New York Pro Musica

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New York Pro Musica

(New York Pro Musica Antiqua), vocal and instrumental ensemble, founded in New York City in 1952 by Noah Greenberg. One of the earliest groups to attempt historically correct performances of early music, it specialized in compositions of the era 1200 to 1700 and researched and reconstructed much of the music it performed. Instruments such as the sackbutsackbut
, Renaissance name for the slide trombone, probably derived from the old French word sacqueboute, which means "pull-push." The instrument achieved its present form in the 15th cent., the only differences being a narrower bore and a smaller bell.
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, shawmshawm
, double-reed woodwind instrument used in Europe from the 13th through the 17th cent. The term denotes a family of instruments of different sizes. The shape and tone of the soprano shawm are comparable to those of the oboe, of which it is a precursor.
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, crumhorncrumhorn,
J-shaped, double-reed musical instrument used throughout Europe from the 15th cent. through the 17th cent. It possesses a soft, reedy tone. The reed is enclosed by a wooden cap with a hole at the top through which the player blows.
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, zinke, viola da gamba, and portative organ were also restored or constructed. The ensemble was famous for its annual production of the Play of Daniel, a medieval music drama. The group disbanded in 1974.
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Lori Kruckenberg, an associate professor of musicology at the University of Oregon, has been awarded the Noah Greenberg award by the American Musicological Society.
The New York Pro Musica's flowering under Noah Greenberg was not so long ago (the dozen years from 1954 to 1966), but it seems, along with Greenberg's peregrinations before the Pro Musica, remarkably distant, a different world, one almost as remote as Schubert's Vienna, or Gilbert and Sullivan's London.