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Early Music

What Recorder Should I Buy?

“What recorder should I buy?” “What recorder should I start on?” “I want to upgrade to a wooden recorder, which one should I get?” I’ve been asked these questions quite a few times, and I figured it’s about time I put my answers in one place. Should you start with a soprano or alto or [...]

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SCA Musician Myths

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about Bardic music’s place in the SCA landscape due to an article that came out in the Æthelmearc Gazette last week. In the article and the discussion around it I saw a lot of the same misconceptions of the SCA Early Music community (here on out called “musicians”) that [...]

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Beyond “Bad Bards”: Improving Performance Climate in the SCA

This is a guest post from THL Kasha Alekseeva, Baroness of Cynnabar, and renowned performer in the Middle Kingdom. The post is a response to the article "You don't hate the Bardic Arts, you hate Bad Bards" As RUM's new Dean of Performing Arts, I used this article as an opportunity to think about the [...]

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How to be a Better Dance Musician

I’ve been playing dance music in the SCA for over 7 years now. I’ve led some pits, been second in command of the pit many many time. I’ve been the lone musician playing dance music. I’m in a small dance band. I’ve played for Modern ECD and Contra dances. In short, I know a thing [...]

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What I’ve Been Up To

Here's a bit of an update on my life as an early music enthusiast. Another Pennsic came and went. I gave a class on the madrigal, Since Robin Hood, by Thomas Weelkes. Aaron gave a class on Renaissance Instruments. We went to lots of dance classes and played music for the ball. Here's a video [...]

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Getting Started on Ballad Research

Consider this a “whet your appetite” type of article on ballads. At some point later when I’ve done more research I’ll write a series describing what makes a song a ballad, and the wonders that they are. For now here’s a bit of what I’ve found so far: Greg Lindahl’s site on 16th century ballads, [...]

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Why I think SCA Singing Groups Should Perform Ballads

Here are three reasons why I believe SCA singing groups should include ballads and other solo music. The main reason I think it’s a good idea for singing groups to include period ballads in their performances is that it enables the group to be more flexible at events. Sometimes there will only be one or [...]

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Combining Instruments and Voices in Ballads, Madrigals, Medieval Music, and Rounds

At Pennsic last week, Aaron attended a class on performing medieval music. I didn’t go because I was learning how to use my new inkle loom, but I did get to look at the handout afterward, and Aaron told me what was discussed during the class. The point I’m going to discuss here is combining [...]

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Getting Started On Recorder (Part 2)

Here’s the second part of Getting Started on Recorder. I’m of the opinion that it’s better to teach yourself first rather than starting out with private lessons because by teaching yourself you by definition have to be an active learner. Going to a teacher, having him/her give you exercises to do, and brainlessly practicing them [...]

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Getting Started On Recorder (Part 1)

So you want to join your local SCA dance band, but don’t play an instrument… or the instrument you do a play is a piano. You also don’t have a lot of money or time to spend on a new instrument and training. Really you want to get right into the thick of it as [...]

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