minstrel: medieval accompaniment

Janet Parish-Whittaker janetpw at compuserve.com
Thu Dec 27 16:00:52 PST 2001

Message text written by Barbara Webb
>finding a drone and doubling the tune intermittently,
>are ones we also use, and are appropriate I think.

Yeah, when I play harp in medieval ensemble (or any other potentially
melodic instrument, like the guitarra latina) this is pretty much what
seems to work.  Doubling tune, coupled with your variation ideas is called
heterophonic improvisation and is still characteristic of much folk music. 
Of course, you should base your improvisatory ideas on what others are
doing at the same time.  I think McGee goes into depth on this one, too.

> A few other ideas we've
>picked up or stumbled across:
>- 'home' and 'away' - if you think of the drone (and fifth) as 'home'<

Note to wire harpists:  Heymann forked fingering works great for this. 
Taylor mentioned this in one of his Sounding Strings articles on converting
lute music to clarsach.  BTW, just a guess, but it sounds as if you may
have studied with Bill....

-David Parish-Whittaker
Solona Beach, CA

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