Saturday, January 31, 2009

Here is a picture of Hallie working with Prof. Tim McGee, who is retired from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Among his many accomplishments Tim started the Toronto Consort. One of the first books I read on early music was his 'beginner's guide'.

He's been working on what son might have been accompanied by the lira da braccio, an instrument much played by humanist poets in the late 15th and 16th century. They appear to have improvised, or quasi-improvised their settings. It has a flat bridge so plays drone effects though you can lean the bow over and play some melodic flourishes on the top string alone. It also has one string offboard of the fingerboard which was plucked with the left thumb. Here is the lira Tim made.

Hallie will be singing some poems by Tullia d'Aragona to this instrument and will be going with Tim to the huge Medieval conference in Kalamazoo in May.

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