Nashville Early Music Festival | Trivia
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Trivia

  • Orlando de Lassus, who grew up to be a famous Renaissance composer, had a beautiful voice as a child and was kidnapped on several occasions because of his voice.
  • Lute-like instruments appear in several world traditions. There are over 15 kinds of Asian lutes and several African lutes.
  • The smallest recorder is the Sopranino recorder and measures 9.5 inches long. The largest is called the Contra Bass recorder and can be as long as 5 feet.
  • The largest fully-functional recorder measured 16 feet long, with holes over 3 inches wide.
  • King Henry VIII of England had a collection of 76 recorders. He also composed music for Renaissance instruments and hired musicians to play his compositions in court.
  • Mozarabic chants of Medieval Spain and Portugal had musical influences from north Africa.
  • The troubadour tradition in England can be traced to Eleanor of Aquitaine, who married King Henry the II in 1152 and introduced the tradition to English courts.
  • Medieval towns hired musicians called Waits. Originally, Waits would play their instruments extremely loudly to alert people of danger. As time passed, they acquired¬†additional duties, including composing and performing for townspeople.
  • Art and architecture were closely related in the Medieval period. Gothic cathedrals showcased vocal music beautifully, emphasizing the increased use of polyphony in compositions.
  • Hildegard von Bingen was one of very few women of her time approved by the Pope to preach in public.
  • Monteverdi is considered the first opera composer. His work “Orfeo” was completed in 1607.
  • Much of Vivaldi’s professional career consisted of teaching at a girls’ orphanage.
  • J.S. Bach is rumored to have gotten into a fistfight with a misbehaving choir boy. He also wrote his famous organ book (the¬†Orgelbuchen) while serving time in prison.
  • Handel fought a duel with a composer named Mattheson over the accompaniment to one of the latter’s operas.