Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

music-msg - 7/3/00


Period music.


NOTE: See also the files: p-songs-msg, song-sources-msg, songs-msg, music-bib, instruments-msg, recorders-msg, harps-msg, singing-msg, bardic-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sbloch at euler.ucsd.edu (Steve Bloch)

Date: 21 Nov 91 18:33:49 GMT


kate at micor.ocunix.on.ca (Kate Sanderson (Kasia Blackfox)) writes:

>   I have recently been trying to find some songs to sing at

>events, and have been having a difficult time of it. Other than

>a rather sketchy idea of "well, it doesn't sound out of place",

>I really don't know where to start.  The trouble is, that most

>collections of period songs (and I don't care what period, I just

>want to be able to sing at events), don't include the TUNES.


I guess the first question is "for what purpose do you want to sing?"

If you want to entertain people with lyrics, not just your lovely

voice, you probably want songs in English, and a dialect of English

comprehensible to modern ears at that.  So the best place to look is

the English madrigalists of the 16th and 17th centuries: Morley,

Dowland, Byrd, Campion, Weelkes, Wilbye.  This stuff is in a modern

enough musical idiom that it won't weird people out.  Much of it is in

four-part arrangement, but there are plenty of solo songs, or "ayres",

intended for the singer to accompany herself on the lute, and some of

the four-part pieces have melody lines that could stand on their own.

These are famous composers, and their works should be available in any

college library's music section.

If you're willing to step outside the English language, lots of French,

German, and Italian songs from the same period become available.

Composers like di Lasso, Hassler, Schuetz, Gastoldi, Willaert, and

Janequin are some of the names to look for.  And of course Josquin de


Finally, if you want to be a little more tonally experimental, you can

move back a century or three.  This stuff tends to sound strange to

modern ears, but if you do it well it's a lot of fun.  Two friends and

I have recently been working on the Carmina Burana (with original,

13th-14th-century tunes rather than Orff's 19th-century ones) and some

troubadour/trouvere music from the same time period.  This takes a

little more library-work to track down, and sometimes it's in old

notation.  But Persis Ensor, from whom I took medieval-music classes

two years ago, puts out a book of "Monophonic Songs of the 12th and

13th Centuries", with tunes in modern notation and (partial) lyrics in

Middle English, Latin, Spanish, French, and German; write me for her



To answer (in brief) the question of where to find this stuff, I

strongly advise becoming familiar with the music collection of a good

nearby library, preferably a college library.


Stephen Bloch

Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib


sbloch at math.ucsd.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mchance at nyx.cs.du.edu (Michael Chance)

Subject: Lute Society of America

Organization: Nyx, Public Access Unix  at  U. of Denver Math/CS dept.

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 93 19:55:47 GMT


The following was orignally posted on the Usenet newsgroup




If you are strongly interested in the lute and do not belong to the

LSA [Lute Society of America], I strongly urge you to join.  I have

found it to be an invaluable source of information over the years, and

I have also made many good friends by being involved with it.


Basic information:  We have approximately 500 individual members and

130 libraries which subscribe to our periodicals, the annual Journal

and the quarterly (what else?) Quarterly.  We also maintain a Microfilm

Library, with many sources that are unavailable in facsimile or modern

edition, which members can borrow from.   We publish a directory of

members annually in which you can advertise yourskills and interests,

look up lute builders, or other players who live near you, etc.  We

normally hold a 6-day annual Summer Seminar with about 8-10 faculty,

including such internationally renowned performers as Paul O'Dette,

Nigel North, Jakob Lindberg, Stephen Stubbs, Bob Barto, to mention a few.  

This year it will be held June 27-July 2, in Rochester, New York.


This year we are publishing the first LSA Special Publication, an

anthology of easy pieces entitled "The First Book of French Tablature"

(edited by Karen Meyers and typeset by Wayne Cripps.)  If this is a

success, we will hope to make this a regular series offering both editions

of hard-to-find music and pedagogical material.


If you are interested in joining the LSA, you can do so by sending a

check to Beedle Hinely, PO Box 1328, Lexington VA 24450

(703-463-5812).  We also accept Visa and MasterCard.  Dues are $33/year

($63/2 years, $93/3 years.)  Students pay $28/year.  


You can also contact the president, Caroline Usher, by e-mail at

cpu at suna.biochem.duke.edu.




        Wayne Cripps

        wbc at sunapee.DARTMOUTH.EDU

        Bradley Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover N.H. 03755 (603) 646-3198


Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA   "At play in the fields

Work: mc3078 at sw1sta.sbc.com                             of St. Vidicon"

Play: ab899 at freenet.hsc.colorado.edu

      mchance at nyx.cs.du.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: moore at mari.acc.stolaf.edu (Michael Moore/Peregrine the Illuminator)

Subject: Re: British Books in Print

Organization: Baronial Colleges of Nordleigh, SCA

Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 17:23:14 GMT


kate at Micor.OCUnix.on.ca (Kate Sanderson) writes:

>If anyone has a copy of British books in print, and could look up the

>ISBN number for the Oxford Book of Carols, pub. Oxford university press,

>I'd be very grateful.


>Kasia Blackfox


Speaking as Choral Music Coordinator (i.e. librarian) of ST. Olaf College,

Northfield MN., I have _The New Oxford Book of Carols_ in front of me.

ISBN 0-19-353323-5


"Comprised of 201 carols (many in more than one musical setting), _The New

Oxford Book of Carols_ is supplemented with extensive notes on their

historical background and performance.  The carols are presented using

period settings and primary sources whenever possible, with a concern

for historically informed performance across a variety of different



It has both composed and traditional carols, including traditional English,

Irish, Welsh, American, German, Trinidadian, Czech, Polish, Provencal, French,

Basque, Spanish, and Neapolitan.  A lot of the composed carols state which

manuscript they are found in.


This is published, as usual, by Oxford University Press, Walton Street,

Oxford OX2 6DP, and I hope someone can inform me of their local distributors,

since I don't know.


Overall, a good book for beginning research on carols.





From: sherman at trln.lib.unc.edu (dennis r. sherman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: British Books in Print

Date: 5 Jan 94 14:15:15 GMT

Organization: Triangle Research Libraries Network


Greetings to the Rialto from Robyyan.


Peregrine says, while discussing the _Oxford Book of Carols_:

>This is published, as usual, by Oxford University Press, Walton Street,

>Oxford OX2 6DP, and I hope someone can inform me of their local distributors,

>since I don't know.


       Oxford University Press

       2001 Evans Rd

       Cary, NC  27513




Sorry I don't have a non-800 number for non-US folks.  I believe the

telephone number for the Oxfordshire location is 0865 567-67.


  Robyyan Torr d'Elandris  Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill Atlantia

  Dennis R. Sherman                Triangle Research Libraries Network

  dennis_sherman at unc.edu       Univ. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill



From: Robin Carroll-Mann <RCMANN at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: HARP

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 94 13:58:04 EST

Organization: Delphi Internet


<torin.ironbrow at sfnet.COM> writes:

>I was wondering if anybody had any good sources for learing how to play the

>celtic lap harp?  I have been able to borrow one for about a month and can use

>all the help I can get.  I do have the Sylvia Woods book and am using that.

I've been playing for about 4 years and taught myself from the Sylvia Woods

book.  I just bought _Exploring the Folk Harp_ by Janna & Mallory Geller.

Published by Mel Bay.  Price $19.95  (ISBN 1-56222-907-9)

Try your music store or call Mel Bay at 1-800-863-5229

The book doesn't assume musical knowledge & has good info on technique,

arranging, harp-buying, harp history, & more.  The authors perform at

renfaires (don't know if they're SCAdians) and they discuss stuff of interest

to SCA harpers, like how to play outdoors, suitable garb for harping (avoid

chainmail!), period musical style, etc.  The 38 songs include folk tunes

and a section of a dozen English Renaissance songs (with words).

Enjoy your harping!

Brighid ni Chiarain of Tethba

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: locksley at indirect.com (Joe Bethancourt)

Subject: Re: HARP                

Organization: Internet Direct Inc (602)274-0100

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 17:36:20 GMT


Rc> lphi.com!usenet From: Robin Carroll-Mann <RCMANN at delphi.com>

Rc> Subject: Re: HARP

Rc> Date: Sat, 15 Jan 94 13:58:04 EST


Rc> <torin.ironbrow at sfnet.COM> writes:

>I was wondering if anybody had any good sources for learing how to play the

>celtic lap harp?  I have been able to borrow one for about a month and can use

>all the help I can get.  I do have the Sylvia Woods book and am using that.


Rc> I've been playing for about 4 years and taught myself from the Sylvia

Rc> Woods book.  I just bought _Exploring the Folk Harp_ by Janna & Mallory

Rc> Geller. Published by Mel Bay.  Price $19.95  (ISBN 1-56222-907-9)

Rc> Try your music store or call Mel Bay at 1-800-863-5229


Rc> The book doesn't assume musical knowledge & has good info on

Rc> technique, arranging, harp-buying, harp history, & more.  The authors

Rc> perform at renfaires (don't know if they're SCAdians) and they discuss

Rc> stuff of interest to SCA harpers, like how to play outdoors, suitable

Rc> garb for harping (avoid chainmail!), period musical style, etc.  The 38

Rc> songs include folk tunes and a section of a dozen English Renaissance

Rc> songs (with words).


And if an SASE is sent me at PO Box 35190, Phoenix, AZ 85069, I will send a

copy of my small manual on -medieval- harp techniques.......


... Cavalier Foreplay: "Gee, my love, I may be too pretty for you!"

___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12



locksley at indirect.com                               Locksley Plot Systems

Inc. White Tree Productions                             CyberMongol Ltd.



From: sharons at juliet.ll.mit.EDU (Sharon Stanfill)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: harp

Date: 17 Jan 1994 14:30:44 -0500

Organization: The Internet


A good series of books for learing to harp is published by Stephanie Curcio.

They are intended for both folk and pedal. They start at a very basic level

and are excellent for learning how to work out fingerings. Stephanie is

a harper/harpist/instructor. I can't quite recall the prices, but I thing

think each of the three books is 8.95. Contact Stephanie at:

Stephanie Curcio Pub.

58 Winnicutt Road

Stratham, NH 03885




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mjc+ at cs.cmu.edu (Monica Cellio)

Subject: Re: Hammered Dulcimer

Organization: School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 1994 16:46:33 GMT


>I am looking for sources of medieval music written for the Hammered Dulcimer.


Within period, if music was written specifically for the dulcimer it didn't

survive.  There are a few arrangements by modern people in period styles

(of varying success) out there; a few are in Carrie Crompton's book

"Hammer Dulcimer Solos".  Mostly, though, you'll have to roll your own.


This isn't as bad as it sounds.  For starters, even a basic melody, played

well, sounds very good on the dulcimer.  If you're interested in playing

for dancing, you'd do well to learn a lot of the basic dance melodies;

you can get away with no embellishment, though as you get better as a player

you'll find yourself embellishing and trying more complex pieces.  If there

are musicians in your group ask them for dance music; if there aren't,

try poking through Playford, Arbeau, etc.  If nothing else, you should

be able to find music at large events like Pennsic and Estrella.


>Tips on learning to play the hammered dulcimer will also be appreciated!


Keep practicing, and remember to exercise the off hand. :-)


I'm self-taught on the dulcimer, as are most of the players I've talked

to over the years.  There are some reasonable books, but your best results

will come from (1) gabbing with other players (ideally in person where

you can *show* techniques) and (2) experimenting on your own.  (I don't

know where you're located, but I'll happily teach people at events; just






From: augment at world.std.com (Michael Bergman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: mediaeval jewish music

Date: 7 Apr 1994 23:34:13 -0500

Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway


I thought that this might be of interest to people.  Its from



------- Forwarded Message


From: eclectic at MIT.EDU

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 94 18:06:09 -0400

Subject: Medieval Sephardic Music from Spain [rec.music.early #8738]


- ------ Forwarded Article <9403300020.AA16884 at software.pulse.com>

- ------ From Dave Lampson <dave.lampson at PULSE.COM>


I recently got a fascinating CD that I thought the group might like to know

about.  It is the second disc in a series called the "Jewels of Sephardim"

exploring the medieval Spanish/Jewish balladry preserved by the Sephardim,

descendants of the Jews of medieval Spain.

This new release, titled "Wings of Time: The Sephardic Legacy of Multi-

Cultural Medieval Spain" (Songbird Music AEACD 1405 55:47) features

vocalist and dulcimer player Lauren Pomerantz joined by three

instrumentalists who have appeared on Ensemble Alcatraz' albums (Danse

Royale and Visions & Miracles, at least): Kit Higginson, recorder and

psaltry; Shira Kammen, vielle and rebec; and Peter Maund, percussion.

In the five centuries before the diaspora created by the inquisition, Spain

flourished as a multi-cultural crossroads bringing together the cultures of

the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.  This music, sung beautifully in

Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) provides a unique glimpse into this culture.  I

highly recommend it to anyone intersted in music from this time.  This

release, as well as the earlier volume titled "Jewels of Sephardim: Songs

from Medieval Spain", complement the Gallician, Anglo-Norman, French and

Latin music to be found on the Ensemble Alcatraz albums giving the listener

a overview of the musical styles in Western Europe during that period.  If

you like Ensemble Alcatraz, and/or have interest in the music of the Near

East and how it has affected Western music, you'll find much of interest

here, to say nothing of the skilled and passionate music-making that make

this disc more than worthwhile in it's own right.  Have I mentioned the

wonderfully transparent, ambient, and well-balanced recording?  Highly


I understand that these CDs are available at Tower Records (mail order

1-800-648-4844) and through a couple of other small distributors (let me

know if you need this info).  You can also get them directly from Songbird

Music.  Apparently they are not set up to take credit cards, but if you

send a check or money order they say they can ship it to you First Class

within a day.

   Pricing, which includes postage and handling:

   Wings of Time CD:       $15

   Wings of Time cassette: $10

   Jewels of the Sephardim CD:   $15

   Jewels of the Sephardim cass: $10

Both recordings include the lyrics and translations in the CD and

cassette.  Address:

   Songbird Music

   271 Tamarisk Court

   Walnut Creek, CA 94598-3629

   Phone: 510 938-4003

For those who wish to charge it, you may order it through either Tower or:

   The Musical Offering (Berkeley)

   1-800 466-0211


lampson at pulse.com



Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:23:40 MST

From: "Russell Husted" <husted at hotmail.com>

Subject: ANST - Medieval Music

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


This site was posted on another list. If you keep hitting the arrow at the

bottom you will see stuff on a variety of cultures' music.





<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org