That is one hell of a story!
At 05:02 PM 11/12/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Prestigious east-coast institution of higher learning? Hmmm. I won't name
>the university here either, but the instrument in question was a Dowd, in
>a basement practice room.
>There was this gambist who wanted to play 17th century english divisions
>with me. Except he hated to drive, so he said, 'come to the university, I
>can get us into a practice room with a harpsichord. It was the beginning
>of September; the pitch, insofar as it could be determined, was a bit
>below 440 in the transposed down position. There were (of course) broken
>strings. I slapped a tuning at 415 into one 8' choir; luckily, the dampers
>worked flawlessly. We rehearsed.
>Then I was going to leave, and he looked frightened. "Could you detune
>it?" he said. It seems he had talked them into giving him the key by
>saying he needed a bigger, more resonant room to practice his gamba in.
>No permission to use the harpsichord had been granted.He was terrified
>that the lady claveciniste at the school would find out that a
>professional keyboard technician had been allowed near her Dowd. I slapped
>a very rough tuning into the other two choirs and left.
>Whoever this person posing as a harpsichordist was, she was a fraud. Real
>musicians care about their instruments, and take care of them. The early
>music world is so dependent on academe, with its artificial standards,
>that it has a lot of frauds in it. This is a pity.
>PS -- sorry I'm still a curmudgeon, cold isn't going away and after
>running two choral rehearsals yesterday I've lost my voice. So I have to
>do all my screaming at you!
>On Thu, 12 Nov 1998, D.C. Carr wrote:
>> Brian Joyce schreef:
>> > Last time I looked in on our Univ.'s 67 Dowd single (neglected in a
>> > basement practice room), the bottom octave was a whole tone ABOVE 440
>> > and
>> > and the treble end was a minor third above that! It's enough to make
>> > you
>> > cry. No broken strings, though - I spoze that was in the day of
>> > high-tensile steel. [...]
>> I take the liberty of quoting - edited, to protect the guilty - a recent
>> message about harpsichords at a prestigious east-coast institution of
>> higher learning:
>> " You should email [xxx] to find out about the fate of the two
>> instruments. They were in sad shape, but, the last I
>> knew, [xxx] had raised enough interest and funds to get Hendrik to
>> rejuvenate the Broekman. What happened to
>> the Dowd -- sadly abused as a result of being out in one of the
>> auditoria where, for example, the lid was broken off
>> the hinges -- I don't know, but [xxx] seemed to be the only advocate for
>> them. "
>> Sick transit.