the way she's playing. It is touching him deeply, like she is touching me.

As a singer I know the kind of expression, which after all comes from vocal expression. In the movie about the French composer Marais there's a scene where two little girls sing. It is so heart-melting that I was really like shattered the first time I heard it!

This is what I consider the deep and honest feeling of ancient music. Far from all what we have put on in modern times. I analyzed the chords because I want to sing and play this bewitching song in my December concert. So I kind of have to study math, to later express it with a much deeper feeling than I have while figuring out chords. And I certainly have to listen again and again and then sing it again and again to break its spell by getting used to it. I don't want to cry on stage in public, I want to sing it as heartfelt as I can (whereas when you cry the voice is breaking). Afterwards I will ask a couple people how they felt it, whether there's really that spell involved...

Maybe it helps you if I admit, that years ago certain kinds of minuets made me cry indeed. One day I went to Potsdam with Tina, a friend of my baroque dance class, where we both were students. We had cards for a baroque concert in the historical theater of the palace. There was no electrical light, but candles everywhere. And when the music started with the typical deep and honest feeling of baroque, it was too much for me and I cried. Since that evening I'm afraid to go to concerts like this, because I'm afraid it might happen again.

So if you think, baroque music is just reduced to math, or it would at least mostly be math, I can assure you, there's way more to discover than just intellect. This style was created by a young generation, which put all their emotions into it and a big part of it was love. Just look at this young violinist, who is downright dancing while playing. She deeply feels the emotion of that music:

People had love affairs while dancing minuets like this on balls, parties and weddings. And I really hear it in this minuet. It also has a very playful character and the girl who plays the violin is doing it right: She's taking it playfully.

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Demoiselle
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July 30, 2016 - 6:55 pm
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Demoiselle said

People had love affairs while dancing minuets like this on balls, parties and weddings. And I really hear it in this minuet. It also has a very playful character and the girl who plays the violin is doing it right: She's taking it playfully.  

I missed the actual description of how I understand this minuet.

If a young man and a young lady were in love with each other, it was extremely difficult to meet. Just paying the opposite sex a visit would start the talk of the town, which will completely ruin her reputation. So they always yearn to accidentally meet somewhere. If this happens they share a couple complements and that's all.

All their hope is to meet at the next wedding or ball. Will they both get and invitation? Who can help and arrange that? You need good friends who constantly try to arrange meetings which are socially accepted.

At that point when the above minuet starts to play, one of them asks the other to dance and she places her hand into his, they must be extremely thrilled. They are at the peak of excitement and their hearts are pounding like mad. I think you hear this all in the above minuet—glances and butterflies in the stomach included. Excitement and the playfulness of young lovers. That's why minuets where so popular.

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Demoiselle
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July 30, 2016 - 7:14 pm
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If Tanya LaPerrière, the violin player, here kind of shows the facial expression of feeling sort of pain, this is not just show. She is bound to feel those emotions in order to get it right and play the music with feeling and expression.

And by the way, the girls of Pallade Musica have a good taste in things choosing clothes, which match the whole atmosphere and also show some emotion and playfulness.

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Demoiselle
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Volker Hagedorn, a professional musician of ancient music and a journalist, has written a wonderful book on Bach's family story in the 1600s, which just came out in May 2016. They talked about it on the German public radio and I bought it right away.

In this book you find lyrics of Johann Christoph Bach's church music. Hagedorn even names the progression of chords and how they illustrate the words. The words are about 'crying over my own sin'...."my sin is going over my head, like a heavy load..." (I'm translating here). It is impossible so sing this unemotionally, although it's 'only' church music. If a young singer does not sing an air like this deeply heartfelt at a college audition, they will send him home right away and he will not get to study. Even if it's about church music and not about secular love, you cannot read the text like from a table of logarithms. What we call baroque music today is basically NOT math! You have to involve math to figure out the chords (and their melodic options) of a love song by Cole Porter, but afterwards you forget the math to play and sing it with love. It's the same with baroque music.

The idea, baroque music would be mathematical and therefore not involve deep emotions, is a very common prejudice. My own high school history teacher admitted that in front of our advanced history course: that he felt relief due to the 'fact' that baroque music would not involve feelings he was not able or ready to deal with. I guess he must have bought records with most boring baroque music, which must have been very dull. Like those I first bought in the 90s before I moved to Berlin, for I first didn't find anything better and never had heard authentic baroque music. Whatsoever, my fellow students—all just fans of rock music—did shake their heads and found him strange. Even they didn't believe him!

But coming back to singing of religious baroque music, I'd like to involve an alto air from Handel's Messiah, which I had to sing at young age:

"He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."

My teacher constantly urged me to sing this with more expression, which I desperately tried as advanced beginner, but then it still wasn't enough to him!! And he really was a true professional, after his engagement at our local theater singing at the great opera London. Admittedly, he did not officially perform there, he was just the stand-in of their star baritone. But you must be extremely good if you get to be a stand-in in that world-celebrated house. And if I say, that this man constantly reminded me to involve more expression and feeling, I can give out the necessity of deeply felt baroque music as fact here.

It would be simple to shout out this Messiah text, with violent roars and screams. But that's not how you are supposed to sing it. You have to deeply feel the sorrow and express the regret and pity for the physically and psychically tortured man. Not scream like a guy who suffers torture—that would be superficial and shallow. You have to involve the fact, that a 1700s protestant deeply loves Jesus and therefore feels the sorrow even deeper. Roaring and hollering would be easy, just feeling and expressing it the subtle way how baroque music is to sing, is very difficult art. Which makes singing education a process, taking many years.

In those years when I attended weekly voice lessons I read a book written by the singer Victor Fuchs, who must have been old enough to have witnessed Caruso. And this very experienced Austrian professional, who sang and taught around the globe, reminds something very few people have heard of. All the famous airs Wagner composed for leading tenors he meant to be sung with subtle high notes. Which is the old idea of Bel Canto since at least the 1500. Nonetheless it became big fashion to blast Wagner's famous high notes out. Which definitely harms any voice—also voices of professional stars. And why are singers doing that? Because the majority of people like it. I don't know, how much vibrato Wagner wanted to be involved, but guess what I assume and I'd really like to know that (although not really very interested in romantic music)? So not even Wagner is being performed authentically. The dishonesty is everywhere because professionals have to make a living, which is difficult in all arts and that's why they have to adjust to common taste too often. And you profoundly have to study music to understand what is authentic and what is not.

Back to Volker Hagedorn and his new book "Bachs Welt" (Bach's World). I hope somebody translates it to English, so all you guys around the world can enjoy it. It is very awesome.

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Demoiselle
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Just found an exciting video with Hélène Schmitt (I have been adoring for years and have a couple CDs of) playing a Passacaille by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber!

I have been talking a lot here, but now I don't need to, for there are very speaking comments by other people under that YouTube video:

Bravo! Amazing, she plays with such passion and sensuousness, most impressive! I'm off to check out her versions of Bach's Partitas for solo violin.
Chills up and down my spine...tears in my eyes
 

"passion.....sensuousness.....chills.....tears"

Does this sound like talking about math?

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Demoiselle
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In order to follow the Historical Performance Practice, one gets closest to it easily this way:

Ancient music is not totally vibrato-free and interprets of it differ quite a bit in this. But they all have never vibrato on final notes. This certainly goes for the last note of the musical piece, but also for long notes which end a phrase or sequence in the middle. Other long notes can have vibrato, but mostly rather tend to have not. So if they use vibrato now and then, its effect is even more striking.

So, if you end the last note of a movement or single piece vibratoless, you're always right. If you feel like rather play baroque music the classical/romantic way, as it was common until the 40s, do it. Music should not follow strict laws and the musician should be free, unless it's a money thing and you have to adjust to the market.

When young musicians started to get interested in sources of the 1600s and 1700s and researched how baroque music was played at that time, the majority considered  them fools. That happened in the 1950s in Europe and it took decades until Historical Performance Practice was recognized and taken seriously in public. The first time I heard about it in the late 90s on a radio program, but most radio stations went on to play baroque music the classical way. Finding authentic baroque music in shops was not possible in my town—there was nothing but classical interpretations of baroque music. I really had to move to Berlin to get my hands on that stuff.

Today it has changed completely. If they play baroque music on public German radio, it's mostly authentic Historical Performance Practice.

Thanks for the mathematical point, @charles, for it has sparked interesting thoughts and added in some nice videos. I wouldn't have done that otherwise. 😉

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Fiddlerman
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August 5, 2016 - 3:32 pm
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I prefer the baroque version for several reasons. The Baroque version is more musical and interesting however, I've heard modern versions that I would prefer to her Baroque version depending on my mood.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Demoiselle
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I cannot be impartial since I'm retraining myself which is hard enough. In swing I've been sort of Doris Day style voice—vibrato was just natural. I can keep vibrato out as long as watching my final notes. But if I accompany my voice at the spinet, you will probably hear a vibrato on the final note. Today was the first day I managed to sing final notes vibratoless while reaching for violin or recorder. I've bee trying that since August last year! It is very hard to undo old habits. I made the decision to do it because I love baroque too much. Now I have to be consistent.

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I had been talking about the wonderful book about Bach's family. Yesterday I started with chapter 4 - THE WEDDING ("Die Hochzeit"), which is a wonderful experience.

On April 29, 1679 Johann Christian Bach (born 1645) married his great love Martha Elisabeth Eisentraut (after hazardly escaping the engagement with a young woman who first played nice and then went over to verbal abuse—obviously her usual attitude). Christian was not as successful as his twin brother Johann Ambrosius Bach, but just organist in the small town Ohrdruft. So, in April 1679 a travel party of seventy Bachs went to Ohrdruft! The Bach family were a loving family who stuck together and supported each other.

Christian had a cousin, also named Johann Christian Bach (born 1646) who had composed the wedding music for Ohrdruft—Johann Ambrosius did the clearn copy, so his hand is to see over there:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Meine_Fr.....Christoph)

The book tells the story how Ambrosius hands the bass part to the singer who was meant so sing it and some grandfather of the Bach family. And this man sang it to the wives of Ambrosius and is cousin Christian, both named Maria Elisabetha, and giggling over the lyrics:

"My girlfriend, you are beautiful, my girlfriend you are beautiful.

Turn your eyes away from me, for they make me rutting."

("Meine Freundin, du bist schön, meine Freundin du bist schön.

Wende deine Augen von mir, denn sie machen mich brünstig.")

 

I said to myself, "Wait a minute, this is wonderful—I gotta sing that!" So I went to YouTube and there it was.

This is the version I tend to consider authentic:

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTv9qy3qzOAhWBLCwKHeYeAmcQtwIIKjAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DVCvbLYb_cpA&usg=AFQjCNFJd9fX6vS7nYs3PQsr1CLOK4JUbA&sig2=9UjTfuBo5Ra2nAopY1lNOw

Here the female singer was not a good choice—too much vibrato and a very striking accent:

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTv9qy3qzOAhWBLCwKHeYeAmcQtwIINjAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnadqKOulZMs&usg=AFQjCNHa1G15KDw8xhnWrTH9-1osipDopg&sig2=YghSsJtppQBNRswPac04Zg

The first video certainly shows a picture which is extremely out of fashion for 1679—looks like fashion around the year 1600. The second video presents a charming lady who matches the late 1600s, but I think the whole interpretation is not as good as the first one. It already starts with the cello introduction which differs a lot. The vibrato of the lady is not just to constant, but also very heavy, like in romantic opera. I wonder why they couldn't find a matching voice, since ancient music is such an international business these days, where all kinds of nationalities come together every day. An English accent on a German libretto is okay with a provincial theater, or amateur level, but in this case I cannot tolerate it.

The first version was played by Reinhard Goebel and his Musica Antiqua Köln. The female voice is a really ideal singer for ancient music.

The libretto of the first part is very cute. It goes on with her asking him to come out to his garden so she can kiss him and he then replies, "I'm coming my sister, my dear bride, to my garden, I come my girlfriend to my garden." It then goes on with a couple chaconnes which are kinda gifts from heaven, because chaconnes are always great for instrumental improvisation. Ambrosius was meant to play the violin part, who was the finest violinist in the Bach family of 1679. (Just listen to the very Lullistic violin at 4:10 of the first video—it is brutally heavenly and almost chills me to death!!)

Meine Freundin, du bist schön,
wende deine Augen von mir,
denn sie machen mich brünstig.

O daß ich dich, mein Bruder,
draußen finde,
und dich küssen müßte,
daß mich niemand höhnete.
Mein Freund, komme in deinen Garten.
O daß ich dich, mein Bruder, draußen finde,
und dich küssen müßte, mein Freund, mein Bruder.
Komm mein Bruder, komm mein Freund, in deinen Garten.

Ich komm, meine Schwester, liebe Braut, in meinen Garten.
Ich komm, meine Freundin, in meinen Garten.

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Demoiselle
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Here's the divine chaconne part, also done extremely beautifully! And you see the violin player!

She doesn't seem to reach Reinhard Goebel's violin charm, but this is live. Well, Goebel was really a supermaster of baroque violin, who sadly ended his career and retired about 2 years ago.

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Demoiselle
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Oh, Johann Ambrosius will be the father of Johann Sebstian six years later. Ambrosius, the great violin player and composer—no wonder Johann Sebastian became such a good violin player who composed his very tricky Sei Solo pieces for just violin and without b.c. around 1720.

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Demoiselle
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Demoiselle said
I had been talking about the wonderful book about Bach's family. Yesterday I started with chapter 4 - THE WEDDING ("Die Hochzeit"), which is a wonderful experience.

On April 29, 1679 Johann Christian Bach (born 1645) married his great love Martha Elisabeth Eisentraut (after hazardly escaping the engagement with a young woman who first played nice and then went over to verbal abuse—obviously her usual attitude). Christian was not as successful as his twin brother Johann Ambrosius Bach, but just organist in the small town Ohrdruft. So, in April 1679 a travel party of seventy Bachs went to Ohrdruft! The Bach family were a loving family who stuck together and supported each other.

Christian had a cousin, also named Johann Christian Bach (born 1646) who had composed the wedding music for Ohrdruft—Johann Ambrosius did the clearn copy, so his hand is to see over there:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Meine_Fr.....Christoph)

The book tells the story how Ambrosius hands the bass part to the singer who was meant so sing it and some grandfather of the Bach family. And this man sang it to the wives of Ambrosius and is cousin Christian, both named Maria Elisabetha, and giggling over the lyrics:

"My girlfriend, you are beautiful, my girlfriend you are beautiful.

Turn your eyes away from me, for they make me rutting."

("Meine Freundin, du bist schön, meine Freundin du bist schön.

Wende deine Augen von mir, denn sie machen mich brünstig.")

 

I said to myself, "Wait a minute, this is wonderful—I gotta sing that!" So I went to YouTube and there it was.

This is the version I tend to consider authentic:

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTv9qy3qzOAhWBLCwKHeYeAmcQtwIIKjAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DVCvbLYb_cpA&usg=AFQjCNFJd9fX6vS7nYs3PQsr1CLOK4JUbA&sig2=9UjTfuBo5Ra2nAopY1lNOw

Here the female singer was not a good choice—too much vibrato and a very striking accent:

https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiTv9qy3qzOAhWBLCwKHeYeAmcQtwIINjAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnadqKOulZMs&usg=AFQjCNHa1G15KDw8xhnWrTH9-1osipDopg&sig2=YghSsJtppQBNRswPac04Zg

The first video certainly shows a picture which is extremely out of fashion for 1679—looks like fashion around the year 1600. The second video presents a charming lady who matches the late 1600s, but I think the whole interpretation is not as good as the first one. It already starts with the cello introduction which differs a lot. The vibrato of the lady is not just to constant, but also very heavy, like in romantic opera. I wonder why they couldn't find a matching voice, since ancient music is such an international business these days, where all kinds of nationalities come together every day. An English accent on a German libretto is okay with a provincial theater, or amateur level, but in this case I cannot tolerate it.

The first version was played by Reinhard Goebel and his Musica Antiqua Köln. The female voice is a really ideal singer for ancient music.

The libretto of the first part is very cute. It goes on with her asking him to come out to his garden so she can kiss him and he then replies, "I'm coming my sister, my dear bride, to my garden, I come my girlfriend to my garden." It then goes on with a couple chaconnes which are kinda gifts from heaven, because chaconnes are always great for instrumental improvisation. Ambrosius was meant to play the violin part, who was the finest violinist in the Bach family of 1679. (Just listen to the very Lullistic violin at 4:10 of the first video—it is brutally heavenly and almost chills me to death!!)

Meine Freundin, du bist schön,
wende deine Augen von mir,
denn sie machen mich brünstig.

O daß ich dich, mein Bruder,
draußen finde,
und dich küssen müßte,
daß mich niemand höhnete.
Mein Freund, komme in deinen Garten.
O daß ich dich, mein Bruder, draußen finde,
und dich küssen müßte, mein Freund, mein Bruder.
Komm mein Bruder, komm mein Freund, in deinen Garten.

Ich komm, meine Schwester, liebe Braut, in meinen Garten.
Ich komm, meine Freundin, in meinen Garten.

  

Above two versions of Johann Christian Bach did not appear in the post and now I understand, I inserted the URLs and not the shorter YouTube sharing links. So, the first version is the authentic and beautiful one by Reinhard Goebel and his Music Antiqua Köln.

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Demoiselle
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I'm already experimenting with this chaconne.

Demoiselle said
Here's the divine chaconne part, also done extremely beautifully! And you see the violin player!

.......

So these are the chords I figured out:

|  g  |  D  |  Eb |D4/D/D|

D4 = Dsus, so the last bar changes from quart to third.

The original bass line is:

G--, D--, Eb/Bb-, C/D-

I prefer to not play the seventh C in the last bar, if just accompanying on my spinet. If I had a band with extra bass instrument, I would probably also choose the seventh.

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BillyG
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 Ahhh @Demoiselle - probably said this before - not what I would want to play - but - I *DO* appreciate the music !  

We're all different in what we do and what drives us...  I really enjoyed listening to that...  

Voice and violin - what a brilliant mixture !   Fits together so well...

Good luck with you own endeavors !

Thank you for the post !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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I always see Johann Ambrosius Bach fiddling and the bride, his sister in law singing and the cousin and composer at the keys. These people were so awesome, no wonder Ambrosius' son Johann Sebastian will become such a great musician. He was constantly surrounded by these geniuses.

This piece definitely is what drives me right now and I regret a bit, that I can't do both at one time: singing and fiddling. I just fiddle, sing and then fiddle again and if I'm in the mood the fiddling will inspire my singing and the singing then again my fiddling. I will now go to look up what musically drives you, for you made me very curious. 😉

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BillyG
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LOL @Demoiselle - your knowledge is quite amazing - but I'm a simple bloke - I am "driven" by folk/traditional and rock.  Scottish by birth, and having heard a lot of fiddle/accordion/dance-band/pipe-band music in my early days - well - it has sort of "stuck with me" and I bring it into what I play - be that on guitar (my first instrument) or other instruments I try to play ( low-whistle, keyboard ) - there is always a "Scottish touch" to what I do - and right now - no - I cannot avoid it..... it just happens... LOL

But equally - my listening choices are hugely eclectic - I just LOVE all music genres - and I'll very often pick out a few bars from something I know, or have newly heard - and just improv with it....  

It's all about "making music" at the end-of-the-day really

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Demoiselle
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August 23, 2016 - 11:46 am
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What we call baroque music today is nothing but highbrow folk. I joined the Breton folk scene in my early years after moving to Berlin, because it very much reminded me of the music at the sun king's court—Lully, Cambert, Marais etc.—I felt musically downright at home. I was joining the sessions and the dancing. At home I used the Breton folk steps to dance to baroque music, until I discovered the possibility to learn baroque dance in Berlin. Baroque dance and Breton folk dance have a lot in common.

The folk scene also differs in itself. I have heard folk bands which were very close to baroque music, others tend more to ancient peasant bands. In Germany many  court- and towns-people went to the country side because they loved the peasant music and dancing. And my dancing master said in 1712 they dance a peasant dance at court now and then too and people like it (but it's not allowed to throw the dames up in the air like they do in villages).

In a couple days I have to do a 10 mins. act and there will be House of the Rising Sun in it. So I keep the connection to folk. Greensleeves is an actual title you can hear played by folk bands and by baroque ensembles. One of my favorite CDs is "English Country Dances" by Playford, with David Douglass at the violin.

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Demoiselle
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August 25, 2016 - 2:35 pm
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Demoiselle said
I'm already experimenting with this chaconne.

Demoiselle said
Here's the divine chaconne part, also done extremely beautifully! And you see the violin player!

.......

So these are the chords I figured out:

|  g  |  D  |  Eb |D4/D/D|

D4 = Dsus, so the last bar changes from quart to third.

The original bass line is:

G--, D--, Eb/Bb-, C/D-

I prefer to not play the seventh C in the last bar, if just accompanying on my spinet. If I had a band with extra bass instrument, I would probably also choose the seventh.  

Nope, the bass line is:

G--, D-- Eb-/Bb, C/D-

I just had to change the notes I had written down while completing her voice and figuring out the meaning of the lyrics.

Google told me, the lyrics come from the Songs of Songs in the bible. Johann Christoph Bach's lyrics are:

 Mein Freund ist mein, und ich bin sein,

Der unter den Rosen weidet.

Directly translated to English: "My (boy)friend is mine, and I am his, who under the roses grazes."

Which sounds like the girls in old Israel must have chosen cervine lovers, because human males would rather not being grazing under the roses. But I probably don't get the full meaning of this bible text. Wikipedia, by the way, explains:

"Song of Songs
... Scripturally, the Song of Songs is unique in its celebration of sexual love. It gives the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy. ..."

I'm very impressed now, never having heard about the sexy side of God's word! But it matches Johann Christoph's lyrics the bass sang before this:

"My girlfriend, you are beautiful, my girlfriend you are beautiful.

Turn your eyes away from me, for they make me rutting."

("Meine Freundin, du bist schön, meine Freundin du bist schön.

Wende deine Augen von mir, denn sie machen mich brünstig.")

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