Renaissance Faire season is quickly approaching and if your looking for more tunes to practice up on I recommend checking out Tielman Susato's collection of dance music,"The Danserye","Het derde musyck boexken...alderhaude danserye" (1551) Many of these tunes got recycled over again and again up through the English Country Dance period. On his You Tube channel Ernst Stolz, a brilliant performer on historical Viols and many other Early Music Instruments performs many Susato pieces and other composers. Also on You Tube Kanal von Zarataphs' "Renaissance Racket Collection" covers Susato and much more. Eduard Antonello's channel "Early Music in a Different Way" features Crumhorns. Thomas Campion's music is getting more attention these days and lends itself well to the Bowed Psaltery. I could mention here that although I have been playing the Bowed Psaltery for over 40 years I never have learned to read music but instead learn a tune by listening to it over and over and practice. An excellent tool for doing this on You Tube is AniMidify. Type in Animidify Susato as an example but all kinds of music are beautifully shown as well as played.   I hope these have been some helpful suggestions.

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Oh my ~ beautiful! I'm listening to Ernst Stolz's Youtube as I type this. Thank you SOOOO much for sharing these sites.

Hello Gregg, Your post got me looking around and I found this place  which has 17 Renaissance pieces (one by Henry VIII). It is for flutes, but the range works for psaltery. They each have a "play" button to just hear the tune, and downloadable midi and mp3 files, and some have accompaniment files, in addition to the sheet music.


I just want to say I am a big fan of yours. I have seen videos on YOuTube and you are awesome. I bought your DVD and love watching your technique. I am currently learning how to use two bows. Thank you for sharing your talents and words of wisdom.

  Thank you Evelyn for your kind words. I had been playing the Bowed Psaltery for almost 20 years when my friend Mickey Zekely  gave me the opportunity to make my video "Bowed Psaltery-An instructional Guide" in 1991. Lark in the Morning had made a few instructional videos before were gearing up to make some more and used me for a practice run. I meant at the end to redirect to the beginning where I play "Orange Rogue" first with one bow and then 2 bow with double stops but we did it in one day and that was the all time they had for me. At first it had a picture of the Bowed Psaltery I played on it on the cover but that got switched to "Blotchy Man" and later the European built BP now on the DVD. Once it got made I did feel a sense of relief that what I'd been working on would be spread by my clones that would never get older.

Gregg, thank you for your helpful suggestions. I plan to play at the Alabama Renaissance Faire in October and this will be a totally new experience for me (usually it's old-time/folk). The music suggestions are especially helpful, but I would also appreciate advice on finding a costume, how to disguise my tripod stand, etc. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I don't see a Renaissance Group on psaltery strings, and I'm not qualified to start one, but there is probably a need for it.



  Hi Debra, about how to hide your tripod, since the olden days of the Agoura Ren Faire we have a saying: "If it isn't in period, wrap it in burlap."Some other cloth or leather could be used but nothing blends in and disappears quite as well. Jeanie says dressing as a commoner is easier and more convenient than wealthy class but its more important to dress to blend with your crowd. If you haven"t heard of it  check your local magazine store for Renaissance Magazine. It is an important resource... 

I once had a monopod that I could mount my Omega Strings psaltery on. Good part it was very inconspicuous, you could tuck it between your knees, it supported the weight, BUT you kind of had to hold on to it. If you were wearing a full skirt it could be out of sight.

 An adjustable camera monopole is a good idea, but at a thrift store you might find wooden table legs with the same threaded bolt size you can shorten to your height choice.

Great ideas, and I appreciate your help.  I'll try to post a photo or video after the event.

  July 19th & 20th, 2014 Jeanie and I and the combined Northern and Southern California Danse Macabre (see us on FaceBook SoCal Danse Macabre) will be at the Central Coast Renaissance Festival at Laguna Lake Park, San Luis Obispo CA. Bring your Bowed Psaltery and we'll visit. Their website has a section on costume (we call it "garb")...


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