Frequently asked questions

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Can I study 2 different instruments?

In the Voices & Instruments Course it is possible to take both a main instrument and a secondary instrument (example: voice and citole). The secondary instrument classes are taught in groups of no more than three people and are 30-minutes long. Since we give predilection to main instruments, the students interested in a secondary instrument will be put on a waiting list and will be notified close to the time of the course if there is room to to take also the secondary instrument.

What is the cost of the different programs and are there any reductions by taking more than one?

The cost of each program and of program packages can be consulted on the tuition page.

How do I get to Besalú?

Information of how to arrive can be consulted on the directions page.

How intensive are the course and workshops?

The courses and workshops are designed to be complete immersions in medieval music performance with intensive work throughout the day. The detailed schedules of every course and workshop can be consulted in the schedules section.

I don´t have appropriate instruments. Are there instruments available for rental?

Yes, there are instruments for rental. The rental price varies depending on the type of instrument. Once you write to us mentioning the instrument of your interest, you will be put in contact with the specific musical instrument teacher who will inform you of availability, rental price and other possibilities.

Can the courses and workshops be taken without any previous experience on medieval music?

The courses have been carefully designed for both people with experience and people without any experience in medieval music. They works at all levels: for people with no experience the courses are the best way to enter the world of notation, tuning, phrasing, articulation and ornamentation of medieval music. For those with experience, the courses offer rigorous work on the different styles of music composed between 1100 and 1300.

In what language are the classes taught?

The main language for group classes is English (Spanish is also used when appropriate or needed). The languages used in the individual lessons can be agreed upon with the instructor depending on their language skills. Some special talks might be conducted in French.

How should I be dressed for the performances of the Liturgical Chant workshop and the Voices & Instruments course?

The performances are expected to be of a professional level and the clothing should also reflect this. Also, the performance will be conducted in a church. Thus, we ask the students to bring elegant black clothing that is both appropriate for a professional performance and for the spiritual context of a church. If you have any questions about this subject please don’t hesitate to communicate with us before coming to Besalú.

Are the materials and handouts (articles, studies, facsimiles, music editions) for the different workshops and courses going to be sent to the students before hand?

Yes, student will receive all the materials and handouts for the different classes at least a month before the courses and workshops start (sent via email in pdf format).

Do I need to bring the materials and handouts (articles, studies, facsimiles, music editions) for the classes printed from home?

Yes, it is crucial that you bring your own set of materials and handouts. If there is a problem with this, you need to let us know in advance to prepare and have available for you copies of them.

How can I take the chamber music sessions (are these part of the Voices & Instruments Program)?

The chamber music sessions can be taken only as part of the Voices & Instruments Course. Each session is 50-minutes long (a total of five sessions, Monday-Friday) with a maximum of 6-7 students, chosen by level. The extra cost is of 60€ on top of the cost of the Vocal & Instrumental program.

Can I take 2 or more courses and workshops at a time or will the class schedules interfere with each other?

All of the courses and workshops are designed and organized to be taken without any scheduling conflicts among them. The only exception in 2017 will be the Musical Instrument Making Workshop and some of the Pythagorean Tuning Workshop sections (if you are interested in taking both you can comunicate to us to explore the possibilities since the schedules can be flexible). All other courses and worshops offered are well fitted into a feasible schedule with enough breaks to dine and rest.

Can I audit the classes?

Yes, you can audit the Voices & Instruments Course and the Liturgical Chant Workshop. This possibility is not open to any of the other courses or workshops. The prices for auditing can be found on the tuition page.

When do I have to arrive to Besalú to be on time for the courses?

We recommend you  arrive with enough time to find your lodgings, leave your belongs, and find your way around. It is also important to arrive on time for registration. Participants need to be aware of the time needed to arrive to Besalú on time: keep in mind “transit” time between airport and train stations and between train stations and bus stations. These are our suggested arrival times:

  • Liturgical Chant Workshop: Music from the Saint Sepulchre of Jerusalem / Arrive on Friday, July 7th or early on Saturday, July 8th. Registration will be conducted from 9:30-10:20 on July 8th.
  • Manuscript to Performance: Materializing the Medieval Pilgrimage Song / Arrive on Monday, July 10. Registration will be conducted from 18:00-19:30 that day.
  • Musical Pilgrimage Hike (Visit to the churches of Palera) / Arrive on Saturday, July 15. The hike starts at 8:30. Registration will be conducted before leaving for pilgrimage. 
  • Musical Instrument Making Workshop / Arrive on Sunday, July 16th before midday. The workshop starts at 16:00h. Registration will be conducted before class starts.
  • Pythagorean Tuning Workshop I, II & III/ Arrive on Sunday, July 16th or early on Monday July 17th morning, classes start at 9:00. Registration will be conducted in class.
  • Voices & Instruments: O Roma nobilis / Arrive on Monday, July 17th midday or early afternoon. Registration and auditions (placement auditions are for those taking Chamber Music Sessions for the first time) will be conducted from 16:00-17:00.

Check registration and class times on our schedule »

Where can I find lodging in Besalú?

Besalú offers free lodging to the students of the course in two different places. One of them is on the floor of one of the buildings belonging to the city hall. This  is a big space with cots, shared bathrooms and showers plus a little kitchen. The second one is a sports facility which is an ample space without private rooms and share bathrooms. There are also several hotels and houses for rent with good prices. Information about these possibilities can be found on the Besalú accommodations page.

Are Pythagorean I, II & III different levels?

Yes, they are two different levels: Pythagorean I is for new students with no experience, Pythagorean III is for returning students who had taken the precious course the year before or those with experience on the subject. Pythagorean II for both beginners and advanced.

Can I take the Pythagorean tuning workshop of July 17 without being registered in any other course or workshop?

Yes, you can take the Pythagorean tuning workshop (a total of 3 hours per each level) without being part of any other course.

Do I need to be a musician to take the Manuscript to Performance Course?

No, this program is designed for musicologists, performers, philologista and medievalists in general interested in approaching the medieval song from theoretical and practical points of view (the course is composed of theoretical and practical classes). The practical work is designed for anyone to participate even without prior musical experience (singing, playing accompanying instruments).