> From: "Alexander Batov" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:28:40 +0100
> To: <vihuela@cs.dartmouth.edu>
> Subject: [VIHUELA] Re: Ian Woodfield's Early History of the Viol  (and
> Vihuela)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Roger E. Blumberg" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>> ... I'd only point out that Woodfield says that at the earliest stage the
>> two instruments were in fact _identically_ constructed, interchangeable,
> I wish he was a maker ;))
well, for the original flat-fixed-bridge model it seems reasonable that
there needn't have been any difference in construction. Would you agree?

>> and
>> he further says (more than once) that the sequence was plucked->to->bowed,
>> the plucked waist-cut vihuela came first, followed shortly thereafter by
>> the
>> bowed vihuela, i.e. a bow taken to the exact same initial plucked wait-cut
>> vihuela -- the flat-bridged, long thin necked, smallish waist-cut bodied
>> variety.
> I would find it really difficult to explain, if following this logic, why
> that initial _plucked_ vihuela had a _waist-cut_ smallish body (perhaps he,
> Woodfield, can).

He concedes and believe that the first waist-cut instruments were small
arm-played fiddles, c.1430s, also originating in Aragon (there's a picture
of two of them on page 48 in my copy). So I gather, that technology was then
ported to vihuela de mano (some 20 years later? as far as we have pictures
to tell). 

There were a couple few distinct types, large and small, of early waist-cut
vihuela de mano (i.e. 1460s-70s). And again he has to be using picture dates
to decide which appears first, plucked or bowed, and to feel confident
enough to say there was a definite sequence. At least his work is a
base-line in any event.

>> He says point-blank and with confidence that vihuela de arco was
>> inspired by vihuela de mano.

> For me the validity of this theory only makes sense if one presumes that
> bowing ('chicken') as such came after plucking ('egg'). One doesn't have to
> be an academician to say so ...

well, now his theory makes a little more sense because he does agree that
bowed somethings (with waist-cuts) came first. But, turning it around, this
presumes that waist-cuts really did first evolve to facilitate bowing
technique (to help isolate outside strings or something). Almost seems odd
that they did so well without them for so long. Could the cuts have been a
top strengthening devise?, functioning well for both movable and
fixed-bridge applications, i.e. downward pressures on a moveable and higher
bowing bridge or pulling tension on a fixed lute-style bridge? Might the
design require less under-bracing and therefore dampen the top less?

I would like to nail down better the "in pieces" or slab-construction verses
carved-out uni-body ideas and dates better. Most people seem to say/think
that virtually all fiddles prior to the waist-cut models were carved out. I
tend to doubt that, but who knows. Standard lute bowls had been "in pieces"
for a long time prior to the emergence of waist-cut slab constructed fiddles
and vihuela.

> I have a rather beautiful recording of dutar music played by an Uzbek
> musician. Uzbeks are exceptionally good players on this two-string long neck
> lute which is traditionally played in a strummed sort of way. On that
> particular recording the player bows it too ... I could never have imagined
> that it can be played this way and it sounds great!

that's the kind of practice (dual purpose) I suspect was taken for granted
long ago. I've never heard one of those played, in any fashion.

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