Copyright © 2017 Maranella - Last Updated on: 18 December 2017
Copyright © 2018 Maranella Last Updated on: 7th February, 2018
Below is a small selection of pieces from our repertoire
We are gearing up for recording our first CD so good quality sound files will be added as soon as we have them available
Meanwhile here are a few links to amateur videos of us shot at various venues
Sumer is Icumen In
Click the picture for the YouTube video
Recorded on a mobile phone so the quality isn't great!
Cantigas de Santa Maria 48 and 42
Minstrels' Court 2014 - again recorded on a mobile phone. Click the photo to see the video
From an early fifteenth-century Tuscan manuscript which is held at the British Museum in London
Chanconeta Tedescha is a lively Italian dance tune which we love to play - one of our favourites
Cantiga de Santa Maria no. 7
The Cantigas de Santa Maria ("Canticles of Holy Mary") are 420 poems with musical notation, written in Galician-Portuguese during the reign of Alfonso X 'The Wise' (1221-1284), king of Castile, Leon and Galicia, and often attributed to him. Each song in this collection mentions the Virgin Mary
Although we do play a lot of the Cantigas de Santa Maria I doubt that we will ever learn all 420!
A medieval English song (about 1250) mourning the end of summer
Unfortunately only the first verse survives
Miri it is while sumer ilast
With fugheles song
Oc nu neheth windes blast
And weder strong
Ei, ei! What this nicht is long
And ich with wel michel wrong
Soregh and murne and fast
which translates from middle English to:
Merry it is while the summer lasts
With the song of birds
But now draws near the wind's blast
And strong weather
Alas, alas! how long this night is
And I, most unjustly
Sorrow and mourn and fast
A 13th Century English gymel (a sort of early English polyphony) in praise of the Virgin Mary
13th & 14th Centuries
Lively and playful tunes - we play several Ductias and Estampies. These are dances / songs from England and Northern France which were popular in the 13th and 14th centuries. Ductias were sometimes sung but Estampies seem to have been purely instrumental pieces.
Ductia is a medieval Latin term used by Johannes de Grocheo (De musica, c 1300) to describe two forms: a type of light, rapid song sung by boys and girls for dances and an instrumental dance.
The Estampie has a very distinctive form with each section repeating a melody first with an 'open' ending, then with a 'closed' one; the same endings are used througout. It appears (from the scant records we have of pre-1400 instrumental pieces) to have been the most common form of instrumental music
Nobody knows for certain whether an Estampie (Istanpitta in Italian) was a dance tune or simply a musical form, but it does mean 'to stamp' which would suggest rather strongly that it was some kind of dance
Two beautiful 14th Century Italian tunes from a collection in the British Library (Add. 29987). The lament is slow and mournful and then the dance tune La Rotta (an Estampie probably) livens things up quite a bit. These two tunes always seem to be played as a set and the combination of slow air followed by lively dance really does work
A very beautiful song by William Cornish (1465-1523), Master of the Kynge's Musick to Henry VIII
Many of the pieces formerly thought to have been written by the king are now known to have been composed by Cornish. He was a prolific and very talented composer and we play and sing several of his pieces. Although Cornish flourished during the start of the Renaissance musical period, his music is still very much medieval in style and form
This song finds a young man confiding in a robin redbreast his fears that his lady no longer loves him; the anguished phrase 'she will change for no new' leaves us in no real doubt that she already has!
English 13th century carol—the title says it all, really
Yuletide drinking song we believe to be from the 15th Century, needless to say that the composer is Trad. Anon. !
Anglo-Norman rondellus, c1250
A really beautiful yuletide song known in the time of Henry VIII. Some sources attribute the song to him but that's very doubtful
This list is just a small selection from our repertoire but might give a feel for the type of music we enjoy playing and singing
Copyright © 2017 Maranella - Last Updated on: 12th January, 2018
Below is just a small selection of the recorders owned and played by members of Maranella
Between us we own many, many more ...
er ... um... perhaps too many to admit to :)
Copyright © 2016 Maranella - Last Updated 9th February, 2018
In Maranella we have English Shepherd pipes, Dudey pipes and English Border pipes by Sean Jones and Swedish sackpipa by Alban Faust
Fabulous low D three drone English Border pipes in Bubinga wood (a type of rosewood) made by Sean Jones in his workshop at Biddulph Moor in Staffordshire
Elizabeth's low D borders have three bell-ended drones. The sound is fantastic,really rich, full and very beautiful. The bore is cylindricalwhich makes it quite loud although not nearly so loud as highland pipes - it's still ok to play them indoors - and, crucially, the cylindrical bore extends the range. By overblowing it is possible to play notes in the second octave giving a total range of an octave and a half. When Elizabeth plays these pipes in duet with Marilyn on the Swedish sackpipa they don't overpower the cylindrical bore sackpipa and the two totally different types of pipe sound really good together - a bonus we hadn't expected!
Quote from Sean's website: "In Britain the much louder highland pipes have dominated but we have our own version of the French and Flemish pipes, the border pipes. As the name suggests it was played in the Scottish borders and is now having a bit of a renaissance. There is little difference acoustically between the traditional French bagpipe and the border pipes ..."
Beautiful, single drone Shepherd pipes in Bubinga wood (a type of rosewood) made by Sean Jones in his workshop in Biddulph Moor, Staffordshire
Shepherd pipes are, in essence, English border pipes but with only a single drone. Elizabeth's set, in beautiful close-grained bubinga wood, are bellows blown with a switch to make them mouth blown. Marilyn's set, also from Sean, are in flame bubinga wood and are mouth blown.
Very beautiful Swedish bagpipes in curly grained birch wood with reindeer horn and ebony rings made by Alban Faust in his workshop in Ör, Frestersbyn in Sweden.
Swedish sackpipa are smallpipes i.e. they have a cylindrical bore making the sound much softer and quieter than the conical bore of the border and shepherd pipes. The cylindrical bore also limits the range to just an octave plus one note. This particular set of Swedish pipes is in D with a low D drone which can be retuned to C or E making these pipes very versatile. With the drone stop out the drone is an E so standard Swedish E/A tunes are playable providing they don't go too high. With the drone stop in, the drone is a low D so the pipes can be played with the borders in D where, even though they are much quieter, they are not drowned out because of the totally different timbre. With the drone tuned to a C the pipes can play tunes in C - three instruments in one !
Quote from Alban's website:
"The Swedish bagpipes, which is distinguishable by its warm, soft sound, has got many friends throughout the whole world. My reconstruction of the so called ”Västerdala” pipes is a mixture of the ten preserved instruments we have in the country (there not one is similar to another!). Furthermore my studies of related bagpipes from the continent have been of great benefit. The Swedish bagpipes is a so called clarinet-instrument, as the sound is produced through a single reed which sits on a cylindrically drilled chanter. Traditionally it is a mouth blown instrument with one short drone (high tuned) which is identical to the lowest tone on the chanter (6 fingering). There is also a single reed in the drone, as in almost all drones."
People who don't like bagpipes, when they hear the Dudeys, say "aren't they lovely; I didn't know bagpipes could sound like that!" So ... bagpipes for people who don't like bagpipes!
The Dudey is a three drone Hummelchen or 'bumblebee' pipe, the renaissance German smallpipe drawn by Praetorius. It has a cylindrical bore unlike the border and shepherd pipes which have a conical bore, and is therefore much quieter and softer in tone - like the gentle buzzing of a bumblebee
From Sean's website: Dudey - "The dudey is drawn by Praetorius in the 17th Century. Its closest modern relative is the Scottish smallpipe. My Dudey is really a cross-fingering smallpipe designed to have the soft hollow tone of the samallpipes/northumbrian pipes. The drones provide a solid "humm" underneath the chanter and don't compete with it"
Marilyn's dudey pipes are made from laburnum wood with a brown leather bag. Like all dudeys made by Sean, they are in D and have three drones, D-A-D. The laburnum wood darkens over time and these pipes are now a lovely deep brown; eventually the wood will go very dark brown, almost black
Elizabeth's dudey pipes, in flame bubinga wood, are absolutely stunning to look at with the red flamed wood and black leather bag - beautiful.
Elizabeth with her Sean Jones shepherd pipes
Copyright © 2016 Maranella - Last Updated 15 March 2016