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jdowning
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[*] posted on 2-19-2021 at 03:57 PM
Lute plectrum-finger technique?


Peppe Frana is a guitar player who studied Turkish oud and other related instruments before his research into the European medieval lute performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Here he is playing a piece transcribed from the Lochamer- Liederbuch dated circa 1450.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrUJvWYR90

His right hand technique entails plucking with a plectrum or risha as well as using his fingertips. I doubt if there are any surviving instructions on playing the lute from that period so am curious to know if this is a traditional technique still used today by oud players and so has been adapted for modern performances of early European lute?
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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 2-19-2021 at 05:58 PM


Quote: Originally posted by jdowning  
Peppe Frana is a guitar player who studied Turkish oud and other related instruments before his research into the European medieval lute performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Here he is playing a piece transcribed from the Lochamer- Liederbuch dated circa 1450.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrUJvWYR90

His right hand technique entails plucking with a plectrum or risha as well as using his fingertips. I doubt if there are any surviving instructions on playing the lute from that period so am curious to know if this is a traditional technique still used today by oud players and so has been adapted for modern performances of early European lute?


If you don't get any useful answers from this forum, may I suggest asking on the Facebook Oud, Lute & Barbat Club? https://www.facebook.com/groups/308014863173986 I suggest that one specifically, because it's one of the few which has both significant numbers of ME/NA oud players AND European lutenists.
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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 2-19-2021 at 06:01 PM


Quote: Originally posted by John Erlich  
Quote: Originally posted by jdowning  
Peppe Frana is a guitar player who studied Turkish oud and other related instruments before his research into the European medieval lute performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Here he is playing a piece transcribed from the Lochamer- Liederbuch dated circa 1450.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrUJvWYR90

His right hand technique entails plucking with a plectrum or risha as well as using his fingertips. I doubt if there are any surviving instructions on playing the lute from that period so am curious to know if this is a traditional technique still used today by oud players and so has been adapted for modern performances of early European lute?


If you don't get any useful answers from this forum, may I suggest asking on the Facebook Oud, Lute & Barbat Club? https://www.facebook.com/groups/308014863173986 I suggest that one specifically, because it's one of the few which has both significant numbers of ME/NA oud players AND European lutenists.


Also, the Medieval Lute Forum, which appears to have that very performer as an Administrator: https://www.facebook.com/groups/315731758447809
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jdowning
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[*] posted on 2-20-2021 at 05:46 AM


Thank you for the links John. I will try to contact Peppe Frana directly for his comment and observations later - to be reported back here for information.

The early lute in Europe - prior to the 16th C - was essentially a fretted oud - so presumably was played in a manner copied from oud players of the era i.e. with a plectrum or risha. By the early 16th C in Europe the plectrum had been abandoned in favour of 'finger style' - plucking the strings with fingertips - initially with the hand moving as if holding a risha (a.k.a. 'thumb under' technique).

This combined technique used by Peppe Frana suggests a transition between plectrum and finger style playing. From a historical perspective I am interested to know if this technique was ever used by oud players and if some oud players today might still be following that method? If not on the oud was it ever used on other related middle eastern plucked instruments of the period?

All comments from forum members would be welcome.
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Ronny Andersson
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[*] posted on 2-22-2021 at 01:23 PM


I have never encountered anyone who plays oud like Peppe Frana, but today there are many who use classical guitar finger plucking on oud. The finger plucking style used by Bashir was mostly a simple type of bordun.



Quote: Originally posted by jdowning  
Peppe Frana is a guitar player who studied Turkish oud and other related instruments before his research into the European medieval lute performance at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Here he is playing a piece transcribed from the Lochamer- Liederbuch dated circa 1450.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrUJvWYR90

His right hand technique entails plucking with a plectrum or risha as well as using his fingertips. I doubt if there are any surviving instructions on playing the lute from that period so am curious to know if this is a traditional technique still used today by oud players and so has been adapted for modern performances of early European lute?




Best wishes

Ronny
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 06:50 PM


Thank you Ronny

There is a response to my question by Pepe Frana now on the Youtube link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGrUJvWYR90

He confirms that the technique was developed by Crawford Young(Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland) as a speculation on how a lute player of the 15th C using a plectrum might be able to play counterpoint.

So it is a convincing transitional technique from plectrum to early 16th C fingerstyle playing.
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[*] posted on 3-7-2021 at 06:12 PM


For information here is an example of the early lute 'thumb under' technique where the thumb and first finger alternately pluck the strings in place of a plectrum. See Paul O'Dette (on the right in the video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKfl3i7Gz4Q
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[*] posted on 3-7-2021 at 06:17 PM


I imagine that this is an example of oud players using fingers as well as risha that Ronny is referring to?

http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=18612
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[*] posted on 3-7-2021 at 09:49 PM


Very interesting tecnique. I don't know any oud player using it. I think the thumb is often used with the same logic, as plectrum.

Raed Koshaba https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4SFmspZVZI)

Peppe's right hand also immediately reminded me of the way the turkish saz players knock on the instrument while playing the melody, keeping the rythm.

Here I am using both fingers and plectrum, but not at once!
https://www.facebook.com/100008498648763/videos/2304149183211681
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[*] posted on 3-8-2021 at 01:28 AM


this is very interesting subject ! And i love the record you shared
Never seen such a technique from an oud player, all times i have seen finger use as to widen the range of sound and possiblilities, like i hear in Ahmad Al Khatib style sometimes, but usually just as an embellishment (like in the opening of khudni maak, take me along ) or full finger technique piece like in one of Nasseer Shamma (from Assyria to Sevilla)
But never seen such a thing on oud like on this very nice record.




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jdowning
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[*] posted on 3-10-2021 at 03:31 PM


Thankyou for the comments and examples guys.

I had since forgotten but about 12 years ago I posted a comment on this forum with reference to a right hand technique for the oud dating from the 10th C where the strings are struck alternately with thumb and first finger to perform the earliest kind of polyphonic music - a continued parallel movement of voices in fifths or fourths known as 'organum' in the West (or 'tarkib' in Arabic). This is described on page 13 of 'The Arab Contribution to Music of the Western World' by Dr Rabah Saoud here:

https://muslimheritage.com/uploads/Music2.pdf

This being the case Pepe Frana might also have performed the piece using the early 16th C lute 'thumb inside' technique demonstrated by Paul O'Dette (previously posted) as an authentic alternative? It wouldn't sound the same , of course, and I still admire the combined plectrum- finger style technique demonstrated by Pepe Frana.
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[*] posted on 3-11-2021 at 02:00 AM


flirting a bit with off topic, but made me think also of this player living in France, Salvador Paterna

He is playing thumb technic :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKZwYKIU4Kg

i would not assume is for any historical reason. I guess it his way because he is flamenco guitar player. But maybe a fact in the topic, i don't know about the history of flamenco and its sources on right hand technique




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