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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The baryton is a bowed string instrument in the viol family, in regular use in Europe up until the end of the 18th century. It most likely fell out of favor due to its immense difficulty to play. Its size is comparable to that of a violoncello; it has seven or sometimes six bowed strings of gut, plus from nine to twenty-four sympathetic wire strings (most often twelve). The gut strings are bowed while the wire strings are plucked by the thumb of the performer in order to create a contrasting tonal quality. It is rarely played today. Alternate spellings include: bariton, barydon, paradon,paridon, pariton, viola paradon, viola di bordoni, [Italian] viola di bardone, [German] viola di bordone.
The Haydn baryton trios
Of the repertoire for this instrument, the best known works are the 175 compositions written byJoseph Haydn for his patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, who enjoyed playing this instrument. Of these, 126 are trios for viola, cello and baryton. They were written in the earlier part of Haydn's career, from 1766 to 1775. The trios, John Hsu writes, "Throughout the trios, there is a feeling of intimacy. This is the most private of chamber music, written especially in response to the wishes and needs of one person. We can easily imagine the satisfaction and inspiration which Prince Esterházy experienced while playing these trios." Hsu conjectures that when the Prince played baryton trios, the viola part was taken by Haydn, and the cello part by whoever was the cellist in the Prince's orchestra at the time.
The instrument that the Prince used had seven bowed strings, tuned like a bass viola da gamba (to which the sound of the bowed baryton strings is quite comparable); i.e. AA, D, G, c, e, a d'. This consists of a sequence of rising fourths, except for the third between c and e. The ten plucked strings were tuned in a D-major scale, plus the A a fourth below and the E a major second above.
John Hsu estimates that the Prince was probably not a virtuoso on his instrument, judging from the difficulty of Haydn's writing. The composer used only the top five of the seven bowed strings, and seldom required the player to pluck and bow simultaneously. The keys chosen are also the simplest to play in: mostly D major and the neighboring keys of G major and A major.
Of the trios, critic Lucy Robinson has written "Despite the limitations of the combination, Haydn's genius is evident in the kaleidoscopic range of melodic and textural ideas and the witty interplay between instruments."
Performance on the baryton in modern times
The baryton was "completely neglected" (Hsu) in the nineteenth century, but in the twentieth, with the rise of the authentic performance movement in classical music, new barytons were built and played, and at least a fraction of the repertoire can now be heard in recordings. Probably the first person to initiate the revival of the viola di pardone or baryton was Christian Döbereiner in Munich. In 1934 he ordered a copy of an instrument by Simon Schodler (1782) from the renowned luthier, Ferdinand Wilhelm Jaura in Munich. The first performance in modern times on that baryton took place in Munich in 1936, which featured a Trio by Haydn. This instrument forms part of the Vazquez Collection of Historical String Instruments and is frequently employed in performance by the Orpheon Foundation. A complete documentation of the Jaura Baryton is available at the Orpheon Foundation web site.
Among the modern active baryton players are Jeremy Brooker, Kazimierz Gruszczyński, José Manuel Hernández, John Hsu, Roland Hutchinson and José Vázquez. In 2009 a complete recording of Haydn's works for baryton was made available. The Esterházy Ensemble (Michael Brüssing, baryton) records the pieces in Esterházy castle, Eisenstadt. In addition, the Swiss composer Klaus Huber has written an important solo part for the instrument in his work ...à l'âme de marcher sur ses pieds de soie... (2004).
Da Wikipedia, l'enciclopedia libera.
Molto probabilmente caduto in disuso per l'elevata difficoltà che comportava suonarlo. Le dimensioni del baryton sono simili a quelle del violoncello, ma le maggiori affinità sono con la viola da gamba. Come quest'ultima, ha un manico a tastiera e sei o sette corde di budello o di seta.
In più il baryton dispone di una seconda serie di corde metalliche (da 9 a 22), collocate dietro il manico, che vibrano in simpatia con le note suonate con l'arco. Questo aspetto lo rende simile allaviola d'amore. Le corde metalliche del baryton possono essere anche pizzicate col pollice.
Una tipica accordatura di baryton è la seguente:
- corde principali: La, re1, sol1, do2, mi2, la2, re3
- corde metalliche: la1, scala di Re magg da re2 a re3, mi3
Il principe Nikolaus Esterházy, al cui servizio lavorò per trent'anni (1761 - 1790) Franz Joseph Haydn, era un abile ed appassionato dilettante del baryton, e richiese all'illustre Kapellmeister un gran numero di composizioni per questo strumento.
Il corpus più significativo pervenutoci di opere per baryton è costituito, perciò, dai 126 trii per baryton, viola e violoncello che Haydn compose fra il 1766 ed il 1772. Essi venivano eseguiti dal principe al baryton, accompagnato da Haydn alla viola e da uno dei violoncellisti della sua orchestra. Essendo destinati all'uso esclusivo del principe, durante la vita di Haydn i trii non vennero stampati se non in piccola parte e generalmente in trascrizioni per altri strumenti ad arco (per es. due violini e violoncello).
Altre composizioni haydniane, risalenti più o meno allo stesso periodo, vedevano il baryton usato in duo (con il violoncello, oppure due baryton, con o senza b. c.), come solista in tre concerti e in piccoli organici con altri strumenti, ma di questo secondo gruppo parecchi lavori (inclusi i concerti) sono andati perduti. 
Nel complesso, tra lavori conservati e perduti, è documentato che Haydn abbia scritto più di 170 composizioni per baryton.
domenica 1 novembre 2009
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Hardanger fiddle (or in Norwegian: hardingfele) is a traditional stringed instrument used originally to play the music of Norway. In modern designs, the instruments are very similar to theviolin, though with eight or nine strings (rather than four on a standard violin) and thinner wood. Four of the strings are strung and played like a violin, while the rest, aptly named understrings orsympathetic strings, resonate under the influence of the other four, providing a pleasant haunting, echo-like sound.
The Hardingfele is used mainly in the southwest part of Norway, whereas the ordinary violin (called 'flatfele' - 'flat fiddle' or 'vanlig fele' - 'common fiddle') is found elsewhere. The Hardingfele is used for dancing, accompanied by rhythmic loud foot stomping. It was also traditional for the fiddler to lead the bridal procession to the church.
The instrument often is highly decorated, with a carved animal (usually a dragon or the Lion of Norway) or a carved woman's head as part of the scroll at the top of the pegbox, extensive mother of pearl inlay on the tailpiece and fingerboard, and black ink decorations called 'rosing' on the body of the instrument. Sometimes pieces of bone are used to decorate the pegs and the edges of the instrument.
The earliest known example of the hardingfele is from 1651, made by Ole Jonsen Jaastad inHardanger, Norway. Originally, the instrument had a rounder, narrower body. Around the year 1850, the modern layout with a body much like the violin became the norm.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sympathetic strings or resonance strings are auxiliary strings found on many Indian musical instruments, as well as some Western Baroque instruments and a variety of folk instruments. They are typically not played directly by the performer (except occasionally as an effect) only indirectly through the tones that are played on the main strings, based on the principle of sympathetic resonance. The effect is most often heard when the fundamental frequency of the string is in unison or an octave lower or higher than the catalyst note, although it can occur for other intervals, such as a fifth, with less effect.
The musician retunes the sympathetic strings for each mode or raga, so that when the corresponding note (or one an octave below it) is played on the main strings of the instrument, the sympathetic strings (calledtarabs in Indian music) will vibrate in response, providing a lingering halo of sound.
Sympathetic strings are used to enhance the sound of an instrument. Some instruments have only few sympathetic strings such as the Hardangerfele in the picture. Indian instruments in this class include thesitar and sarod with 15 sympathetic strings, and the sarangi which has a total of 37 sympathetics. In Western music, some members of the viola family appeared in the middle of the 17th century, which were fitted with an extra choir of thin wire strings running through a hollow chamber through the neck of the instrument, the head of which was then elongated to accommodate as many extra tuning pegs as necessary. These were generally called viola d'amore; another historical example is the baryton, for which Haydn wrote many trios. Other instruments such as the harp, lute, guitar, harpsichord and piano do not have additional strings, but make use of the effect by allowing their playing strings to vibrate sympathetically when they are not being played directly. In keyboard instruments like the piano, the string dampers can be raised to produce this effect.
The guitar is normally unable to produce effective sympathetic string resonance for tones other than E (resonance from the 6th and 5th strings, tuned to E and A, respectively), B (from the 6th string), D (from the 4th string), and A (from the 5th and 4th strings). (The treble strings are negligible in practice, as they are almost constantly being fingered.) However, the ten-string guitar invented in 1963 by Narciso Yepes, adds four strings tuned to C, A♯, G♯, F♯, which resolves the imbalance of resonance on the guitar. By adding the abovementioned resonances and, of course, their fifths (the fifth being a strong resonant frequency)—that is to say, G, F, D♯, C♯—the guitar's strings now resonate more equally with all 12 notes of the chromatic scale, bringing the guitar's sound closer to the consistency and sustainability of the harpsichord and piano.