Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



Grace and Liz Now rest ye merry gentlemen and ladies, as our concert echoes bring tidings of comfort an joy. Deck our halls with yuletide peace. Strike your harps with musical treasures. This is the season to be jolly...change is on the way!

And thanks to our friend and conductor of yore, Angela Owen, for the following conungrum:

Grace and Liz (Co-Presidents)

Who Was Jubal?

Jubal was the son of Lamech and his number-one wife, Adah. You can read about him in Genesis 4:21. Depending on which translation you use, his attributes vary somewhat and you will have to decide which you think are correct.

King James
"he was the father of all such as handle the harp (kinnor) and organ (ugab)".

Modern Language Bible
"he became the father of all players on harp and flute".

Living Bible
"the first musician, the inventor of the harp and flute.

Revised Standard
"he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe".

Luther's German Bible
"von dem sind herkommen die Geiger und Pfeifer" - (from him came the fiddlers und wind players).

As you can see, there isn't even any agreement as to whether he played a harp, a lyre or a fiddle. If a harp - what kind? A bow harp with five or seven strings, as shown in an Egyptian tomb painting of 3500 BC? An angle harp consisting of a sound box and a post inserted in the lower part perpendicular to the plane of the sound-box and dating from around 300 BC? Or was it a frame-harp, triangular in shape having a sound-box, a curved neck with the tuning pins for the strings, and a straight or curved front pillar serving as a brace to resist the tension of the strings? Then there are the Irish harps - the large Clarsech and the portable Ceimin; the Welsh Telyn which is triple-strung and the Minnesinger's harp, the Minstrel's harp and?and ... and ...

Well, if he didn't play the harp - what about the lyre? According to my printed sources, it's a bowed harp, closely related to the crwth (don't ask me to pronounce it!) and the rotta with a pear-shaped body, a neck and a number of strings. Then of course there is the picture of an old Egyptian lyre with three strings which is plucked - so where does that leave us? And Luther's fiddle refers to something like our present day violin - I give up! Let him play whatever he wanted - I hope it was in tune!

The quote, "he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe" creates another question: was Jubal the actual father - did he start one of those long lines of 'begets' so common in Genesis, or was he the ancestor of musicians, the first of the breed? And question number 2: what were the pipes referred to? Reed pipes? Recorders? Organ pipes? Wind instruments in general? And what good does it do us to know? Perhaps it gives us peace of mind knowing that Jubal was a versatile fellow. Don't we ask MPRO members to play more than one recorder?

Angela Owen


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

I want to thank the members of the orchestra for another fine performance at the holiday concert on December 7. Your dedication and hard work paid off and was appreciated by both the audience and me.

And now, here are some of the highlights for the second half of the orchestra's 2008-2009 season: On, Saturday, February 14, Vicki Boeckman will be directing a workshop for MPRO. Details about this workshop will appear in the next issue of Upbeat. The spring concert, scheduled for June 7, will be the final performance in this season?s Foothill Presbyterian Church Early Music Series and will take place at that location in San Jose. Music for the spring concert will include the rousing first movement from the Symphony No. 5 by William Boyce, a striking Ballade by the 14th-century French composer, Guillaume de Machaut and two settings of the well-known renaissance melody, Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen, one by Heinrich Isaac and the other by Johannes Brahms. The orchestra will also be doing encore performances of Harry Kandel?s Der Shtiler Bulgar, Andrea Gabrieli?s Quando?io ero giovinetto and the Gigue from Bach?s Suite No. 3. Joining the orchestra for the spring concert will be Jeffrey Bellamy on timpani and Gwen Freeman on keyboard.

Listed below is the music for the orchestra's first three meetings of the New Year. Please note that bass viola da gamba as well as great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at all three meetings and krummhorns will be needed on January 21.

January 7 MPRO Rehearsal
Boyce: Allegro from the Symphony No. 5
Bach: Gigue
Isaac: Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen
Brahms: O Welt, Ich muss dich lassen
January 21 MPRO Rehearsal
Kandel: Der Shtiler Bulgar
Machaut: Ballade
Gabrieli: Quando?io ero giovinetto
Boyce: Allegro from the Symphony No. 5
February 11 MPRO Rehearsal
Boyce: Allegro from the Symphony No. 5
Machaut: Ballade
Isaac: Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen
Brahms: O Welt, Ich muss dich lassen
Bach: Gigue

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this wonderful music with you. Please let any of your friends who play early instruments know about the orchestra's varied activities and invite them to attend an MPRO meeting, workshop or concert.

Fred Palmer


The MPRO January workshop has been postponed until February 14, 2009. Vicki Boeckman is coming back to the Bay Area to sharing another exciting day with you all. For those of you who attended four years ago, you will remember we worked on exploring different resonance possibilities while entertaining the notion that you are your instrument! I will be revisiting this approach and we will get in touch with our bodies and use of ourselves and all of our senses when playing, so that we can get to the heart and the soul of the music!

Vicki is in great demand as a teacher here in the United States. She has been on the faculty of the Music Center of the Northwest in Seattle since February 2005. She is actively involved with the Seattle Recorder Society and is the Music Director for the newly formed Portland Recorder Society.

Details and registration information will be in the February issue of UpBeat and in the MPRO website: http://www.sfems.org/mpro

Mary Ashley

Comment on MPRO?s Holiday Concert

Hi Orchestra members,

Those of us at the party on December 10th were able to view the DVD of the December 7 concert. It is very nicely produced, as usual. I have copies for sale for $5.00 and will bring them to the meetings in January. I can get more made easily if we run short.

The concert will be broadcast on community access channels 27, 28, & 30 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Stanford, but I don't know the schedule yet. I'll send out an email when I find out or you can check the website at: www.communitymediacenter.net. Click on check schedules and webcasts to search. Those of you not in the broadcast area can watch the webcast on your computer.

MPRO Again Represented at the Stanford Messiah Sing/Play Along

Four orchestra members, George Greenwood, Bill Lazar, Pat Morris and Suzanne Rankin joined the ranks of the drop-in orchestra for Stanford University's annual Messiah performance Friday evening December 12th. Bill played his Contra Bass and Dulcian on the Bassoon part, while the others played the Oboe part on the Tenor. We were 'accompanied' by one 'real' Oboe player!! Steve Sarno, the conductor, announced that there was a Recorder Consort in the orchestra. It's a fun event, even though the Tenors can barely be heard surrounded by modern instruments.