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Early Music

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:22 am
by Mujician
Hi,
Im just wondering if there is much call for 'early musicians'. Im seriously contemplating getting myself a sackbutt, and my girlfriend a lute. We are both music teachers etc but never really looked into early music. Would we get much business as minstrels? Many thanks, Ben

Re: Early Music

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:07 pm
by Eric the well read
Hi,
There is work for medieval musicians, but I can't help but think that it would be a rather odd duo, using sackbutt and lute - VERY strange??? :eh:
Regards
Eric

Re: Early Music

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:50 pm
by Mujician
Why strange? The sackbut was used as a supportive instrument for voices in church choirs. (Obviously the sackbut developed into the trombone which is itself widely accepted as a solo instrument) The lute as an accompaniment for singing. So I see it as a perfectly acceptable duo. Infact we have done several recitals on their modern counterparts and the response was great.

Re: Early Music

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:05 pm
by Eric the well read
I suppose it depends on where and what you play. The lute is usually quite quiet and the sackbutt usually - isn't. :) It's just not a combo that springs readily to mind. But it's your stage......
Regards
Eric

Re: Early Music

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:41 pm
by saracen
PM sent...

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:35 am
by Captain Reech
I think the reason that the combination would be considered unusual is that the two instruments would usually be used in seperate circumstances. The Lute would be catergorised as a 'bas' or quiet instrument, suitable for the chamber whereas the Sackbut would be considered a 'haut' or loud instrument, more suited to large venues or the open air.

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:29 am
by Mujician
By todays standard yes. The trombone has been developed into a very powerful creature indeed, however the sackbut is a much smaller, less powerful instrument. Much the same with the lute and its modern relative the guitar. For a modern trombonist it would be possible to play louder and stronger than their medival counterpart and so would, im sure, a modern guitarist. As the former, I am also very capable of playing consistantly at a very quiet volume. It would also depend on the sackbut itself too. What thickness the metal is, if its laquered or not, whether the bell has any engraving, what kind of mouthpiece is being used. There are all sorts of variables to take into consideration.

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:50 am
by Eric the well read
Mujician wrote:. There are all sorts of variables to take into consideration.


Hi Ben,
Your analysis of the sackbutt is sound and indeed there are many variables. I suggest you try somehow (by recording?) to hear what the audience hears from VARIOUS distances indoors and out. I would also urge you to define your market. Are you going to play indoors or out? Are you going to be stationary, as in playing in one place or mobile? (Wandering the streets while playing and no doubt, tuning a lute is not going to be for the fainthearted). All these will change the amount/type of gigs you are offered. What costume will you wear?
It may be that you would be better off joining a larger group of musicians? Just thoughts....
Kind regards
Eric

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:53 am
by Captain Reech
I was basing the comments on the accepted current views on how Medieval Instruments were catergorised in period. I see no reason why you couldn't play the two instruments together, I just think the reason that it has been considered strange is that it would be considered an unusual combination (as far as we can tell) in the 15th Century for example.

Personally, as a modern Tuba player (if you can call an 1875 instrument to be modern!) I'd love to have a play with an authentic Sackbut (It's been over twenty years since I played a Trombone so I'd probably have to dig out my old 'Tune a Day' books!) sadly the cost of such an instrument would be currently beyond my means, but I can dream!

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:53 pm
by Mujician
Captain reech, can I please ask where you play your tuba? If you ever need a bass trombone player for anything, Im your man! Ive been concentrating so much on teaching thes past five years, Ive not done very much playing. Im doing a recital at the voice box tonight!

Im hoping to get a second hand sackbut soon and im actively looking for groups to join but it seems very difficult to come accross them.

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:12 pm
by Captain Reech
Not up to concert standard these days, purely for my own amusement (although it's stuck in the parents loft at present due to lack of space.)

The Busy Mole (purveyor of fine medieval instruments, you'll find him on here from time to time) posted this link in another thread which might be of some use to you.

Midlands Early Music Forum
http://www.memf.org.uk/

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:35 pm
by Mujician
Cool thanks for that, have just registered, waiting for it to register now. I have heard of a sackbut for sale, so it just depends on how much it is. Really I want a bass sackbut, but the bank account tell me I cant afford one!

Re: Early Music

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:35 pm
by KedlestonCraig
Captain Reech wrote:Personally, as a modern Tuba player (if you can call an 1875 instrument to be modern!) I'd love to have a play with an authentic Sackbut (It's been over twenty years since I played a Trombone so I'd probably have to dig out my old 'Tune a Day' books!) sadly the cost of such an instrument would be currently beyond my means, but I can dream!

Baritone player here :P

Re: Early Music

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:19 am
by Captain Reech
With Sara on Woodwind we've almost got a band!

Re: Early Music

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:00 pm
by Tamsin Lewis
Sackbut and lute are not a combination I'd normally think of. However, there is an engraving in Jost Amman's (?1568) Standebuch of a trio consisting of lute, sackbut and harp so it's obviously not unheard of. http://www.stockphotopro.com/photo_of/a ... a_lutenist
I don't think I've come across it in any other groups though.

Re: Early Music

Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:41 am
by Captain Reech
That's just the sort of evidence that makes this kind of forum fun, was this an actual combo or did the artist just draw what he thought? Or could it be just three musicians 'having a jam' ?

Re: Early Music

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:41 pm
by Treaty Money
I've got a variety of Neolithic sounding horns and some pictish triple pipes..

Also, if anyone is in need of a professional studio space, then we have a fully functioning control and live room space on the top of Long Mountain with acoustically sound performance booth to mic up and record these tricky instruments

We are going to be renovating the space in the next couple of weeks - so it's going to look all shiney and new :)

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:47 pm
by frances
As an almost retired strolling minstrel I would say go for it. Decide which period you like and get a very good costume - not an old curtains job.

You could try going to your local entertainment agency; they will get you bookings at PTA's, fetes and fairs if you like being close to the public, and chatting. I managed to get bookings for myself far and wide - but I never wanted to give concerts, I get embarrassed when people clap.

One way of making contacts is to volunteer to play at a couple of historic events, as discussed in another section of this website. If people like you they will ask for your card and you may get interesting bookings. However you will find that playing your instruments in tune is the least of the problems you will encounter. You will find out the best way to deal with hot weather, rain, bothersome children, and what to do when people get up and dance. People will want to touch your instruments and they will ask questions too, so you will need a fund of short anecdotes to amuse them.

I've learned that zebras are worried by the pipe and tabor, but ducks do not mind at all.