Music session - 31st October 2017
Katherine of Glastonbury, harp
Elyna Delynor, lever harp
Emily, soprano recorder
James of the Crescent Isles, lever harp
Sympkyn of the Moor, hammered dulcimer (only partly)
This sesson we had a few different experience levels in the mix so we began by having a look at those tunes we knew everyone had tried at least once before. So we again started with a nice easy option, namely
- Earl of Essex Measures
The sheet music for this one is the Joseph Casazza arrangement, and there is another sheet of simplified accompaniment options that goes with it. For anyone playing by ear, starts on a G and has an F# in the melody.
After that we played
- Single Bransle
Being a repetitive and fairly short tune I find this one to be a good candidate for an early foray into the realm of playing without dots, especially if you know the tune already. We spent a good bit of time with this one, there is lots of scope for starting slow and building up speed, and even improvising a little on the melody if you are so inclined.
The next obvious thing to do was to introduce:
- Double Bransle
Which was new to some of the group but didn't present any major problems, we kept it within a comfortable tempo. Both of these tunes start on G and have a B flat. We cycled around a good few times to reinforce the new tune in everyone's heads.
After that I wanted something where the focus could be on accompaniment rather than the melody, which is a different kind of satisfying depending on your instrument. We started:
- Ballo del Fiore
This was partly an excuse to demonstrate to our new recorder player that single note drones are a thing that melody instruments can do, and to give the new harpist a bit more understanding of bass accompaniment, particularly when the melody is already well supported. The bass line/chord structure is nice and simple to remember and nice and repetitive, as is the melody, so this piece has become a favourite for improvising for the more experienced musicians in the barony. What I hope this means for the future is that we can have all levels of people joining in on this and other pieces like it, and playing together with minimal difficulty and therefore hopefully maximum enjoyment all round.
We didn't get too carried away this session because the piece of music was brand new to some, but it went really well as an introduction and we'll bring it out again next opportunity.
Finally we played through
- Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie
a few gentle times as a wind down, and then called it a night.
Future music sessions will take place on Tuesdays rather than Mondays. NEW VENUE! (email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for address), same time (7.30pm - 9.30pm).
Newcomers are very welcome :)