Course Number: Music 149
Instructor: Christine Brandes
Berkeley’s University Baroque Ensemble (UBE) was founded in 2003 as a successor to the Collegium musicum. It is, as far as weknow, the only student group in the world that performs not just on copies of original instruments but on original eighteenth-century instruments. These include some fine antique violins from the A. Salz Collection, donated to the Music Department over forty years ago. The UBE is currently open to players of violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, keyboard, and guitar (or lute). For students who currently play the modern versions of these instruments, coaching is available to help learn the original baroque instruments.
The purpose of the Ensemble is to perform music of the Baroque period (c.1580-c.1740) on historically appropriate instruments, using performance styles based on what is currently known of the performance practices of the country and period in which the pieces were composed. The repertoire ranges from early consort music, through Purcell, Charpentier, and Muffat, to Couperin, Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach. A regular feature of UBE rehearsals is group improvisation based on the systems that were used for teaching in the eighteenth century.
Whenever possible, the Ensemble performs directly from seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century scores, learning to become familiar with the quite different kinds of musical notation used in earlier periods. These scores often come from the extraordinarily rich Special Collections housed in Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, one of the great research libraries in the USA; it is especially strong in holdings of original scores of baroque vocal and instrumental music, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
If you would like to help support the UBE, please donate directly to the Baroque Endowment Fund.
Participation and Audition Information
The UBE is open to all students, music majors, minors, and non majors, both enrolled and non-enrolled, as well as to community members. Everyone must audition each semester. Preference is given to enrolled students who will join for both Fall and Spring semesters. New students and those interested in Music 150H (Early Music Performance) should sign up for an audition slot on the bulletin board outside room 116. For more information on auditions, please see our auditions page.
For more information on the group, please contact the Director, Christine Brandes
Attendance at all rehearsals and participation in concert performances is required.