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Re: [Anglo_Saxon_Lyres] Fretting a string with fingers

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  • simonchadwick
    Hi Thanks Craig, those are good but like I had already see, you can see the fingers flashing in and out but its not clear exactly what bit of each finger is
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 3 3:25 AM
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      Hi Thanks Craig, those are good but like I had already see, you can
      see the fingers flashing in and out but its not clear exactly what
      bit of each finger is touching a) the wood and b) the string.

      Your first one linked me on to this one which I liked a lot:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CEqFqAhQSE

      It looks to me like he is pressing on the left-hand string (I mean
      his left, our right) with the back of each nail; in his scale note 1
      (same as the drone) seems to be all strings open? the lower flat 7th
      seems to be the pad of the middle finger reaching across to touch the
      longer middle string?

      I presume he is touching the wood of the neck with his finger tips to
      give a guide to the back-of-nail fretting?

      Thanks again for your thoughts - I find this kind of parallel
      information very interesting and useful to think about the wider
      influences... also I may have to try and source one of these lyra
      type instruments now...

      Simon



      On 2 Jul 2013, at 03:02, irrotational@... wrote:

      > Hi Simon,
      >
      >
      > there is quite a lot of gadulka instructional material around but this
      > random youtube clip shows it as well as any verbal description can.
      >
      > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh_5qIJjgjg
      >
      > Usually the strings are fretted with the fleshy part of the first
      > finger and the nail of the second and third fingers. I think the
      > cretan lyra is similar. The gadulka is supported at the tailpiece end
      > either on your leg for sitting down to play, or on a shoulder strap
      > for standing. I have some articles about Gadulka in Bulgarian which I
      > could scan if you wish.
      >
      >
      > Another instrument like this with a signficiant amount of on line
      > resources is the Calabrian Lyra.
      >
      > eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4pCoojC6e8
      >
      >
      > I found that my techniques on gadulka and lyra were not directly
      > transferable to jouhiko, it was quite a frustrating transition!
      >
      >
      > Craig.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Quoting simon@...:
      >
      >> Hi everyone, I have been reading and thinking about the icelandic
      >> fiðla, and wondering what it was like and where it came from. One of
      >> the distinctive things about it seems to be the back-handed fretting
      >> of the melody string and this got me thinking about fretting in
      >> general.
      >>
      >> I was thinking of the jouhikko which for me is the "normal" way to
      >> fret a string, it is quite different from violin, guitar etc.
      >>
      >> I was thinking about how nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy and clavichord are
      >> all mechanised versions of this back-handed in-the-air fingering
      >> method. (and all seem to appear in about the 13th century, except for
      >> the hurdy gurdy which has 11th century origins)
      >>
      >> Then I was looking at bowing (fascinating hwo hurdy gurdy is about as
      >> old as bowing!).
      >>
      >> Does nayone have any info on the fingering technique of cretan lyra,
      >> and other related instruments? Wikipedia has a nice page on each of
      >> the various types, gadulka, gusle, etc. and there are some youtubes
      >> but I can't work out exactly how they are fingered. Seems that they
      >> are jouhikko-style not violin-style but where do you put your
      >> fingers, which direction do you move them in, and how many strings do
      >> you fret? Anyone have any info?
      >>
      >> Also anyone got any leads on this back-handed fingering used on a
      >> non-
      >> bowed instrument? The only one I can think of is clavichord, and that
      >> is the mechanised version not the manual version.
      >>
      >> This all is part of thinking what is the relationship between the
      >> bowed lyres etc. and the classic Anglo-Saxon round lyres.
      >>
      >> Simon
      >>
      >> PS I'm using the jouhikko in my medieval music lunchtime concert in
      >> St Andrews at the cathedral ruins on Thursday - if you're in Scotland
      >> come and say hello!
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • simonchadwick
      Thanks Chris, that does explain why backhand fretting goes with bowing. It s an important point in understanding the relationship between the Anglo-Saxon round
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 3 3:30 AM
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        Thanks Chris, that does explain why backhand fretting goes with bowing.

        It's an important point in understanding the relationship between the
        Anglo-Saxon round lyres and the later bowed and blucked fretted
        instruments. Seeing as how backhand / in the air fretting looks so
        much older than violin/guitar style fingerboard fretting, we would
        assume that fretting was invented as a consequence of bowing?

        Simon

        PS I think actually a plucked string vibrates in exactly the same
        shape as a bowed one with the moving 'angle' that runs up and down
        the string, but your point still stands - in a bowed string an extra
        impetus is given each cycle by the bow, but a plucked string that
        extra impetus comes entirely from the bounce against the rigid ends.




        On 1 Jul 2013, at 23:44, Kazimierz Verkmastare wrote:

        >
        >
        > OK, here goes my poor attempt at trying to explain what I have
        > discovered through lots of experimentation.
        >
        > Stopping a string hard against a hard object is always a way to
        > create a functionally shorter string, no matter what method in
        > which the string vibrates.
        >
        > There is a fundamental difference in the way a plucked / strummed
        > string vibrates and the way a bowed string vibrates. But that I
        > mean that the act of bowing sets up a moving focal point of
        > vibration that travels down and then back up the string, and as it
        > moves the string profile begins to look like the ever-changing 2
        > legs of an obtuse triangle. A different kind of interference is
        > possible to act as an endpoint of that kind of waveform propagation
        > than it takes to act as an endpoint of the sinus waveform present
        > in a strummed / plucked string - that is the endpoint can be more
        > fluid and less precise / rigid. That is why if you get the weight
        > and mass just right, you can use a free-hanging weighted clamp as a
        > capo on a hurdy gurdy, but it doesn't work for something like a
        > guitar or plucked lyre (in my experience - you can get finger-
        > stopping and weighted capos to sort of work, just like you can sort
        > of pick out a melody on a jouhikko by pizzicato, but it is not
        > clean, clear, efficient or particularly consistent when compared to
        > the instrument being bowed and thus not particularly useful.
        >
        > The particular presence that an instrument when being bowed has and
        > the same instrument while being plucked does not comes from a
        > fundamental difference in the structure of the vibrations generated
        > by a bowed string, and within that structure lies the ability to do
        > different things to 'shape' the sound the string generates.
        >
        > I know it is clear as mud, but I hope it covers the ground.
        >
        > Chris
        >
        >
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi everyone, I have been reading and thinking about the icelandic
        > > fiðla, and wondering what it was like and where it came from. One
        > > of the distinctive things about it seems to be the back-handed
        > > fretting of the melody string and this got me thinking about
        > > fretting in general.
        > >
        > > I was thinking of the jouhikko which for me is the "normal" way to
        > > fret a string, it is quite different from violin, guitar etc.
        > >
        > > I was thinking about how nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy and clavichord
        > > are all mechanised versions of this back-handed in-the-air
        > > fingering method. (and all seem to appear in about the 13th
        > > century, except for the hurdy gurdy which has 11th century origins)
        > >
        > > Then I was looking at bowing (fascinating hwo hurdy gurdy is about
        > > as old as bowing!).
        > >
        > > Does nayone have any info on the fingering technique of cretan
        > > lyra, and other related instruments? Wikipedia has a nice page on
        > > each of the various types, gadulka, gusle, etc. and there are some
        > > youtubes but I can't work out exactly how they are fingered. Seems
        > > that they are jouhikko-style not violin-style but where do you put
        > > your fingers, which direction do you move them in, and how many
        > > strings do you fret? Anyone have any info?
        > >
        > > Also anyone got any leads on this back-handed fingering used on a
        > > non- bowed instrument? The only one I can think of is clavichord,
        > > and that is the mechanised version not the manual version.
        > >
        > > This all is part of thinking what is the relationship between the
        > > bowed lyres etc. and the classic Anglo-Saxon round lyres.
        > >
        > > Simon
        > >
        > > PS I'm using the jouhikko in my medieval music lunchtime concert in
        > > St Andrews at the cathedral ruins on Thursday - if you're in
        > > Scotland come and say hello!
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
      • michaeljking2007
        This is a fascinating subject area, last summer I spent time learning about the various members of this family of instruments which seem to be descended from
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 3 4:12 AM
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          This is a fascinating subject area, last summer I spent time learning about the various members of this family of instruments which seem to be descended from the Byzantine lyra probable ancestor of rebecs and the starting point of bowed instrument experimentation in the west.

          Definitely the way to go to understand early bowing techniques

          Here is a Classical Kemenche video that has some nice close ups of playing:
          http://youtu.be/7XGevDvEDvk

          I had a good playlist on Youtube for Lyra in general which has some nice carving/making shots, alas some videos have been deleted now:
          http://tinyurl.com/majvjjo

          love the simplicity of the construction,playing the string from the peg like bowed lyres and bowed fiddles. I did try to play Erhu years ago for a similar reason, (now I focus on making!)

          Look forward to reading what you learn

          Best wishes

          Michael



          --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@... wrote:
          >
          > Hi everyone, I have been reading and thinking about the icelandic
          > fiðla, and wondering what it was like and where it came from. One of
          > the distinctive things about it seems to be the back-handed fretting
          > of the melody string and this got me thinking about fretting in general.
          >
          > I was thinking of the jouhikko which for me is the "normal" way to
          > fret a string, it is quite different from violin, guitar etc.
          >
          > I was thinking about how nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy and clavichord are
          > all mechanised versions of this back-handed in-the-air fingering
          > method. (and all seem to appear in about the 13th century, except for
          > the hurdy gurdy which has 11th century origins)
          >
          > Then I was looking at bowing (fascinating hwo hurdy gurdy is about as
          > old as bowing!).
          >
          > Does nayone have any info on the fingering technique of cretan lyra,
          > and other related instruments? Wikipedia has a nice page on each of
          > the various types, gadulka, gusle, etc. and there are some youtubes
          > but I can't work out exactly how they are fingered. Seems that they
          > are jouhikko-style not violin-style but where do you put your
          > fingers, which direction do you move them in, and how many strings do
          > you fret? Anyone have any info?
          >
          > Also anyone got any leads on this back-handed fingering used on a non-
          > bowed instrument? The only one I can think of is clavichord, and that
          > is the mechanised version not the manual version.
          >
          > This all is part of thinking what is the relationship between the
          > bowed lyres etc. and the classic Anglo-Saxon round lyres.
          >
          > Simon
          >
          > PS I'm using the jouhikko in my medieval music lunchtime concert in
          > St Andrews at the cathedral ruins on Thursday - if you're in Scotland
          > come and say hello!
          >
        • sca_bard@yahoo.com
          ... For what it s worth, the Stuttgart Psalter (c. 820-830 CE) shows a lot of solid-body strummed instruments with apparent fingerboard fretting going on:
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 3 4:12 AM
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            Seeing as how backhand / in the air fretting looks so
            much older than violin/guitar style fingerboard fretting, we would
            assume that fretting was invented as a consequence of bowing?
            For what it's worth, the Stuttgart Psalter (c. 820-830 CE) shows a lot of solid-body strummed instruments with apparent fingerboard fretting going on:

            http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guitar-like_plucked_instrument,_Carolingian_Psalter,_9th_century_manuscript,_108r_part,_Stuttgart_Psalter.jpg

            I don't think I've ever seen that instrument outside that psalter, though, so I don't know if there's any scholarship on it, and whether it's considered a real thing or the artist's imagining.  (Although it does show up *a lot.*  I have a link at home to a digitized copy of the Stuttgart online, if anyone wants to leaf through it looking for instruments.)

            (Random lyre image I hadn't seen before, from the Gertrude or Egbert Psalter, c, 980:
            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Egbert-Psalter%2C_fol._20v.jpg

            Dead ringer for the Cologne lyre, innit?  Not sure *what* the right hand is doing, or what the weighted cord? chain? falling from the right side of the lyre is.  Strings don't go where they ought to, although that could also be a consequence of the gold leafwork.  10th century is late for Germanic lyre, isn't it?  The illumination might have been done by copying another older exemplar, too.)

            Jamie
          • frode_kettilsson
            Hello all, I was following the video trail and came across this . At about two minutes in there is a pretty good
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 3 5:41 AM
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              Hello all,
              I was following the video trail and came across this.  At about two minutes in there is a pretty good close up of the back of the fingernail fretting on a lyra, as clear as anything I've come across, anyway.  A little before that there was a brief but close look at the bow itself.
              Hopefully useful?
              Frode

              --- In Anglo_Saxon_Lyres@yahoogroups.com, simon@... wrote:
              >
              > Hi everyone, I have been reading and thinking about the icelandic 
              > fiðla...

              > Then I was looking at bowing...
              >
              > Does nayone have any info on the fingering technique of cretan lyra, 
              > and other related instruments?

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