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North Queensland Recorder Society Newsletter March 2011

Happy New Year

The Committee and Editor wishes a successful and enjoyable musical year to all our members and friends.

Next Play Day

The next play day will be March 13th at St Joseph's School, Mundingburra, 2.30 – 4.00. The leader for the day will be Valerie Huston and the theme is All Creatures Great and Small - expect plenty of animal music. Please bring recorders, music stands, something to share for afternoon tea and a gold coin to assist with the expenses of the day. This is a good day for you to take out or renew your membership.

Weekend Workshop

This year's weekend workshop will be held May 21st – 22nd. Full details will be sent out next month. The guest tutor is Barbara Jerjen from Canberra. The workshop will run from Friday evening to Sunday midday and there will be an informal concert at the end of the workshop.

This year's event will be held in Townsville. In previous years the workshop has been live-in and away from town with the hope that people could focus on the music and not try to juggle running to and from other commitments. This year the committee has found difficulty in identifying a location that is both affordable and acoustically suitable. We are hoping that without the cost of travel and accommodation, more people will be able to participate.

Later in the Year

Tentative dates for play days later in the year are August 14th and October 30th. We expect to run a carols busking session in December.

January in Armidale

By Ian Montgomery

Each year Orpheus Music puts on a week-long residential recorder course at PLC (Presbyterian Ladies College) Armidale on the New England Tableland of New South Wales. I attended the January 2010 and benefitted so much from it that I returned for another fix this year in January 2011. Those of you who have attended any of the weekend workshops given by NQ Recorder Society will know that it is a special event to be able to immerse oneself completely in a musical event of this nature.

The Orpheus Music is like the weekend workshop on a grander scale. As well as more participants, typically 60 to 90, there are multiple tutors, so the technique and small ensemble classes, held each morning, are divided into multiple streams that you select based on your proficiency. The afternoon sessions included a recorder orchestra, led by a different tutor each day, and special topics such as trills and alternative fingering. Three of the evenings had concerts comprising a tutor concert, a blackboard concert and the final evening in the New England Regional Arts Museum. The latter combined a show and tell concert in a formal, elegant exhibition hall and a delightful dinner in the open-air restaurant attached to the Museum.

Townsville was well represented among the nearly 90 participants by a strong contingent of 6 participants, or 7 if we count Jo Wineke, now living in Lennox Head, NSW, but with still strong links to Townsville. The contingent comprised Heather Coleman, Anneke Silver, Julia Batterham, Sabrina Wightman, Cynthia Marsh and myself and we spread ourselves widely among the various class levels and sessions and played in various concert pieces.

Robyn Mellor, who led the NQRS workshop in Ingham in 2009, was taken ill shortly before the course and couldn't attend. She was greatly missed but Zana Clarke, the incredibly competent organiser, and the other tutors filled in very effectively for her at short notice. The range of specialties of the tutors was remarkable so in addition to the usual strong core of baroque music (Barbara Jerjen, Hans-Dieter Michatz, Ruth Wilkinson and Jane Downer) we had Rod Waterman and Zana Clarke with their eclectic skills, Avery Gosfield with medieval and renaissance music on tabor and drums and Peter Hagen, the harpsichordist, who proved convincingly that you don't need to be a recorder player to lead terrific recorder technique sessions.

I enjoyed the course this year even more than last year. My favourite session, in terms of pure enjoyment, was the orchestra series: it was a remarkable experience to take part in something on such a grand scale in the college chapel. Sadly, Zana and team are taking a well-earned 'sabbatical' in 2012, so we have to wait until 2013 for the next fix. I hope Townsville is as well represented then as we were this year.

Notes and Queries

Malcolm Tattersall's helpful advice section has now acquired a name. He is willing to attempt to answer any recorder related queries and these may be sent directly to him or to the newsletter editor. In this issue he tackles the subject of . . .

Editorial Intervention

Brereton's Rule may be unfamiliar to my readers but it deserves its place in the sun with Murphy's Law, Parkinson's Law and the Peter Principle. It is: If you are asked to do a job once and don't mess it up too badly, you will be asked to do it again.
So it is with this column. The new query is, "What does this slur with a slash through it mean? Legato but not really? Is it possible that it is a misprint?"
The bar in question is:

muisc notation extract

A couple of bars earlier in the same piece we have a plus sign in brackets above a note:

music notation extract

My questioner didn't ask about it, but both can be explained together.
Most of us know that music was written differently a long time ago. To put that into context, most of us couldn't play at all from music written down in, say, 1400; most of us could play from music of 1600 with some difficulty; but most of us wouldn't notice any great difference between music of 1800 and (conventional!) music of 2000.

All early music therefore needs to be adapted to our standards to some extent, by an editor who understands what he or she is looking at. However, it's nice for the player to know what the composer actually wrote, so a good edition will try to show that as well. In the Preface you might find, "Original note values have been halved," (so that semibreves have become minims, minims have become crotchets, etc) or descriptions of other wholesale changes.

What we have in the extracts above are the editor's notifications of such alterations affecting only one or two notes. In the first, the slash through the slur says, "This slur wasn't in the original but I am sure that these two notes would have been slurred." The plus sign is standard baroque notation for an ornament, usually a trill, and the brackets around it similarly say, "This ornament sign wasn't in the original but this note would automatically have been ornamented by any player of the period." These two signs are quite common in good editions of baroque music but they are still usually listed in the Preface (occasionally "Editorial Commentary") of the edition.

Knowing these markings are only editorial frees the player to make her/his own decisions. Editors do not always know best … though you would be flat out getting one to agree (that's a joke, Jean!!).
(No editorial intervention at this point. Editor)

How much is a Recorder worth?

According to a news item in The Australian for March 4th thieves in London stole a Stradivarius violin from a musician in a sandwich bar. Not knowing its worth, they tried to sell it to a man in an internet café for £100. His reply? 'No thanks, my daughter already has a recorder.'

(The editor has a copy of the article if you want to read the rest of the story.)


Your hardworking treasurer, John Batterham, has completed all the work for our incorporation so we are now North Queensland Recorder Society Inc. For more information about the process and/or consequences of this, contact John, john@batterham.id.au

Society Library

If you are looking for new music to play, remember that one of the advantages of NQRS membership is the use of our library. The Library presently has over 170 items ranging from easy to difficult pieces and from solos to pieces for 8 or 12 players. Email the newsletter editor for a list of the library contents or contact Malcolm to ask about a good time to go and browse the collection.


Are you a financial member? The membership year runs from the first of January and renewals of new memberships can be paid at the first play day. Benefits of membership include:

Membership fees: $15 (Single), $25 (Family), $10 (student).


Newsletter compiled by Jean Dartnall

Page created March 6, 2011