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Origins of the Violin - The Viola di Braccio (Viola da Braccio, Lira di Braccio, Lira da Braccio)

The viola di braccio ("viol of the arm"), which was used to distinguish them from the viol family (violas da gamba - viol of the leg), appears in the 15th century in Italy.

It retains the general shape and size of the vielle but reduces the strings from five to three like the rebec. And for the first time, the c holes of the rebec and vielle are replaced with the now familiar f holes used on modern violins.

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Blues Mandolin - Part Four - "Practicing The Blues Scale"

The Blues scale consists of 6 different notes.  They are the 5 notes of the minor pentatonic scale, plus one additional note.  The note added is the diminished 5th (o5) measured from the scale tonic.

For example :
adding to the C minor pent. scale : C - Eb - F - G - Bb - Cthe diminished 5th - Gbproduces the C Blues scale : C - Eb - F - Gb - G - Bb - C In relation to the Major scale the notes of the Blues scale are : 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 - 1.  The b3, b5 and b7 notes of the scale (for C Blues scale : Eb, Gb and Bb) are the so called blue notes of the scale.

Here are the Blues scales in all 12 keys listed in Circle of Fifths order.
    C Blues scale     C - Eb - F - Gb - G - Bb - C    G Blues scale     G - Bb - C - Db - D - F - G    D Blues scale     D - F - G - Ab - A - C - D    A Blues scale     A - C - D - Eb - E - G - A    E Blues scale      E - G - A - Bb - B - D - E    B Blues scale      B - D - E - F - F# - A - B    F# and Gb Blues scales     F# - A - B - C - C# - E - F#,     …

A Mode Mnemonic

Remembering all seven of the church modes can be a challenge.  I remember them by using a mnemonic.  I've heard many different ones over the years.  This is my favorite:

I've Developed Perfectly Logical Modal Associations. Listen!
I've = Ionian (Major)Developed = DorianPerfectly = PhrygianLogical = LydianModal = MixolydianAssociations = Aeolian (Natural Minor)Listen = LocrianI also like this one: "I Don't Play Loud Music About Love"

Now the way to remember the notes in a mode is that the interval between the half steps on the white keys on the piano are the same: B>C; E>F first, and second, which note the mode starts on.  If you remember those two things, you have all the intervals of the modes!

C = Ionian (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C)
D = Dorian (D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D)
E = Phrygian (E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E)
F = Lydian (F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F)
G = Mixolydian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G)
A = Aeolian (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A)
B = Locrian (B,C,D,E,F,G,A,B)

Another way to remember the modes is to use all white notes, m…

Weber / Flatiron Mandolin For Sale

One of my students is looking to sell their Weber / Flatiron Mandolin.

Here is the description:
“Bruce Weber Signed 1994 Flatiron A5 Jr Price  $1100
Very fine sounding mandolin with great volume and good tone. An adjustable truss rod has replaced the original non-adjustable truss rod. It has just been fret dressed, fitted with a Brekke bridge, and set-up properly by our local luthier who has 35 years experience. A Cumberland pick guard has been added. The strap and arm rest in the photo are included as well as a HSC. Has J74's on it. If you are not familiar with Flatiron mandolins see Brad Laird's blog at: It is in excellent condition with the normal wear expected from a well taken care of 24 year old mandolin. There is however about a quarter sized spot of pick rash under the pick guard where it can not be seen.”
Contact Info:
Tim Logan 480-695-2436 15 Town Farm Road Shutesbury