Essence of SCD (was changing tunes)

Angela Bulteel

Message 55494 · 26 Mar 2009 18:57:43 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Anselm, I just love all your little anecdotes at the end of your
correspondence, I think I should start a note book and write them all down,
they are brilliant and make me smile every time I read them. Thankyou for
brightening my days. Angela
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anselm Lingnau" <xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
To: <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:45 PM
Subject: Re: Essence of SCD (was changing tunes)

Pia wrote:

> The people you mentioned probalby also played in houses that had keyboards
> of some kind in situ - as these are the absolute devils to move when you
> are travelling by horse and cart or on foot.

These, though, would have been suitable only for small dance parties -- the
keyboard instruments of the time were not really loud. Volume was one of the
key advantages of the piano, which was also invented only during the second
half of the 18th century; in point of fact it was actually *possible* to
play
it both softly, loudly, and in between, which is why it was called
the »pianoforte«, from the musical terms for »soft« and »loud«. Its
precursor, the harpsichord, being an instrument whose strings are plucked
with quills rather than struck with hammers, does not do dynamics at all
well
and wasn't a very loud instrument to begin with, with other parlour-type
keyboard instruments like the clavichord and spinet even softer -- they
would
be much more suitable for a ladies' drawing room than a crowded ballroom.
Harpsichords are also absolute bears to maintain, whereas with a modern
piano
it is usually all right to have the tuner come by once a year or so.

> I don't know how old accordions are - but have always thought of them as
> an
> old instrument. If anyone is interested, there's an Antique Accordion
> Museum outside Inverness at Bogbain Farm and Heritage centre with about 60
> accordions from ages spanning 1840-1960 on display.

The accordion as we know it was invented in a gradual process beginning in
the
1820s or so. The first instrument actually called an »accordion«, in fact,
could do exactly that and nothing else -- you played chords with your left
hand, and as the thing did not have anything on its other end (except for a
cover, one presumes) you would have your right hand free to hang on to a
pint. Of course the innovation was that the instrument actually played a
*chord* at the touch of one left-hand button; the idea of having single
notes
and a bellows was somewhat older. It still took a few decades for anything
resembling the modern instrument to appear, by which time the country dance
in Scotland was mostly a thing of the past.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those
of
us who do. -- Isaac
Asimov

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