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Listen to Cutting Edge Music from the Renaissance [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-1-17 12:37:47 |Display all floors
(By Christopher Jobson via Thisiscolossal)


(Notation Knives, c. 16th century. Artist unknown. Fitzwilliam Museum Collection, Cambridge. Photo by Johan Oosterman.)

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It’s not exactly musical chairs, but this Renaissance-era cutlery can carry a tune at any table setting. Dating back to the 16th century, these extremely rare knives are engraved with musical scores complete with lyrics. On one side is a benediction that may have been sung before a meal, and then a grace on the reverse side that was sung after eating. For instance the knife below reads: “The blessing of the table. May the three-in-one bless that which we are about to eat.” And the other side reads: “The saying of grace. We give thanks to you God for your generosity.”

(Left & right views of an etched, engraved and gilded steel knife with ivory, brass and silver handle, by an unknown maker, Italy, 1500–50.)

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Post time 2018-1-17 12:38:20 |Display all floors
What isn’t clear to historians is how this may have all played out in actuality. It would be uncommon for a wealthy Italian family who might have possessed such opulent knives to cut their own meat, the task instead performed by a squire. But perhaps they were reserved only for special ceremonies or holidays.

Then what does the music on the notation knives sound like when performed by a choir?
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Post time 2018-1-17 12:40:54 |Display all floors
The recordings provided below are based on the musical notation on the blade of the knife. They were made by the Royal College of Music especially for the V&A's Medieval & Renaissance Galleries thanks to an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. (via vam.ac.uk)

Grace (Version 1)


Benediction (Version 1)


Grace (Version 2)


Benediction (Version 2)
Smile at whatever happens.
任它花开花落,一笑而过!

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