The Keyboard in London

My photo
We (Mike Lurie, Greg Dunbar, Lauren Buono, Shawn Riley & Bryn Coveney) are a group of students studying abroad in London for the semester from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. This blog is to document our class experiences in "The Keyboard and it's Role in London Society" course, which is being taught by Diane Birr at the Ithaca College London Center, in South Kensington. Our studies focus on keyboard instruments (the Virginal, Harpsichord, Pianoforte, Piano, Organ, Electronic keyboard) and explore how these instruments are historically interwoven with the personal and social fabric of London society.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments Visit
South Kensington, London
Museum Webpage

The Royal College of Music was founded in 1882 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Former students of the college include Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, conductor Leopold Stokowski and singer Sarah Walker. The RCM’s Museum of Instruments is within the college’s Centre for Performance History along with the Department of Portraits and Performance History. The vast majority of instruments are European stringed, keyboard and wind, while 100 come from Africa and Asia. The Department of Portraits and Performance History houses 340 original portraits, 10,000 photographs and 600,000 concert programs dating back to 1720. Perhaps the most precious of instruments housed at the museum is the clavicytherium. Built anonymously around 1480, it is probably the oldest surviving stringed keyboard instrument in existence.

6:00 PM
Performance History Assessment Concert
Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments

We attended the "Performance History Recital" on Monday, February 4th at the Museum of Instruments.  It featured Baroque and Classical chamber works with a variety of instruments including harpsichord, flute, violin and recorder.  The performers were mostly students learning the history of the instruments they played.  Works performed included selections by Telemann, Couperin, Mozart, Schubert and J. S. Bach.
Information provided by Mike

"The one combination of instruments I enjoyed most was the flute, violin and harpsichord. The light twitter of the wind, the sharp weeping of the strings and the pitter-patter of the keys made for an exceptional and unexpected sound."

"The keyboardist switched between three keyboards the entire concert. It was extremely interesting to listen to all of the different timbres and how they interacted with each combination of instruments. She was a wonderful chamber player and I always enjoyed her style of playing. "

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