Early Music Workouts

Our Early Music Workouts combine the scholarship of our critical performing editions with backing tracks to provide an innovative resource for amateur, student and professional musicians to develop key musicianship skills relevant to early music and historical performance practice. 
 
Features:
  • Printable and screen-readable pdf files.
  • Worksheets covering theory, examples and practical exercises.
  • Accompanying backing tracks and videos suitable for instruments at various pitches. 
  • Multiple speeds to aid progression. 
  • Work off-line, or using the website.
  • Workout Volume 1

    9.50£
    Exercises for Improvising Embellishments, Volume 1
     
    • • Learn to embellish Renaissance and early Baroque music
    • • 120 accompaniment backing tracks in mp3 format
    • • Backing tracks in 4 tempi to aid progressive learning
    • • Suitable for instruments pitched at A=415, A=440 and A=465
    • • 12 pages of examples
    • • Suitable for treble clef readers
  • Choisest Grounds

    9.50£
    Exercises for Improvising over Ground Basses
     
    • Learn to improvise embellishments on ground basses
    • 12 ground basses with common variants.
    • 120 accompaniment backing tracks in mp3 format.
    • Examples progressive learning.
    • Suitable for instruments pitched at A=415, A=440 and A=465
    • Suitable for readers of treble clef.
    • Each ground bass presented with melody, bass and harmony.
  • Florid Adagio Vol. 1

    14.50£
    The Art of the Florid Adagio
     
    • Comprehensive instructions on how to add embellishments.
    • Practice movements relating to the specific examples.
    • 12 examples of works embellished by 18th century composers
    • 12 'clean' versions of the work for performers to try
    • All examples in treble clef, alto clef and bass clef
    • Backing tracks at multiple speeds and keys
    • 216 backing tracks included
    • 125-page booklet
    • Online version includes videos with backing tracks

Exercises for Improvised Embellishment of 16th and Early 17th Century Music, by Martin Perkins and Richard Thomas.

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This series of workbooks and accompanying backing tracks is a practical guide for musicians seeking to develop the skill of performing stylistic ornamentation in the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque. We have drawn upon the wealth of surviving tutor books and treatises of the period to devise a graded approach to learning the embellishments that are so integral to a historical approach to playing the music. The reader will be able to put the examples into practice by playing along with the backing tracks. At the end of the volume there is a full Renaissance motet, madrigal or chanson with indications of where the reader will be able to insert examples ‘in context’. Each track features organ playing the musical example in strict time, repeated multiple times to enable to reader to focus on the embellishments.

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Exercises for Improvising over Ground Basses of the Sixteenth to Early Eighteenth Centuries, by Martin Perkins
 

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Choisest Grounds is a practical guide for musicians seeking to develop the skill of improvising embellishing over Renaissance and Baroque grounds basses. 12 ground basses are covered: Passamezzo antico, passamezzo moderno, romanesca, bergamsca, ruggiero, canario, monica, ciaccona, chaconne, folia, passacaglia and passacaille. Variants are also presented, so that the total number of ground basses presented is 37. Each of these grounds is presented with simple melody and chords in three different keys giving the reader a large variety to stretch performers and suit most instrumental ranges. The reader will be able to put the examples into practice by playing along with the backing tracks or by watching the score and audio videos online. Each track features harpsichord playing chord progressions over which the reader can practice adding embellishments. The tempi start at a steady pace and increase gradually through the repetitions of the ground.

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Exercises for Free Ornamentation in the Italian Style of the 18th Century, by Martin Perkins.

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This series of Workouts is a guide to the florid ornamentation often found in slow movements of eighteenth-century Italian-style sonatas and will help the performer interpret and improvise the their own in a stylistically appropriate manner. The reader is first presented with a short compendium of embellishments over simple intervals and phrases and then given the opportunity to put these into practice over a contrived adagio movement. The final section of this Workout presents twelve original slow movements by Corelli, Babell, Barsanti, Castrucci and Telemann, all embellished by the composers, alongside which are plain versions which have been stripped to the essential melodic lines, to which the reader can apply some of the techniques learnt in the first section and by making themselves familiar with the original pieces. Each track features harpsichord playing the accompaniments, repeated multiple times to enable to reader to focus on the embellishments.

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Bonus Material: 

In this free supplement to the Early Music Workout: The Art of the Florid Adagio, you can play along to Quantz's embellishment exercises published in his 'Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen' (On Playing the Flute), 1752. with harpsichord accompaniment. This video caters for players of instruments at A=415 reading treble clef.