'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The 'Shame Flute'

Rumour has it that in medieval Germany, musicians who played poorly, were subjected to the public humiliation of the 'Shame Flute'.

The poor musician was forced to wear a mock instrument, with their fingers clamped in position, whilst they made a public apology to the music!

Music was obviously taken very seriously, and I would love to find out more about this.

I can't help wondering who made the decision about the musician's ability.
Did the audience take a vote at the end of each concert?
Was it related to a sort of primitive clapometer?
Could the system be abused to humiliate a rival soloist?

Whatever the history, the fact that music was held in such high esteem, is a great thing.
I can't imagine having one's fingers clamped would help very much with any future performances.
Whilst I don't advocate a return of the practice, maybe it could be used as a method for encouraging students to spend a little more time on their scales and arpeggios....

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