About MEMF

Robert Hollingworth Tutors a Bach weekend eventMidlands Early Music Forum is an organisation which exists to promote all aspects of early music in the Midlands of England. It is one of a number of regional fora, which between them cover most areas of the UK. Each forum was set up by a group of enthusiasts, and each has its own aims and aspirations.

MEMF is an open forum. It brings together amateur and professional musicians, singers and dancers, researchers, teachers and pupils, instrument makers, costumiers, and enthusiasts.

We concentrate on music from the Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. We’re very proud of our workshop programme which aims to provide opportunities across this wide spectrum of historic creativity.


Joining MEMF enables you to :

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  • Find out what’s going on in the area. We send out regular mailings to members. Our newsletter contains news, reviews, articles and a diary of events. The mailing usually contains other items of interest, such as promotional leaflets for early music events and services. If it’s happening, we’ll tell you about it.
  • Participate in workshops which MEMF organises on a wide range of early music topics. MEMF engages tutors of the highest reputation without charging silly prices to participants. Philip Pickett, Philip Thorby, Harry Christophers, Jeffrey Skidmore… our list of past tutors reads like a Who’s Who of early music. MEMF workshops are open to the general public, but as a member you receive valuable discounts on our already reasonable entry fees, and advance notification, so that you will be first in the queue if there is a limit on the number of participants.
  • Attend our social events, which vary from small-scale evenings in members’ homes to Members’ Socials and Concerts, often held in historic buildings.
  • Contact other like-minded members. Our regularly updated membership list will allow you to locate members in your immediate area, or more importantly, members who share your specific interest. If you want to start a small choir, join a dance group, learn to play the spinet or find a local crumhorn maker, this is the place to start. Alternatively, you could take the blanket approach and insert a free member’s advertisement in the newsletter. Use the same channel to advertise instruments for sale, or performances in which you are involved.
  • Borrow one of MEMF’s loan instruments to try (if available) to see how you get on with it before buying one of your own.

Annual Membership Fees are as follows :

Individual £ 10.00
Students free
Group £20.00 (Organisations)

Group membership covers mailing to a single address, and entitles any two members of the group to attend a MEMF workshop at concessionary rates.

Click here to join as an individual member, or here for group membership.

Recent Posts

How to make your brain ache while your heart melts

You’ve guessed it: sing Medieval music. A good turnout of around 50 singers enjoyed a fantastic workshop with Andrew Kirkman, bringing to life the delights of Josquin des Prez, Ockeghem, Dufay and Lionel Power.

This is tricky stuff: not written for our standard SATB choirs at all, and containing harmonies and rhythms that we don’t come across in the more familiar territory of later centuries. Andrew Kirkman’s approach was that we still needed to think of it as any other music and bring out the beauty of the lines rather than worrying too much about e.g. where the text underlay was “meant” to go.

The result was a day of fierce concentration and, in those heady moments when it all came together, heavenly music. Andrew expressed his appreciation for the high standard of MEMF sight-reading, although many of us were battling against some very non-standard ranges! It’s all a matter of having a go. Sight-reading/singing is the same as most musical skills in that it needs practising and a bit of risk-taking.

So if you fancy having a go at some more lesser-known repertoire, the next MEMF workshop is Monteverdi, The Sacred Dramatist. See the Events Diary for details.

 

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