Exploring Music


What did people do as a form of entertainment and what kind of music did they listen to?  Who were some of the composers they listen to and do we know their music today?  These are questions that I hope to answer within this entry.   Growing up I was brought up with Country, Celtic and Pop music.  But before I ever heard those genres I listen to the sounds of Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, Beethoven, Tschalkowsky and many other well known composers.  Many of these composers that I just listed were some of the composer that 18th and 19th Century women and men listen to across the world.  I’ve read a few journals where these composers were discuss and well appreciated.  Today we are fortunate to have various electronics to keep us entertained.  In the past people used music, dance and played games as a form of entertainment.

There are a few composers that we know the music today but really do not know the name behind it. Why? I think the tunes that they created are known it just the name of the person is not as well known as the songs they produced.  Throughout the generations the songs were past, but not the names of the men and women who composed them.  Upon joining an 18th Century group and researching on the time period I began to research on early music and beyond.   And here are some composers I advise everyone to review and listen to.  You will hear some familiar tunes while listening to their music on amazon.com

Coming from a Classical background I know of a few good classical composers and listen to them in a regular basis.  But finding something new to listen to can sometimes be bit of a challenge.  Recently I found two very different composers from the 17th Century who portray the time period very differently.  The more contemporary John Playford and the traditional Classical composer Georg Philipp Telemann.  After hearing one of  John Playford compositions on the radio, I searched for some more examples of his music on amazon.com.  Once I looked through amazon.com I realized I had heard some of his music without knowing it.  He was born in 1623 in the town of Norwich, but the images of dancing kings to camp followers seem to always appear while listening to his music.  Again I found Georg Philipp Telemann by doing a basic amazon search on 17th Century composers.   Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg in 1681 and his compositions sounds more traditionally what you would expect from the 17th Century.

I also listen to a lot of Celtic music, which I was first introduced to by some of my High School friends.  I’ve been playing a few celtic tunes for a number of years and was interested in learning more about the people and those who composed some of my favorite tunes. One Scottish composer is Niel Gow who was born in Inver onMarch 1727.  His son Nathaniel Gow who was born in Inver on May 1763 also became a composer of Celtic music.   I’ve found out about this composer and many others through my research finding new music to play on the violin/fiddler.  They are both mentioned in “The Fiddle Music of Scotland” by James Hunter.

Recently I discovered A Modest Collection of Traditional Songs of the Colonial Period” by M. Richard Tully that has a few tunes that were written and known by 18th Century women and men.  One composer in which the books notes is Thomas D’Urfey who wrote the song “A Beggin’ I will go.  He was born in 1653 but his songs migrated with the new settlers of the New World.    Many of the tunes that the colonist had known were traditional English, Scottish and Irish folk songs that they took with them and taught the tunes to their children.  By the time the American Revolution many of the words of the tunes were change by both the English and Colonial Army.  And many of the words we know today had a very different meaning during the time of the American Revolution.  We only known the words that were taught by our parents and by their parent’s parents and so on and therefore that is how many of the traditional folk songs are known today.

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