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
I'm making the settings and arrangements available on these pages available
free of charge. (See Copyright Notice for
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
- 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
- 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
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
13 Merritt Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Other Early Music and Dance links you may find interesting:
- The RENDANCE
- 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
- 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.
- ANTIQUE SOUND WORKSHOP HOME PAGE
- Suppliers of Early Instruments and music: extensive on-line catalog.
[Early Dance Music]
These pages designed and maintained by Russell Almond
Last modified: Fri Feb 7 17:39:38 1997
[Basse Dance Pages] [30th Year Dance Collection ]