Students interested in performing music written before 1650 may wish to join one or more of the approximately twelve ensembles that specialize in early music at FSU. The Early Music Ensemble (Charles Brewer, director) consists of consorts of homogeneous and mixed instruments that perform music of the Renaissance and Middle Ages. This group also serves as a pool of instrumentalists for large-scale polychoral motets and concertos. Consorts vary from semester to semester, but there are always a couple of recorder ensembles, a shawm band, and a crumhorn consort; in some semesters there is a curtal or dulcian consort, a sackbut ensemble, and/or a consort of rackets; each consort rehearses twice a week.
- Viola da Gamba
- Cornett & Sackbut
- Recorder (SsSATB) (beginning, intermediate, advanced)
- Crumhorn (SATB)
- Curtal (SATB)
- Racket (TTBGbCb)
- Shawm (SSATTB)
- Schreierpfeif (SAT)
- Mixed or Broken Consort
- Medieval Ensemble (harp, psaltery, portative organ, vielle, rebec, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipe and tabor)
- Combined Ensembles (several of the above groups in large-scale, polychoral works) with organ, harpsichord, regal, and theorbo continou
- Cantores Musicae Antiquae was referred to as "FSU's heavenly Renaissance choir" in the Tallahassee Democrat just after it was formed in the fall of 1989. The group consists of 5 to12 singers, often one on a part, and is comprised of undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students. It specializes in the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early Baroque. Some students are voice majors, while others study music education, choral conducting, musicology, or some other discipline in music. Two full-length concerts per year are common for this group of singers, and they have performed for the American Musicological Society regional conventions in Tallahassee, Tuscaloosa, Lafayette, New Orleans (twice), and Palm Beach. They have also performed at the national meetings of the Theory Society and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, as well as at the statewide (Florida) convention of the American Choral Director’s Association. The ensemble has been broadcast twice on National Public Radio’s Millennium of Music. While this group performs mostly a cappella, it is often combined with members of the Early Music Ensemble for large concerted works.
- FSU Viols (Prof. Pamela Andrews, director) consists of five or six consorts of three to six members each and is indisputably the largest collegiate viola da gamba program in the country. A wide range (1500-1650) of music is performed by the top consorts in two concerts per year.
- The Baroque Ensemble (Valerie Arsenault, director) consists of small groups of singers and instrumentalists who perform music of the 17th and 18th centuries. A small Baroque orchestra has been assembled on occasion for special events.
- FSU Baroque Trumpet Ensemble (Bryan Goff, director) is an ensemble of trumpet students who perform on natural trumpets. This group has performed in Europe at the International Trumpet Guild conference.
- The Early Music Program together with the Opera Program has mounted fully-staged productions of Claudio Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea (1993), and John Eccles’s Semele (2003); Eccles’s Judgment of Paris will be performed in the spring of 2005 at the International John Eccles Conference being hosted by FSU.