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Early Music Instruments

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Early Music Instruments by Dale Taylor with Jack Blanton,

Bonnie Harris-Reynolds, and Laurine Elkins-Marlow

This concert took place at St. Thomas Episcopal Church off of George Bush Drive in College Station on the night of Tuesday October 25. The church is a relatively small A frame building (square) with wooden beams and simple decorations. The walls of the church are painted a light green and the pews are set up in a semi circle with the podium as the center of attention. Off to the left side of the room there is a piano, organ, harpsichord, and music stands. There were no ushers present and the seats were not assigned. When you entered the room there was a table with programs on it that were only one page long. The four performers were stationed on the left side of the room next to the piano, harpsichord, and organ. The area where they were performing was not elevated which made it difficult to see. The four performers were set up as Bonnie tending to the harpsichord, Laurine to the organ, and Dale and Jack were in front facing the audience with their music stands to assist them. The audience consisted of young kids, young adults, middle aged, and elderly people as well. Overall the audience was made up of a wide variety of people. The audience was dressed casually and most wore jeans or khaki pants with a blouse or t-shirt. Before the concert began the audience was just talking amongst themselves, introducing themselves to others, and just acting in a friendly manner. When the music began the whole audience was silent and listened to these odd instruments curiously, especially those that had never heard these early instruments before. There were four middle aged performers who played in the concert: Dale, Jack, Bonnie, and Laurine and all four of them were nicely dressed in black. They all seemed to get along with each other as old friends would and they were all very inviting and pleasant to the audience. Obviously the four of them were well versed with the knowledge of music itself and each one played beautifully on each of their instruments.

Now I will write a description for each musical piece performed at the Early Music Instruments Demonstration. The following three pieces were short works performed by Dale and Jack on a family of recorders. The first piece that was played from the 14th century was called the “Lament di Tristan” which was lively or “vivace”, had harmonic melody, and ended on a cadence. The second short piece from Francesco Landini was “Se pronto non sera” and Dale and Jack were playing different melodies which came together at the end in harmony. Also, it was in ABA format, duple meter, very mysterious sounding, and it also ended with a cadence. The third short piece which was called “Ductia” was in triple meter, in harmony throughout the whole piece (Dale and Jack played same lines on each stanza), constant dynamic throughout the whole piece, and it was known as the “dance” which explains the triple meter.

The following describes the remaining eight pieces which made up the rest of the concert. The fourth song was called “Trio Sonata” by George Telemann and it was performed by Dale on the alto recorder, Bonnie on the harpsichord, and Laurine on the organ. This piece was made up of three parts which demonstrates that it was in ABA format. The tempo was definitely allegro or cheerful. For the first part (A), the organ and harpsichord played the same melody as background music, Dale had a solo on the recorder, and then the music ended together on a cadence. The second part (B), was slower and the harpsichord and organ kept the same idea as above and played together throughout this section. The third part (A) went back to being cheerful and had a vivace tempo, but this time the organ and recorder harmonized a few lines together and then they all came together at the end. The fifth song was called “Canzona 3” by Frescobaldi and it contained three instruments which were the cornetto, sackbut, and the organ. A cornetto is a small horn and was known as a virtuoso instrument. This was the song I liked the least because, in my opinion, it was too off key and very monotone. All three instruments kept the same dynamics, tempo, and harmony which is why I thought it was just plain boring. The sixth song was called “Sonata No. 3” by Castello which was also performed by three people and it consisted of two recorders and an organ. This was my favorite piece that was played because it was very fast or “presto” and it was in triple meter. Again, the recorders played in harmony while the organ served as background or filler music. The recorders were soprano and the

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