Early Notation with Annette Bauer - English Carols of the early 15th century
NOTATION SESSION 7 Wednesdays 5:30-6:45pm EST (notice the new time!) December 1, 8, and 15
This ongoing series of original notation classes introduces you to mensural notation, the system primarily used during the 14th-16th centuries. Being able to read from the original greatly enhances our understanding of how the music we love works and can give new insights for our performance practice.
The upcoming 7th session closing out the current year 2021 will be only 3 weeks in length, instead of the usual 4. We will play music from facsimile sources containing early 15th century English carols, which were to be sung during Christmas time.
Four main sources exist for this specific and beautiful repertoire:
The Trinity Carol Roll (Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.3.58)
Selden (Ox, Bodleian Lib., MS Arch. Selden B. 26)
Egerton (Lo, BL Egerton MS 3307)
Ritson (Lo, BL, Add. MS 5665)
This repertoire will provide a first opportunity to get acquainted with black mensural notation, which was commonplace in manuscripts until the early 15th century, before it was replaced by the void notation style. Quite unusual for the time period overall, but typical for these English sources, is the notation of polyphony in score format, occasionally also with a change between two- and three-part textures within pieces, as well as the indication “fabourdon”, which calls for an additional voice that was not notated.
Sessions are 75 min in length and are held via zoom. Students are able to ask live questions during the sessions. Facsimile, handouts, and recordings will be provided as reference for your individual practice at home between sessions. Mini-topics cover theory aspects related to the music of each series.
Open to all instrumentalists and singers, class pitch is 440. All levels welcome - basic abilities on your instrument/voice and basic music-reading skills are a prerequisite. This class is specifically geared towards students who already have at least completed the introductory notation class or have equivalent experience. If you don’t have any prior early notation experience at all but would still be interested in joining the class, please feel free to contact us.
Manuscript images shown here are, top: Trinity Carol Roll excerpt, middle: Egerton Manuscript, initial on f.72v, and bottom: Ritson MS, excerpt from f. 26v