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So I've had this great instrument sitting around for a while called a 'Ballad Horn', from the 1880's. It's sort of like a horn or old-style mellophone, but pitched in C and with a smaller bell- the former makes it superb for reading vocal music as opposed to an instrument in Bb, Eb, or F (the other common keys for brass/winds), while the latter gives it a particularly delicate tone something closer to a trombone or alto horn.

I decided while visiting my family to make a short album of some pieces using the instrument, so my aunt improvised some piano parts to the pieces as we went through them.

https://samulis.bandcamp.com/album/the-ballad-horn

Several of the pieces are from Playford's Dancing Master, published in various editions from 1651 until around 1728, with a few others from other collections as well (including one of my all-time favorite pieces, Thomas Ravenscroft's "The Three Ravens"). We set aside the existing notions of the music and went for a more modern style, maybe a bit more contemporary to the ballad horn itself.
Nice stuff! I really love that round, vocal quality of the ballad horn. I definitely hear the trombone resemblance, TBH if I didn't know what it was my guess would have been a trombone rather than a horn. The inclusion of a recorder in Dick's Maggot was also really cool, you should have used more of it!

Musically speaking I guess this isn't really my cup of tea but it was fun listening to, it has an honest vibe to it that appeals to me. Just the fact that you can hear it's real people playing real instruments -- and all are live takes to boot -- is worth a lot.
Thanks Mattias! I'd love to do a recorder album at some point, but I'm honestly not that great at it compared to professional players. I just figured that piece would be really fun on it. Smile

I really just wanted to show people that there were a plethora of very cool and usable instruments back in the 1800's that are widely ignored and forgotten today.
(07-09-2017, 06:53 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks Mattias! I'd love to do a recorder album at some point, but I'm honestly not that great at it compared to professional players. I just figured that piece would be really fun on it. Smile

Sounds great to me! For one thing you're playing with vibrato which for some reason I thought was a no-no for recorders. A lot of the recorder music I've heard is completely expressionless, the acoustic equivalent of listening to plain square waves. I have a few recorders myself that I've picked up over the years. I can't really play them like they're supposed to be played, but as I have some experience with other fipple flutes (whistles) I have the basic technique down. This makes me think I should experiment more with the instrument.

(07-09-2017, 06:53 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]I really just wanted to show people that there were a plethora of very cool and usable instruments back in the 1800's that are widely ignored and forgotten today.

And a very good showcase it is! I definitely got an 1800's feeling from it. A time when music wasn't pre-packaged and ready to go 24/7, and you had to rely on actual live musicians to listen to it.
Well, in early music, I would say vibrato is greatly discouraged by our current understanding of how they performed. However, it's actually a bit weird, but there are "modern" recorders and "modern" recorder techniques, which do allow for vibrato or even very strange/unconventional effects to be used. I like vibrato a lot, but when you are playing very nice Renaissance-style instruments, the instruments and the music itself almost beg you not to use vibrato. Big Grin
I listened to a few of the songs. I like the sound of the Ballad Horn and the arrangements. I thought that the pitch was a little challenging in "The Ladies Misfortune", but it seemed better in the other songs I listened to.

This is a Ballad Horn album but is there any Ballad Horn in "Dicks's Maggot"? Regardless, I liked that song. Nice work with the recorder.
(07-11-2017, 03:23 AM)Paul Battersby Wrote: [ -> ]I listened to a few of the songs. I like the sound of the Ballad Horn and the arrangements. I thought that the pitch was a little challenging in "The Ladies Misfortune", but it seemed better in the other songs I listened to.

This is a Ballad Horn album but is there any Ballad Horn in "Dicks's Maggot"? Regardless, I liked that song. Nice work with the recorder.

The instrument is very challenging to keep in tune- it uses a horn-like mouthpiece, but larger, and there is no hand in the bell to help, so it all has be lipped.

Dick's Maggot is just a bonus track for kicks. Smile