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Even music by a King

24th May 2009 @ 7:07am – by Audlem Webteam
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Where else in England yesterday could you find hurdy gurdies playing with a Bulbul Tarang, an Indian musical instrument that looks like an ancient typewriter

Bulbul TarangAudlem has long been established as the national capital of the Hurdy Gurdy, for the uninitiated, a kind of wheeled fiddle. The Bulbul Tarang, however, is less well known in these parts and has a passing resemblance to an old typewriter. It's also known as the "Indian Banjo", and the name 'bulbul tarang' literally translates to "waves of nightingales". The instrument is common for folk musicians and children in India because of its very low price.

Weird and wonderful instruments were played by local folk group Forlorn Hope in the Scout & Guide Hall to an amused and appreciative audience. The compositions ranged from 11th Century Spanish cantatas (just one of a published collection of 426 pieces, we were told) and a composition by a king – and a well-known one at that, Henry VIII, no less. The instruments included bass and tenor versions of the crumhorn, which looked like blowing into a walking stick or an umbrella, minus the bits that keep you dry!

Back RowThe folk musicians alternated for the morning concert with Back Row – Val, Jean, Chris, John and Alix – performing old and new favourites. Their version of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport with appropriate props and accompanied by the didgeredoo, was a sing-along masterpiece. Others, such as "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" were beautifully harmonised.

This was truly music for all ages, indeed, the audience included four generations of Alix's own family from great grandmother to an infant great grandchild.

Classical MusicThe Butter Market is a new venue for this year's Festival. A crowd soon gathered to hear Mozart played beautifully by The Compass String Quartet, four young musicians playing violins, viola and cello and all members of the Cheshire Youth Orchestra. They later played in the Methodist Church Hall.

It was strings to flutes for Take 4, also a quartet playing music from Mozart to Mancini, in the Butter Market originally, although they moved over to Blues Alley. With the sun just breaking through and beautiful music on offer, both are splendid outdoor venues which, with the Combermere outdoor stage, should come into their own for the Sunday programme if the weather forecast for today is correct.

Lovers of classical music will be looking forward to today's performance in the Scout & Guide Hall at 2.30pm. Classix with Alix and Friends will include piano solos and duets, flute, guitar and violins played by Alix Bryson, Jenny Collis-Smith, the Vaughan family and others.


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