Russell Almond's Early Dance Music

These pages contain music dance music I wrote during 7 years of being a dancer and a musician in the Society for Creative Anachronism. (I'm known in the society as Mustapha al-Muhaddith). Although my motivation for undertaking these projects was to have music available for Society balls, I hope that the results are generally useful to the early dance and early music communities.

I'm making the settings and arrangements available on these pages available free of charge. (See Copyright Notice for terms of use and other legal details.) The files are available in two formats: MIDI files which you can listen to on your computer or import into your favorite music software, and Adobe Acrobat (R) [PDF] format which you can view on the screen and print out. (Details about my choices of formats and how to obtain viewers are available on the Format page). Do check out the printed pages even if you don't read music very well; I often put interesting and important notes about the dances there.

There will eventually be three collections at this site:

Basse Dance Project
This is a several year effort to write settings for the Burgundian Basse Dances. This is very much a work and progress and I expect the project to continue for several years.
Dances from the SCA 30th Year Celebration
These were the official arrangements used at the Society for Creative Anachronism's 30th Anniversary Ball. The collection contains settings for a number of dances including many of the Arbeau Bransles. [Currently I have all of my own settings on line and I'm writing for permission to use the other settings I incorporated in the 30th Year collection.]
Dance Music Class
This is the class handout for a class I taught on dance music. The purpose of the class was to teach enough about the construction and rhythm of the common renaissance dances so that (1) musicians could intelligently take direction from dance masters and (2) dance masters could instruct musicians about their preferences for the dances in a way the musicians could understand. [As this was basically an outline, it is currently undergoing a major rewrite]

Nota Bene! This is a temporary home for these pages. I'm looking for a place with more room which won't charge me by the megabyte. I'll leave a pointer here when I update the site.

I am basically an educated amateur. Although I have tried to study 15th century music theory and style, reading in books and listening to tapes does not instantly convey the ability to write music. These pages are a work in progress and I will update and replace the settings as my musical skills improve. I'm releasing them now in the hope that they are of some use to dancers. (Those of you who are curious about what I do in my other life can check out my professional home page.)

Russell Almond
13 Merritt Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Home Page

Other Early Music and Dance links you may find interesting:

Dance Information

The RENDANCE homepage
Includes archives of postings to the RENDANCE mailing list and an extensive bibliography and discography on Renaissance dance.
SCA Music and Dance Homepage
Greg Lindahl's collection of resources for SCA dancers and musicians, including is dance "cheatsheets," and extensive Links.
Basse danse, Brussels ms. 9085
On-line transcription of Brussels, important source for Basse Dances.
Letter of Dance
Archives of an SCA based newsletter on Renaissance Dancing.
A Caroso-style Ball
An article about an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a 16th Century Ball.

Other Dance Music Collections/Projects

Joseph Casazza's Renaissance Dance Material
Joesph Casazza's projects and transcriptions including concordances for the tunes in Arbeau.
Ellisef's Music and Dance Page
Another SCA musician producing dance music settings free for use in the SCA and other educational purposes.
Jim Cartmell And Oldham Capriol Site
Another musician writing settings of early dance music.
The Internet Renaissance Band
Renaissance music in MIDI format. Some dance tunes.

Early Music Sources and Suppliers

Early Music FAQ
Answers various questions about early music including recommendations for recordings and artist.
Classical Net Home Page
Extensive collection of links related to clasical music.
Interesting Links - Early Music
Early Music Page from Classical Net
von Huene Workshop, Inc.
Suppliers of Early Instruments and music.
Suppliers of Early Instruments and music: extensive on-line catalog.

[Early Dance Music]
[Basse Dance Pages] [30th Year Dance Collection ]

These pages designed and maintained by Russell Almond
Last modified: Fri Feb 7 17:39:38 1997