Early music, ancient instruments,
Renaissance music, the culture of ancient times... We can
list the key words that bring to everyone's mind the romanticism
of the age of knights, the grounds of castles, the atmosphere
of kingly feasts and minstrels. Our music speaks to those who
know these things. We want to evoke this world and give it voice
through our period-accurate instruments. With three members
our ensemble general travels about the country or abroad, but
we strengthen our ranks with colleagues, especially in concerts
Shakespeare writes in the Merchant
"The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved
with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems,
and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be
Let us add to this, by way of expanding these wise lines:
Pay attention to the experience of every fellow musician
as one pays attention to literature. Music and literature
in past centuries formed an unbreakable union. Poetry
existed together with music then, but a well-crafted lyric
added power of its own as well. The music and verse of
Medieval and Renaissance Hungary and the rest of Europe
appears through preservation of the ensemble, and it is
our belief that the temperament of the people at that
time is the temperament of people today as well.
The founding members,
who ensure the sound of the ensemble
Katalin BENNŐ - pastor's flute/whistle, hurdy gurdy,
Ádám BUDA - Hurdy gurdy, koboz, lute, voice, pastor's
Balázs NAGY - Hurdy gurdy, koboz, oud, voice
Péter MOLNÁR - pastor's flute/whistle, gemshorn, kaval,
folk shawm, shawm, crumhorn
ensemble gets its name from the Bourdon style, a representative
musical style of the middle ages. In the Bourdon style the use
of accompanying or Bourdon strings first appears. In this manner
the bagpipe, the hurdy gurdy, and the zither are capable of
sounding the tonic to accompany the music and add color, but
they do not use the accompanying chords which appear only later
in art music. In our programs we always use some form of the
hurdy gurdy, which is the most characteristic instrument in
the Bourdon style, but we also use many other interesting instruments
in the course of our performances.
----In a millennial concert in Budapest
often take part in events where observers can see
the musicians in period clothes and scenery. We have
appeared multiple times in Renaissance fairs, such
as the Visegrád Palace Games or in the Diósgyőr Castle.
We have also been booked to perform for important
dinner engagements in Budapest's Vajdahunyad castle,
in the "Borgála 2000" in Budapest's Hilton, and in
the first "Bországgyűlés" (National Wine Congress)
in Zalaegerszeg. We have appeared a number of times
as guests of the Kecskés Ensemble in Szentendre we
appear on loan to complete each other's performances
and give joint concerts. In conjunction with our concerts,
we also hold exhibitions of our instruments for students
and those interested in historical instruments.
SAVARIA HISTORICAL CARNEVAL
dancer, with his group
Our instruments are typical
of the middle ages in type, craftsmanship and sound. Most of our
instruments were obtained in instrument shops, but we make some
of our instruments as they are otherwise impossible to obtain.
In our programs we play pieces written specifically for our instruments
to show their characteristic sounds or we provide our own instrumentation
of period music if no instrumentation already exists.
HURDY GURDY (Hungarian TEKERŐLANT) - an instrument which
a turning wooden disk sounds the strings and which is
played with the help of wooden keys. A favorite instrument
in Europe since the middle ages. This "mechanical fiddle"
played a major role in classical music as well as in folk
music. The medieval masters prepared the hurdy gurdy in
a variety of forms, both in lute form and guitar form.
The instrument was used in Hungary as well, but only in
folk music--even today it is used only in music coming
from traditional roots.
the form of this plucked instrument, which has been known
for many millenia, as it had been developed by the 15th
century became one of the most preferred instruments Renaissance
Europe. It was ideal as an accompanying instrument and in
orchestral ensembles. Our instruments have the appropriate
number of strings, sounds, and measurements for the period.
GEMSHORN - wind instrument in a variety of sizes fashioned
from the horn of an animal. Closing the open end of the hollow
horn and providing a fipple produces an instrument similar
to the pastor's flute/whistle. A pleasant, humming sound made
this a favored instrument in the music of the middle ages.
OUD - of Arab
origin, similar to the instruments of the lute family, the
oud is used even today in, for example, Turkish music. Short-necked,
with 11 strings, a convex back, no frets and a clean finger
board. Its form and sound make it ideal for use in music
true to the medieval sound.
KOBOZ - A
plucked instrument in the lute family. Primarily used in
folk music to accompany fiddle and pastor's flute/whistle.
An instrument favored by the medieval minstrel.
- the universally recognized form of the pastor's flute
whose development made this ancient instrument ideal for
use in classical music because of its clear sound and wide
range. One of the most important instruments in the music
of both the Renaissance and Baroque periods, it has preserved
its primacy to this day in early music ensembles.
CRUMHORN - one of the preferred instruments in the Renaissance
period, it belongs to the double-reed instrument family. It
is interesting in that the blade of the reed is not touched
by the player -- a wind cap protects the reed and makes it
possible to blow into the instrument.
SHAWM (TURKISH PIPE or TÁROGATÓ) - double reed instruments
were popular in Hungary as well. With its simple form and powerful
sound the Turkish pipe was very important in medieval Hungarian
music, especially after the end of the Turkish occupation.
a wind instrument of ancient origin similar to the oboe which
developed into many different forms, both in classical music and
in folk music. E.g., the zurna/zurla, the pommern, and the Turkish
pipe or tárogató. A simple double-reed produces
the sound. Simpler types rely on covering the finger holes to
change the sound, while more advanced types have keys.