At 05:01 PM 4/4/01 -0500, you wrote:
> >As I continue my weird odyssey through the world of music history, I find
> >myself wondering whether the harpsichord was ever used to accompany the
> >fiddle for dancing, in the same way as the guitar is used nowadays. There
> >seems to be a tradition going back a fair bit of using piano and fiddle for
> >Scottish Country dance, which goes back far enough that I suspect it would
> >have started with the square pianos. So why not harpsichord before that?
>At court, sure. Why not. But for the real country folk, I wonder whether
>they would have owned such instruments.
Well, I am going partly on the premise that there would have not been such
a sharp divide then between "art" music and "folk" music, and also on the
premise that there could have been a substantial middle class that might
have danced and who might have had harpsichords. I am not sure who did
Scottish country dance in 1720. I suspect that it must have been middle
class or landed aristocracy - maybe not quite the same as what was
happening in France at that time. But a good question. That also bring up
another question regarding the French - surely there must have been
harpsichords outside the "Court," especially in the hands of the urban
bourgeois. I got into a discussion about this with somebody at the
Berkeley Festival last time, and didn't get an answer.