Wednesday: We had a discussion/workshop on finding your independent (or group) focus for the course. Historical research, philosophical research/analysis, or develop of performance skills–any of these could be your primary focus. We also listened to a track from Officium by Jana Garabak and the Hilliard Ensemble.

I appreciated the feedback four of you wrote on the course (everyone else, you still MUST do this, or send me an email). I think there’s a general sense of doing more “improvising our way through music history” and less left-brain learning about historical details. With that in mind, I planned Friday’s class to go as follows:


  • Warm up: open, neutral groove on C then solo and duo improvs in C Lydian and C Phrygian.
  • Sing (without notation) part of our “boiled down” syllabic chant.
  • Women sang the original chant (vox principalis) and men harmonized by singing a fourth below (adding a vox organalis).
  • Did the same thing instrumentally.
  • Played Ferand exs. 2-4
  • Started discussion of Renaissance division techniques, including playing examples from handout (taken from the Grove Online articles on “Improvisation” and “Division.”
  • A little bit of Goehr discussion in the middle of all that.