Saturday, October 13, 2012

Music, music, music

 Grandpa Edd Lorig's guitar

It is a somewhat gloomy, rainy day today and I thought maybe a music post would liven things up. 

When Edd Lorig was a young man he played guitar in a band.  We do not know the name of the band but his granddaughter, who had the guitar until a few years ago, gave it to Edd’s great-great grandson who is also a musician and plays in a band.  Edd’s great-grandson is holding the guitar in the photo above.   

The guitar is an acoustic Washburn parlor guitar model 19110.  Washburn, located in Chicago, Illinois, began making guitars in 1883.  Unfortunately, the Washburn factory has had several fires and all records prior to about 1990 are no longer available.  It was not until the 1980s that Washburn began using model numbers that reflected the manufactured date making it now impossible to tell exactly when the guitar was made.  If Edd played it as a young man before he got married in 1894, which is what the oral history reports say, the guitar could date from about the mid 1880s or early 1890s.

Several people in the extended and immediate family have had an interest in and talent for music ranging from stringed instruments to horns and pianos as well as voice so it is great fun to see an instrument being passed down to another generation. 

Currently my 17-year-old grandson plays the cello in the school orchestra and his 7-year-old brother is taking violin lessons to learn traditional Scandinavian folk music.  We hope that the 7-year-old will be able to move on to the Hardanger fiddle at some time in the future.  Hardanger fiddles have 8 or 9 strings instead of the traditional 4 that are normally found on a violin.  They are very beautiful looking instruments, highly decorated, with a unique sound.  An example is shown below as found at http://en.wikipedia.rg/wiki/Hardanger_fiddle.  These fiddles have been used since the mid 1600s in Norway.  Music played on the Hardanger fiddle has been featured on soundtracks for The Lord of Rings: The Two Towers and Return of the King, Fargo, and How to Train Your Dragon

Singers in the family included some who sang with the Norwegian Male Chorus.  The photo below of the Ballard Norwegian Male Chorus is dated 1914 and shows Dick Thompson in the back row, third from the right and Harald Landaas in the back row, third from the left.  I.C. Lee also sang with this same group but is not in the picture. 

Norwegian Male Chorus, Ballard, 1914
[photo: courtesy of Lorraine Becker]

The Ballard (Seattle) Norwegian Male Chorus was founded in 1889 and is still going strong.  They perform at Christmas, for Norwegian Constitution Day in May, and at some other events held at the Nordic Heritage Museum and the Leif Erikson Sons of Norway Lodge. 

No comments:

Post a Comment