Blog Article Re-post from 9/9/09

I thought it would be fun to re-visit my first post on a fantastic piece- the Battalia a 10 by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber.

The end of Labor-day weekend 2009- This will count as my first official post on ‘Tuned in 4ths’, a blog dedicated to the doublebass.  I have been inspired by those around me who have been a little bit more technically savvy than myself.  Yet, in an age where technology moves so quick, I’m ready to take the challenge and dive in head-first.

There are many goals of this blog (some of which may end up being unreasonable), however my first goal is to share with the doublebass community what I have learned over the years of teaching and being a student.  Many of my future posts will hopefully be fun, easy to read, and informative (especially for some of my students).  Other goals in this blog will be to discuss teaching, performers, events, gear, gig stories, and maybe event occasionally a post about family life or politics.

Let me close this inaugural post with a really cool YouTube video I just came across recently.  It’s a piece by Heinrich Ignaz von Biber (1644-1704) called “Battalia”.  Can anyone guess what this is depiciting?  If you said a ‘battle’ you’re correct!  Be sure to check out the movement when the doublebass is called upon to play the role of a drummer (snare & bass drums).  He takes a piece of paper and weaves it between the strings and plays col legno (with the ‘wood’ of the bow)… the bow striking the instrument is like a stick hitting the drum, and the piece of paper is like the snare.  What a neat effect!   Towards the end of this ‘battle’ piece, the doublebassist also uses a “Bartok Pizz” or snapping pizzicato technique to approximate the sound of cannons being fired.  What a super cool and radically inovative piece for the late 1600’s.  Enjoy!

New video by the astounding group ‘A Far Cry‘ in Boston.


About tunedin4ths

David Ballam Doctoral Student at the University of Texas at Austin Doublebass Instructor: UT String Project & Round Rock School District BLOG: WEB:
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