David Douglass


Born: 1953  
David Douglass is a violinist and a researcher into the style and technique of the violin in Renaissance times, and is known for his performances and leadership of various early music ensembles. He is the founder of the King's Noyse, North America's only professional Renaissance violin band.

Although the bowed string instruments most overwhelmingly associated with the Renaissance period are the various viols (particularly the viola da
Read more gamba), Douglass became interested in the use of his instrument during that period. Written accounts of the period and pictures make it clear that violins (in this case meaning the whole family, including violins of varying sizes, viola, and violoncello, but excluding the string bass, which, being a viol, is not a member of the violin family) were present and popular, especially for dance music.

Douglass believed that unlike the other strings, the violin instruments were regarded as the province of professionals and were taught by direct individual instruction from master to apprentice, with the secrets of technique rarely written down. Viols, on the other hand, were often played by amateurs, so there were plenty of instruction books and books of tunes and consort music for them to play.

Douglass has researched the set-up and performing style of the violin, and tours as a Renaissance violin soloist. He is a member of Musicians of Swanne Alley in addition to the Newberry Consort, in which he plays other medieval stringed instruments including the viola da gamba. He has been a guest artist with the Harp Consort, the Parley of Instruments, the Toronto Consort, and the Folger Consort.

Douglass' researches into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dance and consort music led to his founding the King's Noyse. Douglass has provided much of the group's repertory by his arranging of tunes found in dancing manuals of the time and other sources, drawing on a rich stock of British ballad and country dance tunes, as well as improvising on bass lines and playing tunes from memory. In addition, the group plays compositions more often played today on consorts of viols, which is appropriate since much of the string consort music of the period was written so it could be played by either type of instrumental formation.

Douglass is a member of the Artist Faculty at the Aston Magna Academy. He frequently lectures on early violin technique, style, and repertory, and teaches at many summer festivals and workshops. He records exclusively with Harmonia Mundi USA. Read less
Browse 1-6 of 6 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Joyne Hands - Music Of Thomas Morley / Swanne Alley, Red Byrd
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 91214 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Morley,  Peter Philips,  Giovanni Conversi,  Nicholas Strogers  ... 
    Performer:  Patricia Adams Nordstrom,  Christel Thielmann,  Paul O'Dette,  Lyle Nordstrom  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musicians of Swanne Alley,  Red Byrd
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 2.
    Playing With Fire - Art Of The Renaissance Instrumentalist
    Label: Folger Consort   Catalog: 5637300081 Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Francisco de la Torre,  Francesco Da Milano,  King VIII Henry  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Eisenstein,  Tina Chancey,  David Douglass,  Christopher Kendall  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Folger Consort
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  • 3.
    Century Vol 4 - Troubadours, Trouvères & Minnesänger
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908166 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  King of Navarre Thibaut,  Gautier de Coincy,  Anonymous,  Folquet de Marseille  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Lawrence-King,  Paul Hillier,  Ian Honeyman,  Julian Podger  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Lawrence-King,  René Clemencic,  Paul Hillier,  Mary Springfels
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harp Consort,  Clemencic Consort,  Theatre of Voices  ... 
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    CD: $13.99
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  • 4.
    English Country Dances / Lawrence-King, O'Dette, Douglass
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 3957186 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Playford,  Traditional,  Anonymous
    Performer:  David Douglass,  Andrew Lawrence-King,  Paul O'Dette
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 5.
    Italian Renaissance Dances Vol 2 / Hargis, O'Dette, Douglass, The King's Noyse
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 3957127 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Crecquillon,  Anonymous,  Giovanni Bassano,  Orazio Vecchi  ... 
    Performer:  Paul O'Dette,  Ellen Hargis,  Nancy Mayer,  David Douglass
    Conductor:  David Douglass
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The King's Noyse
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 6.
    Torrejón Y Velasco: La Púrpura De La Rosa
    Label: Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77355 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco
    Performer:  Maria Del mar Doval,  Johanna Almark,  Santina Tomasello,  Gabriela de Geanx  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Lawrence-King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harp Consort
    CD: $34.99
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