[Perform-Talk] wanted--help mastering Renaissance choral musicq

Sandra Streeter sandrastreeter381 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 05:33:43 UTC 2018

Hello, all,

I am involved with a local auditioned community chorus as a whole, and also in its chamber singers group. Though I have been doing choral music extensively since the late ‘80s, I find that I still struggle mightily with the timings and even the note-patterns of Renaissance music (and, of course, we chamber singers get saddled with more of that than the larger group, because we’re aiming at more complexity than does the larger group). Some background below:

I do not use Braille notation, and don’t plan to—I find that it holds me back, and I have a decent ear and tonal memory. I do track page #and important measure s, dynamic markings and of course words using Braille, and  have developed a system of raised markings to remind myself of when pitches change in unexpected ways, rhythms are shorter or longer than thought, where breath marks, lifts in the middle of words and the like are, etc. Whatever people say about Renaissance stuff being mathematically precise and methodical, I find that it doesn’t easily fit into my brain—partly, I’m sure, due to mild Aspergers that makes things very uncomfortable if they are not within what I’m used to (then again, the “Aspergians” who ended up with the super-mathematical brains—not yours-truly, obviously—may find the Renaissance music fits neatly into all the math concepts). So, other than listening to recordings many, many times over, which I have done and sometimes but not always found helpful, anyone have any tips to make these types of works gel in my mind? Thanks in advance—I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say.


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”
(Henry David Thoreau)

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