Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Orozco, Rafael

(b Córdoba, 24 Jan 1946; d Rome, 24 April 1996). Spanish pianist. From 1952 he studied at the Córdoba Conservatory (where his teachers included his father and his aunt) and, from 1960, at the Madrid Conservatory. By the time he graduated in 1964 he had won prizes in competitions at Bilbao and Jaén. From the age of 17 he studied with Alexis Weissenberg, at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and elsewhere; Maria Curcio-Diamond was another important influence. After he won the 1966 Leeds Piano Competition he developed an international career, with engagements in London, at several British festivals and in many European and American cities. Giulini's enthusiasm for his playing was a significant factor in the development of his career. Orozco was an exuberant virtuoso, at his best in such works as Rachmaninoff's concertos, which allowed full display of his sparkling technique, in particular of the evenness and dexterity of his fingerwork. He made admired recordings of the Rachmaninoff concertos, and of the complete Iberia by Albéniz. In his last years his musicianship became more reflective: with a less hectic concert schedule, he turned to composers he had hitherto avoided, notably Schubert. He died of AIDS-related illnesses at the age of only 50.


Orozov, Karamoldo (Toktomambet)

(b 1883; d 1960). Kyrgyz komuz player and composer. He was a pupil of Murataaly Kurenkeyev and a representative of the classical school of komuz players of Kyrgyzstan. His kyuu (programmatic instrumental pieces) include Ibarat (‘Edification’), an orchestral version of which became popular under the title Prazdnichnaya ubertyura (‘Festive Overture’), Nasyikat (‘Sermon’), Kokoi kesti (‘Sad Recollection), Kambarkan (a traditional topic for Kyrgyz komuz players in honour of Kambar, the legendary inventor of the komuz), Syngan bugu (‘An Aggrieved Representative of the Bugu Clan’) and Dyunyuio (‘Peace’). In 1928 A.V. Zatayevich recorded 31 of Orozov's kyuu, and tape recordings of his 60 works are kept in the sound archive of the Krygyz radio station.


V.S. Vinogradov: Kirgizskiye narodnïye muzïkanti i pevtsï [Kyrgyz folk musicians and singers] (Moscow, 1972), 48–59



A wire-strung plucked instrument of the Bandora family, of similar scalloped shape but smaller and tuned like the lute. It appeared slightly later than the bandora, the first literary reference to it being in a poem (1590) by Michael Drayton. Thereafter it was mentioned with increasing familiarity and was listed in household inventories so frequently that it must have been played almost as widely as the lute. By the end of the 17th century it had fallen into disuse, along with many other plucked instruments. The curious name of the instrument was also used for the title of a book, Greenes Orpharion (1599), which the author derives from ‘Orpheus and Arion, two, famous in their time for their instruments’. It would seem that, like the bandora, the orpharion was redolent of classical symbolism (see Wells, 1982).

Of the surviving instruments hitherto thought to be orpharions, the earliest, made by John Rose in 1580, may well be a high-pitch bandora (see Bandora for further discussion and Rose, John for illustration). Another, by Francis Palmer and dated 1617, is housed in the Claudius Collection at Copenhagen (see fig.1). It has nine double courses and is exactly the shape depicted in contemporary illustrations. Although it is a little smaller than the scale drawing of Praetorius (Theatrum instrumentorum, 1620), all its dimensions are within a centimetre of those recorded around 1690 by Talbot (see Gill, GSJ, 1960). The bridge and frets are slanted to give a progressive increase in string length from treble (53·5 cm) to bass (60·5 cm). The pegbox, topped with a carved head in typical English style, is of ‘viol’ type with lateral pegs. The instrument’s ribs do not taper in depth, but the neck is cut away on the bass side as on a cittern. Until the 1980s this instrument was the only example of its type known to have survived, though certain features and marks on the pegbox and head suggest that it is not quite in its original state (see Segerman and Abbott, 1976).

In 1982, however, attention was drawn to another orpharion in the Historisches Museum, Frankfurt (see Segerman, 1982; fig.2). This anonymous, undated eight-course instrument is much smaller than the one in Copenhagen and has string lengths of only 42·5 cm (treble) and 48 cm (bass). To judge from photographs, there are again features here that may not be original, including the pegbox, metal tuning pins, bridge position and possibly the bridge itself, which may date from a restoration carried out in 1957. Nevertheless the instrument is of great interest. A larger example, with nine courses, was reported in 1983 at the Städtisches Museum, Brunswick.

The earliest collection of orpharion music is found in William Barley’s New Booke of Tabliture, published in three parts for Lute, Orpharion and Bandora in 1596. This also contains the first full description and illustration of the instrument, described as ‘the Stately Orpharion’. Barley continues:

… the Orpharion is strong with more stringes than the Lute, and also hath more frets or stops, and whereas the Lute is strong with gut stringes, the Orpharion is strong with wire stringes, by reason of which manner of stringing, the Orpharion doth necessarilie requrie a more gentle and drawing stroke than the Lute, I mean the fingers of the right hand must be easilie drawen over the stringes, and not suddenly griped, or sharpelie stroken as the Lute is: for if yee should doo so, then the wire stringer would clash or jarre together the one against the other; which would be a cause that the sounde would bee harsh and unpleasant.

Barley’s reference to the number of strings is explained by the fact that his lute has only six courses, whereas his orpharion has seven, as can be seen in his illustration (fig.3) and in the music itself. The lowest course is tuned a tone below the sixth, giving the intervals 2–4–4–3–4–4. It has been suggested that this setting for the seventh course distinguishes orpharion music from that for the lute, but in fact there is a considerable repertory, both English and continental, for a seven-course lute tuned the same way. The woodcut also shows the sloping bridge and frets, which had great importance as far as the open string range was concerned; indeed, it was this increase in range that made the orpharion possible.

Whereas the bandora was never extended beyond seven courses, the development of the orpharion was roughly the same as that of the lute. Praetorius illustrated a seven-course instrument, but gave tunings for eight courses (D–F–G–c–f–a–d'–g', and a tone higher). The undated instrument in Frankfurt has eight courses; the Palmer at Copenhagen and the Brunswick example have nine. Ten courses are required for the orpharion pavan in Pilkington’s second set of madrigals (1624). When Talbot noted the dimensions of an orpharion (c1695), he added:

Tis a kind of tenor to the Cittern carrying 9 double ranks sometimes 7. Fretts 15. Some like the English Theorbo carrie 5 double 8ve ranks of open Basses on 5 Nutts on long head besides those 7 on the plate.

Because of the identical tuning, there is nothing to distinguish music for orpharion from that for lute; indeed, the two instruments were largely regarded as interchangeable, as is made clear by the title-pages of many of the English books of ‘lute’ songs published between 1597 and 1622. There is some incomplete music ‘for 3 Orph’ and ‘for iii Wiers’ [i.e. three viols] in the Cambridge consort books (GB-Cu Dd.3.18 f.55–6 [orpharion parts], Dd.5.20 f.10v and Dd.5.21 f.11 [viol parts]) that seem to require a bass orpharion, which Praetorius called Penorcon.


PraetoriusSM, ii


W. Barley: A New Booke of Tabliture … to Play on Sundry Instruments, as the Lute, Orpharion and Bandora (London, 1596); ed. W.W. Newcomb as Lute Music of Shakespeare’s Time (Philadelphia, 1966)

D. Gill: ‘An Orpharion by John Rose’, LSJ, ii (1960), 33–40

D. Gill: ‘The Orpharion and Bandora’, GSJ, xiii (1960), 14–25

D. Gill: ‘James Talbot’s Manuscript, v: Plucked Strings – the Wire-strung Fretted Instruments and the Guitar’, GSJ, xv (1962), 60–69

J. Godwin: ‘Instruments in Robert Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi … historia’, GSJ, xxvi (1973), 2–14

J. Godwin: ‘Robert Fludd on the Lute and Pandora’, LSJ, xv (1973), 11–19

R. Hadaway: ‘An Instrument-Maker’s Report on the Repair and Restoration of an Orpharion’, GSJ, xxviii (1975), 37–42

E. Segerman and D. Abbott: ‘On the Palmer Orpharion’, FoMRHI Quarterly, no.3 (1976), 48–56

D. Gill: Wire-Strung Plucked Instruments Contemporary with the Lute, Lute Society Booklets, iii (London, 1977)

D. Gill: ‘Bandora, Orpharion and Guitar’, GSJ, xxxi (1978), 144 only

I. Harwood: ‘A Case of Double Standards? Instrumental Pitch in England c1600’, EMc, ix (1981), 470–81

E. Segerman: ‘Orpharion News’, FoMRHI Quarterly, no.27 (1982), 25–8

R.H. Wells: ‘The Orpharion: Symbol of a Humanist Ideal’, EMc, x (1982), 427–40


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