The Oriental Miscellany


Harpsichordist Jane Chapman explores The Oriental Miscellany – William Hamilton Bird’s 1789 collection and arrangement of Hindustani airs for harpsichord. Bird’s collection, which was the first ever publication of Indian music notated for Western instruments, also features his own Sonata, incorporating original Indian tunes with flute accompaniment (here performed by baroque flautist Yu-Wei Hu).


What people are saying

Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (GER) – Keyboard Instrument Award 2015

“A fascinating collection, and Jane Chapman uses the nasality available from her Kirckman harpsichord to suggest the drones of some of the original to great effect.” The Irish Times, April 2015

” Jane Chapman plays with a delightful sense of the mood of each piece, adopting an appropriately fluid sense of pulse and a lively interpretation of ornaments and cadenzas.” Andrew Benson Wilson, May 2015

” The playing is smart, clean, refined and inventive…the recording captures European delight in exotica.” Gramophone, July 2015


5* – An intriguing recording…a welcome project.” Early Music Review, August 2015


Of Clefs and Chords : ‘The Indian Express’ article linked here

“Wild but pleasing when understood” : Jane Chapman explains the project and talks with journalist Suanshu Khurana from the Indian Express (Delhi) linked here


Jane Chapman harpsichord

Release date:6th Apr 2015
Order code:SIGCD415
Barcode: 635212041529

Jane Chapman plays with a delightful sense of the mood of each piece, adopting an appropriately fluid sense of pulse and a lively interpretation of ornaments and cadenzas. She is playing the recently restored 1772 Jacob Kirkman harpsichord in the Horniman Museum. This is the largest of Kirckman’s instruments and has a wide range of colourful sounds, including lute, machine stops and a nags-head swell, all heard to good effect on this CD. The CD concludes with Bird’s pretty four-movement “Sonata for harpsichord and flute’, here played beautifully by Yu-Wei Hu.

This CD is the result of a research project at King’s College, London. Bird’s volume was dedicated to Warren Hastings “in the humble hope that the following Exertion of musical Talents will prove acceptable” I don’t know what Hastings thought of it, but it is certainly ‘acceptable’ to me.

Andrew Benson Wilson

Harpsichordist Jane Chapman has taken liberties with the original source, and for the most part they are welcome…she has included extracts from another source [and] she is free with repetitions and ornamentation…if one is looking primarily for musical authenticity, she provides it in this sense: the recording captures the European delight in exotica, especially its liberating power on musical fancy.


 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (GER) – Keyboard Instrument Award 2015
  1. The Oriental Miscellany: IV. Rekhtah: Mutru be khoosh nuwa bego – William Hamilton Bird – 2.19
  2. The Oriental Miscellany: I. Gat – William Hamilton Bird – 2.24
  3. The Oriental Miscellany: II. Rekhtah: Sakia! Fusul beharust – William Hamilton Bird – 3.04
  4. The Oriental Miscellany: III. Tuppah: Kia kam keea dil ne? – William Hamilton Bird – 2.33
  5. The Oriental Miscellany: XXII. Tuppah: Deem tere na? – William Hamilton Bird – 0.47
  6. The Oriental Miscellany: V. Tuppah: Ouwal keh mura buh isht razee kurdi – William Hamilton Bird – 1.54
  7. The Oriental Miscellany: VI. Rekhtah: Soonre mashukan! be wufa! – William Hamilton Bird – 2.50
  8. The Oriental Miscellany: VII. Rekhtah: Ky bashud! O ky bashud! – William Hamilton Bird – 1.17
  9. The Oriental Miscellany: VIII. Tuppah: Hi purri chehreh! – William Hamilton Bird – 1.56
  10. The Oriental Miscellany: IX. Terana: Autese boli, bundoo! – William Hamilton Bird – 1.11
  11. The Oriental Miscellany: X. Rekhtah: Gid a Shumba – William Hamilton Bird – 1.38
  12. The Oriental Miscellany: XI. Rekhtah: Susha myra bear – William Hamilton Bird – 5.07
  13. The Oriental Miscellany: XII. Tuppah: Dande kala – William Hamilton Bird – 2.28
  14. The Oriental Miscellany: XIII. Terana: Dandera vakee – William Hamilton Bird – 1.45
  15. The Oriental Miscellany: XIV. Tuppah: Toom ko sum shouta – William Hamilton Bird – 2.23
  16. The Oriental Miscellany: XV. Rekhtah: Mera peara ab ia re – William Hamilton Bird – 2.25
  17. The Oriental Miscellany: XVI. Tuppah: Kan ja kia – William Hamilton Bird – 2.00
  18. The Oriental Miscellany: XVII. Rekhtah: Quo e? fera que sutke – William Hamilton Bird – 2.13
  19. The Oriental Miscellany: XVIII. Rekhtah: Shisheh bur shrub – William Hamilton Bird – 1.31
  20. The Oriental Miscellany: XIX. Terana: Ya laum, ya laum – William Hamilton Bird – 1.40
  21. The Oriental Miscellany: XX. Rekhtah: Dil me danme lea re – William Hamilton Bird – 1.59
  22. The Oriental Miscellany: XXI. Rekhtah: Mera mutchelli! – William Hamilton Bird – 2.04
  23. The Oriental Miscellany: XXIII. Rekhtah: Hi bibbi mon karalla – William Hamilton Bird – 2.01
  24. The Oriental Miscellany: XXIV. Tuppah: O! yaar O! – William Hamilton Bird – 1.30
  25. The Oriental Miscellany: XXV. Rekhtah: Ley chila re – William Hamilton Bird – 1.21
  26. The Oriental Miscellany: XXVI. Tuppah: Piar mera soon – William Hamilton Bird – 3.13
  27. The Oriental Miscellany: XXVII. Raagney: Mun shuma – William Hamilton Bird – 4.10
  28. The Oriental Miscellany: XXVIII. Rekhtah: Dandie?s song – William Hamilton Bird – 2.02
  29. The Oriental Miscellany: XXIX. Rekhtah: Mooni bibbi nochare – William Hamilton Bird – 1.03
  30. The Oriental Miscellany: XXX. Rekhtah: Rewannah kisty – William Hamilton Bird – 2.29
  31. Sonata for Harpsichord & Flute: I. Allegro Maestoso – William Hamilton Bird – 2.41
  32. Sonata for Harpsichord & Flute: II. Affetuoso – William Hamilton Bird – 1.39
  33. Sonata for Harpsichord & Flute: III. Minuetto – William Hamilton Bird – 1.43
  34. Sonata for Harpsichord & Flute: IV. Jigg – William Hamilton Bird – 2.52
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