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Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

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  • Karen Kasper
    Pieces my choirs have used for processionals include: Deo Gratias – William Byrd, SATB Non Nobis Domine – attributed to William Byrd, SAB Psallite
    Message 1 of 30 , May 20, 2008
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      Pieces my choirs have used for processionals include:
       
      Deo Gratias – William Byrd, SATB
      Non Nobis Domine – attributed to William Byrd, SAB
      Psallite Unigenito – Michael Praetorius, SATB (actually a Christmas piece, but that's probably not obvious to those not listening closely to the Latin lyrics)
      Alleluya Psallat – anonymous, Worcestor fragments, for three equal voices
      Alleluia – Hans Leo Hassler, SATB
       
      The first three are available for download from the Choral Wiki (aka Choral Public Domain Library) at www.cpdl.org. The first two pieces are both very easy, very short and good for newer choirs.
       
      Good luck!
       
      Arianna of Wynthrope


      wendy@... wrote:
      Would you mind sending me the list of processional songs as well? I'm sure the burgeoning Caidan choir could use them.
      Finella Harper
      .



      Karen Kasper

    • Susan Stoltze
      Ariana, is Psallite Unigentio the piece we sang at Pennsic about three years ago? I think Anne was the KWC director that year ... It s one of the few choir
      Message 2 of 30 , May 20, 2008
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        Ariana, is "Psallite Unigentio" the piece we sang at Pennsic about three years ago?  I think Anne was the KWC director that year ...
         
        It's one of the few choir music songs that have stuck in my head.  I had NO idea it is considered Christmas music.  And I would have never considered it as a processional piece!
         
        Silly me - learn something new every day.
         
        Susanna Merrybegot

        Karen Kasper <arianna_wyn@...> wrote:
        Pieces my choirs have used for processionals include:
         
        Deo Gratias – William Byrd, SATB
        Non Nobis Domine – attributed to William Byrd, SAB
        Psallite Unigenito – Michael Praetorius, SATB (actually a Christmas piece, but that's probably not obvious to those not listening closely to the Latin lyrics)
        Alleluya Psallat – anonymous, Worcestor fragments, for three equal voices
        Alleluia – Hans Leo Hassler, SATB
         
        The first three are available for download from the Choral Wiki (aka Choral Public Domain Library) at www.cpdl.org. The first two pieces are both very easy, very short and good for newer choirs.
         
        Good luck!
         
        Arianna of Wynthrope


        wendy@creekstudios. com wrote:
        Would you mind sending me the list of processional songs as well? I'm sure the burgeoning Caidan choir could use them.
        Finella Harper
        .



        Karen Kasper

      • Karen Kasper
        ... Umm, could be, though I don t actually recall. You can listen to a recording of it here. And the translation on CPDL (which I think takes some liberties
        Message 3 of 30 , May 20, 2008
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          >Arianna, is "Psallite Unigenito" the piece we sang at Pennsic about three years ago?  I think Anne was the KWC director that year ...
           
          Umm, could be, though I don't actually recall.  You can listen to a recording of it here. And the translation on CPDL (which I think takes some liberties with the Latin) is:
          Sing your psalms to Christ,
          the begotten Son of God,
          sing your psalms to the Redeemer.
           
          To the Lord, the little Child
          lying in a manger bed.
          A small Child lies in the manger.
          All the blessed angels fall before Him and sing.
           
          If you're using it as a processional, you can stop before the German section for short processions, or go all the way to the end for long ones.
           
          Arianna


          Karen Kasper

        • Susan Stoltze
          Ha! That s the one! Thanks. Karen Kasper wrote: Arianna, is Psallite Unigenito the piece we sang at Pennsic about three
          Message 4 of 30 , May 20, 2008
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            Ha!  That's the one!  Thanks.

            Karen Kasper <arianna_wyn@...> wrote:
            >Arianna, is "Psallite Unigenito" the piece we sang at Pennsic about three years ago?  I think Anne was the KWC director that year ...
             
            Umm, could be, though I don't actually recall.  You can listen to a recording of it here. And the translation on CPDL (which I think takes some liberties with the Latin) is:
            Sing your psalms to Christ,
            the begotten Son of God,
            sing your psalms to the Redeemer.
             
            To the Lord, the little Child
            lying in a manger bed.
            A small Child lies in the manger.
            All the blessed angels fall before Him and sing.
             
            If you're using it as a processional, you can stop before the German section for short processions, or go all the way to the end for long ones.
             
            Arianna


            Karen Kasper

          • Wendy Creek
            Thank you so much for the list! Finella ... Thank you so much for the list! Finella On May 20, 2008, at 8:01 AM, Karen Kasper wrote: Pieces my choirs have used
            Message 5 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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              Thank you so much for the list!


              Finella


              On May 20, 2008, at 8:01 AM, Karen Kasper wrote:

              Pieces my choirs have used for processionals include:
               
              Deo Gratias – William Byrd, SATB
              Non Nobis Domine – attributed to William Byrd, SAB
              Psallite Unigenito – Michael Praetorius, SATB (actually a Christmas piece, but that's probably not obvious to those not listening closely to the Latin lyrics)
              Alleluya Psallat – anonymous, Worcestor fragments, for three equal voices
              Alleluia – Hans Leo Hassler, SATB
               
              The first three are available for download from the Choral Wiki (aka Choral Public Domain Library) at www.cpdl.org. The first two pieces are both very easy, very short and good for newer choirs.
               
              Good luck!
               
              Arianna of Wynthrope


            • Donald F. Harrington
              Some excellent points have been made. This is an issue I ve wrestled with for over 30 years in the SCA. Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good
              Message 6 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                Some excellent points have been made. This is an issue I've wrestled
                with for over 30 years in the SCA.

                Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for
                live music. You just have to be prepared for the facts that (1) the
                herald will start the Royals marching forward without giving you
                advance warning, usually 30 minutes or later than scheduled, and (2)
                they will hit the thrones at 10 seconds into your 90 second piece.

                I'd add "Alle Psallite" to the list of processionals, it's a bouncy piece.

                One trick is to get Royalty into your choir. I've been honored to
                have many Royal Peers in my singing groups, and they're a great
                resource for finding pomp and circumstance venues. They're also good
                at talking to other Royals and suggesting the use of live music.

                In general, though, I have not found the SCA to be a good venue for
                choral music. This is a bit of a rant, so take it with a grain of
                salt. Most people don't come to SCA events to hear choral music.
                They generally don't come to hear music at all. If they do think of
                music, they think of stuff from the movies (Knight's Tale, Excalibur,
                Henry V) or they think of filk songs about how wonderful SCA members
                are, much better than regular people. Music that requires active
                listening is seen as an intrusion on the fun they came to the event for.

                And they're right. People don't have to like early music to be in the
                SCA. They don't have to like choral music to be in the SCA. They can
                have the most award-studded careers in the SCA without ever liking it.

                That's the nature of the group. Choral music is a minority activity.
                That minority loves the music very much, and I think that's a
                beautiful thing. I think we should encourage music everywhere. But
                the SCA, as an organization, is not about fostering choral music.

                Ah, I'm depressed now, I'll stop ranting.

                Don Harrington
                Lazarus Artifex
              • Susan Stoltze
                OK, so we re a small, but dedicated and intense group. What fun! - Susanna Merrybegot Donald F. Harrington wrote: Some excellent
                Message 7 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                  OK, so we're a small, but dedicated and intense group.
                   
                  What fun!
                   
                  - Susanna Merrybegot

                  "Donald F. Harrington" <donharrington@...> wrote:
                  Some excellent points have been made. This is an issue I've wrestled
                  with for over 30 years in the SCA.

                  Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for
                  live music. You just have to be prepared for the facts that (1) the
                  herald will start the Royals marching forward without giving you
                  advance warning, usually 30 minutes or later than scheduled, and (2)
                  they will hit the thrones at 10 seconds into your 90 second piece.

                  I'd add "Alle Psallite" to the list of processionals, it's a bouncy piece.

                  One trick is to get Royalty into your choir. I've been honored to
                  have many Royal Peers in my singing groups, and they're a great
                  resource for finding pomp and circumstance venues. They're also good
                  at talking to other Royals and suggesting the use of live music.

                  In general, though, I have not found the SCA to be a good venue for
                  choral music. This is a bit of a rant, so take it with a grain of
                  salt. Most people don't come to SCA events to hear choral music.
                  They generally don't come to hear music at all. If they do think of
                  music, they think of stuff from the movies (Knight's Tale, Excalibur,
                  Henry V) or they think of filk songs about how wonderful SCA members
                  are, much better than regular people. Music that requires active
                  listening is seen as an intrusion on the fun they came to the event for.

                  And they're right. People don't have to like early music to be in the
                  SCA. They don't have to like choral music to be in the SCA. They can
                  have the most award-studded careers in the SCA without ever liking it.

                  That's the nature of the group. Choral music is a minority activity.
                  That minority loves the music very much, and I think that's a
                  beautiful thing. I think we should encourage music everywhere. But
                  the SCA, as an organization, is not about fostering choral music.

                  Ah, I'm depressed now, I'll stop ranting.

                  Don Harrington
                  Lazarus Artifex


                • celia.me@verizon.net
                  We have a small group that likes to sing in our Barony. We have been getting together every tuesday night for about 5 years. We still haven t come to a
                  Message 8 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                    We have a small group that likes to sing in our Barony.  We have been getting together every tuesday night for about 5 years.  We still haven't come to a consensus as to what to sing, how and where to perform or even what kind of music we want to sing (period/folksy periodish/filk).  We still have fun singing together, collecting songs and spreading enthusiasm about music in the SCA.  We sing for ourselves and each other.  If anyone else wants us to sing for them, or listen when we do, great.  It's better if they join in.  Maybe someday we will find a focus, but until then we are having fun.  I have collected some songs in a book for a tavern event I have run for the last 3 years and here is the introduction, and my music philosophy-take from it what you will:
                    I have prepared this book for the Golden Tygre Tavern event as my way of contributing to the tradition we know of as the folk song and the sense of community that comes from singing songs together.  It’s not about musical achievement, or scholarship, or even talent.  Every one of us has the ability to sing.  It may not be the kind of singing you want to put on display on stage, or even for yourself in a closed car.  Somehow, when there is a group singing along with you, suddenly, the sounds you make and the sounds of the others blend together and something magical happens.  Suddenly you are part of something bigger and more alive than you were before you opened your mouth.  People have a primal need to sing together.  All cultures do it.  In our 21st century lives, that method of community building has gone out of fashion.  We are told as very young children that either we “have it” or we don’t.  If we are amoungst the majority that don’t have ‘solo’ quality voices, we are encouraged to shut up and listen.  I don’t have a ‘solo’ voice, but when my song bends with yours, I feel connected to you and to the history and origins of the song.  I like that feeling.  Medieval people felt that way too.  In fact, singing their songs with you makes me feel more connected to them and their world.  There are other songs included here that have
                    become part of the SCA tradition.  If we don’t sing these songs we will forget them, quicker that we can imagine.  Let’s keep their songs and our SCA songs alive by singing them....together.
                    Adelaide Wanderer
                    mka Celia Zanger
                    ASXL
                    On May 19, 2008, at 10:15 PM, Eilionora Ghorm wrote:


                    Lady Elizabeth,

                    In response to your heartfelt letter below, I just wanted to say that I have run into many of the same obstacles you mentioned in my recent attempts to bring choral music back into my local group.  In fact, one of the reasons I joined the SCA in the first place was to participate in the choir and sing period pieces.

                    Imagine my dismay, then, when I was told that my Barony's choir hadn't existed for ten years!  I was very disappointed to hear this, and set right to work at breathing life back into the defunct choir.  I now direct (and sing with) a small but dedicated group of gentles.  However, life often gets in the way of regular rehearsal times and we have found it difficult to find appropriate performance venues.  Especially now that winter is over, most (if not all) of the upcoming events we have will be outside... not the ideal setting for choral music at all.

                    I hope that in the future, still more efforts can be made to facilitate choral performances in the SCA.

                    Cheers,
                    Eilionóra


                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@deers- cry.com>
                    To: KWChoir@yahoogroups .com
                    Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:05:57 PM
                    Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

                    To change the subject slightly...
                    This year was a busy, but not fun year for myself, and I didn't have 
                    enough chance to sing much. Also, my local singing group has had
                    difficulties: mostly the other people had happy difficulties, which have 
                    gotten in the way of regular singing get-togethers. But the result is 
                    that music, which needs regular practice, was not much practiced as a 
                    group activity in my local group and Barony this year. And, I got to 
                    thinking about how rare music is, and how difficult it is to encourage 
                    Period music in S.C.A.

                    There are no "War Points" or other awards for music, as with many other 
                    A&S activities, even the "competitions, " which are documentation driven, 
                    and do not give any credit for a mixed group of beginning and advanced 
                    musicians, do not give performance opportunities in S.C.A. (Personally, 
                    I do not find competition educational; our group did it once, and 
                    afterwards people just dropped out.) Bardic circles always favor solos 
                    and modern compositions, usually chanted epic poems, in a "Period" 
                    style. Often, outdoor demos attract audience to fighters, but there is 
                    too much background noise to hear musicians who sing or play acoustic 
                    instruments. (Our only small success recently was at an indoor demo.) 
                    And those who love competition the most tend to be the men, who won't 
                    come within a mile of any singing activities in my Barony (which limits 
                    the number of parts that are possible to sing). 

                    Therefore, I've really really been looking forward to singing at this 
                    Pennsic with others who appreciate the beauty and variety of Period 
                    music. At the very least, I hope that the Pennsic Choir is on for this 
                    year, and perhaps even more opportunities to do Period vocal music at 
                    Pennsic. 

                    I've met Erlan, who is a fine conductor, but I am hoping that any CD 
                    problems can be resolved very very soon so that everybody wants to come 
                    to Pennsic and sing Period music together (and forget that some have 
                    waited a long time for the CDs). This is for a totally selfish reason; 
                    I am disheartened locally, and hope that the musicians can stand up and 
                    be counted, and show the realms that the S.C.A. is an educational,
                    non-profit organization and not a fight club.
                    Lady Elizabeth of Gwyntarian, mka Elizabeth Dowling 




                  • Karen Kasper
                    Donald F. Harrington wrote: Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for live music. You just have
                    Message 9 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                      "Donald F. Harrington" <donharrington@...> wrote:
                      Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for live music. You just have to be prepared for the facts that (1) the
                      herald will start the Royals marching forward without giving you
                      advance warning, usually 30 minutes or later than scheduled, and (2)
                      they will hit the thrones at 10 seconds into your 90 second piece.
                      I deal with 1) by coordinating with the herald before court. We usually use the Kingdom name as our cue ("Blah blah blah, King and Queen of [Kingdom]!" -SING-).  We also agree that nobody starts walking until we start singing, though that only works because in my Kingdom, AEthelmearc, the herald is almost always at the front of the procession. Royalty usually forget if they're the ones in the lead. :-)
                      2) is why you want pieces that are short or have lots of cadences, but truthfully, we've never had anyone glare at us for going on a little longer than the procession. Last weekend we sang for the King & Queen of the East in addition to our own royalty, and the visiting Monarchs  stood at the foot of the dais smiling (King Konrad even "directed" us) until we were done 30 seconds later.

                      >I'd add "Alle Psallite" to the list of processionals, it's a bouncy piece.
                      Yup! Dame Ysolt pointed that omission out to me in a private email, and you're both right. It's short, easy, repetitive and it can stop on a dime.
                      As for most people not liking period choral music, well, that's why my choir chooses its venues carefully. We don't sing at feasts, where people will be annoyed that we're interrupting their conversation. If we do a full concert, it's at an event with an appropriate audience, like a dance and music schola, or in a separate room from the main activities so people can choose whether to attend or not. The only captive audience we inflict ourselves on is the people waiting for court to start, and by and large those people are pretty appreciative, at least in my Kingdom.
                      Arianna
                      .




                      Karen Kasper

                    • Donald F. Harrington
                      I ve never done a processional without coordinating with the herald, and kids, neither should you. Arianna s advice is right on. I was just pointing out the
                      Message 10 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                        I've never done a processional without coordinating with the herald, and kids, neither should you.  Arianna's advice is right on.
                         
                        I was just pointing out the sometimes-humorous, sometimes-frustrating things that can happen even with the best of plans.
                         
                        Don / Laz
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 9:36 AM
                        Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

                        I deal with 1) by coordinating with the herald before court. We usually use the Kingdom name as our cue ("Blah blah blah, King and Queen of [Kingdom]!" -SING-).  We also agree that nobody starts walking until we start singing, though that only works because in my Kingdom, AEthelmearc, the herald is almost always at the front of the procession. Royalty usually forget if they're the ones in the lead. :-)

                        .

                      • Karen Kasper
                        Oh, yes, there s always some snafu, as Lazarus said. For our last event, the Barons were all processing in and sitting on the dais with the royalty because the
                        Message 11 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                          Oh, yes, there's always some snafu, as Lazarus said. For our last event, the Barons were all processing in and sitting on the dais with the royalty because the event is so big. We have a special processional piece just for our Baron and Baroness, but when we finished singing the royalty's processional we were chagrined to find that the Baroness was already in and walking up the dais steps. We just looked at each other and shrugged. We were singing for her entrance, but OVER her herald and not her song... oh, well. There's always next time. :-) And the Baroness still sent us a thank you email after the event.
                           
                          FWIW, I also always ask the royalty ahead of time, usually by email, if they would like us to sing for their processionals. Sometimes they'll have a piper or other music already arranged, but if not, they've never turned us down. The Debatable Choir has been singing at events for 20 years, though, so we're pretty well known in our Kingdom. Sometimes we even get royalty asking us to sing for them, which is nice.
                           
                          Arianna


                          Karen Kasper

                        • corun@medievalist.org
                          ... And then there are those beauteous moments when you have a Queen who understands timing and a slow processional and manages to walk her way to her
                          Message 12 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                            Arianaa W. wrote:
                            >
                            >Oh, yes, there's always some snafu, as Lazarus said.

                            And then there are those beauteous moments when you have a Queen who understands timing and a slow processional and manages to walk her way to her Coronation at just the right pace to allow the (what was it Anne... 8... 10? and one lonely drummer) harp orchestra to play her processional piece all the way through.

                            Corun
                          • Anne of Carthew
                            Yep, Corun, we had some 8 harpers, I believe - and to make sure the melody really came through we added two recorders along with that drum. And Niobe, the
                            Message 13 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                              Yep, Corun, we had some 8 harpers, I believe – and to make sure the melody really came through we added two recorders along with that drum.  And Niobe, the incoming queen, knew just how to make the most of that setting.    We, too, have a choral group that sometimes sings for courts.  Happily we have also had a few events around here (Kingdom A&S Festival and the occasional Performers Symposium) where we create an actual performance forum – a place where it is known that performances will take place and people who are in that area are indeed there to be an audience.  (I might have had some influence on that.  If you want something, you can sometimes make it happen.)  We’ve even succeeded in making the competition part go away in favor of just time for concerts.   This last KASF, we had soloists and small groups, also but no less than 3 choral groups from Atlantia performing.  (Too bad I was brain dead by that time of the day!)

                               

                              With respect to some of our other threads:  my choral group’s web page has PDFs and midis that may be of help to y’all, including your Christmas in August program.  Most of these are either CPDL pieces I’ve gathered into one place or files I’ve put together myself.  There are versions of Alle Psallite, Psallite Unigenito, and Victoria’s O Magnum – complete with midi files for the score and individual parts.  The Alleluia by Hassler (from his Angelus ad pastores) which I put together the last time I directed the Pennsic choir is also there.   Sorry, you’ll have to slog through some of the things that probably only our local group would do…  Anyway, the link is:   http://www.ravenstreet.org/Anne/alle_psallite/alle_psallite.htm    Enjoy! 

                               

                              Missy Anne

                              (Anne of Carthew)

                               

                               


                              From: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KWChoir@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of corun@...
                              Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:26 PM
                              To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

                               

                              Arianaa W. wrote:

                              >
                              >Oh, yes, there's always some snafu, as Lazarus said.

                              And then there are those beauteous moments when you have a Queen who understands timing and a slow processional and manages to walk her way to her Coronation at just the right pace to allow the (what was it Anne... 8... 10? and one lonely drummer) harp orchestra to play her processional piece all the way through.

                              Corun

                            • Elizabeth Dowling
                              Hey, I m not depressed about music, and don t mind a rant (I started it). But, I would disagree on one point: that people shouldn t have to experience real
                              Message 14 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                                Hey, I'm not depressed about music, and don't mind a rant (I started
                                it). But, I would disagree on one point: that people shouldn't have to
                                experience real Medieval or Renaissance music (including both vocal and
                                instrumental). In Period, you couldn't go to a court or church without
                                hearing that music. To experience anything truly Period it is a
                                necessity. I find it grating to see everybody in a much better gown or
                                tunic than I wear, able to weave a dress from sheep to complete garb
                                (and getting a Laurel for it), but participate in modern music that has
                                no relationship (not even modal) to something in Period. If Jane Doe
                                does it in modern dress, that's O.K., but not Lady Joan Glover in garb
                                at an S.C.A. event.

                                Why do I feel this way? The extreme caution people take to be "Period"
                                in the martial activities, other A&S (not including music), and often,
                                for those who can afford it, even style of tent. If as many people in
                                S.C.A. who sported a Period Pavilion sang or played Period music, it
                                would be about the number of people who were involved in music in
                                Period. And hey, some music costs much less per year than those tents.
                                What it shows me is that most people do not join the S.C.A. to re-enact
                                Medieval life, but to re-enact a personna with limited interests that
                                would not have actually existed in Period.

                                But I am content with those who do not feel that they are capable of
                                learning to sing or play an instrument (although mostly they don't give
                                themselves enough practice). Still, such people should listen to the
                                real Period music, and welcome it at courts, feasts, and other
                                activities, because it is really Period, and the real music gives a
                                great deal of pleasure. I think the reason they won't listen to the
                                music is that an attitude of anti-Period music has been
                                institutionalized in the S.C.A., because Period music is seen as somehow
                                denying the creativity of the Bardic music. In the A&S criteria for
                                most art, one must have an innovative or creative aspect; actually doing
                                something Period in music may be seen as anti-creative. Ultimately,
                                this anti-Period music attitude defeats the purpose of trying to be an
                                educational organization; if part of the Medieval personna is not
                                Medieval, then the organization is not about education but creative
                                fantasy. I like good Bardic music if it is written in Period style, but
                                after one or two Bardic pieces, I want to hear an evening's worth of
                                real Period music.
                                Elizabeth

                                Donald F. Harrington wrote:
                                >
                                > Some excellent points have been made. This is an issue I've wrestled
                                > with for over 30 years in the SCA.
                                >
                                > Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for
                                > live music. You just have to be prepared for the facts that (1) the
                                > herald will start the Royals marching forward without giving you
                                > advance warning, usually 30 minutes or later than scheduled, and (2)
                                > they will hit the thrones at 10 seconds into your 90 second piece.
                                >
                                > I'd add "Alle Psallite" to the list of processionals, it's a bouncy piece.
                                >
                                > One trick is to get Royalty into your choir. I've been honored to
                                > have many Royal Peers in my singing groups, and they're a great
                                > resource for finding pomp and circumstance venues. They're also good
                                > at talking to other Royals and suggesting the use of live music.
                                >
                                > In general, though, I have not found the SCA to be a good venue for
                                > choral music. This is a bit of a rant, so take it with a grain of
                                > salt. Most people don't come to SCA events to hear choral music.
                                > They generally don't come to hear music at all. If they do think of
                                > music, they think of stuff from the movies (Knight's Tale, Excalibur,
                                > Henry V) or they think of filk songs about how wonderful SCA members
                                > are, much better than regular people. Music that requires active
                                > listening is seen as an intrusion on the fun they came to the event for.
                                >
                                > And they're right. People don't have to like early music to be in the
                                > SCA. They don't have to like choral music to be in the SCA. They can
                                > have the most award-studded careers in the SCA without ever liking it.
                                >
                                > That's the nature of the group. Choral music is a minority activity.
                                > That minority loves the music very much, and I think that's a
                                > beautiful thing. I think we should encourage music everywhere. But
                                > the SCA, as an organization, is not about fostering choral music.
                                >
                                > Ah, I'm depressed now, I'll stop ranting.
                                >
                                > Don Harrington
                                > Lazarus Artifex
                                >
                                >
                              • lleehill@aol.com
                                Until some health problems forced me to give it up last year, I directed a choral group (LyonSong) for about 12 years.? We found places to perform within the
                                Message 15 of 30 , May 21, 2008
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                                  Until some health problems forced me to give it up last year, I directed a choral group (LyonSong) for about 12 years.  We found places to perform within the SCA (Twelfth Night, Yule -- our local holiday feast), the odd Court, and even participated in providing music for several Coronations (working closely with the Crowns).  Quite frankly, most of the SCA audiences were horrible, especially distressing for an organization that prides itself on Chivalry.  Having spent almost 30 years in one choral group or another in the SCA, I knew all the arguments about why audiences couldn't be expected to be polite and I've probably seen every performance-damaging timing snafu.  I always tried to keep my audience firmly in mind and find music that could tempt some of them to actually stop and pay attention.  Couldn't always get their attention with period music but we tried to keep it as period as possible.  One of our best ways of "performing" without any expectations was to sit around in the pavilion at tourneys and sing period music.   Almost every time we did this, people would come and sit around the outside (or we'd invite them in) and they would listen and clap.  Sometimes we would stand around in the vestibule or the merchants' room and sing with no expectation that anyone would stop.  One Twelfth Night, the cooks got behind and we had been doing Christmas music in the outer halls for awhile.  They asked us how much music we had that we could perform to keep the feastgoers entertained until they got back on schedule.  (We had about 90 minutes of Christmas music and were just about to start over when they finished.)  We also decided that if we couldn't bring our music to an SCA audience, we would take our part of the SCA experience, our music, to the non-SCA world.  We are lucky to have this marvelous library, gardens and museum called the Huntington Library here in Southern California (huntington.org -- it's gorgeous!).  We volunteered one year to perform there for free and ended up performing there for 11 Christmasses (two 1-hour performances each year) and also did some other themed performances such as for Shakespeare's birthday or to complement a particular exhibition they had.  The audiences were so wonderful that they totally recharged us for going back and dealing with the SCA.  So I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes you have to make your own opportunities and maybe they won't all be in the SCA.  We also picked up many new SCA members through our (always costumed) performances so we weren't deserting the SCA -- we were acting as ambassadors for the SCA to the outside world.  You might want to give it a try -- schools, museums, community events, home town fairs, even once a Masonic Knights Templar installation -- sometimes they have no budget and are hungry for the sight of the costumes (they're not jaded like we are) and live entertainment.

                                  The take-away from all this is:  Keep singing, if only for your own heart and soul!

                                  Linda/Eden





                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...>
                                  To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Wed, 21 May 2008 9:44 pm
                                  Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

                                  Hey, I'm not depressed about music, and don't mind a rant (I started
                                  it). But, I would disagree on one point: that people shouldn't have to
                                  experience real Medieval or Renaissance music (including both vocal and
                                  instrumental) . In Period, you couldn't go to a court or church without
                                  hearing that music. To experience anything truly Period it is a
                                  necessity. I find it grating to see everybody in a much better gown or
                                  tunic than I wear, able to weave a dress from sheep to complete garb
                                  (and getting a Laurel for it), but participate in modern music that has
                                  no relationship (not even modal) to something in Period. If Jane Doe
                                  does it in modern dress, that's O.K., but not Lady Joan Glover in garb
                                  at an S.C.A. event.

                                  Why do I feel this way? The extreme caution people take to be "Period"
                                  in the martial activities, other A&S (not including music), and often,
                                  for those who can afford it, even style of tent. If as many people in
                                  S.C.A. who sported a Period Pavilion sang or played Period music, it
                                  would be about the number of people who were involved in music in
                                  Period. And hey, some music costs much less per year than those tents.
                                  What it shows me is that most people do not join the S.C.A. to re-enact
                                  Medieval life, but to re-enact a personna with limited interests that
                                  would not have actually existed in Period.

                                  But I am content with those who do not feel that they are capable of
                                  learning to sing or play an instrument (although mostly they don't give
                                  themselves enough practice). Still, such people should listen to the
                                  real Period music, and welcome it at courts, feasts, and other
                                  activities, because it is really Period, and the real music gives a
                                  great deal of pleasure. I think the reason they won't listen to the
                                  music is that an attitude of anti-Period music has been
                                  institutionalized in the S.C.A., because Period music is seen as somehow
                                  denying the creativity of the Bardic music. In the A&S criteria for
                                  most art, one must have an innovative or creative aspect; actually doing
                                  something Period in music may be seen as anti-creative. Ultimately,
                                  this anti-Period music attitude defeats the purpose of trying to be an
                                  educational organization; if part of the Medieval personna is not
                                  Medieval, then the organization is not about education but creative
                                  fantasy. I like good Bardic music if it is written in Period style, but
                                  after one or two Bardic pieces, I want to hear an evening's worth of
                                  real Period music.
                                  Elizabeth

                                  Donald F. Harrington wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Some excellent points have been made. This is an issue I've wrestled
                                  > with for over 30 years in the SCA.
                                  >
                                  > Processionals, pomp and circumstance, these are good opportunities for
                                  > live music. You just have to be prepared for the facts that (1) the
                                  > herald will start the Royals marching forward without giving you
                                  > advance warning, usually 30 minutes or later than scheduled, and (2)
                                  > they will hit the thrones at 10 seconds into your 90 second piece.
                                  >
                                  > I'd add "Alle Psallite" to the list of processionals, it's a bouncy piece.
                                  >
                                  > One trick is to get Royalty into your choir. I've been honored to
                                  > have many Royal Peers in my singing groups, and they're a great
                                  > resource for finding pomp and circumstance venues. They're also good
                                  > at talking to other Royals and suggesting the use of live music.
                                  >
                                  > In general, though, I have not found the SCA to be a good venue for
                                  > choral music. This is a bit of a rant, so take it with a grain of
                                  > salt. Most people don't come to SCA events to hear choral music.
                                  > They generally don't come to hear music at all. If they do think of
                                  > music, they think of stuff from the movies (Knight's Tale, Excalibur,
                                  > Henry V) or they think of filk songs about how wonderful SCA members
                                  > are, much better than regular people. Music that requires active
                                  > listening is seen as an intrusion on the fun they came to the event for.
                                  >
                                  > And they're right. People don't have to like early music to be in the
                                  > SCA. They don't have to like choral music to be in the SCA. They can
                                  > have the most award-studded careers in the SCA without ever liking it.
                                  >
                                  > That's the nature of the group. Choral music is a minority activity.
                                  > That minority loves the music very much, and I think that's a
                                  > beautiful thing. I think we should encourage music everywhere. But
                                  > the SCA, as an organization, is not about fostering choral music.
                                  >
                                  > Ah, I'm depressed now, I'll stop ranting.
                                  >
                                  > Don Harrington
                                  > Lazarus Artifex
                                  >
                                  >

                                • Donald F. Harrington
                                  Some people have talked about those magic moments when the music and the activity come together perfectly. Those are beautiful times, I have my own memories
                                  Message 16 of 30 , May 22, 2008
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                                    Some people have talked about those magic moments when the music and
                                    the activity come together perfectly. Those are beautiful times, I
                                    have my own memories that stay with me. Those special moments are one
                                    of the things that make the effort worthwhile.

                                    Someone else pointed out that you can find venues outside the SCA,
                                    too. This is a good point, my group performed for years at a local
                                    Ren Faire. We even got paid to do strolling madrigals at a Christmas
                                    street fair in Mesa. We did that for 3 years before the city went
                                    through a budget crunch and stopped the event, and it was always great
                                    fun - the patrons really liked us.

                                    One important note from this discussion is the point that even one
                                    person can make a difference.

                                    Don Harrington
                                    Lazarus Artifex
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