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The story of my Bob Marvin G basset

I fell in love with this flute the first moment I saw and tried it: the G basset from Bob Marvin’s 8′ consort. Since it’s one note higher than the more common F basset, it is a bit smaller and far more agile. Its sound is beautiful: rich imposing low notes and high notes that can be soft or strong.

With Bob, March 2013

With Bob, March 2013

Bob only sells it within his big 8′ consort (10 flutes) which I can’t afford. However, I decided to write and convince him to sell me this basset as a solo flute, although I knew that was quite impossible. Just a few days later, an incredible coincidence happened: the Flanders Recorder Quartet put an announcement on the internet: they were selling their Marvin G basset separately, and I was the happy one to get it! That was last summer. As soon as I got the flute I sent it to Canada and asked Bob to make a new cap and fontanella, as well as to clean and revoice it. Two months ago, in his annual travel to Europe, he brought it back to me. It was made in 1985, 3 years before I was born, and it sounds just as fine as a new one! So, after almost a year of waiting:

This is what it sounds like (min 2:12):

Arcadelt & Ortiz & Cord-to-Krax — O felici occhi miei
Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder | Alejandro Casal, harpsichord

And this is what it looks like:

‘Music does not express this or that particular and definite pleasure, this or that affliction, pain, sorrow, horror, gaiety, merriment, or peace of mind, but joy, pain, sorrow, horror, gaiety, merriment, peace of mind themselves, to a certain extent in the abstract, their essential nature, without any accessories, and therefore without the motives for them.’

— A. Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung

New music scores — April 2013

I just uploaded a new selection of early music transcriptions to my Music Scores pagefour excellent pieces from different epochs:

De mi perdida esperança (facsimile)

De mi perdida esperança (facsimile)

De mi perdida esperança (transcription)

De mi perdida esperança (transcription)

  1. The earliest one is a polyphonic piece by Juan de Triana titled De mi perdida esperança from the Spanish manuscript Cancionero de la Colombina (possibly copied between 1460 and 1480).
    Lyrics only appear in the upper voice. There are many options to interpret the piece, one singer, two singers, three singers, no singers, recorders, viols, lutes…
  2. The piece Jay pris amours by Antoine Busnoys is from the Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A. It took me a long time to figure out the musica ficta towards the end of the piece, there seems to be no perfect solution, since there always remains a diabolus in musica. Any experts’ opinion?
  3. The Sonata duodecima a3, from Sonate Concertate, Libro Secondo, Venezia 1644, by Dario Castello shows the mastery of the Italian early baroque composer and instrumentalist. The tutti are majestic and powerful within the allegro parts, the homorhythmic adagios create coral effects (parlato) and the contrapuntal adagios are full of harmonic tensions. The soli of each instrument lead to great excitement through the free narration of melodies, accompanied by a basso continuo.
  4. And finally the last piece, Sonata terza, from Troisieme livre de Sonatas, Pour la flûte traversiere, Avec la Basse, was composed by French flute virtuoso Michel Blavet (1700-1768). I’m normally not a huge fan of Galant music but this piece, written for transverse flute, I find very beautiful. The facsimile is easy to read, but I transcribed the piece and transposed it a 3rd up, in order to play it on the alto recorder instead of voiceflute or transverse flute… So this transcription is useful to recorder players only, but i’m also adding the Finale files so you can transpose it back up if you wish so.

Enjoy & come back for new music scores next month!

For more information on why & how I’m doing the transcriptions click here.

Pulchra es amica mea — A video from last Friday’s student concert

Last Friday we had our monthly recorder students’ concert at Seville’s Conservatory, whose topic was, this time, 16th century music. I played some beautiful diminutions by the always inventive F. Rognoni on G.P. da Palestrina‘s motet Pulchra es amica mea. The recorder I used is probably my favorite one: a renaissance tenor by recorder maker Bob Marvin. Anyway, this was the result:

G.P. da Palestrina & F. RognoniPulchra es amica mea

Milena Cord-to-Krax, recorder; Ventura Rico, viola da gamba; Alejandro Casal, harpsichord

Free music scores — January 2013

I’m transcribing early music pieces from the (sometimes) difficult to read original facsimiles into modern notation scores. It’s a work I find really interesting and highly satisfactory, for I get to know music that is rarely played and it helps me absorbing the musical styles — I’m still (and always will be) a student.

So… I started thinking that it doesn’t make much sense to keep all these scores for myself in my computer’s hard drive. I believe we should share our work and knowledge in order to have a vivid early music community and raise public awareness about the beauty and value of this musicthe internet can make it possible!

About the transcriptions

I’m being very careful with sticking to the original music as much as possible:

  • Changes are only made when there is an evident mistake in the original score
  • Note values are not reduced, they are maintained in their original values
  • Proposals for musica ficta are made above the notes
  • Original clefs are indicated at the beginning of every stave

I’m always publishing three versions of the same piece:

  • The original facsimile (pdf)
  • My transcription (pdf)
  • My transcription’s source file (.mus, Finale 2011) — so you can easily listen to the music (midi) and make changes in the scores if you wish so (for this you need the Finale program, of course)


All transcriptions are under Creative Commons license. Many thanks to Vicente Parrilla for all his help and encouragement and for introducing me to the music notation program Finale.


I’m spending many hours a day practicing the recorder and working on the music editing is an extra — but pleasant — effort. One of my goals for this year 2013 is to rise enough money to buy both a Voice flute by the great recorder maker Ernst Meyer and a Ganassi alto by fabulous recorder maker Bob Marvin.

So if you are enjoying my free music scores — please consider donating any amount you like and help me reach that goal!


Suggestions, critics and questions are very welcome! Feel free to contact me.


‘… and thinke it not a smalle thinge to have lerned to playe on the pype or the recorder.’

— Nicholas Udall (1505-1556)