Rook Residency: Early 17th Century Music


Rook presents an opening concert introducing its unique exploration of the variety of styles coincident in early 17th century Italy. The concert will feature the chamber music influenced by the revolutionary Venetian school and showcase composers that were experimenting with prima practica, secunda practica and stylus fantasticus, on strings, brass, and keyboard.

Ensemble Coaching

Preformed student ensembles will perform prepared music for Rook in a group coaching in an open setting. This module will focus on rehearsal prioritization and technique and offers an opportunity for interaction with the ensemble members, including a special discussion of continuo that will offer something of value for every musician.

Early Notation

Students will practice reading and learning primary source notation of vocal music from the 16th century. Skills will include viewing of sample notation and practical applications through reading of the music, practice with early clefs, and tuning exercises in quarter comma mean tone.

Student Plus Rook Concert

Participants will apply what they have learned in the individual sessions in a performance of larger scale Venetian repertoire, including at least one piece in early notation. The concert can include both instrumentalists and vocalists and will provide the opportunity to apply the concepts of early 17th century performance practice learned over the course of the weekend.

Specialized Masterclasses

Early Trombone Class
This module, designed primarily for trombonists with a modern trombone background, will explore the origins of the instrument, the chamber music possibilities presented by the 17th century instrument and the musical priorities of early trombonists. Focuses will include articulation, intonation, style, expressive concepts, Venetian high pitch and the differences in instruments of the time.

String Masterclass
This module is a primer on the 17th century Italian concept of string playing, both in a solo and ensemble setting. Students will discuss technique, bowing, instrument position, alternative tuning and the concept of the violin “family” in that era.

Rook will adjust each miniresidency to the needs of the individual institution. For scheduling please contact Jeremy Ward at