Warning!!!!!! Flashing Lights
2CELLOS – Vivaldi – ‘Storm’

The Beatles: A Musical Appreciation and Analysis:

PARIS – April 15th, 2019
Although the 7,900 organ pipes of the Des Grande Orgue du Notre Dame de Paris (Cavaille-Coll -1868) survived the fire largely unscathed (some pipes date back to the 15thc.), the organ is still in need of extensive restoration. Recordings made before the fire:

Bach: Sinfonia, Cantata BWV 29

Bach:Agnus Dei, Mass in B minor

Charles-Marie WidorToccata (1879):




Julliard Historical Performance Program


A Day in the Life:

‘Baroque’ as a Second Language:

Julliard 415 -Terpsichore with Historical Performance and Dance:


Alana Youssefian, baroque violin, is an recent alumna of the Julliard Historical Performance Program:

Vivaldi – Violin Concerto, RV 212

La Follia – Improvisation:

Bach – Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006:

Vitorio Monti – Czardis


  • In what way(s) did the late 19thc. Pleyel harpsichord differ from an original 17thc/18thc harpsichord?
  • Name two of the early 20thc. pioneers of harpsichord performance.
  • What is a Zuckermann ‘Z box’?
  • Choose one of the 4 contemporary pieces for harpsichord listed in BEEP 21Describe the piece, and offer a critique – likes/dislikes/reasons.
  • A baroque keyboard instrument can be tuned to a number of different ‘temperaments’ e.g, ‘Werkmeister’, or Valotti’. What are the advantages/disadvantages compared to using ‘equal temperament’?
  • Describe one example of the traditional European folk instruments listed in BEEP 22.
  • Describe one example of the non-European string instruments listed in BEEP 23.
  • Describe each of the ‘Four Humours’ described by the Greek physician, Galen c. 200 AD.
  • What were willow leaves and bark used for in traditional medicine in the baroque era (and during the previous 2000 years)? What is the chemical substance in willow, and other genus Salix trees & shrubs, that in a synthesized form was used to make a well known and effective medication named …………………………….. in 1899? This medication is on the World Health  Organization’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines.
  • Summarize the Evolution of the Violin Bow, 1540-2019. e.g. shape, makers, materials, hair tension, bow-hold etc.

Richard Webb 




Folías de España

Less Well Known Baroque Stringed Instruments

The Evolution of the Violin Bow:

17th century MEDICINE

In 17th-century Europe people were not aware that disease was spread by germs, and did not think of washing their hands before eating so diseases could spread quickly. People dreaded catching malaria, and cholera (both prevalent in parts of Europe in 17thc. and beyond), which they thought came from a poisonous gas called ‘miasma’ from sewers and cesspits. Doctors still believed the ideas of a Greek physician called Galen. He thought that the body was ruled by four humours, or fluids, which determined what your personality was and how you reacted to various diseases. The four humours were :

  • Blood/Sanguine – hot: fiery personality
  • Phlegm – cold: calm personality
  • Yellow bile – dry: bad-tempered personality
  • Black bile – moist: melancholy personality

In China, plants have been used for medicinal purposes for 4,500 years and some of these were brought to Europe. Many European plants, such as foxglove and marshmallow, were also used to treat illnesses. As well as these, doctors believed in the power of powders said to be made from strange ingredients such as horn from the mythical unicorn, and bezoar stone (made famous again in J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter books), which was claimed to be the tears of a stag turned to stone. Live worms, fox lungs (for asthma), spiders’ webs, swallows’ nests and the skulls of executed criminals were also highly sought-after ingredients.

Leeches are a type of slug-like worm, used for thousands of years to reduce blood pressure and cleanse the blood. A leech placed on the skin will consume four times its own weight in blood, and with the blood the toxins that produce diseases. While the leech is sucking it releases a chemical called hirudin, which prevents coagulation, or clotting of the blood. Fevers were thought to be the result of too much blood in the body: doctors deliberately cut veins or used leeches to release this ‘bad’ blood.

A Frenchman named Ambroise Pare discovered that the best way to treat a wound was not to put boiling oil on it, as had previously been the practice, but instead to apply a cold lotion made of egg yolk, oil of roses and turpentine. William Harvey published De Motu Cordis in 1628, determining the function of the heart & circulation of blood, using dissections and other experimental techniques – a great step forward in the understanding of working of the human body. New medications which became popular included tobacco, coffee, tea, and chocolate: all of them were first used as medicines!

In England, herbal treatment reached its peak of popularity with the publication of the Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper: The English Phystian, 1652. He described and illustrated many plants, and suggested medicinal uses for each plant. One such was the herb Wintergreen, which contains salicin, a natural form of the painkiller. Some advances in medicine came about through treating soldiers and sailors on the battlefield.

By the end of the 17th century, a more clinical and scientific approach to health, based on actual observation, gradually began to appear. This laid the foundations for the much greater medical progress in the 18thc. century and 19thc.

Wintergreen, The English Physitian, Culpeper:
“…Wintergreen is a singularly good wound herb, and an especial remedy for healing green wounds speedily; the green leaves being bruised and applied, or the juice of them. A salve made of the green herb stamped, or the juice boiled with hog’s lard, or with salad oil and wax, and some turpentine added to it, is a sovereign salve, and highly esteemed by the Germans who use it to heal all manner of wounds and sores. The herb boiled in wine and water, and given to drink to them that have any inward ulcers in their kidneys, or neck of the bladder, doth wonderfully help them. It stays all fluxes, and may take away any inflammation rising upon pains of the heart”.

Richard Webb


Spontaneous synchronization

64 metronomes are started at different times, but all of them amazingly synchronise themselves together. How can this be possible? The phenomenon was first observed by Christian Huygens,  17thc. Dutch scientist & horologist.

Virtual History of Château de Versailles 1634 – 1774

Virtual Baroque Dance:

Virtual Baroque Organ:

Virtual Dutch Baroque Architecture:

Examples of Non-European Bowed String Instruments






Central Asia








North Africa


West Africa




Persia – Iran



History of the mechanical Metronome:

Richard Webb


The Spirit of Baroque Dance


Masquerade Ball scene from Sofia Coppola’s 2006 movie – Marie Antoinette:


Examples of Traditional European Folk String Instruments:




Hardanger Fiddle:





Estonia – Sweden
















Celtic Harp:










Richard Webb

Congratulations Disneyland Tour Success!

I would like to congratulate everyone on an incredibly successful tour together to Disneyland. It was great to be a part of such a positive group and so fulfilling to see everyone having such a great a time together. I appreciate all the students following instruction so well and doing your best to represent your school in a positive way the entire trip. I am blessed to have so many dedicated and committed students in the DHS Orchestra Program.  

Musically you should all be very proud of yourselves. You all did a wonderful job in your festival performances and recording sessions. Festival results are below and I will share your recording studio videos with you when we return to school as well as the festival judges recorded audio comments. 

Symphony Orchestra- Won “Best Overall Orchestra” with a rating of Superior and a perfect score from both judges (which I have never seen happen at a festival). One of the judges said it was the best high school performance he has ever witnessed in his 20 years of doing festival adjudications!

Baroque Ensemble- Won “1st Place” with a rating of Superior. The entire festival staff said they stopped to listen to this group and the judges were so impressed that we have such a unique group in our program. 

Chamber Orchestra- Won “5th place” with a rating of Superior. I am very proud of you all! Bravo!

The judges said it is very unusual for them have so many orchestras participating in one festival from multiple schools and for all of them to be rated Superior. 

Huge thanks to our Trip Coordinator, Jill Bonner: Jill, you did such an expert job organize the logistics so our tour ran smoothly from beginning to end. The entire program thanks you for for dedication and commitment to helping to make the trip a memorable experience for all! 

Thank you as well to all of our fearless chaperones who gave of their time and resource to share this experience with the program and help us all stay happy, healthy, and organized the entire tour. We appreciate all of you very much!


  • Catherine Allday- Davis (Trip Doctor) 
  • Judy Catambay- Snack Coordinator
  • Andy Fell -Bus B Lead Chaperone
  • Hiram Jackson- Director’s Assistant
  • Stephanie Manansala- Snack Coordinator
  • Danny Maurantonio- Bus A Lead Chaperone
  • John Tyner – Super Dad of the Year
  • Stasia Tikkanen- Trip Photographer
  • Ethan Walsh- Super Dad of the Year

We also thank our Principal Tom McHale for agreeing to travel with us and the Band Program. He told me at 3:30 am when I dropped him off at his home, to tell you all he had an excellent time and was so proud and excited to share in the Orchestra Program’s success musically and organizationally. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank all the students and parents on Bus A for your patience last night. We had one of our bus drivers complain of feeling ill and was forced to pull over on the side of the road because he was nauseous so we made the decision to call for a replacement driver for him so that students were not at risk. Thank you to all the Bus B students who came to pick up their luggage this morning due to the delayed bus arrival. Everyone handled this unforeseeable issue very well and we all appreciate that everyone got home safe. 


A fine example of stylish baroque continuo playing – accompanying an aria from a Vivaldi opera on a non-baroque instrument:

Viola da Gamba (Bass Viol)

The Contemporary Harpsichord

The first examples of the harpsichord date from early 16thc., and the instrument was obsolete by 1800. The harpsichord built by Pleyel in Paris in 1891 was the first harpsichord made since the 18thc. It was not a copy of an original instrument, instead it had a heavy metal frame like a piano, with a modern plucking action. The revival of interest in the harpsichord started with Arnold Dolmetsch in England, and the Polish-French harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, in the early 20thc.

Wolfgang Zuckermann invented the first self-build DIY harpsichord ‘kit’ in early 1960’s in New York. It was a very basic inexpensive 5 foot long design without a bentside, and a soundboard made from plywood – affectionately known as the ‘Z Box’. Zuckermann reported that before he made the kits available for sale, he gave a few of his friends all the raw parts necessary to make a harpsichord, and some rudimentary directions. “…These were people who wanted an instrument but couldn’t afford one, and they seized on this chance. Even the less mechanical ones were thrilled with the prospect, and their sheer will to possess such an instrument made them better craftsmen than experienced cabinet makers”. Several thousand of his harpsichord kits were sold before he closed the business in 1970. Since that time many makers worldwide, have made copies of historic instruments, including John Phillips, San Francisco, the maker of the DHSBE harpsichord.

Since the late 20th century, electronically synthesized (faux) harpsichord sounds have been incorporated into some electronic keyboards. More recently, digitally recorded period-harpsichord sounds have been incorporated into electronic keyboards producing a much more authentic sound; and the instrument does not need to be tuned. These recent keyboards often a have the option to change pitch A-440, A-415 etc., and a number of different tuning ‘temperaments’ such as ‘Werkmeister’, or ‘Valotti’ – a good temperament for tuning baroque string instruments – in addition to standard ‘equal temperament’.

In addition to the extensive use of the harpsichord as a solo instrument and basso continuo in ensembles in Renaissance, Baroque & early classical music, a number of 20th & 21st century composers have written works for solo harpsichord, or included harpsichord in compositions for modern orchestra, or chamber ensemble, including: Francis Poulenc, Manuel de Falla, Phillip Glass, Elliot Carter, György Ligeti, Bella Bartok, Benjamin Britten, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, & Simon & Garfunkel.

Electronic Baroque

-Richard Webb



  1. In a review of the première of Rameau’s opera ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ in 1733, a critic writing in Mercure de France, complained that the opera “…lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device”. The term he used to disparage Rameau’s opera is described in the contemporary ‘Urban Dictionary’ as: “anything amazingly cool, so cool that indeed no other word will do- it overwhelms the senses in its awesomeness”
    • What is the term, and what does it now most usually describe?
  2. Syntagma Musicum is a treatise by which German composer? Volume II contains woodcuts of families of  musical instruments. He is best known for Terpsichore, a collection of over 300 instrumental dances.
    • Which composer did Bach visit in Lübeck in 1705? What was the purpose of Bach’s visit?
  3. What was the purpose of Biber’s use of Scordatura?
    • What other innovative instrumental techniques did he use?
    • Pachelbel’s most well known composition is Kanon und Gigue für 3     Violinen mit generalbasse.  Describe a musical ‘canon.’
    • Bach did not compose any operas. Which of his compositions is written in an operatic style, and what is the subject of the work?
  4. In 1741 Bach composed: Clavier Ubung bestehend in einer ARIA mit verschiedenen Verænderungen vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen, named for which fellow composer and harpsichordist?
  5. Why did Bach compose the 6 Brandenburg Concertos, and when were they first published?
  6. Which composer is considered to be the most prolific in the baroque, or any other era?
  7. Which composer & flute maker at the Berlin court of Frederick (the Great), King of Prussia wrote the treatise: Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen?
  8. Spanish composer Martín y Coll’s 4 volume collection named: Flores de Musica contains………………………..?
  9. Baroque music in Nueva España and Brasil Colonial was frequently a fusion of………………………….and    …………………………………..?
  10. Describe the musical form: Folias de España
  11. Name and describe the musical instrument, made by the Flemish maker Hans Ruckers in 1581, which was  discovered in a hacienda chapel in Cuzco, Peru in the early 20th century. What is the current location of  the  instrument?

-Richard Webb


Virginals – rectangular harpsichord (Muselaar version – keyboard on the right-hand side).

The collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, includes a Virginals, dated 1581, by Hans Ruckers – the first of several generations of Flemish harpsichord makers in Antwerp (Belgium). The instrument had been exported to Peru (Nueva España) in the late 16thc; likely specially commissioned by/for a musician in colonial service. It was discovered in a hacienda chapel in Cuzco, Peru in the early 20th century in remarkably good condition considering its age and the effects of the tropical climate.

Baroque Music in SPAIN & PORTUGAL

Spain and Portugal introduced European music into their respective South American colonies starting in 16thc. for primarily liturgical use. Later, the European style became blended with indigenous music, language, and instrumentation. 

Martín y Coll, composer and organist, his modern fame rests on four volumes of the Flores de Musica (Musical flowers), a compilation of hundreds of keyboard pieces, nearly all of them without an author. 

Gaspar Sanz, 1640 -1710, composer, guitarist, organist and priest. He wrote three volumes of pedagogical works for the baroque guitar that form an important part of today’s classical guitar repertory, and have informed modern scholars in the techniques of baroque guitar playing. Sanz’s manuscripts for baroque guitar are written as tablature.

Baroque Music in Nueva España 

Baroque Music in Portugal

Baroque Music in Brasil Colonial 

-Richard Webb


Exotic Gardening
By the late 17th century, ordinary people in N Europe, rather than just the aristocracy, had the opportunity to design and plant gardens with newly imported plants from Turkey, Americas, India, South Africa etc. The tulip from Turkey was one such import – and has remained very popular, especially in Holland, to this day. Formal landscape/garden designs in France were developed by Le Notre (3 snails & a cabbage?) in mid 17thc. at Versailles. These designs, simplified, and on a much reduced scale, formed the basis of Dutch garden design in the baroque period. Dutch interest in formal landscape design on a domestic scale, and their expertise as gardeners, influenced horticulture and garden design throughout Europe, especially in England & Germany.

Both Handel and Telemann became interested in gardening. Handel established a formal garden behind his large town-house in London, in 1740’s, and planted with new ‘exotic’ species from around the world. Telemann also became interested in cultivating exotic plants; something of a fad in Hamburg at that time. Although they presumably each made decisions as to the choice of plants and the design of the garden, lowly gardeners would have done the actual work.

18thc. Music in GERMANY

Although born in Germany, Handel composed the majority of his music in London, and is considered by many to be an ‘English’ composer.
Johann Sebastian Bach, organist, viola player, and prolific composer of liturgical, chamber, orchestral, & keyboard music needs little introduction. Many of his compositions are widely known, including the following:

Georg Philipp Telemann is considered to be the most prolific composer in the baroque, or any other era with over 3000  works, including music for orchestra & chamber ensembles, keyboard, solo sonatas, church music, & operas – many of the compositions are now lost.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss, although now less well known that the more famous German baroque composers, was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history, and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. He wrote more than 1000 pieces for lute, of which about 850 attributed pieces have survived.

Johann Joachim Quantz was a German flutist, flute maker and baroque music composer. He composed hundreds of flute sonatas and concertos, and wrote On Playing the Flute, a treatise on flute performance. The treatise is an excellent guide to modern day performers of baroque music, especially with regard to ornamentation – trills etc. Although the treatise is mainly concerned with the flute, there are chapters on other instruments, including strings, and one on how to play continuo. For many years Quantz was flute teacher, flute maker, and composer at the Berlin court of Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia.

-Richard Webb


Music in 17thc. GERMANY 

Michael PRAETORIUS, 1571-1621, organist, composer of church music, and Terpsichore – a collection of over 300 instrumental dances – his most widely known secular work. Praetorius worked primarily at the court in Dresden, where he was declared Kapellmeister von Haus aus, and worked with his younger contemporary, Heinrich Schutz. The expansive treatise, Syntagma Musicum by Praetorius appeared in three volumes between 1614 and 1620. The second volume De Organographia, 1618, includes woodcuts depicting instruments of the early 17th century, all grouped in families and shown to scale.

Dances from Terpsichore, 1612:

=Heinrich SCHUTZ, 1585 -1672, composer & organist, is generally regarded as one of the the most important composers of the 17th century. He was a student of Gabrielli in Italy, and is credited with bringing the Italian style to Germany and continuing its evolution from the Renaissance into the Early Baroque. He wrote what is traditionally considered to be the first German opera Dafne, 1627, the music of which has since been lost, along with nearly all of his ceremonial and theatrical scores and instrumental music.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE, 1637-1707, Danish-German organist & composer of a wide variety of vocal and instrumental idioms, especially works for organ. His style strongly influenced many composers, including J S Bach who, in 1705, famously walked some 250 miles from Arnstadt to Lübeck to meet Buxtehude, hear him play, and, as Bach explained, “to comprehend one thing and another about his art”. 

Toccata in F major

Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER, 1644 -1704, violinist, and one of the most important composers for the violin in the baroque period. His technique allowed him to easily reach the 6th and 7th positions, employ multiple stops in intricate polyphonic passages, and explore the various possibilities of *scordatura tunings. He also wrote one of the earliest known pieces for solo violin, the monumentalPassacaglia from his Mysteries of the Rosary sonatas for violin & continuo, 1676. In Battalia, Biber uses a number of innovative instrumental techniques to depict aspects of the battle – pulling the strings of cello & bass away from the fingerboard and allowing them to slap back against the fingerboard to depict cannon fire, and placing paper between double bass strings and fingerboard, and hitting a string with the bow stick to depict a military side-drum.

Johann PACHELBEL,1653-1706, composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the  choral prelude, and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era. Like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber and vocal music.Today he is best known for his  Canon and Gigue in D for 3 violins & basso continuo. Pachelbels’s son, Theodore, organist, harpsichordist, & composer, emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1733 and settled in Charleston, North Carolina in 1736 – one of the first European composers to take up residence in the American Colonies. 

17th c. German Inventions & Discoveries 

The first newspaper: Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien – was published by Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, 1605. 

Hans Lippershey, spectacle maker, patented the refracting telescope,1608.

Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion, based on his treatise Astronomia Nova, 1609.

Invention of tinsel made from shredded strips of silver, c. 1610. 

The decahydrate of sodium sulfate, known as Glauber’s salt, was discovered it in 1625. 

Otto von Guericke, scientist, inventor, and politician, invented the first vacuum pump,1654, an electrostatic generator, 1660. In 1663 he pieced     together bones from different species in a valiant effort to make a fossil ‘unicorn’

The first cuckoo clocks were made in Furtwangen, Germany, in the Black Forest region, in 1660.

Jan Baptist van Helmont, in his treatise Oriatrike or Physick Refined,1662, determined that the digestion of food was aided by a     chemical reagent, or ‘ferment’ (enzyme) within the body, such as inside the stomach – not by body heat as previously believed.

According to a folklore, the candy cane was invented by the choirmaster of Cologne cathedral, 1670.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, mathematician, philosopher, & polymath, invented a calculating machine, 1674, and calculus, & integral symbol, 1675.

The Easter Bunny (Easter Hare) originated in Germany, 1682. Its original role (Lutheran church) was to judge whether children were good or     disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide.

Scordatura: tuning of a stringed instrument different from the normal, standard tuning. It typically allows special effects or unusual chords or timbre, or makes certain passages easier to play. Biber made use of scordatura tuning in his Rosary Sonatas, and Pachelbel used several different scordatura tunings in his Musical Entertainment consisting of Six Suites for Mistuned Violins, 1691.

-Richard Webb


‘BAROQUE’ – an ornate and often flamboyant style of music, and other arts, that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. The original Portuguese word ‘barroco’ related to jewelry – describing flawed pearls. The word was subsequently adopted in France as ‘baroque’ in the early 18thc. to describe music – and was not initially considered a flattering term. In a review of the première of Rameau’s opera ‘Hippolyte et Aricie’ in 1733, a critic writing in Mercure de France, complained that the opera was “…du barocque”, in that it “…lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances, constantly changed key and meter, and speedily ran through every compositional device”. The term ‘Baroque Music’, did not become common in Europe until 1920’s, and the first use of the term in English was in an article published in 1940 by the German-American ethno-musicologist, & professor at UC Berkeley, Manfred Bukofzer.

Baroque: “something baroque is overly ornate, like a red velvet jacket with tassels, or music that has a lot going on and might include a harpsichord”.

Baroque: “anything amazingly cool, so cool that indeed no other word will do – it overwhelms the senses in its awesomeness”.

Recently, the word baroque has been adopted by the fashion industry. The contemporary clothing company BAROQUE “…offers an exclusive range of pure and high quality lawn, chiffon, embroidered collection and trendy bottoms which leaves the wearer in awe of the design”. Dolce & Gabbana, & Versace (among others) have produced collections of neo-baroque fashions.

-Richard Webb

Sign Up for 2019-20 Placement Auditions

Attention all 9th, 10, 11th grade students,

I will be posting the sign up schedule for the 2019-20 DHS Placement Auditions this week in your classrooms.  The sign up deadline is set for Friday, February 8th so please sign up for a time ASAP.  Please  write clearly so I can create the final schedule accurately, which I will post in your classroom the week of February 18th. Once the schedule is posted please check your final posted time to make sure it is accurate and there is not a conflict for you. 

Also, below is the registration form that each student is required to fill out and turn in when they arrive for their audition. Please print and fill it out to turn in when you check in for your audition warm up time.  

I look forward to listening to all of your hard work,

Mr. Moreno


Contact Mr. Moreno if you have any questions.

Davis High School Orchestra Program
Audition Requirements
Symphony Orchestra and Baroque Ensemble

All DHS Orchestra Auditions will be held at Davis High  in the Music Building room PA-3 from February 25th – March 1st.  Check your school music room for the DHS Orchestras Open Audition sign-up sheets starting in January. Auditions are for all in coming 10th grade students, continuing 11th grade students, and 12th grade students not currently in an audition group.

Sign-up Deadline is Friday, February 8th

Contact Mr. Moreno if you have any questions or need a sign-up extension. The final audition schedule will be posted Tuesday, February 21st, which will include your individual audition day and time. Your requested times may change to fit the final schedule, so make sure and check the schedule carefully. If you have a major conflict with your scheduled time email Mr. Moreno ASAP to work it out.

Audition Dates and Times by Instrument:

  • Violins: Monday, February 25th, 3:50PM – 8:00PM
                  Tuesday, February 26th, 3:50PM – 8:00PM
  • Violas: Thursday, February 28th, 3:40PM – 6:00PM
  • Cellos/Basses:  Friday, March 1st, 3:50PM – 8:00PM
  • Key Board Players Auditioning for a Harpsichord position in the Baroque Ensemble: Contact Mr. Moreno directly to set an audition time. If you are a string player who also plays keyboard and would like to audition for harpsichord sign up for two time slots back to back.

Please Note: All Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students who are interested in auditioning for the DHS Symphony Orchestra see audition requirements online at: Information will be posted soon. All Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students interested in participating in the DHS Symphony Orchestra must be members of the DHS Symphonic Band.

If none of these audition times work for your schedule and you need assistance contact Mr. Moreno

Description of The Davis High School Symphony Orchestra:

The Davis High Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Angelo Moreno, is an advanced full symphony orchestra including strings, winds, brass and percussion. The group will study and perform music for symphony orchestra from the classical to modern eras. In recent years, the Symphony Orchestra has performed Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, Dvorak’s Eighth and Ninth Symphonies and Elgar’s Nimrod, amongst many other pieces of music from Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Schumann, Haydn, Brahms and many other composers.

Description of The Davis High School Baroque Ensemble:

The Davis High Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Angelo Moreno is a unique string orchestra which includes the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, and Key Board players who are interested in learning to play the Harpsichord. Students will perform on Baroque instruments, which include string instruments converted to Baroque style with gut strings and Baroque style bows. The group will study and perform music from the Baroque Era, including composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, Corelli, Telemann, and Handel.

Audition Requirements:

Strings – Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass:

  • 3 octaves of any major scale in quarter notes, at a tempo of 144
           (Basses 2 octaves)
  • 3 octaves of any melodic minor scale in quarter notes at a tempo of 120
           (Basses 2 octaves)
  • 3-4 minute excerpt of an unaccompanied solo (skip over long rests) that demonstrates your ability.

Key Board Players Auditioning for Harpsichord:

  • 3 octaves of any major scale in two hands- in quarter notes, at a tempo of 144
  • 3 octaves of any melodic minor scale in two hands-  in quarter notes at a tempo of 120
  • 3-4 minute excerpt of an unaccompanied solo (skip over long rests) that demonstrates your ability.

Note: All players will be asked to sight read

Note: All instruments- when deciding on solo literature consult your private instructor or school music teacher.

Please provide a copy of your solo music the day of your audition for the adjudicator.

Contact Mr. Moreno if you have any questions at (530) 400-7614 (cell) or by email

Download a registration form here:


Happy New Year

Alma Deutscher

The musical training of the remarkable Alma Deutscher, violinist, pianist, & (self-taught) composer, has included work on baroque figured bass (partimenti) with a focus on developing her understanding of harmony.

Alma, age 12, performing her own Violin concerto in Vienna in 2017. She also performed her own piano concerto in the same concert.

Starting with melodies composed from the age of 8, Alma wrote her own operatic version of the of the Cinderella story. She revised, enlarged and re-orchestrated the opera into its final 4-act, 2 1/2 hour form at age 12 – here performed by San Jose Opera, 2017.

Alma Deutscher is inspired by *Marianne ‘Nannerl’ Mozart, the older sister of  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
When Nannerl was seven years old her father, Leopold Mozart, started teaching her to play the harpsichord. Although as a child she was considered one of the most skillful keyboard players in Europe, her parents considered that as she grew older it was socially inappropriate for her to continue her career any further. From 1769, Nannerl, age 18, was no longer permitted to show her artistic talent on travels with her brother, as she had reached a marriageable age. Wolfgang went on during the 1770s to many artistic triumphs while traveling in Italy with Leopold, but Marianne had to stay at home in Salzburg. There is evidence that Nannerl wrote musical compositions, as there are letters from Wolfgang praising her work but, sadly, none of her music has survived. Alma Deutscher is fortunately not constrained by such conventions and is free to compose and perform, with the wholehearted support of her parents.

Music in 18thc. England
Handel & his contemporaries

The Anglo-German composer and organist, G F Handel, was born in Halle, Germany in 1685, some 50 miles from where
J S Bach was born in the same year. Handel’s most well known composition is the Oratorio Messiah. He also composed extensively for keyboard, orchestra, chamber ensembles, and 42 operas. Other well known works include The Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. He became a British Subject in 1727, and lived the remainder of his life in London.

On the occasion of the 1st performance of Music for the Royal Fireworks, the stand on which the fireworks were mounted caught fire with dramatic results; fortunately rain followed and further disaster was averted. The performance took place on the evening of April 27th, 1749 in London to celebrate the end of the *War of the Austrian Succession, and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Handel’s house, restored to its original condition, is now a museum and a venue for small-scale baroque chamber music concerts. In late 1960’s, the American rock guitarist & song writer Jimi Hendrix lived for a year in an apartment on the top floor of the house.

Quotes regarding Handel:

Johann Sebastian Bach is attributed with the following remark:
“Handel is the only person I would wish to see before I die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach”.

The English late-baroque composer William Boyce is said to have remarked that Handel “…takes other men’s pebbles and polishes them into diamonds”

Upon hearing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Messiah, Joseph Haydn is said to have “…wept like a child” and exclaimed:
“…He is the master of us all”.

Beethoven is said to have exclaimed:
“Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived… I would uncover my head and kneel down on his tomb”.

However, Berlioz was not impressed: “… a tub of pork and beer”.

The English composer Charles Avison based his set of 12 Concerti Grossi on keyboard works by Scarlatti (including No. 5 played by DHSBE). In ‘An Essay on Musical Expression’, 1752, the composer expressed some disdain for Handel’s music (while acknowledging the composer’s genius), and expressed a strong preference for the work of his former teacher Geminiani.

William Boyce, composer &organist, is best known today for his set of 8 symphonies:

The English composer Thomas Arne, composed extensively for the stage, and is best known as the composer of the British gingoistic/patriotic song Rule Britannia,1740; and for God Save the King – which subsequently became our British National Anthem.

In 1749, the English composer and provincial clergyman, with the memorable name – Rev. Richard Mudge, published a set of six ‘Concertos in Seven Parts’ (in Handelian style):

Social History
Many countries in Europe were at war during much of the baroque period, 1600-1750.

One of the most serious 18thc. conflicts was the War of the Austrian Succession which started in 1740 – the same year that Handel composed Concerti Grossi Op. 6;  Rameau composed Pieces de clavicin en concerts; and Emile du Chatelet published Institutions de Physique, which included a demonstration that the energy of a moving object is proportional to the square of its velocity (Ek = ​1⁄2mv²). The war involved most of the powers of Europe over the issue of the succession of Archduchess Maria Theresa to the Habsburg Monarchy. The cause of the war resulted from Maria Theresa’s alleged ineligibility to succeed to her father, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, because of a law that precluded royal inheritance by a woman; although another law did allow royal inheritance by a woman and Marie Theresa (later mother of Marie Antoinette), was confirmed as Holy Roman Empress, Archduchess of Austria, and Queen of Germany, Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. Commercial & political issues regarding the inheritance/distribution of Habsburg lands in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, The Netherlands, Bohemia & Italy were also important issues. The war ended in 1748, with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle celebrated with a firework display in London with music by Handel.

However, the war did not settle the commercial & political issues, and in 1756, the Seven Years War again split Europe into two coalitions: Great Britain, Prussia, Portugal, Hanover & other small German States on one side, and France, Austria/Holy Roman Empire, Russia, Spain, & Sweden on the other. The Seven Years War could be considered the first of the ‘world wars’ as it spanned Europe, Russia, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines.

The Seven Years War ended in 1763 – the same year Haydn composed his Op. 2 String Quartets & Symphony No. 13. It was also the start of a 3 1/2 year tour of Europe by Amadeus Mozart (age 7), his older sister *Nannerl, and their father Leopold Mozart. Having left their home in Salzburg, the young Mozart & Nannerl first played at the Imperial Court in Vienna, and in Prague, and subsequently traveled to play for the courts in cities across Europe including Munich, Mannheim, Cologne, Paris/Versailles, London, The Hague, and back to Salzburg via Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Zurich, and Munich. Very little was settled politically in Europe at the end of the Seven Years War, and there were a further 180 conflicts in Europe before the start of WWII in 1939.

-Richard Webb



Henry Purcell
Born 1659, Henry Purcell was an English composer and organist. Although he incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He composed for the royal court, church, keyboard, and for chamber ensembles. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no later native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton (who I once talked to) & Benjamin Britten in 20thc.  Handel continues to be revered in England, especially for Messiah, but he was born in Germany and only later became a British citizen.

Purcell Songs – Improvisations:

The Queen of Carthage
The city of Carthage was founded by Phoenicians in the 9th century BCE on the Gulf of Tunis (to the north of the present-day city). From the 6th century BCE Carthage was a great trading empire covering much of the Mediterranean area. In the era of Ancient Rome, Carthage was rebuilt and still stands, now in ruins. According to ancient Greek and Roman sources – primarily from the account given by the Roman poet, Virgil, in his epic Aeneid – Dido was the founder and first queen of Carthage.


Dido & Aeneas
Although Dido is now often associated with the historical figure Aeneas, in reality he had died long before Dido was born. Purcell’s opera, 1688, is based on a 1593 play by Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. It tells an intense dramatic story of Queen Dido and her love for Aeneas, his betrayal of her, and her suicide after he abandons her.

Dido’s Lament:
Before Dido commits suicide at the end of the opera, she sings this poignant lament:
When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in, in thy breast.
Remember me, remember me, but ah
Forget my fate

Underwater version
The audiences at choreographed performance of Dido & Aeneas, staged in Berlin in 2005, were, no doubt, surprised by a bizarre scene in which the dancers performed underwater in an enormous tank on stage:

Slow March from the Funeral Music for Queen Mary, which was also played at Purcell’s own funeral later in the same year, 1695:


-Richard Webb


Landfill Harmonic Orchestra:

Happy Birthday
Evaristo Baschenis, born Bergamo, Italy, December 7th, 1617
Strumenti musicali, c.1665:

Music in Late 17thc. England

Henry Purcell, composer and organist, dominated the musical scene in England from c.1680 until his death at 38 years old. (Had he lived another 15 years he would have met Handel in London). Purcell wrote what is often regarded as the first English opera – Dido & Aeneas, 1689 (although the opera Venus & Adonis, by his contemporary John Blow, was composed in 1683). Purcell also composed extensively for the royal court, religious & instrumental music, and music for the theater. He composed the music for Queen Mary’s funeral in 1695; later the same year he himself died, and the funeral music he had written for Queen Mary was played at his own funeral; such was the high regard in which he was held by his musical peers and the court. Purcell developed his own very personal musical style, influenced by both Italian & French music of the period. In England today, he is regarded as our finest native born composer prior to the 20th century (Although Handel is the best loved ‘English’ composer from the 18th century, he was born in Germany, only later becoming a British citizen).


There are few depictions of musicians/musical instruments in England in the 17th century. There are, however, lots of Dutch and Flemish musical genre paintings during the period. There are also number of paintings of people playing musical instruments by the Dutch artist Peter Lely, who worked for most of his career in London. Lely’s painting,The Concert, includes a violone/great bass viol player, and a flute player; he also painted several portraits depicting women playing the baroque guitar.

There were close cultural ties, (art, music, science, architecture, garden design etc.) between Holland/Flanders (Belgium) and England throughout the 17th century. Despite there being several naval battles between England and Holland in the North Sea in the middle of the century, resulting from of disputes concerning trade/shipping, cultural ties were largely unbroken. (see Dutch movie: ‘Admiral – Michiel de Ruyter’, 2015). The last land-based invasion of England was by the Dutch in 1667. 1,500 soldiers landed in the exact spot I swam in Felixstowe, Suffolk, UK when I was a child – the invasion was not a success.The on/off animosity between the two countries continued until 1688 when the Dutch, in a bloodless coup, showed up on the south coast of England with 20,000 troops and made their way to London. Their leader, Prince William of Orange, subsequently became King William (by invitation), and his English wife became Queen Mary. ‘William & Mary’ now typically refers to the late 17thc. English style of art, furniture, decoration, & architecture.

*Aphra Behn, c.1640-1689, playwright & poet, of whom Virginia Woolf in ‘A Room of One’s Own’ said:

“All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”

Aphra Behn is buried in the East Cloister, Westminster Abbey, London.
Portrait by Peter Lely, c.1670

-Richard Webb


Vivaldi Street Performance

Baroque Music in England

Italian & French styles were the most predominant musical, artistic and architectural styles in Europe in the 17thc. England was still more heavily influenced by the arts of the Elizabethan age rather than by innovations in Europe. Since Henry VIII broke from the *Church of Rome and established the protestant ‘Church of England, all things ‘Catholic’ became suspect, including ‘Popish’ arts. Following his return from a tour of Italy in 1615, the English architect, Inigo Jones designed the first Palladian building in England the following year (The Queens’s House, Greenwich) However this new ‘classical’ style did not become popular in England (or the English colonies, including America), until more than a century later. With the arrival of Handel in England, and visits from a number of his Italian contemporaries in the early 18thc., ‘English’ music became better established as a style.

Early 17thc.

John Dowland was the best known and most influential composer, court musician, and lutenist in late 16thc. and early 17thc. England. His best known works are melancholy songs (Lachrimae) with lute accompaniment; the best known being Flow my Tears. While mostly Elizabethan ensembles, ‘Consorts’ of viols (treble, tenor & bass instruments), and mixed Consorts (a varied combination of viols, the occasional violin, recorder and other wind instruments) were still a popular form of domestic, rather than court, music making in early 17thc England. Compositions for viol consorts included works by Dowland.

Flow my Tears, Second Book of Songs or Ayres, London, 1600.
John Dowland: Flow my tears (Lachrimae); Phoebe Jevtovic Rosquist, soprano & David Tayler, flute

Lachrimae Antiquae, The Earl of Essex Galliard, and Mistress Nichol’s Almand:

Can She excuse my wrongs:

The King of Denmark’s Galliard:


In 1604, King James I of England wrote a long polemic concerning tobacco, newly discovered in America: A Counterblaste to Tobacco, in which he expresses his distaste/abhorrence for smoking tobacco. It is one of the earliest anti-tobacco publications. A year later, the English composer and viol player Captain Tobias Hume wrote a song extolling the virtues of tobacco.

Tobacco is like Love;

Tobacco’s but an Indian Weed:

A Counterblaste to Tobacco, 1604 (full text for anyone with a special interest):


Man Smoking a Pipe, early 17thc. England

Woman Smoking a Pipe, Gabriel Metsu, Holland, 1660:

Bass Violin Player, Studio of Judith Leyster, Haarlem, Holland, c.1635.

Company Dining & Making Music, Anthonie Palamedesz, Amsterdam, 1632.

Bass Violin Player, Studio of Judith Leyster, Haarlem, Holland, c.1635.

-Richard Webb

Orchestra Tuxedo Recycle Program

TuxedoAlthough orchestra students look super spiffy in tuxedo’s during performances, that look comes at a cost of about $275 per student. And since students are still growing, this is a tough investment to make considering they might not even fit the tuxedo for the entire year!
In an effort to help reduce this cost, PLUS be a fundraiser for the orchestra, we are starting an Orchestra Tuxedo Recycle Program.
  • We will collect gently used orchestra tuxedo clothing (pants, jackets, vests, shirts, bow ties and dress shoes).
  • The donated clothing will be professionally cleaned and inventoried.
  • About one month before each performing event, all clothing will be made available for purchase at a fraction of the cost of a new tuxedo.
  • All proceeds will go to the DHS-Holmes Orchestra Booster Program.
The first collection will be during our December 14 Winter Concert in the front lobby of Brunelle Hall at the program table. Spread the word—especially to alumni orchestra families!
Questions?  Or have a donation?  Contact Jill Bonner at or 530.330.4315


Bach on the Paris Metro:

  1. Name, and date, the first permanent court orchestra in France (name in English, or preferably in French).
  2. Who was the most important composer in France in 17thc.?
    • From where did he originate? And which       playwright did he often collaborate with?
    • Briefly describe the plot of the  ‘Le Bourgeois gentilhomme’.
  3. Which composer and musical instrument were featured in the French movie ‘Tous les matins du monde?’
    • Describe how that instrument differs from instruments of the violin family.
  4. Name four of the most well known dances in an instrumental suite, and briefly describe their origins?
  5. Corelli’s ‘trio-sonata form’ was introduced to France from Italy by __________________________.
    • What is a trio-sonata ?
  6. Who was the predominant composer in France in the 18thc. – best known for his operas?
    • In his satirical novel Le Neveu de ___________,  the French philosopher, art critic, author, and chief             editor of the Encyclopédie, Denis Diderot, described (this composer) as: “…a monomaniac consumed             by his passion for music…his heart and soul were in his harpsichord; once he had shut its lid, there was             no one home”. According to Diderot _______________ was: “tall and exceptionally thin. He had a loud             voice, although his speech was difficult to understand, as was his handwriting. As a man, he was             secretive, solitary, irritable, proud of his own achievements, brusque with those who contradicted him,             and quick to anger”. Never-the-less, Diderot admired him as a composer.
    • Briefly describe the plot of this composer’s first (but sadly misogynistic) comic opera Platée, 1745.
  7. From the latter part of the 17thc, until 1789, the French court took place in ________________________ ?
    • A distance of how many miles/kilometers from Paris?
    • Who was responsible for the extensive landscaping surrounding the palace?
  8. What language was spoken in the majority of the royal courts in Europe, and in the Russian court, in the 18thc, and why?
  9. What name is given to an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and acid? Its French origins are hotly disputed.
  10. The first documented observation of the movement of a solvent across a semipermeable membrane
    toward a higher concentration of solute (lower concentration of solvent)  was made by the French. physicist Jean-Antoine Nollet in 1748. In biological systems, the solvent is typically water. By what
    name is this process known?

    • Nollet, also known by his title as a priest – Abbé Nollet, was the first professor of experimental
      physics at the University of Paris, director of the French Académie des sciences, a member of the Royal Society, London, and author of Leçons de physique expérimentale and L’Art des expériences.
    • Among his many other discoveries, he determined that the pitch of sound is not altered by                 transmission through water, and that fish are able to detect the vibrations. Goldfish, for example, can ‘hear’ up to 4Khz, with best hearing between 500Hz – 800Hz.
    • Violin strings (modern pitch): e – 659.3Hz, A – 440Hz (415Hz – baroque pitch), D – 293.7Hz,              G – 196Hz. The lowest string on a double bass (EE) is 41.2Hz (38.9Hz – baroque pitch).

-Richard Webb



Bach Street Performance:

Music in 18thc. FRANCE II

Jean-Phillipe Rameau was the predominant composer in France during the 18th century. His compositions include numerous opera-ballets, instrumental, and religious music. He composed extensively for the harpsichord at the beginning of his long career, publishing his earliest known composition: the first book of Pieces de clavecin, in 1706. In 1722 he published a Treatise on Harmony, that became the definitive authority on music theory, forming the foundation for instruction in western music that persists to this day.
He was almost 50 before he embarked on the operatic career on which his reputation chiefly rests today. His debut opera, Hippolyte et Aricie, 1733, caused a great stir and was fiercely attacked by the supporters of Lully’s style of music for its revolutionary use of harmony. He subsequently composed another 30 operas. Towards the end of the 18th century his music had gone out of fashion, and the first performance of his final opera, Les Boreades,1763, did not take place until the 20th century.

Chamber music


Jean-Marie Leclair,  violinist and composer of violin sonatas, concertos, and trio sonatas.

Michel Corrette, organist and composer of instrumental music, ballets, divertissements for the stage, and author of several musical method books. He composed throughout the baroque and early classical period.

Next week BEEP 10 -QUIZ 2

-Richard Webb

Disneyland Field Trip Contributions Due

Reminder for those attending DHS Orchestra Disneyland Trip in March 2019 –  November contributions are due this week!  Contributions can easily be made online via our Online Store – which now has an additional layer of website security added.  Excited to currently have 89 students signed up for this trip – will be lots of fun!

Link to online Store:

Thank you for all your contributions and support