Mike's Oud Forums
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Italian instrument from 1787
Jack_Campin
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 320
Registered: 5-6-2007
Location: Scotland
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 7-27-2013 at 03:34 AM
Italian instrument from 1787


Here are two versions of a picture by the Scottish artist David Allan, of Naples in 1787:

http://c590298.r98.cf2.rackcdn.com/XGVB9_013.JPG
http://www.britishmuseum.org/collectionimages/AN00270/AN00270337_00...

It looks somewhere between a cobza and a lavta; three strings. The two asymmetric soundholes are odd.

Anyone recognize it? Does it have a name?

The tambourine/bendir seems to have jingles in one version but not the other.




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 7-27-2013 at 11:40 AM


Interesting but difficult to determine what is being represented - artists being artists.

It looks vaguely like a variety of archlute but is represented with only three single strings and no extended pegbox.

The three stringed, fretted long necked lute - popular as a folk instrument in southern Italy during the 17th C - was the Colascione - played in parallel fifths and octaves. See here

http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=7096#pid438...

However the 17th Colascione had quite a small bowl. Perhaps the Colascione survived into the 18th C as a larger more resonant and louder instrument similar to that depicted in the picture? An Arch-Colascione perhaps?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jono Oud N.Z
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1111
Registered: 12-14-2009
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 7-28-2013 at 10:20 PM


Wow!
What a cool painting:)
I am interested to know more about it as well.
The frame drum is interesting too.
A jolly scene indeed.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 7-29-2013 at 04:29 AM


The asymmetric double sound hole arrangement is not unknown among the old European lutes although likely not common in its day - and no examples survive as far as I am aware.

The attached portrait painting depicts an English theorbo of the early 17th C.

Depictions of instruments in the iconography can be notoriously unreliable in their accuracy often being drawn by an artist from memory by one lacking in familiarity with an instrument.
I would tend to trust the representation of the theorbo in the still life portrait more than I would that of the southern Italian instrument. The latter painting depicts an action scene so was most likely painted from memory by the artist (not having photographic images at his disposal) and may not even represent an actual scene drawn from life just a composition.

Perhaps the instrument the Scottish artist had in mind was an imperfect memory of an archlute seen in another painting?

[file]27279[/file]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 7-29-2013 at 12:14 PM


The Scottish artist depicted mount Vesuvius erupting in the background which is correct for 1787 - as confirmed by this beautiful water colour by Giovanni Battista Lusieri painted in the same year - perhaps seen from approximately the same location?

http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/607881
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-3-2013 at 04:29 AM


Here is another well known example of a lute with asymmetric soundhole arrangement - an engraving of a Paduan theorbo from Syntagma Musicum II de Organographia (Sciagraphia)by Michael Praetorius, published in1620. The instrument engravings are drawn to scale measured in Brunswick inches and feet (12 inches = 1 Brunswick foot). A Brunswick inch = 23.78 mm.

So this theorbo measures 150 cm overall length with a stopped string length of 86 cm and open bourdon string length of 114cm.
More than three strings though!

The full text and engravings of the Syntagma can be downloaded free from here

http://archive.org/details/SyntagmaMusicumBd.21619
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ararat66
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1025
Registered: 11-14-2005
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: mellow yellow

[*] posted on 8-3-2013 at 07:38 AM


..."artists being artists" ... speaking as an artist myself, we tend to be the most pedantic of people albeit somewhat disguised sometimes - the truth is in there somewhere :buttrock:

Leon
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-5-2013 at 03:25 PM


Here is a composition for Chitaronne (or Tiorba) by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (Book 4 of Tablature for Chitaronne, 1640) - a parody of music for the Italian 3 string folk Colascione - here expertly performed by virtuoso lutenist Rolf Lislevand (complete with percussion backing).

Perhaps this is similar to the sound of the dance troupe heard by artist David Allen way back in 1787?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRxYpfpY-RA
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Ararat66
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1025
Registered: 11-14-2005
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: mellow yellow

[*] posted on 8-5-2013 at 09:40 PM


What a great piece of music - what strikes me is how contemporary it sounds (sounds almost like a backing track to a Nirvana song or something or vice versa) ... mesmerising.

Leon
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-6-2013 at 04:30 AM


I agree with you Leon. Although I prefer 'authenticity' in the performance of the early lute repertoire I really do like the work of Lislevand with his 'souped up' versions combining the Chitarrone with other period instruments (with some electronic enhancements as well no doubt). There are a number of his recordings posted on YouTube.

The Chitarrone is a large bass lute originally designed for use in early opera (early 17th C) for accompaniment where it had to sound powerful enough and project well enough to hold its own with voice and other instruments - hence the longer stopped strings and extended basses - but was also used as a solo instrument. Stopped strings could be anywhere from about 84 to 96 cm in length. What I find amazing is how a virtuoso player can be so agile on a lute with such a long string length. For example here are some of the variations on "Aria di Fiorenza" by Kapsberger played by Paul O'Dette illustrating some of the techniques employed on the Chitarrone - "campanellas" (little bells) and "strascini" (long slurred passages) and arpeggios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baeWgaSKSHw

I am planning to build a Chitarrone as one of my next projects so will post progress on this forum as a separate topic for those who may be interested. It might also make an interesting bass oud with the tied frets removed?!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-7-2013 at 04:07 AM


Here is another example of an extended neck lute with asymmetric soundhole arrangement. Alas, more than 3 strings though!
Note that in this case the strings pass over the bridge and are anchored at the bottom of the bowl - an indication that the instrument is metal (rather than gut) strung as some of this type of lute were.

This is one of a collection of plates depicting various musicians and their instruments of the Baroque period published in 1722 by Johann Christoph Weigel, Nürnberg, "Musicalisches Theatrum". The full set of plates may be downloaded from here

http://imslp.org/wiki/Musicalisches_Theatrum_%28Weigel,_Johann_Chri...

[file]27350[/file]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-7-2013 at 03:27 PM


Here is another version of a parody of the three string Colascione by Kapsberger's contemporary Alessandro Piccinini (1566 - 1638).
Very similar to the Kapsberger version again performed on the Chitaronne (or tiorba).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJFMHcnA9MA
(note that apart from the first few images of a Colascione the remainder on the video are of the wide variety of extended neck lutes of the 17th C - so a bit confusing!)

...... and it would appear a larger version of the 17th Colascione is still being played today - this one without frets and with metal strings.

http://www.yourepeat.com/watch/?v=LWqZCyHsPpo

CORRECTION! - checking the only published works of Alexandri Piccinini for Chitarrone (Bologna, 1623) there is no composition with the title "Colascione". The reason this piece sounds similar to the Kapsberger composition is that it is the Kapsberger composition (modified a bit) not one by Piccinin!!
Looks like the poster of the video made an error in the title.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
jdowning
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 3465
Registered: 8-2-2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 8-9-2013 at 12:14 PM


For information (for those who can read lute tablature) here is the original published tablature for "Colascione" - Kapsberger, Book 4, Rome, 1640 - tablature for Chitarrone.

The tablature in this publication is difficult to read in parts - a copperplate engraving perhaps that is a bit smudged and lacking in clarity.
Tablature is 'Italian' so the top line represents the 6th course and the bottom the first course. In this composition only seven courses of a 19 course Chitarrone are used.
The apparent 'impossible' slurred passage at the end is 'simply' executed with a finger of the left hand running the full length of the fingerboard on the 6th course up to fret 9 position.

I suspect that the instrument depicted by the Scottish artist in 1787 is a development of the long necked 17th C Colascione - the body of the instrument being enlarged (and neck proportionally shortened with string length mainained) to increase bass response and projection.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group