Early Music Lab

Early Music Lab is a music history elective offered through the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory.

It offers students an opportunity to experience Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque repertories through hands-on music making. The offerings of the Early Music Lab include Collegium vocale (a small vocal ensemble), and a section lutes and solo voices. An additional Early Music offering is CCM Vox antiqua, a select choir that is a collaboration between the divisions of Composition, Musicology and Theory and Ensembles and Conducting. 

In addition to the resources available through the CCM Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library, the Early Music Lab maintains a collection of English, French, German, Italian and Spanish instrumental and vocal polyphony; Baroque solo repertory; tutors and method books; research pertaining to early music; historic treatises in facsimile and in translation; and facsimiles of Renaissance prints and manuscripts.

Matthew Swanson, director

The Collegium vocale is a vocal ensemble that focuses on the intersection of scholarship and performance, with a special emphasis on early notation. The repertory ranges from chant to Renaissance polyphony. Concert programs have included presentations of Gregorian, Beneventan and Old Roman chant, a works from the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the Laudario di Cortona, early polyphony from the Codex Calixtinus to Perotin, and polyphony by Machaut, DuFay, Ockeghem, Josquin, Tallis and Byrd, among others.

The Collegium vocale has collaborated on scholarly and practical presentations including "Scholarship and Practice in Early Choral Repertories" at a meeting of the American Choral Directors Association (2014), "Singing Nuance: Oral and Written Perspectives on Late-Ninth Century Notation," (2015), "Singing Beneventan Chant from Eleventh Century Notation" at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo (2017), and a CD recording of early medieval chant from southern Italy chant, Canto Beneventano

The Collegium vocale currently sings the Office of Compline on selected Sunday evenings at the Church of the Redeemer, Hyde Park. 

Rodney Stucky, director

This lab explores the performance of solo songs with lute (or vihuela) and part-singing (including one-on-a-part songs and madrigals) of the 16th and early 17th centuries.  When feasible original notation will be used.

Brett Scott, director

CCM Vox Antiqua is a select vocal ensemble that is a collaboration between musicology (Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory) and choral conducting (Division of Ensembles and Conducting). Each year, Vox Antiqua performs a program of Medieval or Renaissance music that is designed and prepared by students in a 5000/6000-level music history course. The Vox Antiqua project explores current issues in historically informed performance practice, and affords student the opportunity to perform from a variety of historical notations, examine primary source material in facsimile, engage with the scholarship of critical editing, and develop the skills to prepare editions for performance. Auditions for the select ensemble are typically held in during orientation week. For information about Vox Antiqua contact Brett Scott.

Renaissance Collection

  • 10 Violas da gamba, including 6 by John Pringle, with bows by Harry Grabenstein
  • 16 Recorders, by Mollenhauer (“Kynsecker”) in various sizes from garklein to contrabass
  • 5 Sackbuts, by Frank Tomes
  • 5 Crumhorns, hand made by Richard Wood
  • 3 Shawms, by Joel Robinson and Robert Cronin
  • 1 Bass dulcian, by Leslie Ross
  • 1 Lute, by Alan Clark

Baroque Collection

  • 9 Recorders, including 2 altos by Von Huene (“Rippert”)
  • 1 One-key flute, by Hahn
  • 1 Violin, with bow by Harry Grabenstein
  • 1 Theorbo, by Michael Schreiner
  • 1 2-manual French-style harpsichord, by Ben W. Bechtel

Pedagogical Demonstrations and other Community Service Performances

  • Annual demonstration/recital at the Scarlet Oaks Retirement Community Chapel, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Annual demonstration/recital for the Sycamore Community School District (Ohio) 4th Grade Classes
  • Demonstrations for music history classes in the Greater Cincinnati area upon request

Previous Performances

  • Giovanni Gabrieli’s “In ecclesiis” (joint program with CCM Chamber Singers, Elliott Smith [DMA choral conducting student], conductor), May 2009
  • “Music of Medici Florence,” May 2007
  • “Canon Fodder,” March 2007
  • “Music from Petrucci’s Prints,” November 2006
  • “A Franco-Flemish Affair,” May 2005
  • “Music at the Margins,” May 2004
  • “O! Lasso!” May 2003
  • “Petrucci’s Odhecaton (1501),” November 2001
  • “Music of the Holy Roman Empire,” May 2001
  • “Music of Tudor England,” November 2000
  • Music for Shakespeare’s As You Like It, with the CCM Division of Opera, Musical Theater, Drama, and Arts Administration (OMDA)--Now TAPAA--Drama Department, Terrell Finney, Director, April 2000
  • “Ecco la Primavera: Renaissance Music for Spring and Pentecost,” May 1999

Previous Workshops

  • “Wind Workshop” with Bob Wiemken of Piffaro—The Renaissance Band, May 5-6, 2005 (coaching for loud and recorder ensembles, and reed-making workshops for shawms)
  • “Renaissance Music Workshop” with Piffaro—The Renaissance Band (Master classes, coaching sessions, private lessons, and presentations for Early Music Lab students and the CCM community; public concert by Piffaro); Fall 2002, Winter 2003
  • “Recorder Workshop Weekend” with Patrick O’Malley, May 12-13, 2000 (Master classes for students in the Early Music Lab and pubic recital by Mr. O’Malley)