Classical Tyro

A Beginner's Guide to Great Music

Couperin, The Mysterious Barricades (1717)


François Couperin was the most famous member of a family that dominated French music throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Between 1713 and 1730 he published 230 pieces for harpsichord that he had composed and organized into 27
ordres or "suites." Each ordre was a series of dances that Couperin identified with a descriptive name, such as The Little Windmills or The Knitters. Embedded below is one of my favorites from Couperin's ordres for harpsichord, The Mysterious Barricades, adapted beautifully by Michael Chapdelaine for steel guitar. (Chapdelaine is a National Fingerstyle Champion and Professor of Guitar at the University of New Mexico, giving me yet another reason to be proud of my home state.)


Michael Chapdelaine, steel string guitar



Hear
The Mysterious Barricades played on harpsichord on my posting from September 29, 2015.
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Bach, Suite in E minor for Lute, "Bourée" (c. 1717)

Sometime around 1717, Johann Sebastian Bach composed the Suite in E minor for Lute, which includes a Bourée as the fifth of six movements. Over 250 years later, in 1968, Paul McCartney borrowed the Bourée as an inspiration for his song “Blackbird” on the Beatles' White Album. A year after that, the rock group Jethro Tull included the Bourée on their album Stand Up, providing even more evidence that Bach's music is ubiquitous in our culture. (For more information about what I'm saying, as well as a video showing how McCartney used the Bourée to create "Blackbird," see my blog titled “The Ubiquitous Bach”)

For what it's worth, a "Bourée" is a seventeenth-century French dance with two beats per measure.


Andreas Martin, Lute


Paul McCartney, "Blackbird"


Jethro Tull with Ian Anderson on flute at the AVO SESSION Basel, Switzerland

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