Saturday, June 11, 2011

On adding vocabulary


That's my new word for today, and it came to me through an internet-typical series of clickety-clicks. Here's how.

One of the blogs that I follow originates from the Colonial Williamsburg's Hay Shop, the period cabinetmakers shop in that wonderful town. Despite being set firmly in the eighteenth century, the workers there recently began a blog, where they write about the work that they do. And they are without doubt men after my own heart. One of the cabinetmakers there specializes in building spinet harpsichords , a trade that was necessary at the time and for that shop. He is working on a piece, but due to nagging tendinitis, is unable to work with tools, so has been reading up on the history of spinets.

In his post, he mentions having read a recent dissertation from the University of Edinburgh, a two volume brute, by Peter Geoffrey Mole which discusses (among other things, no doubt) construction methods of period instruments. Following that link, I kept myself to reading just the abstract of the work, but marveled at the index terms, among them Organology.

Further curiosity and tippity-tapping lead me from the Oxford English Dictionary through the Grove Dictionary of Music (both of these behind Ivory Tower pay walls, sadly) and of course Wikipedia to explain that this is the field of study of the history of musical instruments, and reminds me quite a bit of how the field of bibliography studies the history and "construction" of books, if you will.

Aren't connections super?

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