How to make a blog entry

Hope finally sent us an email announcement of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education
Renaissance Ensemble concert.

Of course, those who don’t blog can just forward it to any friends
who might be interested in going. This is what is actually going to produce
the audience.

And those of us with email friends who won’t go because of distance
or other commitments, will send it to them anyway, because they may
want to know about what we’re doing.

Those of us with an internet presence, which I’ve had for 15 years
now, will also post it on newsgroups and send it to relevant lists.
So I’m going to send it to:

  • The yahoo recorder list [1]
  • The yahoo cornetto list [2]

And thinking about that list of places suggests that there are
related things to post to:

  • Writing on Your Palm [3], which is a very chatty list that was
    originally about the various technologies that make Palm pilot
    computers useful to writers, but now covers just about anything the
    dozen or so regulars feel like talking about, and some of them may
    appreciate a break from politics to talk about music for a while.
  • linux audio users [4], which might be interested in the link to the
    documentation of the concert.

Once you’re sending the announcement beyond your circle of
immediate friends, you need to provide a bit of context. I think I’ll
do that by including a pointer to the extensive documentation of last
term’s concert. [5]

And now make it a real blog entry.

The above was all written of the top of my head, so could have
easily been done on a PDA in a park or at a bar or restaurant.

But notice that there are a bunch of things that should be linked
to that I have to look up in a browser, and I don’t think I’ve yet got
the technology on the zaurus set up so that that would be anything
like as easy as it is here on the desktop, nor do I think that’s

So here are the links that need to be filled in:

  3., website
  5. December

And now I want to write a blog entry about the program and what I’m
practicing on it, so I can link to that, too.

I also realized thinking about this that there isn’t a link from
the personal blog to the site blog, so I’ll put that in, too. And
looking at that made it clear that the whole navigation bar on the
personal blog needed rethinking.

So this blogging does save some time over maintaining a static
website, but it can be a fair amount of work.

Flaws in the above

Having just done pretty much the above, and gotten most of the
postings in context, I can see some problems with what I did:

  • All the non-local lists should have had something like [LOCAL,
    Massachusetts, USA] in the heading.
  • It would have been better to put all the personal email addresses
    in a Bcc: header. This might have meant I didn’t have to approve the
    ones to the mailman lists that said “too many recipients”.

[Cantabile] Report on the March 8 meeting

It was yet another “Wow, we had 4 people” meeting on a dark and stormy
night. Everybody had either walked and had ice blown into their faces
by the blizzard-force winds or driven and had to chip their cars out
of several inches of ice.

We decided that the April 2 performance would be a combination of the
April music and the Swan music. So it will be a subset of:

I will do timings, and we may decide at the last minute to do more
verses of the better-sounding ones rather than fewer verses of the
ones that don’t sound so good. Surprisingly, last night “April is in
my Mistress’ face was in the latter category, so I may ask Lisa to let
me know if anyone else is doing that one. Although the last I heard,
we may be the only group with more than 3 players.

That list is what we’ll be doing with John Tyson on March 15, so
please let me know if you aren’t able to print them all, so that I can
have enough copies.

If the weather improves enough that we start being able to work on
five-voice pieces, we may add the Vecchi “Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno” for
the May performance, but I think it’s too late to do it in April.

So here’s what we did:

  1. Bicinia, several Fantasias
  2. Bastienne, Bastienne, vous avés changé d’amis
  3. April is in my Mistress’ face
  4. Me, me and none but me
  5. Arcadelt, Il Bianco e dolce Cigno
  6. Clear or Cloudy
  7. Josquin, Adieu mes amours
  8. Mouton, Adieu mes amours, double canon
  9. Quand je bois

I think “Adieu mes amours” will work well as part of a set about
having no money, with “Quand je bois”.

Plan for March 8 meeting

We will be meeting tonight, Tuesday, March 8, at the usual time and


We have to decide both what we’re playing on April 2 and what we want
to work on with John Tyson next week.

I know Barney said he couldn’t make it on March 15, but he’s also
not playing April 2, so that’s OK. I’ll be having a lesson with John
on Thursday, and talking to him then about what we want to work on, so
if any of Anne, Bonnie, Bruce, Ishmael, and Stuart can’t make it on
the 15th, I’l like to know by the 10th.

I’ve been saying that it will be either drinking songs or river music,
because April 2 is too early for May music. But lately I’ve been
thinking that there are two April songs on the May music program, both
of which are based on the same Italian poem. So my current thinking
is we do those, and either two “Silver Swan”s or two “Rivers of


  • April is in my mistress’ face
  • Clear or cloudy

And either:

  • The Silver Swan
  • Arcadelt, Il blanco e doce Cigno


  • Estans Assis
  • Campian or Billings

Right now I’m leaning towards the Swans, on the grounds that it’s a
recorder society event, and the Billings isn’t really a recorder

So I want to run all of the above tonight, as well as the Vecchi
“Il bianco e dolce Cigno”.

New Music

We didn’t run the three-part Dowland I transcribed last week. It may
take more time that we have, but if not, it would be good to not leave
it on the spindle for too long.

John and I have been doing a couple of settings of “Adieu mes amours”,
and if I get around to transcribing the one from the Odhecaton, we
might do those.

If the weather leaves us with only three parts, we have a bunch more
French stuff to read through, or we can struggle through the Dowland 3
part things again. And of course run the French drinking songs.

If it’s only two parts, some of us will be getting good at Morley or
Lassus or someone.

Future directions

We have another deadline we should be considering, which is that the
Boston Early Music Festival is happening in June. The last two
festivals have been fairly fertile recruiting grounds for us, so we
should think about what direction we want the group to move in, since
that will affect how we want to advertise it.

Currently, the group is serving several functions:

  1. A place to sightread a lot of music that nobody hears or plays
    very much.
  2. A performing group.
  3. A place where people who are learning a new instrument can play it
    with others.
  4. A place for people to play and occasionally perform that doesn’t
    require a weekly commitment.

(1) has been fairly consistent over the years; (2) is more
important now than it was two or four years ago, and (3) is losing
importance, although it was uppermost in my mind when I formed the
group, and is still emphasized in the website description.

(2) and (3) are pretty incompatible; (1) is actually an asset for
(2) although of course it takes up time we don’t have in the heat of
performance preparation. (4) is also incompatible with (2).

So I think the real thing we have to decide is do we want to emphasize
the performing, in which case we would probably want to recruit only
other people who are interested in performing, and would want to
reduce the drop-in component, and the encouraging beginners on new

As you may have noticed, the rehearsal schedule for the upcoming
performances is a weekly schedule, although I’m not expecting everyone
to come every week. I’m considering reducing the drop-in component to
the group by saying that it meets every week, and possibly designating
one or two meetings a month as particularly suitable for new members
to come.

So we’ll talk about some of this tonight, and if you can’t make it
tonight but have opinions, please let me know.

First transcription from Petrucci’s Odhecaton

I bought the Broude Brothers’ facsimile 2 years ago at the Boston
Early Music Festival, but haven’t done much with it. I’m playing some
with John Tyson at my lessons now, and thought it would be fun to try
them with the Cantabile Renaissance Band.
The one I started with is the Josquin “Adieu
mes amours”
, which we also have as a
double canon by Jean Mouton.

(There is one piece from the Odhecaton, ‘James, James’, on the site, but I used
that as a test piece to see if I could get notation out of Alain
Naigeon’s MIDI file. I think I ended up just entering the ABC; I
might be able to deal with the MIDI file now.

The original is a beautiful book — the lilypond output looks really
clunky compared to what Petrucci did. I’ve tried to mimic the
Petrucci layout by using landscape, and putting the cantus and tenor
on the verso page and the altus and bassus on the recto.

This is one of the first books of printed music ever, and it didn’t
underlay the words to many of the songs. Nobody quite knows whether
they just used instruments, or the singers sang la, la or solfege
syllables, or whether they got the words from somewhere else. In this
case, I got the words off the internet. I intended to just underlay
the Tenor part, which is just the unornamented tune, but the Bassus
part was also pretty undecorated, so I did that too. So as the
arrangement stands now, you could do it with male voices and recorder
obligato. It could be that I’ll decide to underlay the Cantus and
Altus later.

Final email from Bruce about Medway gig

Hello again! This is the absolutely final email about the Medway gig. Tha
nk you all for a pair of productive rehearsals. I think this will be fun.

1. All the stuff in the long email from Monday night is still correct, ex

a. Gwehelog Grace – this is being done with the congregation. Add an Inst
rumental verse as introduction, then the 2 verses and Amen as written.

b. We’re not doing Lydia, Frome, or Allendale. These were extras in case
we needed them, but we already have enough songs.

2. I would like to be ready to go by 8:30. The service starts at 8:45, an
d I don’t want a lot of last-minute messing around while the congregation
is coming in. If we’re ready at 8:30, we can tune the instruments well,
maybe sing something as warmup music, and be relaxed and settled when it’
s time to start.

3. Singers should stand up to sing. I will forget this; if one person rem
embers the others will see it and remember also.
There are enough chairs for everyone; I checked last night. Tenors and ba
sses might be a little squished. If anyone doesn’t like those metal chair
s, there were a couple of wooden ones somewhere.
Please don’t wear anything with perfume or odor. It’s pretty tight quarte
rs, and I get sneezy. I hope they don’t use incense!

4. Communion will be served at the railing between us and the congregatio
n, so we won’t have everyone walking between us. A couple of us will nee
d to go elsewhere so the servers can stand there.
The front row people, when we’re not doing anything, should try to keep y
our stands, feet, &c., back, so they don’t get trod upon by the servers.

5. CORRECT ORDER of SONGS. There are also a couple of hymns & canticles f
rom the hymnal, which you can sing if you want.

– Prelude: PSALM 122.


– ZADOCK. after first lesson.

– PSALM 23rd. after second lesson.

The Sermon:







– Offertory Hymn: CRANBROOK. With the congregation.

– Communion Hymn: GWEHELOG GRACE. With the congregation.

– Postlude: PENTONVILLE.

I hope that’s everything! Let me know if you have any questions or answer
s. I’ll see you on Sunday!



Schedule for Spring performances


Here’s who I think is playing with us:

On April 2:

  • Laura
  • Anne
  • Bruce
  • Bonnie
  • Ishmael

At the Walk for Hunger on May 1:

  • Laura
  • Barney
  • Patricia
  • Anne
  • Bonnie
  • Stuart
  • Ishmael
  • Paul

If I’m missing anyone, or including anyone erroneously, let me know as
soon as possible.

Dates to save

  • March 8, only for people playing one of the gigs who can make it
  • March 15. We’ll be meeting with John Tyson and concentrating on
    the April 2 music. This meeting may take place at John’s place,
    details later.
  • March 22, only for people playing one of the gigs who can make it
  • March 29 (this will be limited to and compulsory for the
    people playing the April 2 gig.)
  • Saturday, April 2, 2-4 PM, Central Square Library. We will be
    playing for 15 minutes, either the river music or the drinking songs
  • April 5, only for people doing the Walk for Hunger who can make it
  • April 12, only for people doing the Walk for Hunger who can make it
  • April 19, with John Tyson, again. We’ll be able to discuss the
    April 2 performance, and do some of the stuff for the Walk for Hunger.
  • April 26 (limited to and compulsory for the people doing
    the Walk for Hunger.) Stuart (I think) told me he was mostly
    concerned about Roaring Jelly rehearsals before NEFFA, and didn’t mind
    missing this one.
  • Sunday, May 1, Walk for Hunger. I haven’t set the schedule, but
    it’s likely that it will be like last year, where we play the same 45
    minute program twice, with someone else playing a set in
    between ours, ending at about 3 PM. So plan on 12:30 to 3:00,
    and coming to the Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse afterwards.

If you’re on the list of people who are playing, and you can’t make
the compulsory rehearsals, please let me know.

Report on March 1 rehearsal

Between 10 inches and snow and a contra dance at MIT, this was another
low-attendance rehearsal.

  • Phalese Bicinia:
    • O Maria, mater pia
    • Per illud ave prolatum
    • Qui sequitur me
    • Sancti mei
    • Fulgebunt justi
    • Sicut rosa
  • Campian, My love hath vowed he will forsake me
  • Dowland two-part songs from Second Book:
    • Flow my tears
    • Sorrow, sorrow stay
    • Dye not before they day
    • Mourne, mourne
  • I gave her cakes and I gave her ale

Performing notes

On the Campian, “My love hath vowed he will forsake me” we decided
that we will sing 4 verses, with solos on the A sections of 1-3.
Everyone not playing the bass will sing all B sections, and the A
section of verse 4. The bass part isn’t idiomatic for serpent, so it
will be played by cello and/or viol.