Early music ensemble skills
Time: 13:00 - 14:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: ME160C
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
What is the course about?
In the 17th century it was common to play music with instruments from more than one family (mixed string and wind instruments) where parts are interchangeable: the "broken" consort. This group will explore different sound combinations in repertoire from the 17th century. We will play at modern pitch (A=440). Instruments suitable for the ensemble are:
- recorders and/or viols (any size), flute, violin, viola, oboe, cello, bassoon
- keyboards: harpsichord, clavichord, spinet (acoustic or digital).
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- How to play in tune in a mixed instrumental group
- Elements of early Baroque interpretation such as phrasing and articulation, tempo and tempo changes
- Studying scores to understand how the parts fit together into a musical whole
- Listening and comparing different recordings, playing along with them and working towards own, informed choices
- Playing in time with a metronome and backing tracks, recorded by the tutor and other students to understand in detail the relationship of own part each of the others
- Practice and rehearsal skills such as isolating and interpreting phrases.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- play better in tune in a mixed-instrument small ensemble
- respond to the playing of others in a small ensemble
- better understand elements of early Baroque style and interpretation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- You need to be at least Grade 5 standard on your instrument. You need good music-reading skills, but you do not have to be able to sight-read
- You should be willing to be adventurous e.g. with adding embellishments and interpreting ornamentation
- Previous experience of ensemble playing is helpful but not essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Weekly live sessions on Zoom, with course materials and sharing via Google Classroom
• Tutor explanation, presentation and some live demonstration
• Self-directed study and group study of materials on Google Classroom
• Playing along with the tutor and other students
• Practising your own parts for pieces
• Analysing and critiquing professional recordings of works and class recordings
• Listening and score reading.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please have your own instrument(s), a pencil and eraser. All musical material will be provided by the tutor via Google Classroom. You can either read these on a screen, or download and print out.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in Music history courses, which cover a wide range of topics from medieval to contemporary popular music.
Peter is a professional viol and recorder player. He performs and records professionally, notably as a member of the renowned Rose Consort of Viols. He has several diplomas as a viol performer, from Köln and Den Hague, and German state qualifications as a teacher of recorder and viol to higher education. Peter has over thirty years’ teaching experience in one-to-one and group sessions, ranging from adult beginners and keen amateurs to students at music colleges, professionals, and children. He teaches regularly on international summer courses in Europe. At City Lit Peter teaches recorders and early music. He loves to communicate and bring out the beauty and sensitivity in "early" music.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.