Re: [Authentic_SCA] Period music vs. creativity. (Was: Promoting Authenticity)
> That's a topic that I'm interested in -- but I come at it by a differentActually, there is some stuff out there in familiar modes and melody-styles.
> I'll be the first to admit that I have no great talent for period music
> -- non-modern scales and songs do not "stick in my head" the way that
> modern music (i.e., based on the Ionian ("Major scale") and Aolian
> ("minor scale) modes) does.
In fact, I did a troubadour song at a High School demo and the students were
surprised that it sounded so "modern" and one even asked me about the scale
(it was Ionian) because he'd thought that medieval music would sound
> And I'll also admit that, to me, most of theReally? Maybe you've just come across the wrong recordings...
> medieval music that I have heard is jarring and discordant.
> At the same time, I remember enough of my music history to know that whatGOOD job. Unfortunately, there isn't much material out there in the way of
> extant secular music we have from the time dealt with popular themes in
> popular styles -- and like modern times, "popular" could change rapidly.
> (A fad is a fad, in period or modern times <g>.) So while I do not
> perform period music, I try to make sure that the music I do perform is
> "informed" by my research
medieval vocal techniques, so I must look to "popular" (i.e. folk) music
when I make performance decisions. Of course, I try to separate different
influences in the modern folk style to tweak it backwards in time...
> I certainly avoid rock-and-roll ballads, andha ha, thank you for that. :)
> I will _never_ sing "The Moose Song" at an event.
> On a (somewhat) moreCool! Yes, the Child ballads are infinitely preferable to most of the songs
> authentic note, I am currently working on "redacting" some of the Child
> ballads, and some of the Goliardic poems and music. I'm learning., and
> want to learn more --
I hear circulating in the SCA. :)
> I'm currently looking at a tabor and pipe from LarkDepending on how expensive the student harp is, it might be worthwhile to
> In the Morming, and tentatively looking for a nylon-string "student"
just go ahead and purchase a medieval one (whichever style fits your target
time period). :)
> I guess that's what I mean by "reasonable versimilitude." I do not wantOooh, now there's an interesting topic that started up a lively debate on
> to restrict myself to only playing period repetoire, for to me that would
> eliminate the "Creative" from SCA --
the SCA-Arts mailing list. In music, I believe that more creativity goes
into performing medieval music than it goes into performing folk or filk
songs. With medieval music, there's just so much guesswork...we don't even
know for sure whether the melodies have been transcribed correctly. I find
it most enjoyable to reconstruct a plausible medieval performing tradition
from mere bones. It's also fun to reconstruct music that hasn't survived to
the present day; for example, I've formulated melodies for Beowulf and a
12th c. Hebrew muwashshah (sung poem) based on the evidence available, and
let me tell you--that certainly did involve creativity!
Even more creative still: creating your own songs in the medieval style (so
they actually sound authentic)! It's easier to do them in a "folk" style,
but medieval is harder.
> and, to be perfectly honest, I doI have to agree with that. :) My problem is that I actually enjoy medieval
> not think that a person can do something they do not particularly enjoy,
> and do it well.
music--it's one of my favorite genres.
> At the same time, I want what I play to be enjoyable forDo you do mainly vocal or mainly instrumental stuff? If it's instrumental,
> everyone -- both the "authenticity maven" and the "fun maven."
I think that most if not all of your repertoire should be period (or
constructed in a period style). This stuff can indeed be fun, just as fun
as a lively non-medieval Irish fiddle tune! It will please both
authenticity and fun mavens, in my opinion.
However, if it's vocal, then that brings up some problems which I think I'll
address in a new message under a different heading.
> But I also know I'm rambling -- it's past my bedtime, and I'm about to:) we wouldn't want THAT.
> turn into a completely OOP pumpkin <g>.
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
- On Sat, 03 Mar 2001 00:14:50 -0800 "stephen higa"
> ><nods> Yes, some is in "modern" scales -- and I have done a song or two
> > I'll be the first to admit that I have no great talent for
> > period music -- non-modern scales and songs do not
> > "stick in my head" the way that modern music (i.e.,
> > based on the Ionian ("Major scale") and Aolian
> > ("minor scale) modes) does.
> Actually, there is some stuff out there in familiar modes
> and melody-styles. In fact, I did a troubadour song at a
> High School demo and the students were surprised that
> it sounded so "modern" and one even asked me about
> the scale (it was Ionian) because he'd thought that
> medieval music would sound stranger.
in Dorian ("Riddles Wisely Expounded" from D'Urfey, and "Twa Corbies" to
the tune of "Al A'larch" -- both of them OOP, but both a lot of fun). I
guess the problem is that Dorian, to me, sounds spooky -- it works great
for "Twa Corbies", but did not, to my mind, "fit" the emotional mood of
Side note: what specific song did you sing? (And is sheet music
available. More sheet music! <pant, pant, drool, drool>
> > And I'll also admit that, to me, most of theIt's entirely possible. And it also must be noted that I play "middle
> > medieval music that I have heard is jarring and discordant.
> Really? Maybe you've just come across the wrong recordings...
period" -- _Walla Puria_ during the reign of Llewellyn the Great (Wales,
specifically 1200-1205 c.e.). I'm also looking at the Goliards and the
Troubadors / Trouveres of that time period, as this is music that would
(reasonably) have been heard by a relatively well-traveled _bardd_ of
> > I certainly avoid rock-and-roll ballads, andHowever, I said nothing about e-mail lists.... <evil snicker>
> > I will _never_ sing "The Moose Song" at an event.
> ha ha, thank you for that. :)
And that's the other side of things -- I have to admit that I also love
"SCA Filk." True, it's more appropriate for revels than the "catual"
event, but I will admit that some rogue who looks suspiciously like me
has been seen at revels singing "Cold Beer" and "The Ball of Balyknure."
(But it wasn't me -- it was my evil twin Skippy. <g>)
> Depending on how expensive the student harp is, it mightI had considered that -- but I am also interested in playing that same
> be worthwhile to just go ahead and purchase a medieval
> one (whichever style fits your target time period). :)
harp in other venues (I incorporate music in my religious activities, and
as I said, I filk). True, "sharping levers" are not period, but some of
the other music that I'm going to be playing requires that kind of
flexibility. (Plus which, I have no clue whatsoever what changes the harp
went through in history -- well, I am moderately sure that the strings
weren't nylon, but you know what I mean <g>.)
I've seen good "student harps" for about $300-500 USD.
> > I guess that's what I mean by "reasonable versimilitude." I<snip>
> > do not want to restrict myself to only playing period repetoire,
> > for to me that would eliminate the "Creative" from SCA --
> Oooh, now there's an interesting topic that started up a lively
> debate on the SCA-Arts mailing list. In music, I believe that
> more creativity goes into performing medieval music than it
> goes into performing folk or filk songs.
> Do you do mainly vocal or mainly instrumental stuff?Almost entirely vocal -- the only instrument I have any practice with is
the modern guitar, though I have also been experimenting with a friend's
harp of late.
I have more comments, but I'll add them to the "Languages" thread later.
Justin W. Eiler -- "Veritas Versus Mundi"
taliesin_o <AT> juno.com
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