14th November 2016

Last week there was no session due to everyone needing time to recover after St Catherine's and the Bal d'Argent. We now have a group comprising primarily members of the Guild of the Silver Rondel - well done to Sympkyn, Emrys, Katherine of Glastonbury, William de Cameron, Katherina Weyssin, and Yvonne Gwyn (and myself too, just quietly) for passing their silver semibreve test over that weekend! Very proud of our wee band - great work guys!

Notes - 14th November 2016

Present:

Sympkyn of the Moor, hammered dulcimer
Katherine of Glastonbury, harp
William de Cameron, tenor recorder
Elena Harper, bray harp and lever harp
Christine Bess Duvaunt, flute
Mikhaila von Dhaun, harp (very much a crash course! good on you!)

Tunes played:

- Belle Qui
- Earl of Essex Measures
for warm ups and for practicing doing different things with the repeats - also for test-driving the simplified accompaniment that was trialled by Mikhaila on the harp. 

Then:
- As an experiment, we strung together three bransles as a set to see how that would go. Turns out it goes very well indeed. This week's set was Scots bransle, Pinagay, Washerwomans bransle. Two repeats of each and then straight into the next. Chosen because the key signature is consistant which is a massive bonus from a non-lever harp perspective. 

- Il Canario a.k.a. Canary. This is quite a simple wee tune that repeats ad nauseum until the dancers' feet fall off. This is because the dance is, like the galliard, an improvisation dance. As such, those of us who are not fond of dancing it thought learning to play it would be a jolly lark. We played it today by ear, those who hadn't played it before learned it without dots, which went nicely. The aim is to use it as an improvising piece of music in due course, but to start with we are just playing the basic form to get it stuck in the memory.

- La Traditore my fa Morire a.k.a. Galliard. We have taken to referring to this tune as simply "The Galliard" because at the moment I suspect it's the only one any of us know. Three of us have played it for a dance performance so keeping it fresh in our heads and teaching it to the rest of the group seemed sensible. Again we are playing it without dots if possible. The galliard dance is similar in structure to the Canary from a musician's point of view, i.e. continue repeating until someone falls over, so this too will become an opportunity to practice passing the melody between us and trying different things with the backing... in the fulness of time.

Next week we will revisit all the above, as well as revising Amoroso and Black Almain with a view to getting them to a faster dance speed. 

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