Category Archives: Music History

Forthcoming Talk

I’m participating in a weekend conference at Syracuse University at the end of March. I will be giving a paper on the life of Calvin Hampton. Here is a link to the event.  If you are interested, I hope you … Continue reading

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Forthcoming Article

The upcoming issue of The Organ, a quarterly from “across the pond,” will feature a substantial article by me on the topic of Carson Cooman, the gifted organist and composer in residence at Harvard.  It’s been a pleasure delving into … Continue reading

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Cibells and Cebells

. A strange title appears in some English keyboard scores of the latter 17th century.  A number of pieces are titled “Cibell” or “Cebell,” or allude to that name in their title (as in Purcell’s “Trumpet tune, called the Cibell”). … Continue reading

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Switched-On Brandenburgs

My college friend Doug was eager to share his newest album:  Switched-On Brandenburgs by Wendy Carlos, already famous for years for Switched-On Bach. I loved the cover for a start:  thick silver and black, done as a woodcut, classical instruments … Continue reading

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Il Transilvano

I ordered what I thought was a modern edition of Diruta’s classic text, Il Transilvano (The Transylvanian).  This is a book on keyboard performance–organ and harpsichord.  Its “spooky” title describes its picaresque hero, a young Transylvanian rube who comes to … Continue reading

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Harpsichord Check-in

It’s been a busy time, musically speaking.  The concert given by the Tower Trio last Sunday, in Goshen, NY, was a big success.  The audience responded generously with a free-will offering that will cover some necessary organ work.  Wonderful! The … Continue reading

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Harpsichord Envy

I went on YouTube to comb for performances on Italian harpsichords. I found a performance of Girolamo Diruta’s Toccata di salto cativo nel sesto tuono. The name prepares one to listen for some sort of “bad leap” (salto cativo) involving … Continue reading

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Parallel Octaves, Again

I’ve read some internet chatter about BWV565 that makes me shake my head. An allusion to “parallel octaves” in the opening measures. Here we go again. I wrote about this in The American Organist in September, 2011. The organ does … Continue reading

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Dretzel Update

The Divertimento Armonico of Cornelius Heinrich Dretzel settles into an Italian harpsichord perfectly.  The italophilia of Nuremberg is borne out in this piece, and the bright, clear, affirmative tone of my new harpsichord is serving it well. At the same … Continue reading

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Pre-Concert Talk Tonight!

If you’re in New York City and not otherwise occupied, why not attend a wonderful orchestral concert for free? NYUO2 –one of NYU’s two symphony orchestras–is opening tonight’s concert season at the Frederick Lowe Theater on West 4th Street, just … Continue reading

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