Early Music Ensemble

baroque instruments

Early Music Ensemble – MUSA 268/468/668, M/W 2:00-3:30 Center for the Arts room 3075 and 4049

Are you interested in exploring the musical repertoire of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque andGalante periods? TU Early Music students can:

  • Try the antique version of their modern instrument
  • Try singing the first operatic repertoire, using early vocal techniques
  • Learn to play basso continuo on the harpsichord
  • Play chamber music on copies of period instruments

The Towson Early Music Ensemble offers many exciting possibilities for students interested in historical performance. Private instruction is available in Harpsichord, as well as large and small chamber ensembles, vocal/madrigal groups and more. EME students learn about original notation, and period performance practices like improvisation, embellishment and articulation. They will also enhance their sight-reading, diction, intonation and ensemble skills while playing and singing a wide variety of repertoires, and collaborating with other TU theatre and music ensembles. The ensemble, begun in 1995 by Professor H. Gene Griswold, has presented many years of concerts and community outreach in the Maryland area. Recent performances have included ‘Three Faces of Beowulf’, at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., ‘A Bad Day in Arcadia’, including French, English and Italian madrigals of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as [in collaboration with Music For The Stage] a baroque opera pasticcio.

Instruments available for practice and performance include:

  • Harpsichord by William Dowd [triple-transposing]
  • 5-octave Fortepiano after Walther by Rod Regier
  • Quartet of high-quality Baroque Bows
  • 5-course Baroque Guitar & 8-course Renaissance Lute
  • Gothic Harp, Psaltery, Rebec & Vielle
  • Sackbutts, Cornettos, Viols & Krummhorns – and others

Harpsichord students at TU:

  • Learn how to realize figured bass, and play basso continuo
  • Study repertoire from the 16th-18th centuries, in various genres & national styles
  • Learn about Harpsichord tuning and maintenance
  • Experiment with applying early keyboard fingering, articulation and other historical performance practices

For more information about auditions and off-campus concert appearances, contact Marc C. Bellassai, Instructor of Harpsichord and Early Music Ensemble Director, at 410-704-2839 or .