Author Archives: Barnaby Brown

Practising episode 2: Seikilos song & tounging

I’m having fun with the Seikilos song, prompted by a collaboration  with Aleksandra Szypowska. I met her last month in Mark his Words, a semi-staged dramatisation of St Mark’s Gospel in Greek, by Patrick Boyde, in which we were both performing. … Continue reading

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Learning to play the aulos: practice documentation 1

It has been quiet on this blog for the last five months. Callum Armstrong has been busy, however – practising, composing and making reeds. I have kept up my documentation of his progress by pressing record on my video camera … Continue reading

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Circular Breathing Tutorial 1

STEP 1. “Balloon Cheeks” Breathe in and out normally through your nose. With your lips sealed and your cheeks fully puffed out, continue breathing in and out normally through your nose. Maintain an even pressure behind your cheeks while breathing … Continue reading

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First working reproduction of a tibia from Pompeii

This tibia has been reproduced from one of several pairs of pipes buried at Pompeii in 79 AD. It was made by Peter Holmes with the help of Martin Sims and Neil ‘Spike’ Melton in a collaboration between the European … Continue reading

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More thoughts on reed making

This is the second instalment of Callum Armstrong’s reed-making journey — the first is here.  We made these notes and photos before a London Aulos Group meeting on 6 January 2015. This photo shows three different causes of cracking. Here are our suggested solutions: … Continue reading

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Monthly meetings of the London Aulos Group, 2015

This informal group began life on 31 May 2014 when Clare Goodall, Peter Holmes, Jeffrey Tribe and I first met in The Warren Room. This was a 2-hour practical session followed by a meal, a formula we agreed to continue. We … Continue reading

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Coming to the aulos from the triplepipe, my mind is clear. In order to give all ten fingers the possibility of virtuosic movement, without the instrument slipping out of your hands, it’s best only to open one hole at a time. … Continue reading

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Thumb Exercises

The biggest task I face learning the aulos is training my thumbs to have the same facility as my fingers. On the launeddas, the thumbs take the weight of the instrument, liberating the fingers to do the fancy work. Most … Continue reading

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Dvojnice (Balkans)

Note the prevalent use of 2nds, not only on the Dvojnice but by two female singers in the first of these videos: [youtube=] More info:

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Significance of offset holes on Louvre aulos

Lower finger holes I find it puzzling that the lower holes veer off in the same direction on both pipes – to the left – on the lower pipe more sharply. One possible explanation occurred to me today: perhaps, the pipes might … Continue reading

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