Today in Lansing: Baroque in Miniature at Turner-Dodge House


Live music at Turner-Dodge House

7 to 10 p.m.


Turner Dodge House

100 E. North St., Lansing

Click here for event page

THURSDAY, SEPT. 14 — Explore the Baroque era of music in Lansing’s historic home with a solo performance by Arnie Tanimoto and his viola de gamba.

“The viola de gamba is often mistaken as a predecessor of the viola, cello or violin because it looks similar,” Tanimoto said. “It actually was a separate style of instrument popular in the Renaissance era.”

The viola de gamba also resembles a guitar in the way it has six strings tuned similarly and frets, he added.

Featuring artists like Bach, Vivaldi and Handel, the Baroque era of music refers to Western European compositions between 1600 to 1750. It can be credited to giving rise to the cantata, concerto, sonata, oratorio and opera.

The Baroque era, and popularity of the viola de gamba, died out in the late 18th-century, Tanimoto said. “Concerts were moving from small chambers to concert halls. It was in competition with the cello, and couldn't compete in terms of volume,” he said.

“There is also the socioeconomic component. It was an instrument of the aristocracy, and in the late 18th century, we are dealing with the French Revolution.”

An Okemos-native, Tanimoto now lives in New York, but performs in concert halls around the world. He was the first viola de gamba major at the Juilliard School, switching from a cello major after falling in love with the instrument.

“It sounds impressive, but I have to admit the degree is frankly a relatively new program started in 2009,” Tanimoto said. “For some reason I clicked with my viola de gamba teacher and I just had to switch.”

The Turner-Dodge House setting is ideal for the viola de gamba and Baroque music.

“A lot of Baroque music was performed in small chambers for small groups of maybe 20 at most.”

Being able to perform in Lansing is always a treat for Tanimoto.

“I grew up in a great school system with a good orchestra and community that fed into my early music training. It is nice to come back and play for these people who helped raise me to become a musician.”

Other events in Lansing:

Celebrate Lansing’s First Historic District Church

5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Lansing Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing

Detroit Author Michael Zadoorian: Beautiful Music

7 to 9 p.m., Schuler Books and Music, 1982 W. Grand River Ave., Ste. 715, Okemos

“Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical”

7 to 9:30 p.m., Riverwalk Theatre, 228 Museum Dr., Lansing


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