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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