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RE: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music -- and music web pages

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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