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Please see our Self-Rating Guide for definitions of levels
Instrumental and vocal consorts grouped by level, Beginner to Advanced: Recorder, viol, voice, strings, harp, mixed instrument, and Accademia (see below for link to description)
Voice Classes will include rhythmic, interval and sight reading exercises to strengthen the students’ musicianship. (B to A)
From the Battlefield to the Dance Hall — Paduanas, Battaglias, and Everything Between (I-HI louds) – Liza Malamut
This Renaissance loud band class will explore the connection between the state and celebratory functions of wind bands during the sixteenth century. From the battlefields to the courts to royal weddings and processions, wind musicians were a constant presence. We will explore the interconnectedness of peace, war, and celebration as experienced by the musicians and composers whose music survived to tell the tale.
Lattes with Landini (HI-A Violin-family strings, viols, plucked strings, soft woodwinds) – Michelle Levy
The 1300s in Italy was a time of great change in music, influenced by the vernacular poetry of the troubadors and transitioning into the Renaissance. New musical forms such as the ballata emerged, containing choral refrains to accompany dancing, and composers such as Francesco Landini, Johannes Ciconia, and Jacapo da Bolgna included unique isorhythms, harmonies, and florid polyphony with fast-moving upper lines unique to this style and time period. We’ll explore instrumental dance pieces from the Faenza Codex as well as motets/masses from Bologna MS Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica Q15.
Baroque ensembles (HI-A Melody instruments and continuo instruments) – Frances Fitch, Judy Linsenberg
Experience the splendor of 18th-century chamber music and the dance rhythms that infuse movements from sonatas and suites.
Learn the basic figures you need to enjoy a wonderful week of English Country Dancing!
Music by: Frances Fitch, Emily O'Brien: This session will explore dances from the ECD repertoire whose tunes were originally songs. The dances, both historical and modern, draw on mediaeval melodies, Renaissance lute airs, folk material, and theater songs.
Music by: Judy Linsenberg, Cynthia Shaw: This class for experienced dancers will feature a beautiful variety of selections that emphasize both the continuities and the innovations of the ECD tradition. Special feature: “Hey, you!” This sub-theme will engage many variations on the core figure of the hey.
Whether you'd like to brush up on the fundamentals, or there are some things you just never had the chance to learn, this may be the course you need to feel more confident about your understanding of the music you play and sing. This class would make a good combination with ECD Dance Band.
From the sublime to the earthy, we will explore gorgeous sacred and theatrical vocal/masque settings by Byrd, Tallis, Blow and Purcell. There will be some break-out sessions for the singers while the players read instrumental pieces.
Focusing on your technique pays dividends in becoming a more versatile and expressive player and in a more satisfying musical experience. Learn strategies for improving your hand position, thumb technique, breath control, articulation, intonation, and dynamics.
Sound the Bright Flutes (B-LI Flutes (Instruments can be provided for the week)) – Alexa Raine-Wright
Whether you're just trying the Baroque flute for the first time, rediscovering it after a hiatus, or just need some help getting up to speed, this session will start you off on the right foot. Work on sound production, hand position, breathing, and articulation techniques.
Follow the Piper: Renaissance Bagpipes (B-LI (Instruments can be provided for the week)) – Christa Patton
If you’ve always wanted to try the bagpipes, now’s your chance! Find out if they’re really your bag. It’s a gas!
The Troubaritz were women composers of Troubador song, and they were the first known women to compose Western secular music. These songs were created by courtly women to entertain other nobles and they take several forms. In particular, we’ll explore the Dansa form, which was accompanied by dancing. One of the great mysteries surrounding these songs is what instrumental accompaniment could have been, since none has been written down. We’ll explore these monophonic (single melody) songs together on instruments and/or voice, then create arrangements for instrumental accompaniment based on the scale patterns, ranges, tunings, and the Pythagorean theory available and in use at the time.
Dance rhythms of the Baroque and Renaissance. How do you tell an Allemand from a Pavane? A gigue from a canarie? We'll play many different kinds of dance movements and learn the style and characteristics of each.
This class will dive into Michael Praetorius’s prolific output of music for all combinations of instruments. Terpsichore, one of Praetorius’s most well-known collections, is a treasure trove of stately pavanes, vigorous bransles, and festive dances of all kinds. Open to multiple levels, this is a chance to discover the joys of German Renaissance dance music at its finest!
Music by: Cynthia Shaw: Experienced dancers will prepare a suite of more challenging dances, old and modern, for presentation at the end of the week. Familiarity with English Country Dance figures is essential; dances will be thoroughly taught and lightly prompted.
Kick up your feet and improve your rhythm at the same time with Dance Inspired Music from around the world from the Renaissance to contemporary. Works by Dowland, Rossi, Purcell, and Søren Sieg.
Participants will be divided into sections to dive into the finer points of ensemble playing, and learn strategies you can use to improve your ensemble experiences no matter who you play with. We'll cover tuning, starting and stopping together, tempo changes, and listening to all the other parts in the ensemble.
Are you feeling plucky? Are you high-strung? Spend the week teaching your fingers to dance on the strings of the most angelic of instruments.
What wind player doesn’t enjoy eating, drinking, and being merry? Join us for a celebration of songs about food, drink, and revelry. We’ll play music praising the virtues of good wine, well-brewed beer, and the occasional roasted goose. Join us for a delicious musical feast!
This year the Early Music Week Chorus will explore rhythm in Renaissance vocal music, from the brain games of mensural canons to the playful rhythms of the frottola and musique mesurée. We'll investigate how poetry, dance, and mathematics have influenced concepts of musical rhythm in the 15th and 16th centuries, and work on our rhythmic skills along the way!
We will refine our melody-playing, learn to create harmonies and accompaniments to English Country Dances, and polish our ensemble technique. This will include creating variations on a melody while staying true to the form of the dance, as well as ways of creating harmonies, counter-melodies, ornaments, and accompaniments. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll learn how to keep the energy and momentum of a dance going as an emsemble: what can the melody player do to keep the energy up? What techniques can we use to trade off the melody without losing momentum? We’ll have a chance to play for dancers, too!
Music by: Lisa Terry: We will investigate the dances and components of a typical 18th century ball: the minuet, “fancy dances,” deportment, cotillons, and country dances.
Of Witches and Baboons and Bears: Music of the Masques (Int+ Viols, flutes, recorders) – Carol Lewis
One of the most elaborate entertainments in late renaissance England was the masque, with many different characters and creatures appearing and disappearing according to stories tailored to the amusement of the queen or king. Dance music was an enormous part of this, and we’ll play a wide selection of (mostly) English dances, with an emphasis on contrasts in mood and tempo and rhythms. This music works very well on viols (I-A); recorders and flutes also welcome.