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Viol in Baroque Music
The Viol.
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June 18, 2021 - 11:15 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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Nobody talks about Viols, but they were very popular instruments during the Renaissance & Baroque Periods of music. 

The Viol

Jordi Savall is a Catalan conductor (Eastern Spain), Viol player, composer and historian of early Western music.  I've enjoyed listening to his Celtic viol, as well as some of his Renaissance/Baroque period music.  He formed the early music ensemble "Hesperion XXI".

Caravaggio was an Italian artist/painter during the end of the Renaissance/beginning Baroque period that had a huge impact on Baroque style in general.  His techniques were made famous by the likes of Rubens & Rembrandt. 

Hesperion XXI with Jordi Savall, presents music from his time.

Jordi Savall: Lachrimae Caravaggio (Hespèrion XXI)

In this YouTube video, there are 24 beautiful string pieces to sample (after the intro) - all time stamped, played on different sizes of Viols (Viola da Gamba).  There are a couple with voice - I skipped over them.

2:03 - Pavana del re, 3:56 - Galliarda la traditora, 5:37 - Saltarello, 7:22 - Durezze E Ligature, 13:15 - Lachrimae Pavan, 17:06 - In Nomine a 4, 19:16 - Ein Schottisch Tanz, 22:15 - Passacaglia Libertas, 25:00 - Deploratio II, 27:43 - Pavana and Gallarda, 30:47 - Corrente Italiana, 34:17 - Concentus Aria, 35:36 - Concentus Recitativo, 37:52 - Folias, 41:51 - Pavane de la Petite Guerre, 44:06 - Bourrée d'avignonez, 46:27 - Consonanze Stravaganti (d'après trabaci), 47:57 - Deploratio III, 51:14 - Paduan & Courant dolorosa, 57:56 - Spiritus Morientis, 1:00:53 - Deploratio IV, 1:05:29 - Fantasie "Les Pieurs d`Orphée", 1:08:40 - Sarabande Italienne, 1:10:16 - Cantus Caravaggio III "In Memoriam"



All of Jordi Savall's music is definitely worth checking out on YouTube. 

- Emily


December 4, 2021 - 4:17 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 7970
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Marin Marais was a French Composer and Viol player, during the Baroque Period. 

He wrote 5 books for the Viol, "Pièces de viole".  These were suites with 'Basso Continuo'. 

Basso continuo parts, almost universal in the Baroque era (1600–1750), provided the harmonic structure of the music by supplying a bassline and a chord progression. 

He composed much more and became known as he who "founded and firmly established the empire of the viol". (Wikipedia)

I found two very different interpretations of Marin Marais's work!

Marin Marais - Les Folies d'Espagne (on Period Instruments).


La Rêveuse: Les folies d'Espagne de Marin Marais (extrait par Jordi Savall).




I also love that Marin Marais composed the music that would later be known as a Christmas Carol, "Masters in This Hall"


Facsimiles of all five books of Marais' Pièces de viole are published by Éditions J.M. Fuzeau. A complete critical edition of his instrumental works in seven volumes, edited by John Hsu, is published by Broude Brothers. (Wikipedia)

- Emily


March 3, 2023 - 5:16 pm
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I've recently noticed more interest in 6 & 7-string electric Violins on YouTube. 

Some people do play Classical, along with Pop & Rock. 

I was just thinking - why not consider the repertoire used by Viols during the Renaissance & Baroque Era?  This beautiful music was made for expanded string instruments! 

Traditionally, Viols (Viola da Gamba) are tuned a little differently, in 4ths, with one major 3rd - so, people familiar with common guitar tuning may find this very easy. 

I believe there are other members here who could better help discuss whether or not it would really matter if the tuning was traditional - or just in our 5ths, to play Viol Renaissance & Baroque music (?) 


Trad Viol Tuning:


From the Viola da Gamba Society of America (check out more about repertoire & tuning there): 

Historically, the instrument came to prominence in the Renaissance when polyphonic consort music for matched sets of instruments was the fashion among the nobility of Europe. The vast majority of surviving consort music composed specifically for viols comes from England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

By the end of the 17th Century, Sainte-Colombe founded the French Viol School - he was maybe the 1st known to use metal-wound brass strings & a 7th string! 

Germany followed alongside, also contributing great Viol music from composers.  

AND Leonora Duarte (Belgium) was the only known female composer of this music at that time... great info link (Wikipedia) - I really LOVED the samples of her music there! 





March 3, 2023 - 5:31 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 7970
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Here's a performance by Fretwork of "Byrd's 4-part In Nomine no. 1"

It is followed by a TUTORIAL ON BOWING and discussion on the elements of 'Consort' music!!! 



...I found that video extremely enlightening! 


Related thread: 

Super Violas - Edgar's Strange Cousins! Thread


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