Silent Movie Superhero

Hesperus uses 100-year-old movies to present 500-year-old music to 21st-century audiences. It’s a crazy idea. Why’d they take so long to get started?

The Characters of Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg’s annual antiques forum opens later this week, Feb. 24-28, 2023. Visitors can expect to see and hear historic instruments from CW’s collection. The forum is linked to an illuminating new exhibit, using portraits and instruments to depict the life and sounds of a bygone culture in 18th-century Virginia, when music was heard seemingly everywhere.

Trilling with the Devil

When Rachell Ellen Wong was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant, she was described as the first Baroque violinist to win. That’s only part of her story.

Viols Blooming in Texas  

In Humble, Texas, a music teacher brings students into the musical and social world of the viola da gamba consort.

Battle of the Bands

In Texas, the competitive spirit pervades everything, even the arts and its funding. Can early music make the cut, and thrive?

Instrument Makers with Pluck

There are more makers, repairers, and restorers of harpsichords and clavichords in North America than one might expect. A number of these experts were happy to share their philosophies on instrument making.

Viols to Virginia, Music in Colonial America

The only known extant works for viola da gamba in British Colonial America are found in the James River Music Book, a manuscript that has resided in Virginia since the 1730s and contains 15 works for solo viola da gamba, among other musical items. The earliest layer of the JRMB holds music by Lully, Purcell, and Handel, nearly doubling the page count of surviving instrumental music from the period and contributing repertoire for viola da gamba, organ, harpsichord, violin, and voice to the music now known to have been played in colonial Virginia. This article was first published in the May 2020 issue of EMAg.

Nurturing a Love for Early Music

Amherst Early Music and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute have long embraced musicians ranging from enthusiasts to professionals. These two programs, similar in many regards, serve a range of abilities and interests, and both of them got their start a half a century ago.

Rock & Reel: Monticello’s Black Fiddlers

Sally Hemings’ three sons with Thomas Jefferson, and many in her extended family, were accomplished musicians. The pieces they played are ripe for modern performances on historical instruments.

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