minstrel: Period music and dulcimer

Christopher Gregory krummhorn at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 15 21:44:46 PDT 2000

> Did you mean to send this to the list?  It went directly to me.  If you did,
> you can forward this to the list.
Gotcha.  I have problems with checking the "To" box.  Ooops!
> I have to apologize for being cranky, I'm a group seneschal and there's a
> set of rabble rousers in our barony who hate our group and are always making
> insinuations that we're doing something mean, bad, or immoral.  :)
No problem.  I often get upset with people who seem to be telling me I'm
doing something bad.  Those kind of sharp teeth are normal, it would seem
especially for those who are in the music field.

> I think the term's actually been around longer than Seinfeld (whom I've
> never seen)...however, I think "Nazi" should be put in the same category as
> "bitch"...ok if you're using it in the "historical/political" term but as an
> extreme insult if you're using it to describe a person's "negative
> characteristics".
I know it's a really nasty term.  But that seems to be the prevailing trend
in the SCA these days.  I prefer MA, for "Militant Authenticist," as it has
fewer negative connotations and is easier to write (both because it is
shorter and because it doesn't harken to the days of the Holocaust.) It also
has the downside of looking like "Master of Arts," which is what some of us
are currently going for in college!  Ooops number 2!

> Ick.  I know it's going out on a limb to solicit advice from someone you
> don't know.  Well, the branch broke, eh?
I'm a brave soul.  And sometimes that gets me in a great deal of trouble.  I
learned to ask lots of questions when I went to Germany one summer, and
lived with the Mayor of Quedlinburg.  At first, I was quiet and meek, and
didn't learn at all.  But then I figured that I could blame problems on my
American upbringing, (we are the fools of the planet, according to most
other cultures) and ask to be forgiven, and that might work.  And I
immediately started asking questions, and getting incredible answers!  I
learned more then than I had ever learned before.  I guess sometimes that
tactic doesn't work as well.
> You know, for the first 2 or three years I was in the SCA, every song was
> from Child's Ballads or Pills to Purge Melancholy (which is a source for
> songs about 120 years OOP, but some of them have roots, and they are
> bawdy...but you must decide which are "close" and which are not).  I
> learned.  I researched.  I asked a lot of questions.  At this point, I can
> usually document any song any person sings (unless it's 20th century, I
> haven't bothered with those).  If I can't pinpoint the first date it
> surfaced, I can usually tell when it's from.
> Of course, until a few months ago I was planning on a PhD in
> musicology...now I'm being pushed towards opera.
The Bawdy Songs CD has both Pills to Purge Melancholy and Purcell's rounds,
and neither are in period.  But some sound period, and some are blatantly
OOP.  There's this one song, The Old Fumbler, which I love to sing, but it
sounds like it's from 1650 or later.  I would never sing it in a period
bardic circle, but in others I would sing it in a heartbeat, assuming the
beat was a good tempo.  I try to limit what I learn to 1600, but being a
music major, it's tough to be that selective, especially with Baroque music,
which sometimes sounds period and sometimes not. (I.e. Monteverdi and Bach

>> I hadn't boxed them in.  They were standing there, and I asked.  I thought
>> that if I asked a question I would look like I wanted to learn.
>> But to this
>> guy I guess I came across as a fool or a sneak.  I have heard
>> Gregory Blount
>> say that judgment is a factor in determining periodicity in music, and I
>> trust his opinion.  But I would never go back to the Authenticity Nazi,
> This person wasn't Greg, was it?  He's usually pretty blunt....
No, Gregory can be blunt, but he, like me, is usually very helpful.  I don't
know who the fellow to which I referred was, apart from his unpleasant
>> because he was not helpful.  I knew that 1600 was end of period, and that
>> 1680 was OOP.  He assumed I didn't.  And "You do the math" is
>> condescending,
>> not informative.  Please, please, please be helpful and not angry when
>> somebody asks you for assistance.  It would be like telling somebody they
>> were driving the wrong way, then walking away when they asks you
>> how to get
>> to a museum.
> I'm usually nice.  You got my sharp teeth.  :)  I'm usually overly helpful,
> and that can be a problem too.  I've had to restrain myself many times from
> approaching someone who didn't want help and "helping" them.
Yeah, it's tough to refrain from being helpful when you have even a little
experience in teaching.  Sometimes a situation looks like it begs for direct
assistance, but we must find a round-a-bout way to help instead of offending
someone who may have terrible experiences with Militant Authenticists from
their own barony/shire/canton.
>> Anybody know of any sources?
> Sure.  Lessee.  Finals are coming up, so I'm running short of time.
> Try
> Chappell, William - Popular music of the olden time, vol. 1  1842?  Had a
> dover print not too long ago.
> This isn't a good documentation source but it's easily found in bigger
> libraries8.
> Simpson, Claude - The British Broadside Ballad and its music  1972?
> Ruttgers Press
> Great secondary resource, check it out.
> Rollins, Hyder - Anything by him that's not about Keats is usually about
> period ballads
> Kines....Songs of Shakespeare?  1960something
> The Percy Folios
> When you find these books on the shelf at the library, look at their
> neighbors.  Look in the poetry section too.
> I'm in the process of writing a songbook I think you will want.  I hope to
> have it done by Pennsic.  We'll see.  *sigh*
Cool, I'll look for you, and see what you got!  Keep in mind that a lot of
1500's French songs are just nassty! (La Rocque and Roll, Baltimore Consort.
Warning: liner notes may not be suitable for children!) So are some 1500's
English madrigals, less so with Italy, Spain and Germany.

>> your dulcimer isn't period," then walks off, that is impolite.  You say,
>> "You could do so-and-so and make that look much more period."
> Geez, I don't even think I would say that...I've gotten to the point where
> unless I can engage someone into asking me what I think I won't tell.  :)
Only say that if they ask for your opinion.  Otherwise, it would be a little
too MA for some, and they would yell, "GET OFF MY BACK!" and start crying,
or hit you with the dulcimer.  But then they could sue you, and buy a
Hackbrett from the Early Music Store.  Blessing from a Curse, I suppose!
> :)
> Constance
I shall keep the name in mind when I go to Pennsic this year!

Thank you most verily,
Richard Crowder of Burnham,
Musician ET Gentleman,
Though they may conflict.

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