pennsicdance: So, let's get this show on the road again

Vanessa Layne dagoura at MIT.EDU
Mon Mar 27 11:08:22 PST 2000


> 1. organizing the Pennsic Pile 
>         Since they're easily accessible to me, I asked Alaric
> MacConell and Elsbeth Anne Roth to review the music that we have used
> for the last couple of years for "playability" - Alaric and some other
> arrangers had expressed willingness to help create simpler
>        arrangements of some of the music we have for the future.

I want in. :) I volunteer to review the music as well -- I have a band
at my disposal more or less :), and can actually take them thru' all
the music.  I think I have a copy of the Pile somewhere.

I'll also arrange if necessary/desired (philosophical question ahead, later).

I'd like to suggest that we have on the www a page which lists all the
pieces in the Pile (which may exist), and the status of the reviewer
and the pieces (which probably doesn't).  So pieces can be marked
"Good", "Needs simpler arrangement", "Missing attribution", whatever.

If someone points me at an electronic toc for the Pile, I can set up a
shareable reviewers' page on my FTP server.

>        Nevertheless, we still need someone to come up with a final
> version, and arrange photocopying and distribution.  Greg, are you
> intereste d in working on this project or are you burned out?

I have no love of production, but if necessary, I do have access to
$0.03/pp copying regularly, and often can get free copies on the
office machine.  I also just discovered my leman owns a comb
binder. :) I'm not volunteering to do distribution, only
printing/binding and transport to the Pennsic location of your choice.
And I will happily cede to anyone who actually *likes* production.

Which brings up the issue of money.  It would be Really Cool if
musicians weren't charged for the music, and could take their copies
home with them for free.  (Or, heck, even just write in them with
impunity.)  Are there any options in this regard?

Another topic: I'm thinking that maybe I will succumb to the
relentless pressure to Teach Something.  I'm flat unwilling to run an
intro-to-the-Pile "rehearsal" during afternoons; that having been
said, do people have *other* suggestions for musician classes they
might think would support the War Effort?

Ideas I've come up with so far (no, I don't have time to do all or
even most of them):

* Playing for dancing -- Two parts: "A Beat You Can Dance To: what
your music teacher never told you" and "Meet the Repertoire: a
crash-course/survey of music for Renaissance Dance"

* "Striking It Up: starting live music for dancing in your area"

* Directing a Dance Band -- (for musicians who read music fluently)

* Intro to 16th Century Arranging -- "hands on" workshop in which
everyone actually arranges something (several hours); for musicians
who read music fluently.

* Ludi ad Improvisum, I & II -- Intro to Ren. improvisation for
musicians who are too literate.  I: Introduction to several hours of
(modern) improvisatory games/exercises to help musicians get "off the
page".  II: (for survivors of I) Realizing a Basse Dance tenor &/or
Instant Galliard.

* Playing "La Spagna" -- hands-on workshop, several examples.  For
literate musicians.

* Becoming a Better Musician -- How to teach yourself.  (Lecture.)
Getting demoralized?  Feel like you've plateaued?  Stymied by the
price of music lessons?  Want to feel like you're making more progess?
Wondering how to get from where you are to where you imagined yourself
when you took up the art?  Wish you felt more confident?  Just want to
make better music?  Come hear some heresies about how to become a
better musician.  For musicians of all levels of ability, literate and
oral tradition.

* Guitar without Tab: The Secrets of Renaissance Dance Music -- unlike
post-period music, it is possible to realize guitar chords from bass
lines in Renaissance part music (and responsible historical-style
compositions).  Takes much work, is very complicated, and involves
lots of memorization -- but it is possible for a guitarist skilled in
this obscure art to look at a piece of Renaissance part music and play
along with it.  Several hours, hands-on workshop.  [NOTE: my guitarist
moved cross-country, and I'd need some other brave soul to work with
on this one with me before releasing it to the public.  Maybe this
year, if there's someone who plays chord-style guitar (or lute or
vihuela or harp :) who wants to work with me on this at Pennsic, it
would be feasible the following year.]

Votes?  Other ideas?  

My thought is that if we have gaps in the dance pavillion schedule
which we feel we need to fill (it was suggested that if we don't fill
the schedule, they won't feel the expenditure justified; I don't know
if we're in any danger of that...?) I could wedge one of these classes
in there.

-- Tibicen
   tibicen at

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