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<<  -- 3 --  Jennifer Paull    REMINISCENT RETROSPECTIVES


The Silk Trail developed around 100 BC. This initially commercial route linked the North China planes to Damascus or Antioch, and by boat to Italy and Rome. The Trail remained in use until about 500 AD; six thousand kilometres of potential danger. The goods were very precious; silk, gold, silver and wool, but much more than goods was exchanged. Abandoned until the 13th Century, Marco Polo retraced its path again to China, one century after the opening of Bologna university.

Everything to do with music permeated us in a similar way. Our modes and tonality, diverse ingredients and style unite in a tapestry of stitches belonging to different needles. A commotion about the Euro ? International travel and communications, have never been so simple!

Are we still as adventurous and courageous? Would we still risk our lives today in a quest for knowledge? The answer must be yes. The number of dedicated people actively participating in space research or study at the North Pole, or similar, missions is relatively small. Life-threatening risk would no longer be acceptable as a necessary price for studying musical composition. It is sadly present in the lives of those who defend our society, however. It always has been.

The communicating of cultural and artistic knowledge has been like a seed in the wind, a matter of random circumstance. The story of the 'Folia' is one of the most curious of such, and provides an excellent illustration. For nearly three and a half centuries, the Early Folia succeeded by the Later Folia enjoyed great popularity with composers and public alike. One same theme was set simultaneously by composers throughout Europe, particularly in Italy, France, Germany and England. Originally brought to Portugal from the Orient by sailors, the Folia spread like wild fire!

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Copyright © 11 January 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland






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