Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

  1. #1

    Default The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    I've just published a new blog article about the mandolin in the Netherlands (ca. 1750 - 1850). Based on primary source research on adverts in Dutch journals, I've been able to trace quite a lot of mandolin activity, some by known mandolin players, but also by some not earlier known musicians.

    You can access the article online on my blog.

    Enjoy!

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to happyfanaticsalsero For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Indepndence OR
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    Van (or is it Mr. Van Tichten?),
    I am very impressed by and interested in your posts regarding mandolin in different places and cultures; I was just reading an article by Louise Wrazen about mandolins in South Asian Indian Karnatic music. But what really got me interest was this statement:

    "The main actor in this first period is none other than the well-known pioneer of plucked string instruments: Giacomo Merchi (Brescia, °18/08/1726-?). Known to have travelled Europe performing on concerts .... he is also noted to have performed on “liuto moderno”, an instrument of his own invention."

    These labels are used somewhat inconsistently, and I know better-informed scholars will probably jump in if they see this, but one use of this term is for the 10-string liuto cantabile:
    The liuto cantabile, also termed a liuto moderno, is an uncommon ten-stringed mandocello. This bass variant of the mandolin family was developed by the Neapolitan luthiers of the Vinaccia family in the late 19th century and perfected by Raffaele Calace. (Wiki, but also supported in more reliable sources).
    I play mandocello and study with Fabio Giudice, master of liuto cantabile and Calace scholar. It's the "liuto moderno, an instrument of his [Merchi's] own invention" part that grabbed me; your work is scholarly, which is important to me (I supervise music dissertations for Boston U) so I wanted to know your source for that specific comment. It clearly conflicts with other sources, but no surprise--I have run into other conflicting information on this topic.
    Hope we can chat on this, as I am very active in CMSA and want to be better informed on mandolin history world-wide.
    jim

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Imhoff For This Useful Post:

    BeanzyEugene 

  5. #3
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,767
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    If you go to the Calace website there is a reference in their history on page 43 http://www.calace.it/files/Catalogo-Parte-Seconda.pdf

    here is a highlighted image of the extract and the very sketchy translation;
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EC6460C5-EB32-4501-BC0A-EC84A366B952.jpeg 
Views:	8 
Size:	679.3 KB 
ID:	196545
    It's interesting how he really viewed it as a distinct instrument, worthy of a name that reflects the intended role as an instrument with a 'singing' soloists voice, rather than the role of the 'cello at the time, which was seen as an orchestral bass instrument allowed the odd excursion with the melody.
    When you read his introduction to the method for liuto cantabile, the paragraph on tremolo reveals his distinction in the approach to playing these instruments by comparison with the mandoloncello. As a bit of context we had to wait for the likes of Pablo Cassals to release the violoncello from this perception in the bowed world. That this was happenning contemporaneously with Calace's innovations is interesting and it would be great to get access to any correspondence that might reveal more of Calace's view and motivations in pursuing the development of the liuto cantabile.
    extract:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	9A073688-DDB3-42FA-9767-0131B576327E.jpeg 
Views:	4 
Size:	723.1 KB 
ID:	196546

    (We probably should go for a new thread on this one or risk hijacking Pieter's interesting thread on the Netherlands.)
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  6. #4

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    Hi all

    As you probably realised, the "liutino moderno" mentioned by Giacomo Merchi is not the same instrument as the one later invented and often called liuto cantabile.
    Nomenclature in plucked string history can be quite tiresome.
    What the Merchi liutino moderno was, no-one knows as none of the sources describe it.

    I'll look up the exact source where this is mentioned and post another reply, I believe that another source even calls it "liutino merchiana".

    Kind regards
    Pieter
    Last edited by happyfanaticsalsero; Sep-27-2021 at 4:27am.

  7. The following members say thank you to happyfanaticsalsero for this post:

    Beanzy 

  8. #5
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,767
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    When I see the term "liuto moderno" used it makes me wonder how often the reference might be to a style as much as to an instrument as in "stile antico" and "stile moderno" as used in lute music terminology. Were they developing new instruments to support those new styles where the melody was supported by an ensemble, so driving the need for volume, or was it like Calace trying to embark on a new endeavour? Anyone familiar with the development on the lute side that may have led to the spillover of the term into the mandolin style technology?

    It's very interesting to see how dependent the earlier scene in the Netherlands was on the French circuit.
    As you mention the association and success of the Galante style may be to blame. Too closely linked to the aristocracy for French tastes. But do you think this just turned off the tap on the old circuit that included the Netherlands? or was there a similar trend for avoiding aristocratic associations in that country? Obviously the unrest leading to the Batavian Republic would alo be an influence. I assume that would have led the people to the same desire to disassociate from the Galante style?
    Last edited by Beanzy; Sep-27-2021 at 6:28am.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  9. #6

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    The first advert that uses the term "liutino moderno" by my knowledge is from the Public Advertiser (13 April 1769). It contains an advert for a concert organized for the benefit of Merchi (on 27 April 1769) at Hickford's Rooms in Brewer Street. Merchi is announced to play "Spanish Guittar" as well as "a new Instrument invented by him, called The Liutino Moderno" and the "calisoncino" (the last no doubt the colascioncino). There are also some Merchi adverts from Bath that mention the "liutino moderno" (for example Bath Chronicle, 1 December 1774 and also on 9 January 1777)
    The other reference was slightly different than what I remembered: "merchino moderno", was used as a phrase in Bath in 1768. I only have it through a secondary source alas, so not the actual advert or other source (Holman, Peter, Life After Death: The Viola Da Gamba in Britain from Purcell to Delmetsch, Woodbridge, 2010, p. 161.)

  10. The following members say thank you to happyfanaticsalsero for this post:

    Beanzy 

  11. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Indepndence OR
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    I would guess the "-ino" suffix (liutino) suggests a smaller instrument than--for example--my Gibson K4 mandocello. Too bad there are no illustrations. I am trying to track down a passage I read (thought it was Wrazen) about iconography being a better search thread than etymology, because the picture is better than the thousand words used to name the instrument. What I am looking into now is more breadth than depth--mandolins worldwide as opposed to painstaking primary source work on mandolins in a specific location. But I would have no leads were it not for serious scholars like Pieter and Beanzy. The Mandolins in India article is actually "History of the Mandolin" published in the 1986 Journal of the Musical Academy (of Madras). It compares mandolin to vina:

    "Recently the mandolin has been adapted in South India by young virtuoso U. Srcenivas. He has developed a unique style which incorporates the south Indian gamaka system, thus adding a whole new dimension to the technical pallet of the mandolin. By plucking a single note and sliding over the I frets Sreenivas creates the portamento effect achieved on the vina by pulling the strings.
    And...
    "In summary, an Italian folk instrument which has a five hun#dred year history has added and continues to add a new dimension to the spectrum of world music Changes in musical thinking will no doubt generate new techniques and possibilities. The mandolin will surely prove itself to be as adaptable in the future as lt has been in the past."

    I hope I can find more recent material to see how this developed.

  12. #8
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,767
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    There are more references to Giacomo Merchi & his brother Joseph Bernard Merchi in this article by Jürgen Kloss https://www.justanothertune.com/html...inbritain.html his site is good for following references to sources.

    Another place for a good rummage is http://www.studia-instrumentorum.de/MUSEUM/zistern.htm
    Last edited by Beanzy; Sep-27-2021 at 10:55am.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  13. #9

    Default Re: The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca 1750 - ca 1850)

    It is often difficult, the names of plucked string instruments are confusing. One of the examples you can read about in the article: Rossignol advertises the use of a mandolin as well as a mandole. What is meant here with these names? We can't know for sure, only speculate. (I speculate the first is the Neapolitan and the next either one of six-string mandolin types, or one of mysterious bass mandolin types as well as it is often mentioned as accompaniment). The more I learned, the more I realized we don't know much for sure... And it has only grown over the years.

    Have you looked at the colascioncino? That's an instrument with an open string length of more than 50 cm. The Merchi and Colla brothers, both from Brescia, are famous for playing it all over Europe in the 1750s and 1760s. Alas, only limited music is preserved ... The colascione itself is also interesting seems less linked to the mandolin. There are people who have made a study to prove that the colascioncino is related to the later Brescian/Cremonese mandolin. If you need, I can look that one up, though I believe it is in Italian.

    The bass mandolins of 18th century are also worth looking at, if you like deeper tuned mandolins. Below a link to a specimen at the Royal College of Music Museum. These have an open string length around 57 cm. We don't know that much about them. Sometimes it is suggested these were called mandolone but there is too few sources to say for sure (again...).
    http://minim.ac.uk/index.php/explore/?instrument=9154
    Last edited by happyfanaticsalsero; Sep-27-2021 at 12:57pm.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •