How Not To Play the Erhu

This fantastic suite of instructional videos has been brought to you by Frescabaldilocks and the Three Viols.

The first viol was too sharp.  The second viol was too flat.  But, the last viol was just.

Cellos have F-holes, Viols have C-holes, and Recorder Ensembles have A-holes.

Pick up an Instrument!

Instead of vegetating on the couch in front of the television or on the Internet each night, spend 15 to 30 minutes a night learning how to play an instrument.  It is much easier than you may think and the rewards are far greater than you imagine.  In this article I will dispel many of the common myths and try to describe the incredible benefits associated with playing music.

Continue reading

Морин Хуур – The Morin Khuur

Last weekend, I joined some friends for a trip to the Irving Art Center’s Genghis Khan exhibit.  The further we progressed through the exhibit, the more it seemed it would never justify its $12 admission price.  It had very little on display, and what it did have was mostly modern.  Just when I was about to give up on the exhibit altogether, I heard some live music begin.  Intrigued, I ran around the corner to find a beautifully decorated room containing some very nice pieces (all still unrelated to Genghis Khan without a significant stretch of the imagination), and these two musicians performing:

I was immediately enraptured by this new type of fiddle, as well as confused by the way it was stopped.

Continue reading

Forgotten Instruments

So, you think you know everything there is to know about early music.  You have seen every type of viola da gamba, you know the difference between harpsichords, muselaars, virginals, and spinettes, you keep dental floss on hand for woodwinds, and instruments with umpteen strings don’t phase you for a moment.  Well, after my recent post on the Lira Organizzata, I figured I would introduce you to some of the other gems that society has lost, some of which I suspect will be new to you!
Continue reading