Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cheap arpeggiones

Jewish date:  4 Marḥẹshwan 5772 (Parashath Lekh-Lekha).

Today’s events:  National Author’s Day, Melbourne Cup Day, World Vegan Day.


Those of you who know me well are aware that I play the classical guitar.  Some of you may even be aware that I have an interest in another instrument, the arpeggione, which is a lot like the guitar, except it can be played with a bow like a cello.  The arpeggione was invented around 1823, had one famous piece of music written for it, the Arpeggione Sonata, and was promptly forgotten, leaving the Arpeggione Sonata to be played on violas and cellos.  (I suspect the Arpeggione Sonata may have been a factor in the demise of the arpeggione, as it fails to take advantage of what the instrument is actually capable of doing.  But I digress.)  In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in arpeggiones, leading to the building and playing of the instrument.  (See “Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata Revisited”, “Togaman GuitarViols”, “Arpeggione”, “BowedGuitar.com”, and “Arpeggione - World”.)  However, arpeggiones still suffer from a major problem for anyone interested in them:  they are extremely expensive, e.g., the only one that Togaman has for sale right now costs $7,777.00.  For someone strapped for cash, this is out of the question.  My brother Barry and I have talked a lot about how to get me a functional arpeggione, and the most likely approach is that eventually I will have someone who knows what he/she is doing modify an inexpensive viola da gamba or six-string electric cello.  However, at least two other people have taken another approach:  to modify a guitar.  (Thank you, Barry, for noticing this.)  As such, today’s weird things are “"Guitarre de Gambe" - Arturo Pedraza”, “Chitarra da Gamba - Basso Continuo - Arturo Pedraza”, and “Cheapo da Gamba”.  The last of these shows how to modify a guitar into a cheap arpeggione.

Enjoy and share the weirdness.


PS:  No, I am not going to do this to my guitar.  And I do not have the tools or facilities to do this to another guitar, so if someone has a naughty guitar they want experimented on, I cannot help you.

No comments: