Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Atlanta Fugiens

Michael Maier Atalanta Fugiens.jpeg

Atalanta fugiens by Michael Maier was first published in 1617 at Frankfurt at the press of Johann Theodor de Bry. This alchemical emblem book included 50 engraved emblems with an associated 'fugue' or musical canon. In a sense this book with its integration of image, text and sound was one of the first attempts at multimedia.

To make the emblematic images more accessible to the modern eye, I have hand-coloured the images, and have also re-created the music and made it more approachable to contemporary ears by programming it for a modern synthesiser. The music was originally devised as Latin verses sung in three parts.

I have orchestrated the music and played it through a multi-timbral synthesiser (Yamaha SY77) which incorporates sampled instruments. I have used a wide palette of instruments to provide variety, a number of horns (french horn, flugel horn, trumpets), woodwind (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, flute), harp, harpsichord, and some strings, organs and orchestral sounds. I have avoided any modern entirely synthetic sounds as well as the piano. The general sound can be likened to an early music group, but of course with no pretentions to authenticity.

Adam McLean, May 2013


Saturday, 18 November 2017


A few examples of Contemporary Early Music via the "auspices" of MediumAevum

Some new Medival Music so to speak...

For more examples from MediumAevum please go to link below

A drawing in the borders of a manuscript of an archer in a tower shooting at a horse-back rider

Click the above pic to enlarge



Thursday, 26 October 2017

Early Music Midi Files

The following can be seen as an interesting take on "Contemporary" Early Music. The link to the About page for Early Music Midi Files can be found below.

A link to a collection of videos

File:40-svaghi,suono e ballo,Taccuino Sanitatis, Casanatense 4182.jpg

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Renaissance - New Baroque

Experience a New Baroque music style !


Beatles Go Baroque

Concerto grosso in the style of Corelli, based on songs of The Beatles, arrangement by Peter Breiner. Songs: Here comes the sun, Michelle, Goodnight, Carry that Weight

Friday, 20 October 2017

Quartet New Generation (QNG)

 Link to the main site of the Quartet New Generation                 

Published on 24 Nov 2010
QNG Quartet New Generation playing Kung recorders at Greenwich 2010 - in their concert and the Makers Recital (The Early Music Festival)

Quartet New Generation (QNG) was a group of four female recorder players. Andrea Guttmann, Petra Wurz (replacing Hannah Pape in 2010), Heide Schwarz (since 2003) and Susanne Fröhlich performed on recorder instruments of many different kinds and shapes and combined Early and Contemporary music.
The quartet was founded in September 1998 at the Amsterdam Conservatoire with a main interest in contemporary music. Since then they worked together with composers. Many new works were written for the quartet. In April 2014 the quartet performed its jubilee concert (15 years QNG) at BKA theater in Berlin, which was also its last concert. The group has disbanded.

Prizes and Awards[edit]

  • 2002 Stipendienpreis German Music Award, Bonn
  • 2002 Musicprize of the Union Deutscher ZONTA-Clubs.
  • 2002 1st Prize at the 13ème Concours international de Musique de Chambre in IllzachFrankreich
  • 2003 1st Prize in the Category Quartett/Quintett, Gaudeamus Preis for the best interpretation of a work by a composer from the Netherlands and Grand Prix at the "7th International Competition for Contemporary Music" in CrakowPoland.
  • 2004 1st Prize at the "International Concert Artists Guild Competition 2004" in New York.
  • 2006 Preisträger German Music Award, Bonn
  • 2010 Winner of the competition Göttinger Reihe Historischer Musik, Performance Prize at the 2010 Göttingen International Handel Festival.


  • Ethereal, 2006, Edition Zeitklang
  • in vain – von der Vergänglichkeit, 2008, Edition Genuin
  • Fantasy 'n' Symmetry, 2012, Genuin Classics

A XXI Century Renaissance Piece by Eduardo Antonello

Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)

Eduardo Antonello is a brilliant young musician in the field of Early Music. The link is an example of Contemporary Early Music which is well worth listening too. His youtube site is at

Published on 31 Jul 2016
If we can´t go back to the Renaissance Period, why not imagine at least those people dancing a XXI Century Renaissance piece?

I can´t promise i´m completely back but i really hope you enjoy my new video (i don´t know when i will be able to post a new one).

It´s a piece for crumhorn consort, viol consort, hurdy-gurdy and continuo (harpsichord) composed, played, recorded and edited by me. Enjoy! Please Like it! :)

Harpsichord built by Cesar Ghidini
Bass viol after Tielke by Fernando Ferreira

 Early Music in a different way ;) Early Music in a different way ;) Early Music in a different way ;) Early Music in a different way ;) Early Music in a different way ;)Early Music in a different way ;)







Early Music in Contemporary Session

Free composition created on Linux by Sonja Busch
Instruments: Harpsichord I - Harpsichord II - Drawbar Organ - Oboe - English Horn - Trumpet
Image by Pascal Hallou


Also..... Double Fugue Var on Pachelbel

Created on Linuy by Sonja Busch
Instruments: Harpsichords and Piano


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

P.D.Q. Bach

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Peter Schickele as P. D. Q. Bach, from the cover of The Definitive Biography of P. D. Q. Bach
P. D. Q. Bach is a fictitious composer invented by musical satirist "Professor" Peter Schickele. Schickele developed a five-decade-long career, performing the "discovered" works of the "only forgotten son" of the Bach family. Schickele's music combines parodies of musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and classical music, and slapstick. The name "P. D. Q." is a parody of the three-part names given to some members of the Bach family that are commonly reduced to initials, such as C. P. E., for Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. PDQ is an initialism for "pretty damned quick".
Schickele began working on the character while studying at the Aspen Music Festival and School and at Juilliard,[1] and has performed a variety of P. D. Q. Bach shows over the years. The Village Voice mentions the juxtaposition of collage, bitonality, musical satire, and orchestral surrealism in a "bizarre melodic stream of consciousness". "In P.D.Q. Bach he has single-handedly mapped a musical universe that everyone knew was there and no one else had the guts (not simply the bad taste) to explore."[2] As of 2012 he has decreased touring due to age. He performed two concerts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first concert at The Town Hall in New York on December 28 and 29, 2015,[3] and continues to have live concert performances.[4]


Schickele gives a humorous fictional biography of the composer[5] according to which P. D. Q. Bach was born in Leipzig on April 1, 1742,[6] the son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Anna Magdalena Bach; the twenty-first of Johann's twenty children.[5] He is also referred to as "the youngest and oddest of Johann Sebastian’s 20-odd children."[7] He died May 5, 1807,[8] though his birth and death years are often listed on album literature in reverse, as "(1807–1742)?".[9] According to Schickele, P. D. Q. "possessed the originality of Johann Christian, the arrogance of Carl Philipp Emanuel, and the obscurity of Johann Christoph Friedrich."[5](p23)


Schickele's works attributed to P. D. Q. Bach often incorporate comical rearrangements of well-known works of other composers. The works use instruments not normally used in orchestras, such as the bagpipes, slide whistle, kazoo, and fictional or experimental instruments such as the pastaphone (made of uncooked manicotti),[10] tromboon,[11] hardart, lasso d'amore,[12] and left-handed sewer flute.

There is often a startling juxtaposition of styles within a single P. D. Q. Bach piece. The Prelude to Einstein on the Fritz, which alludes to Philip Glass' opera Einstein on the Beach, provides an example. The underlying music is J.S. Bach's first prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier, but at double the normal speed, with each phrase repeated interminably in a minimalist manner that parodies Glass's. On top of this mind-numbing structure is added everything from jazz phrases to snoring to heavily-harmonized versions of "Three Blind Mice" to the chanting of a meaningless phrase ("Koy Hotsy-Totsy," alluding to the art film Koyaanisqatsi for which Glass wrote the score). Through all these mutilations, the piece never deviates from Bach's original harmonic structure.[13]
The humor in P. D. Q. Bach music often derives from violation of audience expectations, such as repeating a tune more than the usual number of times, resolving a musical chord later than usual or not at all, unusual key changes, excessive dissonance, or sudden switches from high art to low art.[14] Further humor is obtained by replacing parts of certain classical pieces with similar common songs, such as the opening of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 with "Beautiful Dreamer", or rewriting Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture as the 1712 Overture, with Yankee Doodle replacing Tchaikovsky's melody, and Pop Goes the Weasel replacing La Marsellaise.

Compositional periods[edit]

Schickele divides P. D. Q. Bach's fictional musical output into three periods: the Initial Plunge, the Soused Period, and Contrition. During the Initial Plunge, P. D. Q. Bach wrote the Traumerei for solo piano, an Echo Sonata for "two unfriendly groups of instruments", and a Gross Concerto for Divers Flutes, two Trumpets, and Strings. During the Soused (or Brown-Bag) Period, P. D. Q. Bach wrote a Concerto for Horn & Hardart, a Sinfonia Concertante, a Pervertimento for Bicycle, Bagpipes, and Balloons, a Serenude, a Perückenstück (literally German for "Hairpiece"), a Suite from The Civilian Barber (spoofing Rossini's The Barber of Seville), a Schleptet in E-flat major, the half-act opera The Stoned Guest (the character of "The Stone Guest" from Mozart's Don Giovanni), a Concerto for Piano vs. Orchestra, Erotica Variations (Beethoven's Eroica Variations), Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice, an opera in one unnatural act (Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel and the 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice), The Art of the Ground Round (Bach's The Art of Fugue), a Concerto for Bassoon vs. Orchestra, and a Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion.[5]
During the Contrition Period, P. D. Q. Bach wrote the cantata Iphigenia in Brooklyn (Gluck's Iphigenia in Aulis, etc.), the oratorio The Seasonings (Haydn's The Seasons), Diverse Ayres on Sundrie Notions, a Sonata for Viola Four Hands,[15] the chorale prelude Should, a Notebook for Betty Sue Bach (Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach and Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue"), the Toot Suite, the Grossest Fugue (Beethoven's Grosse Fuge), a Fanfare for the Common Cold (Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man) and the canine cantata Wachet Arf! (Bach's Wachet auf).[5]
A final work is the mock religious work Missa Hilarious (Beethoven's Missa Solemnis) (Schickele no. N2O – the chemical formula of nitrous oxide or "laughing gas").[16]


Tromboon detail; the bassoon reed is on the left
The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of a bassoon, attached to the body of a trombone in place of the trombone's mouthpiece. It combines the sound of double reeds and the slide for a distinctive and unusual instrument. The name of the instrument is a portmanteau of "trombone" and "bassoon". The sound quality of the instrument is best described as comical and loud.
The tromboon was developed by Peter Schickele, a skilled bassoonist himself, and featured in some of his live concert and recorded performances. Schickele called it "a hybrid – that's the nicer word – constructed from the parts of a bassoon and a trombone; it has all the disadvantages of both".[17][18] This instrument is called for in the scores of P. D. Q. Bach's oratorio The Seasonings,[19] as well as the Serenude (for devious instruments) and Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist.[citation needed]


On Vanguard
Peter Schickele Presents an Evening with P. D. Q. Bach (1807–1742?)1965
An Hysteric Return: P. D. Q. Bach at Carnegie Hall1966
Report from Hoople: P. D. Q. Bach on the Air1967
The Stoned Guest1970
The Intimate P. D. Q. Bach1974
Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach1977
Black Forest Bluegrass1979
Liebeslieder Polkas1980
Music You Can't Get Out of Your Head1982
A Little Nightmare Music1983
On Telarc
1712 Overture and Other Musical Assaults1989
Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities1990
WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio1991
Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion1992
Two Pianos Are Better Than One1994
The Short-Tempered Clavier and Other Dysfunctional Works for Keyboard1995
P. D. Q. Bach and Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and Hyde Tour2007
TitleRecord companyYear
The Wurst of P. D. Q. BachVanguard Records1971
The Dreaded P. D. Q. Bach CollectionVanguard Records1996
The Ill-Conceived P. D. Q. Bach AnthologyTelarc Records1998
Video releases
The Abduction of Figaro1984
P. D. Q. Bach in Houston: We Have a Problem!2006
The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach1996


Four of the Telarc P. D. Q. Bach recordings received Grammy awards in the Best Comedy Recording category. These were the four albums released from 1989 until 1992.[20] Schickele also received a Grammy nomination in the Best Comedy Album category in 1996 for his abridged audiobook edition of The Definitive Biography of P. D. Q. Bach.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up ^ Schlueter, Paul. "P. D. Q. Bach satirist a seriously good humor man". Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  2. Jump up ^ Gann, Kyle. "Classical Trash". Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-02-21. 
  3. Jump up ^ "Peter Schickele Brings P. D. Q. Bach Back to the Stage" by James R. Oestreich,The New York Times, December 16, 2015
  4. Jump up ^ "Peter Schickele Concert Schedule". Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Schickele, Peter. The Definitive Biography of P. D. Q. Bach
  6. Jump up ^ Schickele, Peter. The Definitive Biography of P. D. Q. Bach, page 3: "the night of the 1st of April, 1742," "giving birth to his twenty-first child," "at one minute after midnight"
  7. Jump up ^ "Peter Schickele: 50 Years of P.D.Q. Bach: A Triumph of Incompetence!". Corning Civic Music Association. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  8. Jump up ^ "P.D.Q. Bach Bio". Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  9. Jump up ^ "An Evening With P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)?". Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  10. Jump up ^ Blau, Eleanor (25 December 1998). "Oh, No! Still More (Quite a Bit More!) From P. D. Q. Bach". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  11. Jump up ^ Tromboon at Dolmetsch Music Dictionary
  12. Jump up ^ Lasso d'amore at Dolmetsch Music Dictionary
  13. Jump up ^ Gann, Kyle (19 January 1999). "Classical Trash". The Village Voice. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  14. Jump up ^ David Huron (2004). "Music-engendered laughter: an analysis of humor devices in PDQ Bach" (PDF). Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Music. pp. 700–704. 
  15. Jump up ^ The term four hands refers to the playing of one instrument, most commonly a piano, by two players at once.
  16. Jump up ^ "Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach". The Peter Schickele Web Site. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  17. Jump up ^ "P. D. Q. Bach & Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and Hyde Tour". Retrieved 13 November 2008. 
  18. Jump up ^ Dr David Shevin (5 August 2004). "A Viva For Elizabeth Lands". Retrieved 13 November 2008. 
  19. Jump up ^ "The Seasonings, Oratorio for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass Soloists, SATB Chorus, and Orchestra by P. D. Q. Bach [Peter Schickele]", in Notes, Second Series, Vol. 30, No. 4 (June 1974), pp. 863–864. Last accessed 7 June 2008 (subscription required)
  20. Jump up ^ Biography page for Peter Schickele on Theodore Press Company's website
  21. Jump up ^ Past Winners Database page for the 1996 Grammy award nominees and winners on the Los Angeles Times website

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]