There are 30 classes.

14th Century Italian Secular Vocal Music

This course provides students with an overview of the musical and poetic characteristics of three popular vocal music genres of the 14th Century in Italy. Listening examples will be provided.

16th c. Improvisational Dance Music (Galliards, Pivas, Salterellos)

The music class will involve musicians to take their hand at coming up with on the spot melodies to support an impromptu Galliard and the like. Being well versed on your melody and percussive instrument is a must.

A History of Dance in the SCA

A discussion of the history of dance in the SCA. Where did we get our dances? How did dance information spread? Who were the movers and shakers? Why is dance culture the way it is in the Society? Come, find out or add to the discussion.

A La Mode

Have you heard that "medieval music is modal" but have no idea what that means? Modal mysteries revealed in this lecture with musical examples. If class members are interested, instructor would love to have improvisations in each mode. Bring your instrument (voice included) if you're willing to 'noodle around' in front of others as we explore the modes.


The Canary, or Il Canario, is a semi-improvised 16th century dance, with stamping and swagger. We'll go through dance structure, some basic steps and combinations, and composing your solo passages. Improvised does not mean unrehearsed! Hard-heeled shoes not required, but fun if you have them.

Chiara Stella by Request

Chiara Stella is a fun cascarde from Il Ballarino, which I have been asked to teach by a good friend. Come to this class to learn and practice this dance. Knowledge of 16th c. steps is helpful, but not required.

Choreography by Committee

Have you ever wanted to choreograph a dance? Together we're going to make that happen! Come help us create a brand new dance for the SCA. Music for the dance will be created in the Composition by Committee class.

Composition by Committee

After the Choreography by Committee class, we have a brand new dance. Now it needs music. Can a group of random musicians possibly agree on a melody? Let's find out!

Contrapasso Da Farsi in Tutti I Modi

Contrapasso was a popular dance throughout 16th century Italy, and it appears in four different manuscripts, in many different forms. I'll be teaching as many versions of it as possible, as fast as I can! Attendees will be expected to know at least one version of Contrapasso.

Dances from the Il Papa Manuscript

The Il Papa Manuscript is an early Cinquecento manuscript exhibiting some transitional characteristics between the Ebreo and Caroso repertoires. Come join us as we learn two or three of its fifteen dances.

Dressed up Pavans: 16th Century Balletti

This class will teach two balletti from Il Ballarino (1581) by Fabrito Caroso, Gratia d'Amore and Contentezza d'Amore. These dances start out pavan-like, but have a faster section at the end.

F is for Fun Cascarde

So are many other letters, but this class covers 2 cascarde starting with F, Fiamma d’Amore and Florido Giglio, from Caroso, Il Ballarino (1581). Fiamma is an adorable flirty dance that is also a great introduction to cascarde, being reasonably short and repetitive, but containing many common step sequences. It is a good warm up for Florido, which has many fun and interesting figures and works well not only as a social dance, but as a showy performance piece.

Four Couple English Country Dance

Playford's dances for four couples are some of his most interesting. I will teach several, including Lord of Carnavann's Jegg, If All the World Were Paper, and Dull Sir John.

Gelosia By The Book

Gelosia appears in several manuscripts. How do the various versions of the dance compare to what we know as Gelosia? In this class we'll look at the original version by Domenico, Giovanni Ambrosio's version, and the version in the Giorgio manuscript to find out.

Gresley Manuscript Dances

In this class, you will learn a little of the history of the Gresley Manuscript and the dances found within the notebook rediscovered in 1996. You will then learn 4 of the dances listed. No experience or partner necessary!

Hafla Band Jam

Let’s play music for Middle Eastern dancers! A hafla is Arabic for ‘party’, so let’s get the music started! All musicians from Beginners to Seasoned Musicians are welcome. You don't even need to know how to read music! You will learn a few Middle Eastern maqams (scales) and we will make up the music from there. Don’t be shy: you CAN do this! No solos or auditions are required: we will all play together. All instruments are welcome; please bring your own. You must know how to play all the notes on your instrument. Drummers are welcome if you can play softly.

HIP to Be Square

Historically Informed Performance (HIP) is an approach to performance (of music or other arts) that seeks to use knowledge of historical performance practice to shape the modern performance. Class will cover aspects of performance and where to look for authenticating information.

Instrument Happy Hour (A Harp's 21st Birthday Party)

Instruments can be your best friends, so let's treat them that way! Let's share a drink and some cake while we swap stories and tall tales, as well as care and feeding tips for our favorite UNsilent partners. Bringing your favorite instrument is highly encouraged (but not required.) Listeners also welcome.

Issues in Translating Dance Manuscripts

Many probably recall, back when Julia Sutton published her translation of Nobilita di Dame, the criticism of her choice to translate dance terms. Having now helped translate a difficult manuscript myself, I have a lot more sympathy with her choices. This "class" will be a round table dealing with particularly thorny issues in translation, especially as they relate to reconstruction. Our goal is to pick the collective brain of the dance community as to what it wants out of translations.

Penelope: A Ribbon Dance

This is an ECD version of Tesera choreographed by James Blackcloak.

Pennsic Pile Practice

Do you have a copy of the Pennsic Pile of Music and want to play with other dance band musicians? Bring your Pennsic Pile, music stand, and instruments and we’ll play together! All instruments are welcome. This is not for beginners: you must know how to read music and know how to play your instrument. Sight reading is beneficial. Bring your requests: I intend to play more obscure tunes that are not played much in Atlantia.

Percussion for European Dance

This class will be both lecture and applied performance of the different appropriate percussion instruments in support of European Dance.

Reading From Gresley

This will be a workshop in reading and transcribing Gresley from a facsimile of the original. Since the Gresley MS was handwritten about 500 years ago, this will be covering handwriting (paleography), the use of abbreviations and other elements of scribal practice, and early modern spelling. No reconstruction experience is required, but be prepared to squint and discuss a lot.

Run the Gamut

Music. How does it even work? Come and find out. Play with rope to discover the physics of waves, which directly impacts our perception of harmony. Learn the origin of the diatonic scale. Divide a string into the musical scale twice - once using the instructor's ordering, and once following Guido d'Arezzo's (c. 1050). Listen to the scales you derive!

Running a Dance Musician's pit

The lecture will cover logistics involved with organizing and directing a group of musicians to perform dance music for a dance ball.

Saint Martin's

  • ( Fred Blonder)
  • (n/a)
  • Dance
  • Average
  • Advanced

Saint Martin's is one of the more difficult of the Playford Dances, because it has no pattern. It's pretty to watch, and makes a nice performance piece.

Step Stately

  • ( Fred Blonder)
  • (n/a)
  • Dance
  • High
  • Advanced

I will teach one interpretation of the Playford dance, Step Stately. This is a fairly difficult dance, and I expect to use the entire hour on it.

Teaching European Dance

The class focuses on how teachers can improve their abilities as dance instructors. The class is particularly useful for beginning dance teachers but can help polish anyone’s skills. Some of these notes, or "best practices" as I call them, may seem obvious or come to you naturally, but I have tried to break down the process as simply as possible.

This Is Gonna Be Epic

Sources for developing historically-informed performances of oral epics - Beowulf, Roland, El Cid and more. Guidance for staging these performances in an SCA context.

Three Couple English Country Dance

Playford's three couple dances are extremely varied and creative. I will teach several, including Old Mole, Scotch Cap and Adson's Saraband.

Unscheduled or Canceled Classes

  • 14th Century Italian Secular Vocal Music
  • 16th c. Improvisational Dance Music (Galliards, Pivas, Salterellos)
  • A History of Dance in the SCA
  • A La Mode
  • Canary
  • Chiara Stella by Request
  • Choreography by Committee
  • Composition by Committee
  • Contrapasso Da Farsi in Tutti I Modi
  • Dances from the Il Papa Manuscript
  • Dressed up Pavans: 16th Century Balletti
  • F is for Fun Cascarde
  • Four Couple English Country Dance
  • Gelosia By The Book
  • Gresley Manuscript Dances
  • Hafla Band Jam
  • HIP to Be Square
  • Instrument Happy Hour (A Harp's 21st Birthday Party)
  • Issues in Translating Dance Manuscripts
  • Penelope: A Ribbon Dance
  • Pennsic Pile Practice
  • Percussion for European Dance
  • Reading From Gresley
  • Run the Gamut
  • Running a Dance Musician's pit
  • Saint Martin's
  • Step Stately
  • Teaching European Dance
  • This Is Gonna Be Epic
  • Three Couple English Country Dance