CHAPTER 3: History to 1800

3.5 The Baroque, Rococo and Classical Periods 1600-1800

3.5.1 The west

1.2. Higher cultures in the 17th & 18th centuries: Romance language-area

Documentary evidence: 9 of 14


From about the same time comes a tutor mysteriously referred to by Marcuse as being for psaltery (salterio?, psaltérion?); the use of steel treble strings and brass in the bass is mentioned, as are individual movable bridges, and a plucking technique using two fingers with plectra, together with the thumb in arpeggios (110); it has not yet been possible to trace this source.

In 1770 Charles Burney was travelling Europe, and on a date identified by Glover as 13th July - the MS of Burney's diary does not make this immediately clear - he saw in Turin

"... the itinerant musicians, Anglice; ballad singers & fiddlers at Turin perform in concert. A band of this kind came to the Hotel, la bonne femme, consisting of two voices, two violins, a guitar and bass, bad enough indeed, though far above our scrapers. The singers, who were girls, sung duets very well in tune, accompanied by the whole band. The same people at night performed on a stage in the grand place or square, where they sold their ballads as our quack doctors do their nostrums, but with far less injury to society. In another part of the square, on a different stage, a man and a woman sung Venetian ballads, in two parts, very agreeably, accompanied by a dulcimer"