Early Music Sound Library

Probably nothing worth of a scholar's attention but it won't hurt to share this here...

Some time ago, I've started "digitizing" scores and creating midi files of editions like Hoppin's J.II.9 and Willi Apel's French Secular Compositions... The idea came out of frustration about so many pieces have never been recorded. "To hear the unheard" - that's the major goal of that effort. I want to hear entire editions in a natural (neutral?) tempo with as little instruments variations as possible (just harpsichord used for all voices, for example). Unfortunately, there's no good way to generate proper vocal lines with the plugins currently available on the market.

How it works? I enter the score into some music score software and create a midi file. I import this file in music production software where I add high-quality samples. After many (sometimes frustrating) experiments, I've decided to use two sets - "Orchestral Tools Berlin Harpsichords" (harpsichord) and "Fluffy Audio Rinascimento" (archlute + positive organ). I always listen to the track with different tempo values and try to select one which simply works best to my ears (of course, this very subjective).

I fully understand that the artistic values of those recordings are incredibly small as those are simply "mechanical" recreations of scores. However, after I add samples and do basic sound mixing, I get something which gives a basic sort of an impression of how those pieces sound. The melodies, rhythms and harmonies are all there after all.

The value of single instances of such recordings is not great but when I finish entire editions, it may be somewhat interesting for some. What's the other possibility to listen to entire J.II.9 or Codex Chantilly manuscripts? No chance at all.

Below you can find some samples. Currently, I am going through motets of J.II.9 and La messe de tournai (Pycke/Huglo) editions.


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