“Largo (Going Home)” #Music

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The lyrics to “Going Home” were written by William Arms Fisher (1861-1948). The melody, however, is not the African-American spiritual many people believe it to be. In reality, the melody is taken from Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorak’s “Largo” theme, from his Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), Op. 95. In the symphony this theme is played on English horn. Dvorak was not involved in writing the lyrics or arrangement that later became “Going Home.”

I hope you enjoy hearing Dvorak’s “Largo” theme played on lyre!

This Is Not a Lyre #Music #Poem

Original Lyre Music

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This is not a lyre.
It looks like one, if you know what a lyre looks like.

It has a rounded soundbox from which two arms reach to the sky.
One arm is shorter than the other,
but it has no disadvantage.

The top of the lyre comes to a point
that, on this one that is not,
faces away from the player.

From the point, the long arm slopes sharply toward the player,
almost like a sliding board.

Along this arm are tuning pins.
You guessed it–
the strings are attached to these
and tied to a bridge on the lower part of the soundbox.
Yes, it looks like a lyre.

Yet this is not a lyre.
It is a music box to say the least,
a magic box,
a mystical box,
the bottle containing
the alchemist’s elixir of immortality.

It won’t make you immortal.
But think about it.
Would you really want to be
immortal, ever remaining in your current form?
I didn’t think so!

But the music
of the mystical,
musical box
can lead you
to your immortal soul.

This is not a lyre,
but you might misconstrue its unassuming form,
if you didn’t know better.

But you, dear reader,
know better!

is not
a lyre…

An object poem for

“Will Ye No Come Back Again?” #Music

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Also known as “Bonnie Charlie,” this is a traditional Scottish folk tune, author unknown. The lyrics, however, are not traditional, in the sense that they were written in one time period, about another time period which their author did not witness, and they imitate a particular style of song. The author of the poem is known; you can read more about the poem and its place in history

I hope you enjoy this arrangement played on lyre, viola, Oriole (soprano) and Yamaha alto recorder!

“Drive the Cold Winter Away” #Music

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On this 7th day of Christmas and the last day of an extremely difficult year, I offer you a lovely Elizabethan carol. This obscure gem, when it is known, has several titles, including “All Hail to the Days,” “In Praise of Christmas,” and “Drive the Cold Winter Away.” The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th and last until January 5th, with January 6th being Three Kings Day in many countries. The lyrics of this English ballad mention these 12 days specifically and include seasonal festivities common around 1625, when this carol first appeared. There’s wassailing, theatre performances, and, of course, feasting. I hope you enjoy hearing me sing this carol with lyre accompaniment!

“I Saw Three Ships” #Christmas #Music

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thank you for following, reading, listening, for your likes and kind comments, and for sharing in my
Holiday Blogging Party!
I’ve really enjoyed it and will do it again next year, maybe before that for another occasion–or no occasion at all! 🙂

My Christmas music offerings are not over just yet! “I Sas Three Ships (Come Sailing In)” is a popular carol and traditional English folk song. The earliest printing was in the 17th century. William Sandys also published it in 1833. It was especially popular in Cornwall and remains popular today, in the United Kingdom and United States alike.

I hope you enjoy “I Saw Three Ships” on lyre! And I wish you a blessed Christmas, hope, love, and peace in the days ahead!

“Angels We Have Heard on High” #Christmas #Music

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“Angels We Have Heard on High” was originally written in French, though its author is unknown. The English translation was written by James Chadwick in 1862. The hymn is based on Luke 2:8-15, which read:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
–King James Version (KJV)

I hope you enjoy this arrangement on lyre, viola, and melody and harmony on alto recorder!

“See, Amid the Winter’s Snow” #Christmas #Music

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This is an English carol, also known as “The Hymn for Christmas.” I learned it from
Derwent Harps
just a few weeks ago.

The lyrics are a poem written by Edward Caswall and first published in 1858. Sir John Goss composed “Humility,” a hymn tune for this carol, in 1871. This is a lovely carol, not commonly heard in the United States.

My arrangement contains lyre, viola, and alto recorder. I hope you enjoy it!

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“What Child Is This?” Bonus DSE #Christmas #Music

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William Chatterton Dix wrote the lyrics to this well-known Christmas carol in 1865, after undergoing both a severe illness and a spiritual renewal. His lyrics were later set to the traditional English folk song, “Greensleeves,” the melody we still sing today–but typically with some accidentals added. “What Child Is This?” is more popular in the United States than in Great Britain today.

Here is the traditional tune, without the accidentals, played on lyre and zither simultaneously. This is another
Double Strung Experiment
that is especially beautiful at this time of year.

I hope you enjoy this arrangement!

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Holiday Blogging Party!
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“Tu Scendi dalle Stelle” #Italian #Christmas #Music

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“Tu Scendi dalle Stelle” (“From Starry Skies Thou Comest”) is an Italian Christmas carol written in 1732. You can find the lyrics, one English translation, and other historical information on the
Wikipedia page
for this song.

I learned this carol from my Italian professor, Signora de Santis, when I was 16. Here I play it on lyre and Oriole soprano recorder, and sing the Italian lyrics. I hope you enjoy this beautiful carol!

“The Friendly Beasts” #Christmas #Music

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“The Friendly Beasts” is a traditional Christmas song. Though some sources say it’s an english carol, the melody is actually French. It’s the 12th-century melody of the Latin song, “”Orientis Partibus”. Robert Davis wrote the current English lyrics in the 1920’s.

In my arrangement, the donkey is represented by zither. Viola represents the cow. The doves are represented by melody and harmony on alto recorder, and the sheep is represented by lyre. In addition, verses 3 and 4 (cow and doves) are accompanied by ukulele.

I hope you enjoy this touching Christmas song!

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Holiday Blogging Party!
Click the link to learn how!