Category Archives: Music History

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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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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Protected: Freedom!

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Stereo Cables

A first for me…I spent some time this morning making stereo cables. Basic 16-gauge wire from Amazon (yeah, CCA), a dozen banana plugs, an X-acto knife, and there we were. Hooked up a subwoofer and a pair of surround speakers, … Continue reading

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Johann Speth

This obscure composer, and organist of the Cathedral of Augsburg, has been on my mind lately. Johann Speth lived from 1664 to about 1719; there is no record of his death, but all mention of him abruptly ceases in that … Continue reading

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Ploch-floeten und so weiter

What’s a Ploch-flöt? Well, what’s a biffaro? A pardunen? A Bazuin? They all represent the close relationship of the letters B and P. B and P are in fact the same sound, in their voiced and unvoiced versions.  P equals … Continue reading

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Bach and Dretzel: About Influence

This piece first appeared on my public Facebook page (/JBHorganist), on July 1, 2014. It has been slightly edited. There’s a problem with the many sites online who all say, copy-and-pastewise, that Dretzel’s Divertimento Armonico is “influenced” by Bach’s Italian Concerto. Let … Continue reading

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