184Re: [Authentic_SCA] Vocal music and Languages
- Mar 5, 2001
Re: [Authentic_SCA] Vocal music and Languages
> And these I do NOT like. If I'm going to do a song -- either original language or translated
> -- and it does NOT stand up on its own without an introduction or translation, then I feel
> that I'm doing something wrong as a performer. (However, this is a pet peeve of mine,
> and a YMMV situation.) I might give a brief "in persona" introduction, such as "In my
> travels, I learned this tune in the city of [Where-ever]," and give the title, but beyond
> that the song stands or falls on its own merits.
Ah, most of the time I do that in-persona introduction. Like once I said "I heard this song from a minstrel when he spent the night in my patron's house on his way to Sarganza, and I enjoyed it so much that I hurried to the nearest scribe to have him take down the lyrics," and at the event today I performed a Cantiga de Santa Maria by prefacing it with "this is a Christian song in praise of Santa Maria. I heard a Christian man sing this a few weeks ago as he sat across the street peeling radishes, and I was struck by how similar the melody was to our own melodies." I suppose these are a little long as introductions, but I guess I like to get into my "medieval self" when doing them. In fact, I used to introduce and finish off every song I did in 12th c. Spanish (with a greeting/explanation and some phrases of gratitude, respectively). ;) I don't do that any more, but it sure did help to get in the proper mode. Hmm. I don't know.
Unfortunately, I also would like to make it evident that the piece will be a period piece (and not just some random foreign folk song), but one can't very well say "this is a 13th c. praise song to the Virgen Mary" or "this a 12th c. Arabic muwashshah from Al-Andalus." Any ideas?
> And I also have to look at it from the point of view of someone in the audience. I would
> find it somewhat distracting to sit through a summary translation, quite distracting to
> sit through a complete one -- and totally beyond the pale to endure a "modern-style"
Really? Once this woman who had studied in Iceland or someplace and had learnt some folk ballads. She performed a few for us in the original language, but prefaced it with a synopsis, including full translation of the chorus and explanation of the onomatopoeia (it was about a mischievous little sprite who disrupted a Sunday mass :)). She had us sing along with the chorus and make the appropriate noises. I personally enjoyed it much more than I probably would have had I not known what it was about. :)
Qu'er non es grazitz lunhs mestiers
menhs en cort que de belh saber
de trobar -- qu'auzir e vezer
hi vol hom mais captenhs leugiers
e critz mesclatz ab dezonor.
--Guiraut Riquier, 1292
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