minstrel: Intro

Tibicen tibicen at mixolydian.org
Sat Dec 1 18:24:15 PST 2001

Tangwystyl asks, re "A Harpable Danserye":

> Could you give us some more details on this?  I've been thinking for 
> some time that there needed to be a book for harpers specifically on 
> playing for medieval and renaissance dancing and the title sounds 
> like this may be the same sort of thing you produced.

You'd think.... but no, alas.

It is a folk-harp edition of that subset of The Work Commonly Known As
"Danserye" For Short (Susato, 1551) which can be played w/o changing
tuning in the middle of a piece.

Almost none[*] of the pieces have anything specific to do with known
dances.  They have titles like "Allemagne X".

<obligatory plug>It has twenty distinct pieces, many quite short, but
almost all appear both as solo arrangements and as duets; plus some
convenience transpositions in the back (fifty some-odd versions, IIRC,
total). 35 pages of music, plus a few essays (e.g. "What is a ficta
and do I have to care?", "How did we get in this wonky key
signature?").  It is organized by key signature.</obligatory plug>

It is a weird little book.  People have said enthusiatic things about
it to me, but I'll believe them when I start hearing Susato on harps
at events. ;)

At any rate, someone who knows more than I about the capabilities of
harps should write the book you are looking for!  

I think from time to time I want to write something for harpers on
"arranging" medieval music, and self-accompaniment, but it wouldn't be
didactic, it would be more along the lines of "here are a big bunch of
gimicks to try, many of which are very easy".

-- Tibicen

[* A *major* version of Ballo del Fiore!  Oh Boy!]

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