Weekly Newsletter 

January 25, 2021 — The Bay Area Early Music Digest 
This week in Early Music: 

A Note From Us

Get an inside look at SFEMS each week!

Because there certainly have been many headlines in the past couple of weeks, I wanted to highlight one that may have slipped through the cracks: the release of MuseScore 3.6, a major upgrade in the layout and appearance of the free, and increasingly ubiquitous, music notation software. As I was listening to the surprisingly engrossing backstory behind formatting treble clefs and eighth notes, I was reminded of the story behind "standard" Western notation. (See here for an accessible introduction for the general reader.)

As different people(s) grappled over the centuries with what to capture on the page—pitch and rhythm in varying levels of precision—I was drawn, in the moment, to think of everything that was missing. This not only includes other nuances of sound, such as dynamics or articulation, but entire bodies of music that are forever lost, whether by accident or on purpose in the sense that they were deemed too "insignificant" to worth preserving for reasons of class, race, or gender.

As students of early music, this is our eternal loss. But perhaps it is not too late for us to prevent this from happening in the present day. We owe it to ourselves and to posterity.

Derek Tam, Executive Director

Spring Classes Continue This Weekend!

Our slate of exciting classes continue this upcoming Saturday with more early music to explore! Our winter and spring classes will be offered through March 27th, with lectures, demonstrations and play-along sessions.

Listen, practice, dance, ask questions, and interact directly with our faculty members—there's something for everyone!

Enroll at

Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund—Tenth Round Now Open

Relief fund grant recipients may apply for a tenth grant one month after the date they turned in their ninth grant applications. If you have continuing need, please resubmit your application. However, there is no need to submit documentation of recently lost work, given the paucity of gigs.

First-time grant applicants, as well as repeat applicants who have received fewer than eight grants, will receive priority. (You may file for a continuing grants one month after the day you turned in your previous application.)

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks an unprecedented financial toll on the world economy, our local early music freelancers have been particularly hit hard. Months of work have dried up in days, leaving many musicians on the brink of financial ruin.

In an effort to help our musicians, the SFEMS board has taken the lead in setting up a short-term relief fund for local early music freelancers. Since then, we have received over $60,000 in donations. This fund will provide one-time, first-come, first-served $250 grants to musicians in need, and will do so until funds run out.

UPDATED January 12, 2021: Because of your generosity, SFEMS is more than equipped to continue providing grants for the foreseeable future! We are temporarily suspending the ability to donate to the relief fund, but hope you will considering support SFEMS’s programming.

Need a Tax Letter from SFEMS?

If you need a duplicate copy of your donation acknowledgment for your 2020 tax return, please contact SFEMS Administrator, Stacey Helley, at

You should have received both an email immediately after making your donation fro
m "", and a mailed letter the following month.

Local Livestream Concert Proposals for Spring 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, SFEMS has remained committed to serving the Bay Area early music community.

As we continue to provide virtual musical events to our community through this time, SFEMS is issuing a call for proposals for live-streamed or pre-recorded programs by local (i.e. Bay Area resident) artists and ensembles for the spring of 2021.

Unless there is a drastic shift in restrictions and the course of the pandemic, we do not expect to present concerts with live audiences.

Learn How to Renew Your SFEMS Membership Step-By-Step

Excited about becoming a member or renewing your membership? SFEMS Marketing Communications Manager Lorena Zapata will guide you step-by-step through the process online!
If your membership renewal is due in the next several months but you are encountering financial difficulties, please contact administrator Stacey Helley at No membership will lapse during the current crisis if we are informed that you would like to continue being a SFEMS member.

To find out your membership status online, log in on our membership page. (N.B. If you use a different login email address than previously on record, please note that it will create a new, separate profile for you that will not have any membership data.)

You will then be prompted to update your contact information. If there is no change, please click "save and continue."

On the next screen, you will be able to see your membership level and expiration date if you are a current member. You may renew a membership within 30 days prior to the expiration date.

Still not sure? Watch this handy video!

Early Music Corner: The Well-Tempered Musician

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
The Well-Tempered Musician- EMA
Early Music America recognizes the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the particular hardships faced by the performing arts community, including many EMA members.
Join Early Music America for The Well-Tempered Musician, a wide-ranging series of free webinars, meet-ups, conversations, and online resources focused on mental and physical wellness in these trying times!

Read more here.

Facebook Post of the Week

Bach Meme- FB Post
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Thank You to Our New Facebook Followers!

Niccolò Galliano
Remington Regado
Lenny Poff
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SFEMS Facebook page
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This Week's Events

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For events, email SFEMS's Marketing Communications Manager, Lorena Zapata at Please submit listings no later than the Tuesday before the Monday publication.
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