Sackbut Class description

The Iberian Peninsula

 Music from the three great Spanish Cancioneros:

 Palacio, Medinaceli & Uppsala  plus more!

 Main topics:

Ornamentation and improvisation after Ortiz

The Villancico, song in everyday life

Text placement, phrasing and the Lerma Codex


This Fall’s sackbut workshop, running concurrently with the early double reed workshop, will focus on music of the Iberian Peninsula from the 15th and 16th centuries.  The main body of repertoire that we will be working with comes directly from three “song books” referred to as the Uppsala, Palacio and Medinaceli cancioneros.  These anthologies are comprised of villancicos or, roughly, “peasant songs” which developed into art songs in the late middle ages and early Renaissance from their origins as folk songs.  We will discuss their form, function, characteristics and history, hopefully getting a better glimpse into daily life at this time through these secular songs.

Performance techniques will be split into two main ideas.  The first will be that of ornamentation and improvisation based on the examples put forth in Diego Ortiz’s Trattado de Glosas.  We will look at his suggestions and work through a number of them, with the goal of applying them and those we create on our own to ensemble pieces.  His Recercatas that are found in the second book of the Trattado will form our solo repertoire.  The second performance idea is drawn from Gaspar Stoquerus’ treatise on text placement, the most comprehensive treatise known to exist on this topic.  We will use his rules not only to help us develop a clearer sense of phrasing in works where text is present, but also to take works where the text has not been included and work out a musical phrasing with text in mind nonetheless.  To do so, we shall refer to the Lerma codex, a collection of un-texted pieces from the ducal chapel of Lerma reserved for the minstrels.

The day will be divided into sessions of topic discussions, sackbut ensemble (including warm-ups and techniques), solo performance opportunities, and mixed playing groups with the double reeds.

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