Bird – The Oriental Miscellany

William Hamilton Bird (c1750-c1804) – The Oriental Miscellany
Jane Chapman (harpsichord) Yu-Wei Hu (baroque flute)
Signum SIGCD415.  74’14

This CD would be attractive enough to listen to without knowing any of the back-story. But it is a fascinating one. William Bird was part of the musical life of the British community in Calcutta in the late 18th century. His Oriental Miscellany (“being a collection of the most favourite Airs of Hindoostan, compiled and adapted for the Harpsichord”), was first published in 1789. It was the first Western attempt to notate traditional Indian music, and contains 30 songs written in a straightforward and approachable style, appropriate for gentle amusement. The list of subscribers Continue reading