David Pickett wrote:
>Also, given that Froberger is the subject of one of these seminars,
>it seems REALLY odd that the provided harpsichords will NOT have a
Ironicly, when I attended one of his workshops on J.S.Bach years ago, I
*was* assigned a C/E short-octave instrument to practice on. They had
gotten rid of it by the time I attended Ed's workshop on Byrd a few years
Peter Bavington wrote:
>when I can retrieve my notes, I could post a list of surviving
>short-and-broken-octave clavichords if anyone is interested.
Please post the list!
>But at Berkeley '98, he was warming up for a demo on my Vaudry, and
>commented, in front of a fairly big bunch of people, "You know Owen it
>is a real help when you're playing the harpsichord actually to know
>what note's going to come out when you push a key down."
... to which one might respond (equally loudly), "Good heavens, Ed, surely
you know your way around a 17th-century keyboard by *now*!"
>Passions run high on this issue, because people can be SO dismissive
>and not even try, when the short octave would have been a central part
>of the body language of all baroque keyboardists, while it gets
>dismissed as an annoying novelty in most of our pedagogy, even while
>that pedagogy makes claims to 'authenticity' and seriousness. Not a
>few builders have been marginalized for making short octave instruments
>instead of bastardizing the ancient practice.
There is stubbornness on both sides, though. I've known several builders to
get quite testy at the hint that split keys greatly enhance the versatility
of an instrument, and I'm glad to see several comments here on how common
such instruments were. The "chromaticists" try to play short-octave pieces
on a chromatic instrument and the "short-octavists" want them to play
chromatic pieces on an unbroken-short-octave instrument. Both sides say,
"Well, one can just recompose(!) around the obstacles - no loss. After all,
*they* did it all the time." What often gets lost in the cross-fire is the
very *idea* of choosing an instrument that suits the repertoire. Learning
which type of instrument is best for which pieces is something I think
should be part of any serious study - even if a player rarely has much
choice in practice.
Perhaps the biggest problem in getting players to accept the short/broken
octave is the terminology. "Short" ... "broken" ... "split" - sounds like
there's something wrong with it. Surely we can come up with better terms -
"extended reach basses"? "doubled keys"?