As a musician I find myself drawn to unusual instruments and in particular to medieval and ancient instruments. When I arrived at Wagner College I had the privilege and good fortune to meet Dr. Ronald Cross. Ron became a mentor and friend. In February of 2013 I was preparing to play a harp guitar concert for the Belle Lettres Society in NY in just a few days when my phone rang. A friend called to tell me that Ron had passed. Ron was a Musicologist in every sense of the word. He was a scholar and researcher. He was a theorist and at one point in his life a composer. He was also a virtuosic performer on any keyboard instrument although harpsichord was his clear favorite. His passion for early music flows in the blood of every music student who ever studied with him. So you can see my love for early music and instruments runs deep. I had always been a plucked/fretted kind of musician. I took guitar and lute lessons for every semester I was at Wagner. I also took a String Methods class and private piano lessons but I will never be an Itzhak Perlman or Vladimir Horowitz (or even close for that matter). . It seemed odd to pick up the rebec. When I told Ron about my trepidation in approaching the instrument he shared a story from when he was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy. Ron was always a keyboard player but there was a violin in the window of a local shop he had been admiring. One day the shop owner came out to meet him and insisted Ron come in and try out the violin. Ron resisted but eventually did go in and try to play it. After he was done “playing” the violin the shop owner tried to hide his horrified expression and put the instrument back into the window display. When he was done telling me this he just smiled and said “Well, you won’t have to play it in front of an audience your first time.” I’ll put up some highly edited, simple rebec performances soon. For now here are a few pictures of my giant Medieval spoon and its weird bow.

Rebec side view.
Rebec side view.
Rebec front.
Rebec front.
Rebec back.
Rebec back.