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Let me tell you where to go...
    —Roger Miller, “England Swings”

Please keep in mind that we don’t know about everything that is out there. If we leave something or someone out, that doesn’t mean we don’t like it or him or her or them. Order of appearance depends on when we remember or find out about things (and get permission to link!), and not with any judgement on our part. (Please contact us and let us know about groups and resources we’ve missed. Thanks!)

Early Music

The following are some links to information on early music, period instruments, and sources of printed and recorded music.

Performers

There are a lot of groups that perform early music. The Early Music FAQ includes an extensive list of performing groups. At Renaissance fairs one can often find many local high school and college choruses and instrumental groups performing early music; check with your local educational institutions for groups near you.

The following are some groups and individuals we know of that perform early music at Renaissance fairs.

The following are some early music groups that don’t, as far as we know, perform at Renaissance fairs, but whom we’d be remiss not to mention. If you’ve not heard their work, you owe it to yourself to give them a listen. (We’re unlikely to ever be very thorough here, especially because of the growing numbers of ensembles that specialize in early music. We refer you once again to the Early Music FAQ and its far more complete list of performing groups, and to the many ensembles and individual performers reviewed, written about, and advertising in Early Music America.)

RESCU Foundation

There’s more than one way to support Renaissance fair performers you like. Performing at Renaissance fairs is not a path to riches; it’s a labor of love, and those who do it aren’t necessarily able to afford insurance. The RESCU Foundation, to quote their mission statement, “is a non-profit organization established to promote and maintain the health and medical well-being of the participants of Renaissance Faires, historical performances and other artistic events through financial assistance, advocacy, education and preventative programs.” Please visit their web site, read about how you can help, and consider doing so.

Other Musical Information

Online Music

As people have more and more available bandwidth, the net has become a source of music. In addition to simply downloading music files containing sound data, there are two popular ways of grabbing multimedia content online:

As others have pointed out, the net is an ideal medium for “narrowcasting”. (At least, it is now; see this discussion of “net neutrality”.) A net broadcaster doesn’t need a mass audience, and thus can cater to the interests of possibly small groups—and despite the increase in popularity of early music, compared with rock, hip-hop, country, et al. we’re still a small group. (See Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More and the associated blog.)

There are now several audio streams and podcasts that feature early music and/or what we will call “Renaissance fair music” for purposes of categorization (but see our manifesto):

Renaissance Fair Information

The following are some sites that have gathered information about fairs and festivals that are inspired by the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

AtTheFaire.com magnatune.com

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