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Registered Charity No. 291319

Latest News

New SWEMF Constitution approved by the Charities Commission

Our new constitution, which was adopted at the last AGM, has now been approved by the Charities Commission. Very many thanks to those that helped draft it, especially Madeline and Clare.

From Clare Griffel, Chair

Youíll have noticed that we have a new editor for the issue of the Diary - on behalf of all of us, Iíd like to welcome Lindsey Shaw-Miller warmly to the role, and to thank her for being prepared to take it on. The Diary is probably the single most important aspect of our activities - it keeps us all in touch and lets us know what is going on both within SWEMF and in the wider Early Music world - so the editorís role is crucial.

Thanks to all of those who attended the AGM. The new constitution was passed nem. con., so we will now inform the Charity Commission of the changes and the constitution will come into operation. You can read about other matters discussed at the AGM in the draft minutes, subject to approval at the next AGM, here.

At the recent excellent workshop given by our former chairman Peter Leech (see Ann Hillís report), he mentioned the website HOASM, www.hoasm.org/ of which many of those present were unaware. Since this is such a useful early music resource, I thought it might be useful to introduce it to those of you who havenít come across it.

HOASM stands, not as you might imagine for something like ĎHistorical Organology And Systematic Musicologyí, but for ĎHere of a Sunday Morningí, which is the name of an early music show on US public radio - broadcast, unsurprisingly, on a Sunday morning. However, the accompanying website has acquired a life of its own. Itís certainly my go-to source for things like musical anniversaries, potted biographies of obscure composers (hands up all those who are familiar with Gennaro Manna?), and so on. There are lots of play-lists of previous broadcasts, which can be useful if youíre trying to put a programme together on a particular theme. It has a good list of early music links, and best of all a series of historical overviews of various periods and schools of composition. Titles of articles include, to take a few at random, ĎThe Frottolists and their contemporariesí, ĎJohn Dunstable and his circleí and ĎAt the imperial court of Maximilian Ií, which gives you an idea of the level of detail thatís provided.

I had always felt slightly guilty using this site as a primary source, so it was a great relief to hear a musicologist of Peterís standing recommending it as sound, and informed by up-to-date scholarship. If you arenít familiar with HOASM, do drop in to the site next time you find yourself at your computer with a few minutes to spare. Happy browsing!


From Lindsey Shaw-Miller, Diary Editor

I should like to greet you all warmly as the new diary editor, and to thank Steve Walter for an excellent handover. I hope I can carry on with as much efficiency and enthusiasm. Iím delighted to be taking on this role. Since moving to the Mendips last year from Cambridge, I have found the Diary indispensable as an organ of information about the very lively early music community in the south west, and the excellent workshops and events. Iím a singer, with a background in mixed repertoire, small and large choirs. I greatly value the range of unusual music that we tackle in the workshops.

As Iím new to the Forum, perhaps youíll indulge a brief introduction. I am an art historian and a 17th-century specialist. I taught part-time at Cambridge until 2009, and ran my own small company, editing and translating for arthistory publishers. Since 2009 I have worked as a writer for magazines and journals. I also write poetry and am a member of the Bath Poetry Cafť and the Ekphrastic Poets, based at the Holburne Museum.

As Iím also new as the editor, I would beg your forgiveness for any inadequacies in the current issue. Iíve taken over very close to the publication deadline, and some things may have been missed. I shall endeavour to improve with the next issue, but if you spot any problems with this one, Iíd be delighted if you would (gently!) let me know. What is more important, however, is that the diary information comes to you in the format that suits you best. Many of you have opted for the electronic diary, and thatís terrific. Itís not for everyone, however, and for the majority who still prefer to have a physical diary, that they can peruse at their leisure, this will continue for as long as it is needed. Two things I would ask of you: if at any time you change your mind about the way the diary comes to you, just let Fenella Spiers, the membership secretary know, membership@swemf.org.uk" and we shall make the change. Itís no problem. Secondly, quite a lot of people have never returned the form stating their preference and giving an email address. If you are one of those, the default position is that you continue to receive a physical diary, but it is very helpful to have an email contact as well, please.

Iíll always be glad to hear from you with letters, comments, reviews and information, and if there is anything you would like to see in the diary that isnít there at the moment, please let me know and Iíll take it to the committee. Just email me at diaryeditor@swemf.org.uk. Please do keep the information coming in!<.P>



The SWEMF AGM 2014 was held on 3rd May during the worshop directed by Peter Leech at Exeter School. The draft minutes, subject to approval at the next AGM, can be found here.


The South West Early Music Forum (SWEMF) is an organisation promoting all aspects of early music in the South West of England. It is one of ten regional Fora, which cover most areas of the UK, and are affiliated to the National Early Music Association, NEMA, who have recently produced a report on the future of Early Music in Britain.

The South West Early Music Forum region includes Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and brings together amateur and professional musicians, musicologists, teachers and pupils, instrument makers, and early music enthusiasts.

Throughout the year a series of workshops and playing and singing days are organised within the region where members have the opportunity to study works under the guidance of early music specialist tutors. These activities include Baroque Chamber Music Playing Days, Singing Days focusing on particular composers or periods, and Workshops preparing larger scale works for both voices and instruments etc.

SWEMF also organises a number of social events including the Annual General Meeting in May which is sometimes combined with a residential weekend providing ample opportunity for music making and the opportunity for members to voice their views and suggestions on the future operations of the Forum

Members receive a quarterly Diary of Events announcing future activities of SWEMF, and other EM Fora, and also concerts and other events both within the region and elsewhere. Application forms for forthcoming SWEMF events are included in the Diary of Events mailing and are also available on the website.

Membership forms can be printed from the website. The next subscriptions are due on 1st April 2012 for for 2012/2013. For details click here.

A Membership List (last issued with the March 2012 Diary) gives information concerning members' particular interests, instruments played, voices sung etc. so that they may arrange joint activities outside those organised directly by SWEMF.

This site is maintained and Dick Little. Please send any comments or suggestions for improvements to webeditor@swemf.org.uk. Suggestions for additional links are particularly welcome.

SWEMF Home Page | Officers and Representatives | How to join | Programme of meetings | Reviews and Reports
Information for Organising SWEMF Workshops | Early Music Events in SW | National and International EM Events
Items for Sale and Wanted | Links to other Early Music Fora, Wales & Ireland | Other Early Music Links

Last modified: 1 July 2014