Come hear me play this weekend

[Laura and Frank with serpent and dulcian]
Laura Conrad with serpent and Frank Jones with dulcian at NEFFA, 2005

English Country Dance in Harvard Square

The Harvard
Square English Country Dance
is tonight at 7:30 at Harvard-Epworth Church. It’s open band, so you can play some and
dance some or just dance or just play.

I will have both the serpent and some recorders, so it’s a
chance to hear the serpent.

West Gallery Quire

The West Gallery
is meeting this weekend, with guest leaders from
England, and four new tunes.

One of the new tunes is scored for two bassoons, so if you play
bassoon you would be especially welcome. We have two dulcian
(ancestor of the bassoon) players who come from time to time, but
at least one of them will be out of town this weekend.

So it’s likely that we will simulate the bassoons on serpent
and trombone. This is quite authentic — the original West
Gallery musicians just played whatever instrument they had on
whatever part they wanted to. There are complaints from congregation
members about bands where the cello played the tune and the
clarinet played the bass one or two octaves too high.

In any case, this is actually the best way to hear the serpent
— I’m a better West Gallery musician than I am a country dance
bass line player, and the serpent was invented for singing with,
and you’ll be able to sing with it.

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