Forgotten Clefs Remembers Improvised Polyphony

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

In this free, hour-long concert, “Forgotten Clefs”, a Renaissance wind band, will demonstrate instrumental improvisation in three and four-part polyphonic pieces based on monophonic tunes. Civic wind bands in fifteenth-century northern Europe regularly performed composed and improvised pieces based on pre-existing tunes, and two fifteenth-century theoretical treatises permit loud band recreation of this type of improvised polyphony: De preceptis artis musicae by Guilielmus Monachus and Liber de arte contrapuncti by Johannes Tinctoris. In this performance, Forgotten Clefs will create polyphonic pieces from an audience-chosen basse danse tenor from Brussels MS 9085.

Forgotten Clefs, a Renaissance wind band, regularly performs and teaches in their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. In 2015, Forgotten Clefs performed at “Historically Informed Performance in Higher Education” hosted by the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (Washington, DC) and in the Young Performer’s Festival at the Boston Early Music Festival (Boston, MA), representing Indiana University’s Historical Performance Institute. The group has been heard on the nationally syndicated program “A Baroque Christmas in the New World” (2014), produced by Public Radio International in partnership with Harmonia Early Music and WFIU Bloomington, a National Public Radio station.