The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

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The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halfies » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:21 pm

This DVD, 'Learning to Play the Hurdy Gurdy' has been discussed to some extent on the Yahoo Forum and we emailed Ina with an enquiry because it seemed to us that the music was demonstrated on a G/C Gurdy, something she has kindly and very promptly confirmed.

This limits it's usefulness to us to some degree (ours is in D/G) but we still think it could be a good thing to have as a learning aid and the YouTube clips are really good. It is pretty expensive though, as you might expect, at around 48 Euros from Germany so not to be rushed into.

Does anyone already have it ? What are general opinions especially regarding the G/C vs D/G matter ?

Thanks from Halfies.
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby Scott Marshall » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:57 am

Buy a second gurdy in g/c :lol: I agree from the Youtube clip it looks well presented and informative. 48 Euros is £42, so yes pricey. There was serious talk at the last festival about the production of a beginners DVD, I will find out where they got up to and report back :)

ps alot of the things on the g/c will be transferable to the d/g, also: depending on the gauge of your lower chanterelle you could tune it up to g or swap the string to a lighter one that tunes up to practice along... g= .34- .36 ish
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby Geoff Turner » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:00 am

I have a copy of this coming in the post, so I will let you know how it goes. I found her YouTube clips extremely useful, one of which has saved me quite a bit of time messing about, so decided that there was probably more on there worth pursuing.

I play mostly G/C, but have a D/G as well, so it will be interesting to see how useful it is from both aspects.

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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halfies » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:11 pm

[ps alot of the things on the g/c will be transferable to the d/g, also: depending on the gauge of your lower chanterelle you could tune it up to g or swap the string to a lighter one that tunes up to practice along... g= .34- .36 ish[/quote]

Thanks Scott, an interesting idea to think about (and cheaper than a g/c though less exciting !)

Look forward to hearing from you too, Geoff, after you get your DVD.

Keep Turning !
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halfies » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:25 pm

At the risk of Thread-Drift in saying this we just experimented with attempting to make our D/G Gurdy useable to duet alongside the G/C on Ina's DVD, bearing in mind Scott's comment above.

Our 2nd Chanter is fairly thick gut so didn't fancy lifting it up from D to G. Lowering to G it was useable but only just and pretty poor really

The 1st Chanter is a Neil Wonderstring (very good it is too) and dropped to G was still pretty good though one or two notes sounded slightly off through the scales (not touching Tangents though !)

Dropping the gut Trompette from D to C was Ok (as you might expect) as probably will be the Petit Bourdon, didn't try that.

So, there we have it, by no means perfect but do-able if a 'slightly funny' 1st Chanter etc is acceptable for a wee duet practise alongside the DVD ............... and no busted strings 'going down'. UP from D to G is WINCING !

You are all very welcome to tell us we are talking rubbish or to offer further help !
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halfies » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:34 pm

Yesterday we took the plunge and ordered the DVD from Ina Lemm. She responded very quickly via email and has since emailed the DVD duet tunes dots as pdf files in the keys of both G and D today, fantastic and very friendly service we thought.

We have promised to let her know later how we managed.

Meanwhile we wait with bated breath for the actual DVD in the post from Germany today.

Right, ....... now we are looking at plans to go to the Ramsgate Buzz in March and of course to Youlgrave in May !!
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby Geoff Turner » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:23 am

I received the DVD very quickly from Germany (within 2 days).

I have managed to look through a lot of the content, and I can confirm that the instruction supplied is very clear, with good visual accompaniment, in that the films very clearly demonstrate the point that she is making. It is also fairly comprehensive, without going into detail of particular playing styles (baroque comes to mind).

The voice-over is very clear; personally I am not so keen on the pseudo-medieval costume, but this does not distract from the message that she is trying to get across.

It is relatively expensive, but I would say from this initial look that it would be a valuable resource for beginners wanting to learn the hurdy-gurdy. It complements the forum's own DVD, in that one is geared towards maintenance and the other towards playing technique. There are only brief crossovers between the two, e.g the application of cotton, but in my view, the more information you have the easier something is to understand.

On the whole, I would recommend it if you have the money, and compared to the cost of lessons if you can find them it is definitely good value.

An interesting comment from the hurdy-gurdy maker (can't spell his name but most will be familiar with his work). He mentions the figures playing organistra in churches along the pilgrim route, and says that one of the sculptures dates from the 9th century. Having always thought that the earliest was 12th century, I would very much like to see the evidence for this.

Hope that this is useful, and that everyone agrees with my comments :-)
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halpin_bridget » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:14 pm

Hi Geoff,
Passed on your question to Kurt Reichmann yesterday. He told me the older sculpture is not in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela but in the monastry more or less next door to it. He said it is quite damaged but has been dated as being 9th Century.
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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby Geoff Turner » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:58 am

Thanks for that. If anyone has a photograph (or even a drawing) of this carving it would be interesting to see it.

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Re: The DVD by Dr. Ina Lemm

Postby halfies » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:01 pm

We have had our own DVD for a couple of months now, and having browsed through pretty well all of it, can certainly endorse everything Geoff Turner says above.

On the maintenance side there were as you might expect a few differences to things we had got accustomed to, regarding for example, 'cottoning'. We are never sure whether it's best to 'fold wrap' at the start 'per Ina', or 'feed straight under' a la Neil Brook'; perhaps it makes no difference. The use of Heartwood as a burnisher on the wheel, and on the strings after cottoning, was interesting too, but we were unable anyway to locate any Fiddle or Cello Rosin discs which had a heartwood pad attached to the rear of the cloth, nor was Ina able to find the original source of her own.

However this is essentially a Tutorial rather than Maintenace DVD and very good it is too, particularly regarding exercises playing Keys with the Left Hand, and synchronising with cranking. We started all over again after our previous and hesitant first efforts with Muskett (no reflection on that book which is excellent as we all know).

The original plan to re-set our D/G Gurdy to play exercises written for a G/C proved more trouble than it was worth, so it was fortunate that Ina had kindly in addition emailed manuscript transposed to D/G for all the tunes. It was then relatively simple for us to play along using an 'in house' Fiddle or English Concertina player as the accompanying part to the Gurdy, but without that it might be necessary to find someone to make a record of the parts on mini-disc or similar.

For us these exercises are the heart of the DVD, they are really good. There are 12 short pieces of varying difficulty for fingering or Trompetting, and each is arranged as a simple melody with an equally simple harmony line. If you have a G/C Gurdy you can play one line while the DVD plays the other (either line is arranged as 'slowly' or alternatively 'normal speed'). Much thought has clearly gone into these little tunes, which very cleverly gradually stretch your abilities whilst sounding catchy and attractive, particularly when hearing both lines together. One simple piece, 'Herbstlaub' (Autumn Leaves) in a minor key (2 flats/G minor for our D/G) is pretty stunning in it's own right, and really brings our Gurdy to life.

The Trompetting instruction is quite useful but maybe less outstanding, neverthless the whole DVD is a mine of interest and information to beginner Gurdyists like us. The CD-ROM part contains among other useful things a fascinating list of the contents of Ina's toolkit !

Yes, we have a couple of criticisms. Although fingering is much a matter of personal choice we felt more guidance than is provided on the scores would have been helpful, and watching the DVD to attempt writing out some of the fingering from even the slow tunes, just made us dizzy. Also you do tend to suffer DVD-itis, in that it all seems painfully slow to get to the bits you want via unavoidable Helptips along the way. (get a better DVD player did you say ?)

All-in-All though, great, and recommended. Ina, in Germany, is always very quick, friendly, and helpful in responding to English language emails too.

Best wishes from Halfies (aka Rob and Marj')

PS from Marj. We found the excercises so good as well, for Rob as a beginner fiddler (!!??), that we played along with me on Gurdy and Rob 'harmonising' ! Can you imagine!?
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