SCA Dance Music has been an obsession of mine since some of my best buds and I swore to “Get The Music To The People!” and we formed Musica Subterranea in 1997. I have tracked other musicians who record SCA dance music as best I can, and I hope if you know of resources not listed on this page, you’ll tell me.
NB: Live musicians are very nice to have for dancing if you can get them, if you can rehearse with them, if you have the right sheet music for them, and if they’re genuinely happy to play dance music in a start/stop/start/stop fashion all night. This is, however, NOT the case most of the time when you want to learn, teach, or practice SCA dance. THEREFORE: PLEASE use recorded music from reputable sources. And please let me tell you who those sources are… I’ve spent over 20 years tracking them…
My dear friends David Lankford/Dafydd Arth, Gus Sterneman/Emrys, Drea Leed/Drea di Pelligrini, and my sister Kathrin Coutinho/Lucia Braganca a Firenze swore in front of Dave’s Laurel, Mistress Urraca Yriarte, at Better War Through Archery in January 1997 that we would take our various musical, dance, research, and figuring-out-technology skills and put them to use producing SCA dance music that was under our copyright control and therefore easy to grant license of use for SCA dancers. We’ve produced 4 CDs so far, including 80 dance tunes, and truly countless happy dancers. I haven’t documented it, but I’m certain our music is used in every kingdom in the SCA to encourage the pursuit of accurate recreation of dance within SCA historic scope.
My dad (and Lucia’s) actually had a dream of his own to create a recording studio in our basement, and our mom was very tolerant of us taking over the house for a few long recording weekends. We released our first CD in 1999, second in 2000, third in 2003, and fourth in 2015. Our fifth is planned for release at the SCA 50 Year event on June 18, 2106.
For more details, see the band’s web page: http://www.musicasub.org/
To order CDs, go straight to CDBaby.com: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MusicaSubterranea
Other music recordings:
While I wish my own band could take care of all the needs of SCA dancers, that’s just not realistic, so there are other sources of good music I’m glad exist so that dancers can get all the recorded music they need. These are some of my favorite sources for recorded music that does match SCA choreographies, AND you can order their products online without having to travel or use cashier’s checks, AND they’re not out of print, AND you can be sure you know the deal on their copyright:
- Gaita: http://www.gaita.co.uk/ Three CDs and accompanying books.
- Wolgemut: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/wolgemut03 A CD of well researched and awesome sounding bransles.
- Heather Dale: http://heatherdale.com/music/#Download Albums Dances by the Marian Ensemble (download only, no CDs)
Sheet music for SCA Dance:
Go no further than the Pennsic Pile. It’s well researched, matches the choreographies done in the SCA, and since Pennsic #42, the copyrights have been well documented as licensed for SCA use! Just use this and ask me if you have any needs that are not met by this truly awesome book (except for Gresley): http://pennsicdance.aands.org/pennsic44/PennsicPile44.pdf
Check the Pennsic Dance Homepage, managed by our good friend Greg Lindahl, to ensure you have the most up to date copy of the Pennsic Pile: http://pennsicdance.aands.org/
If you didn’t get the message already, please get the message that respecting an artist’s copyright to their work is extremely important. SCA Dance Music is often copied illegally in the name of non-profit education, but it’s still illegal and wrong if you don’t document the permission given for copying the work given by the artist. If you don’t KNOW for sure that the original artist has granted permission for their performance, recording, sheet music, arrangements, research, reconstruction, choreography, or any other part of artistic work to be copied and used for what you’re using it for- EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT MAKING ANY MONEY – please show some respect for the starving artists of this world and check before you copy.
Read up on copyright and how you can use Creative Commons licenses to protect and use copyrights by clicking here: http://creativecommons.org/