FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, an acronym brought to life in the Usenet newsgroups before the Internet became popular. The basic spirit behind a FAQ is a desire to answer the questions that newcomers to a group might have, in as clear and useful a way as possible. FAQs became highly developed in many newsgroups, but were written in simple text format and posted directly to the group for newcomers to find. Here we have extended the FAQ concept somewhat to refer not just to the discussion group out of which it emerged, but also to the field of Early Music as a whole, and of course we have moved on to the more convenient world of the web.
This FAQ is intended to be a community effort, and if you can help us answer more questions, or clarify the information provided, please speak up. Send email to Todd McComb. The various contributors to this site are, of course, constrained by the amount of time they can spend. While that is sometimes considerable, there is no limit to the amount of information we could compile. Many areas are still not adequately covered, and a multiplicity of viewpoints is desired, so please don't be shy.
While this site is aimed largely at the beginner, it also attempts to provide useful resources for professionals in Early Music. These include such things as links to topical sites or homepages of other professionals, or even basic information like CD contents. Given the flexibility of the hypertext medium, we are able to (at least try to) accommodate various goals in the same site. There is information here relevant to different levels of knowledge and experience. Professionals (and anyone else) are encouraged to send in appropriate links for inclusion, or to help us with basic content. Of course, proper credit is always given. Please, send them in. We can only do so much without your help.
This is not a commercial venture, and is hosted by the non-profit Medieval Music & Arts Foundation. You will not see advertising on ordinary pages, nor will the authors be paid for their work on this site. The FAQ will provide as much as it possibly can, free of charge (whether direct or as a burden on one's time), to the limits of our budget. That is our pledge. Of course, Early Music is not exactly a profitable commercial enterprise, and virtually everyone involved is in it because they love it. Consequently, we are also happy to provide space for performers or other entities to say something about themselves. While such things might be considered commercial, we believe they are in the appropriate community spirit. Similarly, links to other for-profit enterprises (such as retailers) will be provided, if and only if they are genuinely helpful to our visitors.
The site will be based primarily on text content, and will not use spurious graphics or the latest web formatting frills. The emphasis will be on delivering the most information in the fastest and most convenient way possible. Although some readers have asked for sound samples, that is not feasible at this time. The organization of individual pages will be driven entirely by the educational mission of the site, without regard to any commercial consideration.
I hope the FAQ proves useful. Enjoy!
To Early Music FAQTodd M. McComb