WEEK 1: Vamos, Compañeros 💃

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of our musical Journey to Spain!! This is the place to share submissions of the first week! 🔥


If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
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↓ HAPPY PRACTICING, HAPPY SHARING ↓

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  • Luys de Narvaez - Fantasia del quarto tono

    I thought I would start this challenge off by playing some early music from Spain. I have always loved vihuela music from the Renaissance, and this is one of my favorites. It comes from Narvaez' Los Seys Libros del Delphin (Book 2), and I have attached a photo of the first fifteen measures of the original tablature.

    I don't have a vihuela, unfortunately, but I did play it both on guitar and on the lute. As many of you know, I am a total novice on the lute, so please be forgiving. I did trim down my nails significantly a couple days ago, so I am still searching for good tone on both instruments.

    Like 9
    • Eric Phillips that was awesome Eric, what a nice idea to play on both instruments!

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks, Blaise!

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That was beautiful, on both instruments, but especially on the lute. Great selection wonderfully played.

      I really like Renaissance music and was pretty involved in it a long time ago. I even played in a Renaissance consort in college. I Reviving my Renaissance repertoire is on my list - but not yet.

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack. I still feel far more comfortable on the guitar, but the lute is a lot of fun!

      In college, I had Frederick Noad's anthology called Renaissance Guitar. I played from that book so much that it literally fell apart. Getting the lute for Christmas has re-awakened my love for this music.

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Eric Phillips Nice Christmas gift! I still have my Noad Renaissance book and it is well worn indeed. Have you ever played the Ballard Entre from that book? I love that piece. I still have a pretty good collection of Renaissance pieces. 

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Yes, the lute was a total shock of a gift from my wife and kids. Not in a million years would I have guessed that was coming.

      If the Ballard Entre is in the Noad book, I'm sure I know it, but right now it does not come to mind. I really wish those books had been spiral bound. I still have the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic, but the Renaissance is sadly gone! 😞 (That last sentence sounds like a line from a bad time travel movie.)

      Like
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Well done, Eric! (I may try recording a variant of the fantasia from a 16th English source.) Growing up, Frederick Noad was my 'teacher' too. I can scarcely describe how I cherished those three anthologies - mine took a real beating over the years, but I still have them. (I think I played at one time or another every single piece therein, even if a few were beyond what could reasonably be called my 'level'.) 

      Like 1
    • David Krupka Thanks, David. I feel much the same about those books. I also had one that was just a collection of 100 studies, probably all by Sor, Giuliani, and Carcassi (maybe Aguado, too? Not too sure). Once I got past the first Shearer method book, those Noad books were pretty much all I did with my teacher. I never really played 20th century music at all until recently (although I do remember doing some of the Brouwer Estudios Sencillos back then).

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart I also remember that Entree by Ballard. Unfortunately, Noad's transcription, transposed a fourth up from the original (assuming a third fret capo) made a fairly easy piece rather challenging. Noad's decision was nonetheless understandable: as Ballard composed for a ten course instrument, this was the only way to preserve the bass line. But (hint to Eric!) the Entree is quite playable on an eight course lute: the single use of an open E (measure 8) would involve fretting the eighth course at the second fret - a little uncomfortable, but certainly possible. Noad probably should have included the piece in his Baroque anthology. Although the modern convention is to describe the ten course lute as a 'renaissance' instrument (because of its tuning) it was in fact mostly used by musicians of the early baroque period. Ballard's music, certainly, represents an aesthetic break with the conventions of the 16th century.

      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips wow Eric, you have a great sound on both Instruments. I love the warm sound of your guitar much more than the lute. I will also make a recording with the Lute...

      As I mentioned some time ago, I stoped playing the lute, because I love the sound of the guitar much more...But not every lute sounds thin and small. My lute Teacher "Sigrun Richter" her husband builds great instruments ( Nico van der Waals ). And during my lessons, a very long time ago, she often brought along new instruments that her darling had build for her. There are many really good sounding instruments available - but I can not afford it ....

      Keep on posting your great music 😉

      Like 1
    • Olli Thank you, Olli!

      Like
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olli For me, Olli, the lute and the guitar have distinct tonal characteristics; in the right hands, either can produce a gorgeous sound. (And your are quite right that Eric does well with both!) It's great that you were able to study with Sigrun. She's one of the few lutenists who specializes in the the much neglected (but for me, wonderful) repertoire of the early baroque. Interesting to learn that she is married to such an eminent luthier. Were you fortunate enough to acquire one of his instruments?

      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips wow it is beautiful.... I prefer the version in the guitar, the tone you give is the perfect one for this piece. The first half especially you played it so well, amazing Eric. Loved it, I am going to look for this score....

      Like 1
      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka 

      Hello David, Sigrun is pointed! Unfortunately, she is already retired, but still gives private courses... I first had a borrowed lute and then I was lucky enough to acquire a used lute from Renatus Lechner. A student had ordered a better lute and it was ready and I was allowed to buy his old lute.It is an 8-course Renaissance lute, built by Renatus Lechner. I took these out of their case today and will record at least one piece with them for the challenge. Yes, you're right, all instruments have their charm... best regards
      Like
      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
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      David Krupka 

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Emma Here's the score, Emma, rendered in French tablature. (The original, shown in the image Eric attached, is in Italian tablature, which is a little less intuitive for those of us raised on standard notation.) If you're unfamiliar with tablature, it's well worth learning how it works - it's much easier to use than our modern system!

      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olli I know of Renatus by name, but I've never seen one his instruments. It looks very nice! I have a couple of lutes made by Lauri Niskanen in Finland. I've attached a picture of my favourite, a six-courser based on an original by Hans Frei. I too will try to upload a video - if my shaky left hand cooperates!  

    • Emma Thank you, Emma. I agree the first half is better. The phrasing is clearer. I will have to work on that second half.

      Like
      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips wow Eric, you did a really good job on that piece. 

      Like 1
    • Olli Thanks, Olli!

      Like
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka thank you so much!

      Like
  • Luys de Narvaez - Cancion del Emperador

    This might be the most well-known piece of the 16th century vihuela music. Again, I played it on guitar and lute. The lute version is not particularly good, but you do get to see my dog in it (which is always a bonus).

    Like 6
    • Eric Phillips Your guitar sound is so lovely, but I really liked this on the Lute!  Excellent Eric as always

      Like 1
    • Paul Kennedy Thank you, Paul. I feel much less comfortable on the lute. It’s so easy to be on the wrong string with either my right or left hand (or both!). Too many strings, much closer together than I’d like.😀

      Like
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I know that feeling of not knowing where the strings are, Eric. Lately, I've been learning to play an eleven-course (baroque) lute, and I feel I need two sets of eyes, one for each hand! (As guitarists, we're so used to looking at our left hands that we easily get lost when we're forced to concentrate on the right)

      Like 1
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