[cantabile] Report on the July 19th meeting

We did:

  • Gervaise, Dix bransles Gays
  • Susato, Rondes, plus a few more
  • Drinking songs
    • Vive la Serpe
    • Slaves are they that heap up mountains
    • Cakes and ale
  • Dowland
    • Come, heavy sleep
    • Come again
    • Now, o now

Remember that we don’t meet on July 26, and everybody should go to
the West Gallery Quire
workshop with Francis Roads in Newton instead. So our next meeting is
August 2 at the usual time and place.

[cantabile] Report on July 5 meeting (with July schedule)

We played:

  • Morley, Cruel you pull away too soon
  • Dowland, My heart and tongue were twinnes
  • Vive la Serpe
  • Slaves are they that heap up mountains
  • Washington Post March
  • Il Bianco e dolce Cigno, Arcadelt and Vecchi

We decided to not meet on Tuesday, July 12, as several people had
other commitments, and those who don’t can see some of the people who
do if they want to by going to the MIT contra dance.

We will also not be meeting on Tuesday, July 26, because of the
West Gallery workshop with Francis Roads.

So the next meetings will be July 19 and August 2, at 7:45 PM at
the usual place.

[cantabile] Report on June 28th meeting

We played:

  • Gervaise, Dix Bransles de Champaigne
  • Morley, Farewell, disdainful
  • Dowland, Where Sinne sore wounding
  • Slaves are they that heap up mountains
  • Arcadelt, Il bianco e dolce Cigno
  • Vecchi, Il bianco e dolce Cigno
  • Let us drink and be merry

The discussion about how to get copies of “finished” works took
place after several people had left. But Anne would prefer xeroxing
to paying for xeroxing, and can get it free if she supplies paper.
So she has a ream of my paper, and will be doing 5 or 6 copies of the
latest Drinking Songs over the next couple of weeks. I will be
checking and correcting the Dowland Third Book over that time, and
will then look for a volunteer to xerox that. Those who feel they
should be contributing more to the group should consider how they could
assist that effort. Unlike many groups, this group doesn’t require a
financial contribution very often, but like all groups, it does need
everyone to be aware of the work that goes into making it work, and to
contribute to the work as well as they can.

It occurred to me while compiling the list of pieces we did that
someone raised a question about finding the pitches on the
“More…Fill…More…Fill” section of “Slaves are they” which we
didn’t answer, so we’ll try to work on that better the next time.

Another issue that’s come up recently is whether we should be doing
more dance music. It works better for background music gigs, and
Ishmael thinks that with some work on the style we could even get gigs
playing for real dancers. But of course if people are more interested
in the vocal music, it doesn’t make sense to take time from that. So
let me know what you think.

[cantabile] Plans for the June 28 meeting

We’ll have a new Dowland (Where sinne sore wounding daily doth
oppresse me), and the people who missed the picnic (you missed a good
one, pictures) should
have a chance to play the Bransle set we did there. Maybe in a 4-foot
and 8-foot version if there are enough of us.

I’m feeling like it’s a good week for carousing in Bacchus’
fountains, so we’ll do “Slaves are they” even though it isn’t a good
week for heaping up mountains.

We need to discuss the problem of getting usable copies of
“finished” work again (see the
previous inconclusive discussion

[publishing] Notation issues at The Boston Early Music Festival

Several people brought up notation issues:

  • At her fringe
    on Wednesday morning, Judith
    spoke of the difficulty in playing 17th and 18th century
    keyboard music from modern editions for organ on a clavichord without
    pedals. The facsimiles apparently are printed on two staves like
    modern piano music, and may or may not have an indication of which
    voices to play on the pedals. The modern editions for organists
    insist on putting the voices they play on the pedals of a modern organ
    onto a third staff, which may make it some easier for someone playing
    an organ with pedals, but makes it harder for anyone playing an
    instrument without them.
  • At the same concert, Dr. Stuart
    gave it as his opinion that people had not in fact played
    from keyboard tablature, but used it as a convenient shorthand for
    notating ideas arrived at at the keyboard. He based this on his
    observation that the existing keyboard music from the 18th century
    which is in staff notation has drips of candle wax and spilled liquids
    on it, but surviving tablature is comparatively pristine.
  • At her masterclass, Ellen
    Hargis discussed the problem of singers’ deciding where to breath in
    long florid passages. She believed that the regular beaming of notes
    in modern editions makes the problem harder, as the beams obscure the
    shape of the melody, and she urged people doing their own editions to
    avoid beaming which doesn’t occur in the original editions.
  • I wasn’t there, but several people told me that John Tyson at his workshop and
    , plugged this site
    as one of the best sources of Renaissance music in existence based on
    the provision of unbarred parts and original beamings in legible,
    modern clefs.

I don’t remember this much discussion of notation at previous
BEMF’s. So maybe what I’m doing is really on the cutting edge and
everybody will be doing it that way any minute now.