Just so you know, I am exempt from any "Casey, you should write more!" comments for the rest of the month. Kay?
Today I woke up early in the morning and got on the tube to High Street Kensington where I then walked to the Royal College of Music where I then went to a three hour long Viola da Gamba masterclass. So that was cool. It was nice to be surrounded by a bunch of gambists and I chatted with people a bit but the really cool part came after the masterclass when we went down to the library where there was an exhibit of autograph editions of various consort pieces. I would be more specific, but I wasn't paying that much attention. But the hand writing! Some of these handwritten parts were clearer and easier to read than a lot of printed music today. Also, the parts were tiny- like maybe 3"x5" tiny.
I was glad I stuck around after the masterclass because then they took us to the museum too, which was superfly. They've got an upright harpsichord instrument from 1480, a bunch of totally neat spinnets, a piano with a 'bassoon' pedal (a metal bar that was lowered on to the strings), and a couple of important gambas that I am now well enough informed of to have been in awe of.
There were about 30 people in the gamba group in the museum and they started getting into quite a heated debate over whether the instrument was a division viol or a lyra viol. I talked to the curator later and she was telling me about a thread on their website regarding what is thought to be the first guitar. Apparently the comments have been getting downright violent over whether the instrument is actually the first guitar or just a vihuella, the museum has had to point out that they are merely taking care of the instrument and not taking part in the debate.
At that point it was nearly two and I hadn't eaten. Fortunately, even though I was severely sleep deprived after having stayed up late cleaning my room (I know, weird. But I've really become almost tidy here in London), I had managed to pack myself a lunch. Unfortunately, this ended up being half of a quiche shoved in a zip-loc bag shoved in my backpack. It was barely recognizable as food by the time I ate it, walking along the Royal Albert Hall. Tasty, though.
I decided I should go to the V&A and finally see that fashion exhibit I've been meaning to see for forever and ever. And you know what? It wasn't worth waiting three years to see... ah well. There were a bunch of fashion students making sketches so that was fun to watch and I wandered through all of the iron works (feeding my secret desire to become a blacksmith) which is how I found the plaster works. Dude....Four storey tall plaster casts of elaborately carved towers and rows upon rows of royal tomb effigies. I turned around the corner and suddenly there was this giant room filled with amazing, wondrous things. Highlight of the museum today.
I rushed back to school in time for jazz singers, went to a lecture that degenerated in to a silly rather pointless debate about nothing, and then hung out with the early music kids in the basement. So now I'm tired, but happy.