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February 03, 1983 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-03

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The Michigan Daily

Thursday, February 3, 1983

Page 6

Students learn the ways
of medieval musicians


By David Martinez
STUDENTS TAKING the course The
History of Music-140 literally took
a step back in time yesterday. Instead
d4 listening to a lecture on how music
Was performed in a typical church ser-.
dice of the middle ages, the students
performed their own rendition of a thir-
teenth-century mass.
. In addition to singing music charac-
feristic of the period, the students
created a liturgy which made use of
traditional processions, readings, and
Orayers. The ceremony took place in
tie School of Music Recital Hall, using
the stage as a sanctuary-complete with
altar, lecterns, and choir stalls.
The whole project was designed by
11usic professor James Borders. Bor-
Aers was inspired to re-create a
medieval liturgy after hearing the per-
S rmance of a medieval mass during
lst year's International Medieval Con-

ference in Kalamazoo.
Students in the music history class
were given a choice of singing in the
Schola Cantorum (chorus of singers),
or composing a medieval motet (a
polytextual piece with a plainchant
tenor as the lowest voice). Those
choosing to sing in the Schola met out-
side of class for two hours each week.
This time was spent learning how to
sing Gregorian chant; chant being a
vocal, unaccompanied, melodic line
with a Latin sacred text.
The early music novices soon
discovered that learning to sing chant
correctly required the ability to sing
from "square notation" (different from
the traditional musical notation we use
today), knowledge of alternation prac-
tices between soloists and chorus, and
the use of principles such as rhythmical
and accentual treatment of words and
After a month of preparation, the
students were ready for the premier of
their medieval mass. The ritual began

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with the entrance procession, or introit.
During this part of the ceremony,
students and spectators processed
single file into the mock cathedral,
while the twenty-five member Schola
sang the Latin text from the third mass
for Christmas Day ("For unto us a son
is born").
After the assembly had entered, the
Kyrie (Lord have mercy) followed,
featuring the alternation of singing
between cantors and chorus. The
Gloria (Glory to God in the highest)
was intoned by priest Val Wenson, and
the remaining phrases sung effectively
in alternation, contrasting men's and
women's voices.
Items composed in polyphony were
also sung, in keeping with thirteenth-
century practice. A conductus for three
voice parts served as processional
music for the sub-deacon Daniel Hen-
drickson, as he processed to the lectern
to read the Epistle. Both Hendrickson
and Wenson sang convincing solo roles
as members of the clergy.
The Gradual and Alleluia utilized
florid two-part "organum duplum",
written by the composer Leonin at the
Cathedral of Notre Dame in the late
twelfth-century. The class period en-
ded with the singing of the Credo (I
believe in one God), and the remainder
of the work will be performed tom-
morrow at 9:30 in the School of Music
Recital Hall.
Music Professor Glenn Watkins
remarked afterwards, "An atmosphere
took over that's difficult to obtain in the
classroom." Indeed, the Mass accom-
plished its goal of serving as a live
teaching aid. As Borders put it, "The
project was designed to help the studen-
ts understand the music in its proper
performing context."
All of the students were excited about
the performance. Percussionist
Charlie Taylor explained, "It was fun.
It taught me a lot of things about
medieval music." Composition student
Laurie Ochsner added, "It's easier to
understand something when you've
sung it yourself."
Other students remarked that the
project helped them with other areas in
the discipline of music, such as
providing inspiration for new com-
positions, or enlightening them to the
possibilities of "free rhythm" in music.
Perhaps the most important objec-
tive accomplished in this performance
was the sound of the music itself.
Ochsner summarized many students
thoughts when she said, "I volunteered
to sing because I never knew what some
of this music sounded like." Now they

A \
DJ 'spins-for-dollars' during WCBN's fundraiser.
Put your moneyon c7BN


, s E1c ffr s r) 1

By Joe Hoppe
RADIO FREE Ann Arbor starts
asking for money today.
The University of Michigan's student-
run radio station (88.3 on your dial)
starts its fourth annual on-the-air fun-
draiser at 9 a.m. It will continue for 88.3
hours, and end Sunday night.
Although WCBN is funded by the
University, over half of its yearly
operating budget comes from con-
tributions. This year's fundraiser is an
important one for WCBN. With all the
budget cuts going on, the station is also
in danger. "They don't always seem
terribly pleased with us," says
Publicity Director Lori Bizer, referring
to the University administration.
Hopefully, in a few months the station
will be upping its wattage from 10 to
200. Then people outside Ann Arbor
will be able to listen in. If this works
out, WCBN might need some extra
But as far as the fundraiser goes,
"It's like a party all the time on the
air," saysBizer, publicity director for
the fundraiser. Some of the best
programming of the year will be broad-
cast over 88.3 for the next four days.
Live performances of local bands, live
drama, and interviews will all be aired.
All of the good programming will be
generously sprinkled with pleas for
cash, and those donating can also get
premiums from area businesses; gift
certificates, t-shirts, free meals, and
other "less serious" stuff as well. The
number to call to contribute is 763-3501.

"I'll admit I don't listen to 'CBN all
the time, but during the fundraiser I
could constantly," says Bizer. Now let's
see exactly why :
Thursday - Highlights are live har-
monica virtuoso Madcat Ruth, eight
different theatre groups doing fifteen
minute sketches, a special edition of the
Modernistic radio show and pianist
Dave Wild.
Friday - Lots of live music. The
Variables play on the All Out Attack
hardcore radio show, David Glazier
and Stewart Cunningham perform for
the jazz House Party show, and
throughout the day local groups
Aluminum Beach, Some Problems, It
Play, Crate, Dick Seigel, and reggae
bands The Pulsations and Stolen
Legacy will be broadcast. Also the
greatest hits of WCBN'G announcements
and a live food tasting from the
People's Food Co-op on the Nutrition
Outreach show.
Saturday - The Folk show hosts
Gerald Ross and the Broadway
Playboys. George Bedard and the Bon-
nevilles then Garth and Dave play on
the Down Town/Rockabilly Show. The
Sailcatz perform on Nothing But the
Blues. Also, a taped broadcast of The
Freedom Rally and a live 'cast of the
University Gospel Choir.
Sunday - The big event in the after-
noon is the Rotating Radio show's
remote broadcast of a chant-in with the
Shaman's Dance group. It happens in
the Nickles Arcade and everybody is
invited to join in. (Stay tuned for when.)

Also, the radio debut of the Dharma
Bums and early Sun Ra on the Real
Black Miracles show.
Sunday's real big news is the WCBN
Benefit Bash. It starts at the Michigan
Union Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Tickets
are $4 but if you contributed that much
or more you get in free.
Five area bands have donated their
time for the bash:
George Bedard and the Bonnevilles,
featuring many longtime Ann Arbor
musicians and many longtime great
country/rockabilly tunes.
The World famous Trinidad Tripoli
Steel Band from Port of Spain Trinidad
beats out Calypso and Reggae on won-
drously tuned oil drums.
Non Fiction one of Ann Arbor's best
new music bands. Ben and Larry Miller
doing great original material.
The Sun Messengers brass from
Detroit doing Third World and blues.
Orquestra K-Che Detroit's premiere
Salsa group.
Don't worry if for some inexplicable
reason you can't be at the bash, you can
still hear it on 88.3's simulcast.
. WCBN is.a rare bird amongst college
radio stations. It's one of the few 24-
hour seven-days-a-week broadcasters,
and rarer yet, it's totally freeform.
C$N is worth supporting-remember,


s L


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