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Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Ep. 166: A Fool For Renaissance Music Talks Period Instruments

A special guest talks about and (sort of) plays instruments (allegedly) from the Renaissance period.

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  • This is an instrument that appeared in the late sixteenth century and was then run out of town by "real" bassoons a century later.  There are four sizes ranging from soprano or discant, to great bass.  (Photo Credit: Public domain)
    This is an instrument that appeared in the late sixteenth century and was then run out of town by "real" bassoons a century later. There are four sizes ranging from soprano or discant, to great bass. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
  • This instrument was used in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. It uses a double slide - two parallel sliding tubes to alter the pitches. Similar to the trombone and posaune.   (Photo Credit: Public domain)
    This instrument was used in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. It uses a double slide - two parallel sliding tubes to alter the pitches. Similar to the trombone and posaune. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
  • The burgomeister and death, showing death with a bladder-pipe. From the Heidelberger Totentanz, c. 1488. This is a medieval version of a bagpipe, but simplified with just a bladder or bag and a chanter or reed type pipe.  (Photo Credit: Heinrich Knoblochtzer)
    The burgomeister and death, showing death with a bladder-pipe. From the Heidelberger Totentanz, c. 1488. This is a medieval version of a bagpipe, but simplified with just a bladder or bag and a chanter or reed type pipe. (Photo Credit: Heinrich Knoblochtzer)
  • This refers to both an instrument and a style of playing. Flourishing in Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the bastarda style could be played on any type of instrument. The viola was considered the "queen" instrument of the technique because of it's range and ease of play. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
    This refers to both an instrument and a style of playing. Flourishing in Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the bastarda style could be played on any type of instrument. The viola was considered the "queen" instrument of the technique because of it's range and ease of play. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
  • This instrument from the 16th and 17th centuries is a wooden tube with a membrane, often an onion skin, stretched across a hole. Basically the predecessor of the kazoo. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
    This instrument from the 16th and 17th centuries is a wooden tube with a membrane, often an onion skin, stretched across a hole. Basically the predecessor of the kazoo. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
  • This is an instrument that has a double reed similar to the basoon or oboe, inserted into the end of a pipe with a bell at the other end. It produces a buzzy sound when played. (Photo Credit: Public domain)
    This is an instrument that has a double reed similar to the basoon or oboe, inserted into the end of a pipe with a bell at the other end. It produces a buzzy sound when played. (Photo Credit: Public domain)

It’s the first of April and we are welcoming a special guest (believe us: you will know him when you hear him). He introduces us to a fascinating mix of early music and Renaissance era instruments and performs examples of how each sounds.

Music in this episode:

  • Songs From The Labyrinth, by Sting
    • Walsingham – John Dowling, composer /perf – Edin Karamazov and Sting
    • Come Again – John Dowling, composer/ perf – Edin Karamazov and Sting
  • The Art of the Bawdy Song, Baltimore Consort featuring Merry Companions
    • Pox on you for a fop
    • Cuckolds all a-row
    • I gave her cakes and I gave her ale

The blame and audio production credit for this episode lie with Todd “Totally Redonk” Hulslander, with assistance from Mark DiClaudio and head shaking from Dacia Clay.