Scordatura


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Scordatura

 

a temporary change in the usual tuning of stringed musical instruments. The scordatura makes it easier to play certain kinds of chords and intervals, changes the range of the instrument, and alters the timbre and strength of the instrument’s sound. It rarely exceeds one and one-half tones, that is, a minor third.

The scordatura was widely used in solo violin music of the 17th and 18th centuries, for example, in works by H. von Biber and G. Tartini. It was also used for individual instruments in orchestral works by R. Wagner, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, C. Saint-Saëns, G. Mahler, and other composers. The scordatura was also used in guitar pieces, for example, works by M. de Falla and J. Turina, and sometimes in solo violin pieces, for example, the Vardar Rhapsody for violin and piano by P. Vladigerov.

References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps she is now no longer scordatura, (9) discordant, or rather she has accepted that life is always a matter of passing to and fro between harmony and discord.
Fourth, the works for scordatura violin--the violin transcription of the sonata by Kertzinger and two anonymous sonatas (nos.16-17 in the edition)--are significant for our knowledge of the use of scordatura at Kromeriz, a device in vogue during this period and prized by Carl Liechtenstein.
Like Biber's Rosary Sonatas they also use scordatura (retuning of the strings)--a technique also employed in the last preserved instrumental piece by Dr.
Copied in three stages and owned by a competent violinist, the manuscript contains 32 virtuoso violin compositions -- mostly sonatas, many of high quality, some in scordatura -- by leading members of the Austrian, German and Roman schools of violin composition as well as representatives of the Amsterdam tradition, some anonymous.
The manuscript contains two versions: one for scordatura violin tuned a--[e.sup.l]--[a.sup.1]--[d.sup.2], and one for viola da gamba in the normal D--G--c--e--a-[d.sup.1] tuning.
Not only is he capable of taking us from the height of ecstasy to the depths of despair, or vice versa, within a few notes, but to write a work in one key and conceive of the viola part with 'scordatura' tuning that works...
The remainder of segment A is devoted solely to describing how to draw graphical aids for various imagined tunings of the common vihuela and other instruments, as well as for vihuelas with more or fewer strings and in scordatura tuning.
With their systematic use of scordatura - Biber prescribes a different string tuning for each Partia - and their brilliant divisions in the variation movements, these works must rank among the most difficult of all Baroque chamber works.
525)--a single staff showing the opening bars of the sixth concerto of La Cetra--the three bars of notes are visible, but the designations Violino principale con scordatura and the Allegro can be seen only with a magnifying glass.
Much ink has been spilt over the exact identity of the ~duoi Violini piccioli alla Francese' specified in Act 2 of Orfeo.(13) It used to be thought that the instrument in question was the small Violin, 75 per cent of full-size (traditionally called half-size in the trade), written for in scordatura by late 17th- and early 18th-century composers such as Erlebach, Fux and J.
The Bishop himself took an interest in the latter technique--here Sehnal pays tribute to a prior archival investigator, Paul Nettl--after hearing dances with scordatura violins during Carnival in 1673.
The exceptions are: timpani notation and carryover of accidentals, which can produce semitone errors; natural harmonics notated at lingered pitch, which can produce errors of a few large intervals; baritone horn and euphonium clef dependencies, which can produce errors of a major ninth; and scordatura and scores in C, which can lead to errors of almost any range.