Sharpen your quills, folks,
Free music notation class!
A neume-atic drill.
The University of Basel, Switzerland, via futurelearn.com, is offering a free early music notation class. From Ink to Sound: Decoding Musical Manuscripts is a seven-week class that will discuss the evolution of music notation from those curious little squiggles above the words (neumes) to early modern music notation.
If you can read modern music notation, you’re in. Sign up for a free account at futurelearn and you can start watching the videos, reading the articles, and participating in the discussion forum for the class. The course will also include performances of a number of works from the early music repertoire.
Unlike Coursera, you have to pay to receive your certificate at the end of the class. However, you may find the ability to craft an ancient manuscript (or to read one) to be sufficient reward.
And they even offer a video on how to cut a quill! I needed a bit more detail though, so complete quill-making instructions can be found here. Or you can use a calligraphy pen, if feathers don’t tickle you (or do, for that matter).
Another free course, sort of the next step, From Notation to Performance: Understanding Musical Scores, will be offered later at a date yet to be determined. You can register your interest and receive word when it is scheduled.
Image attribution: Neume [public domain] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neume2.jpg