Possible meanings of “da Spalla”.
There are different suggestions on this matter, each offering an interesting perspective.
Some time ago, Oliver Webber, in a Facebook post, suggested that “da spalla” did not mean “on the shoulder” but “to support”. Same concept as, in the theatre, a second actor interacting with the first one, engaging with him to offer him the chance of the best jokes.
In Italian, this is one of the meanings of da spalla. This suggestion concludes that “da spalla” would not refer to an organological family, like da braccio or da gamba, or the playing posture, da braccio meaning on the arm and da gamba on the leg. Da spalla would indicate not the physical shoulder but a role, that of a continuo player supporting the melody and engaging with it by diminishing the bass line.
Isn’t this fascinating?
Updates from our workshop
We have hot news this week! We just rented a place close to our home where we will install our workshop! It’s a beautiful space with much light and a breathtaking panorama. It will take a few weeks for us to move there, but our dogs are already settled and enjoying the place!
This week I completed the decoration I carved on the back of the pegbox on my instruments. It’s the three flowers from the shield of Meltina, our town. This shield originated from that of the Hafner family. In the 16th century, one of them married someone from the Augsburg family, and they obtained this shield with a role of supremacy on this plateau. Two centuries later, someone with one more “f” in the middle, with origins in South Tyrol and relatives in the Augsburg family, was a close friend of Leopold Mozart and helped him organise his first Italian tour with his son and daughter. Later, Wolfgang A. Mozart dedicated to him an orchestra Serenade and a Symphony, today known as the Haffner Serenade and Haffner Symphony.
Featured video of the week
Enjoy the beautiful playing of violist Pauline Sachse: this Antoniotto sonata seems like something that could enter the da Spalla repertoire!