[cantabile] Meeting Reminder, Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Again, this is not a dropin group. This meeting is limited to and
compulsory for the people performing on May 1 at the Walk for Hunger.
We resume our regularly scheduled dropin group next week.

We have a lot of work to do at this rehearsal. Please come in time so
that we can be set up and tuned and ready to start playing at 7:45 PM.

Play list

The play order is as follows. Please have your music in order:

  • May music
    • Now is the month of Maying.
    • My love hath vowed she will forsake me.
    • Good Morrow, fair ladies of the May
    • Clear or Cloudy.
  • Swan songs
    • Silver Swan
    • Me, me and none but me
    • Il Bianco e dolce Cigno
  • Drinking Songs
    • Changeons propos
    • Vignons, vignons
    • Quand je Bois
    • Rounds
  • Babylon
    • Campian, Babylon Streams
    • Estans Assis
    • Billings, Lamentation over Boston


Ishmael recorded a lot of last week’s coaching session, and I found
it very helpful to listen to it. He dumped his recording to a
(1-track, 77 minute) CD, and Bonnie and I listened to it yesterday.

For those with good internet access, the track is a (humongous)
.wav file and a (large) .ogg file at
serpent.laymusic.org/~lconrad/audio/cantabile-0405. If
anyone would be helped by there being a .mp3 file, I can make one of

If there’s someone without good internet access who would like to
borrow the CD, let me know. If there’s more than one person, making
copies of the CD before tomorrow’s meeting would be pretty easy.

Some random thoughts on listening to the CD:

  • The diction on “Clear or Cloudy” was indeed difficult to understand
    on the first time through, and less difficult after John’s coaching
    but still has a lot of room for improvement. If you’re driving or
    showering or walking along the street with nothing better on your
    mind, try speaking the words aloud as a “public speaker”.
  • At least with that recording equipment, I don’t think my voice is
    overpowered, so I withdraw my remarks about the group being top-heavy
    with cornettos and multiple soprano voices on the top line.
  • The startup of every verse of Changeons propos was
    embarrassing. We don’t have time to work on things like that
    tomorrow, so if there’s anything that seems to be working that way it
    gets cancelled. With all those rounds that we’re used to doing and do
    pretty well, we have the luxury of cancelling anything that we don’t
    sound pretty good on the first time through.

[cantabile] Report on the April 26 rehearsal

Finally, we played through the whole program.

We made some decisions:

  • We rehearsed “Now is the month of Maying” with viol instead of
    rackett on the bottom line, so we’ll play it that way.
  • We’ll perform the two “small-group” May songs with the Morley set
    instead of with the 12:30 set. They will be part of the 1:45 set.
  • We decided not to worry about the places where Laura’s playing
    recorder on the second line and Paul and/or Patricia is plaing
    cornetto or fiddle on the top line.
  • Ishmael will be playing and singing the first line of Estans Assis
    solo, and then be joined by Barney when the rest of us come in.
  • Ishmael will be conducting the start of “By the rivers of
    Watertown”, as well as the tempo change on the repeat of the last
    section. He will also be starting us on “Clear or Cloudy”, where I
    play serpent.


The weather prediction at the moment is for partly cloudy, with
temperatures in the low 60’s. Which is pretty comfortable, but
remember that standing around gets colder than brisk walking, the wind
comes up along the river in the afternoon, and of course their ability
to predict how fast weather patterns move is limited, and they are
predicting showers for Saturday. So bring layers.

I’ll bring my keg of carbonated water and some paper cups. If
you’re going to need food between breakfast and 3:30 when Bugaboo
Creek will feed us, bring a snack.

If you’re not driving and would like a chair to sit on, ask one of
the people who is driving to bring an extra.

For my comfort, please arrive in plenty of time. I suggest that
anyone not playing the morning session be there by noon. If you are
playing in the morning, get there at least 15 minutes before you want
to be playing.

The Eustace Diamonds

As I remember it, when I read the Trollope Parliamentary novels in
college, I thought this was the weak one, and I don’t see any reason
to change my mind.

Lizzie Eustace is an example of a character who is on the surface
normal, but ends up being self-destructive. But she’s not anything
like as interesting as the one in “He knew he was right”.

And of course it suffers by having almost nothing to do with all
the characters Trollope has set up in the other novels that we want to
hear more about.

There are also other novels where the course of a lawsuit is
followed more interestingly.

One character whom you would expect to be better examined is
Mr. Camperdown, the family lawyer who pushes the Eustace’s to recover
the diamonds from Lizzie. He seems just as monomaniacal as Lizzie,
with far less excuse.

[cantabile] Report on April 19 coaching session with John Tyson

Rehearsal log

A very productive evening. We did:

  • Clear or Cloudy
  • Changeons Propos
  • Now is the month of Maying
  • My love hath vowed he will forsake me
  • The Silver Swan

Decision log

We made some decisions:

  • Dynamics in Now is the Month of Maying: Second verse, loud on “and
    to the bagpipes sound” and soft on “the nymphs tread out the ground”;
    Third verse: soft on “say dainty nymphs and speak”; crescendo through
    “shall we play barley break”.
  • Parts on Silver Swan — Paul will not play cornetto the first time
  • Key on Silver Swan will be D rather than Eb. This means that if
    you’re playing on the instrumental, you should print out your part
    especially if you’re playing quintus or altus, which had errors in
    them when I looked. (The errors had been fixed in the source, but the
    fixes hadn’t made it to the pdf.)

More decisions

We have some more decisions to make; input is welcomed.

Program order.

I’ve listed the sets as:

  • May music
  • Drinking music
  • river music
    • Swans
    • Babylon

This gives us our typical “Begin with Morley and end with Billings”,
but means that there’s a lot of pretty serious music at the end. Also,
if I mistime the program, we may play the wrong number of rounds in
the Drinking songs set.

So I think it might make more sense to do:

  • May music
  • Swans
  • Drinking songs
  • Babylon

Let me know what you think.


I think we were starting to be a bit top-heavy last night. Some of
this is that people weren’t really looking at their part assignments,
and I had other things to do than policing them. I’m sure I attempted
to move either Patricia or Anne to the second line whenever there would
otherwise have been Patricia, Anne, and Paul on top and only me on

I don’t want to make anyone do a part they aren’t comfortable with,
and the balance will be so different outdoors that it’s hard for us to
make reasonable decisions anyway. But if you’re ok with the move, I
think it would be better to at least try the decisions I made on

On “My love hath vowed”, I was expecting everybody to sing the B
section and the fourth verse A section (not just the people listed for
vocal solos). I was also thinking we might have instrumental support
on the top line. I’m assuming the people who weren’t singing or
playing had neglected to print the music out. Please do so (or ask me
to) by Tuesday, so we can play with this a little.

I will be posting a final order with updated part assignments
before the Tuesday meeting, so let me know what you think about any of
this by Sunday.


Remember that the rehearsal on April 26 starts at 7:45 PM, and
people who need to do setup and tuning should arrive in time to do it
before the start time.

The May 1 schedule is:

  • 10:30 – 10:45 Laura solo
  • 10:45 – 11:30 Ishmael dance music, including others as he
    considers appropriate. Let him know if you want to be included
  • 11:30 – 12 Laura and Bonnie, Morley duos
  • 12 – 12:30 Quilisma Consort
  • 12:30 – 1:15 Cantabile Renaissance Band
  • 1:15 – 1:45 Quilisma Consort
  • 1:45 – 2:30 Cantabile Renaissance Band
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Greatest hits from previous sets whose performers
    are still there

If you aren’t playing the morning sessions, arrive as soon after
noon as possible, so that we can be set up and ready to go as soon as
Qulisma finishes their set.

[cantabile] Plans for the April 19 coaching session with John Tyson

We’re expecting the following people:

  1. Laura Conrad (voice, brass, recorder)
  2. Barney Gage (voice, recorder)
  3. Patricia Hawkins (voice, fiddle)
  4. Anne Kazlauskas (voice)
  5. Bonnie Rogers (voice, bass viol, recorder)
  6. Ishmael Stefanov-Wagner (voice, fiddle, recorder)
  7. Paul Ukleja (voice, cornetto, rackett, recorder)

Let me know if that list is wrong in any respect.

We’d like to work mainly on the French drinking songs:

  • Changeons Propos
  • Vignons, vignons
  • Quand je bois

Depending on how time works out, we can add (probably at most one of):

  • Estans Assis
  • Good Morrow, fair ladies of the May
  • My love hath vowed he will forsake me
  • Now is the Month of Maying
  • A round

We plan to start promptly at 8 PM. John’s address is 310 1/2 Pearl
St., which is behind 308 Pearl St. His phone number is (617)
661-8097. Let me know if you need more directions than that. I will
discuss scheduling the beer-drinking portion of the meeting a little
more gracefully than we did last time.

[cantabile] Meeting reminder, Tuesday, April 19

Our coaching session with John Tyson tonight will begin at 8:00 PM
promptly. We will be playing at his house at 310 1/2 Pearl St. His
phone number is (617) 661-3353.

I have explained to him that this group doesn’t drink beer for only
10 minutes, and he shouldn’t invite us for beer unless he expects to
spend at least an hour on it. He has a lot of practicing and
rehearsing to do early in the morning these days, so it is likely that
the beer-drinking part of the rehearsal will move to my place.

Please bring all the music for the Walk for Hunger. We will be
concentrating on the three French drinking songs, but John would like
to start with one of the things we did last time so that he can see
whether what he said made any difference. We have cancelled “April is
in my mistress’ face” since then, but it might be any of:

  • Me, me and none but me
  • Il bianco e dolce Cigno
  • Clear or Cloudy

Even more than usual, since we won’t be where I have lots of copies
of lots of things, please let me know in advance if you need me to
print anything for you.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but for the next two
weeks, we are not a drop-in group. Please come on time, or
earlier if your instrument needs setup and tuning time. Please have
your music with you and in order (I haven’t yet sent out a performance
order, but have it in some kind of order where you can find things).
Please use rehearsal time for rehearsal and not for social life. In
other words, treat this group, for the next two weeks, the way you
treat any other serious performing group you may belong to.

The May third meeting goes back to being a drop-in group with lots
of sightreading and social life.

[publishing] Testing Lilypond 4.5

I spent most of yesterday morning building and testing lilypond

I won’t be using it routinely yet, because there’s a very serious
bug in abc2ly, where it doesn’t any more translate the Key signature.

Update: they fixed that but, so I’ll probably be doing some more
testing, and then maybe starting to convert my setup to using the
current version.

This means abc2ly is unusable, since the notes are different for a
different key signature in lilypond and abc. That is, in lilypond an
F# is entered as fis no matter what the key signature is. But in ABC,
the note on the first space of a treble clef is entered as F, and the
key signature is what determines whether that note is sharped or not.
So an abc2ly that doesn’t know what the key signature is, isn’t going
to have the right notes, and a workaround that just edits the key
signature in isn’t.

But just so you can see what they’re up to, compare this piece

from 2.0.2
with the same piece from

Let me know what you think.