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Julie Anne Sadie and Terence M. Pamplin

[baritone, barydon, paradon, paridon, pariton, viola di bardone, viola di bordone]

A bass string instrument that is simultaneously bowed from above and plucked from behind. (The term ‘lyra bastarda’ is occasionally – although incorrectly – applied to the baryton.) The baryton is a hybrid instrument based on the Baroque bass viol and incorporating features of the Lyra viol and the Bandora, a metal-strung plucked bass instrument. There are three basic forms: Baroque, Classical and revival. The Baroque baryton was played ‘lyra-way’ as a solo instrument from tablature. It had six gut bowed strings attached and adjusted like those of a bass viol, but tuned in a range of scordatura tunings (the upper manual), and nine metal bass strings (Cd), hitched at the fingerboard nut and tuned by wrest pins in a separate bridge (the lower manual). The metal strings lay parallel to the fingerboard on the bass side and were plucked from behind the neck with the left thumb. They provided the instrument with the capability for self-accompaniment and enhanced the sound by sympathetic resonance (...


Margaret Grave and Jay Lane

[Ditters, Carl]

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1739; d Neuhof [now Nový Dvůr], nr Sobĕslav, Bohemia, Oct 24, 1799). Austrian composer and violinist. After promising early success in Vienna, he settled for a modest career as a provincial Kapellmeister and administrator. He composed voluminously despite the official responsibilities that occupied him for much of his life, and his generally high standard of craftsmanship earned him recognition as a leading figure of the Viennese Classical school.

Born to Paul Ditters, costumier at the imperial court and theatre in Vienna, and his wife Anna (née Vandelin), Ditters enjoyed the benefits of a Jesuit school education, private tutoring and, from the age of seven, violin lessons. About 1750 he began studies with the violinist J.P. Ziegler, and before long he was accepted into the orchestra of the Schottenkirche. Soon afterwards he was recruited as a Kammerknabe by Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, whose Kapelle was one of the best in Vienna; from ...