Monthly Archives: July 2016

Jul 26

Feminine Aspects of Guitar History

By Lars Rosager | Music

Picture Textual Chordophonics

The Vedas of ancient India make clear that, during ceremonies, women played the veena more than men did, if not exclusively. Archaeological evidence from third-century CE Rome suggests the Roman lute was likewise particularly suited to female musicians.

With the rise of Islam, the ud may be viewed as an instrument with considerable links to the feminine. The ud has exhibited associations with the planet Venus, usually a feminine energy. However, history has shown the hermaphroditic qualities of Venus. Perhaps one could ponder ud players’ potentially special focus on women as a precursor to the courtly-love tradition of the Western European Renaissance. After all, much of the troubador aesthetic pointed toward the deification of the woman as object of romantic love.

Following the transition from the Medieval to Renaissance periods, one notes a feminine personification of the guitar. In sixteenth-century Spain, both Joan Carles Amat and Gaspar Sanz lent to the guitar a poetic sense of womanly beauty, and leaned heavily on very personal expressions of both religiosity and romance. Suffice it to say the history of the feminine within the world of the guitar is an area ripe for musicological study. While my own research is certainly able to include this sort of information in passing, I would be happy to see much more serious inquiry into the lute family’s inherently feminine attributes. Thank you.

#TextualChordophonics #Guitar #Ud #Lute #Veena #WomensStudies #Musicology #MusicHistory

Jul 20

The Study of Lights

By Lars Rosager | Moral Philosophy

Picture Textual Chordophonics

The bold horizontal line in this chart (see left) represents the horizon. More specifically, it serves to show the portion of the sky that may be seen to rise (AC, Ascendant in the east) and the portion that may be seen to set (DC, Descendant in the west). As the Sun sets here in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, there will be a brief few moments during which the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all above the horizon. I will begin a prayer at 7:45 pm in accordance with this celestial arrangement.

Unfortunately, these six of a total of seven classical celestial bodies will probably be obscured by the terrain of most places on Earth. However, thanks to the modern astrological process, one is able to track down the exact moment at which this phenomenon will occur.

From the point of view of the low-technology sky watcher, a flat terrain with very little light pollution would be necessary to view the Sun’s light reflected from these six planets at once. While the perfect stargazing environment does not always present itself, it is still crucial, in my view, to approach astrology from an observational, experiential perspective. Given optimal circumstances, this planetary extroversion would be a delight to the naked eye. I have depicted the symbolism in the brief sample of music below.

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Jul 08

New Video: Cold Duck Time

By Lars Rosager | Music

Hi, everyone. Please check out my arrangement of “Cold Duck Time” by Eddie Harris. Seeing as this website treats the topic of the links between text and guitar music, the video’s absence of vocals may puzzle you. But fear not; for me, there is always an intellectual obstacle to be tackled! Perhaps the expressive value of this video could be assessed through the very lack of explicit emotional content.

​Just as important as the long history of plucked-string music’s relationships to various forms of less abstract language, the Spanish vihuela was one of the first respectably established movements in purely instrumental music. With the seven vihuela books of the sixteenth century, guitar music without text was on its way to becoming a significant mode of personal and collective expression.

So I ask a simple question: what sort of sentiment does this rendition of “Cold Duck Time” bring to your mind? How does it make you feel, and/or how do you perceive the expressive goal of the composition, arrangement, and performance? Any and all answers are valuable in many ways! Thanks in advance for your input.