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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Vocal music and Languages

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  • Ariane Helou
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 4 6:04 PM
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      Moshe wrote:

      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?

      well, you don't have to say 12th or 13th century - you could name the ruler or an important historical event.  For example, "Here's a song written just before the Battle of Agincourt," or something.  Or maybe you could introduce the Cantigas de Santa Maria as "A collection of songs in praise of the Virgin Mary commissioned by King Alfonso, etc," or for Carmina Burana, "a song written by a bunch of students at a German monastery..." you get the idea :)  That way you still let them know it's from a specific period, but you can do it in a non-modern fashion.

      Vittoria
    • Ariane Helou
      ... Yeah, they are quite impressive. So I just uploaded to the files section a track from their Carmina Burana album - it s Ich was ein chint, the
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 4 6:24 PM
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        Moshe wrote:

        >Ah, the Boston Camerata folks are my pantheon! Anne Azema (the main female
        >vocalist) is a GODDESS. I'm not kidding, check out their recordings. Even
        >if they're doing non-period music (like 19th c. American folk hymns and
        >spirituals, or Shaker songs) the performances are top-notch, as is the
        >research. Joel Cohen (the director) also directs another ensemble, Camerata
        >Mediterranea, dedicated to the exploration of the early Mediterranean
        >repertoire.

        Yeah, they are quite impressive. So I just uploaded to the files section a
        track from their Carmina Burana album - it's "Ich was ein chint," the
        half-German-half-Latin ballad that Justin mentioned recently...and of
        course, sung by Anne Azema, Moshe's goddess ;) She really does have a
        marvelous voice, perfectly suited to the early music repertoire.
        And for the sake of argument...let's see if those unfamiliar with this song
        can guess the meaning of it, without a full translation. I realize this is
        made difficult since the visual aspect of a live performance is missing,
        but Azema's voice is expressive as well as beautiful, and the sense of the
        ballad should come across.
        And by the way, I love the photos you've all submitted! They're really
        great -- very impressive garb, illuminations, everything...those kinds of
        things remind me why the SCA is so cool! :)

        Vittoria

        PS Just a warning, the mp3 file is pretty slow to download...totally worth
        it, though.
      • stephen higa
        ... Oh, that s another good point. The DRAMA of the original language. Like Beowulf in Old English as opposed to modern English. Moshe ... Qu er non es
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 5 1:17 AM
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          > First choice. The Song of Roland sounds like garbage in English. The
          > original language rings with the clash of battle, and English makes it
          > sound soft and wimpy.

          Oh, that's another good point. The DRAMA of the original language. Like
          Beowulf in Old English as opposed to modern English.


          Moshe
          --------------------------------------------------
          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
        • stephen higa
          ... Wow, how can I argue with that? :) ... That is my hope, but one can sometimes get bored with a foreign-language song if it s longer than a few verses and
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 5 1:17 AM
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            > Absolutely and unequivocably, perform a piece in its original language.

            Wow, how can I argue with that? :)

            > But a really excellent performer
            > can interpret the music and carry across the full sense of emotion without
            > changing the words. And then, even if people can't fully comprehend the
            > lyrics, they will understand the _sense_ of the song, which is fully as
            > important.

            That is my hope, but one can sometimes get bored with a foreign-language
            song if it's longer than a few verses and the emotion varies little
            throughout. That's why I love doing The Poema de Mio Çid (El Cid) and other
            epics like Beowulf because there are so many varying emotions one can play
            on. Ha ha, you should've heard me screaming "denme mis espadas" (give me
            back my swords!)...I'm sure all adjacent camps were wondering "what on
            earth?" ;)

            > He hasn't fully converted me to using an Elizabethan accent,

            Soon, my pretty... ;)

            > And you may be surprised at how well your
            > audience picks up on what's being sung.

            Yes, Romance language pieces are ideal because words can be recognized by
            the audience when properly emoted...

            > I haven't had more than
            > elementary-school Spanish, and yet I've never missed a word of Moshe's
            > stunning rendition of "El Cid."

            Really? Not a word? ;)

            > The two of us often do a drinking song
            > from the Carmina Burana, which is in medieval Latin, and it's never failed
            > to be a hit among our College and at arts competitions.

            Oh yes, I'd forgotten about that! I suppose it's because we sing it so
            lasciviously that people can't help but be amused that period songs can be
            so interesting. :)

            > All the same, I appreciate immensely the efforts of anyone who tries to be
            > even a little authentic in their music! What really bugs me is refusal to
            > even attempt it, like this guy who once wandered into our bardic circle and
            > said, "I don't play period music, that stuff's boring."

            Honestly, though, that was the incident that started my crusade for period
            music.

            > My personal favorite group is the Boston Camerata; they're
            > done a superb Carmina Burana, gorgeous Cantigas de Santa Maria, and a truly
            > lovely Elizabethan album featuring works by Dowland, Campion, Byrd, Morley,
            > et al.

            Ah, the Boston Camerata folks are my pantheon! Anne Azema (the main female
            vocalist) is a GODDESS. I'm not kidding, check out their recordings. Even
            if they're doing non-period music (like 19th c. American folk hymns and
            spirituals, or Shaker songs) the performances are top-notch, as is the
            research. Joel Cohen (the director) also directs another ensemble, Camerata
            Mediterranea, dedicated to the exploration of the early Mediterranean
            repertoire.

            My favorite medieval music ensemble is Altramar. They have two excellent
            programs of medieval tri-cultural Iberian music ("Iberian Garden"), and an
            excellent album of medieval Celtic music ("Crossroads of the Celts"). the
            liner notes are just as enjoyable as the music--they really do their
            research and are incredibly intuitive in their performance choices. Let's
            see, who else...Sinfonye and the Dufay Collective, Terra Nova Consort...


            Moshe
            --------------------------------------------------
            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
          • stephen higa
            ... or translated ... then I feel ... of mine, ... In my ... but beyond ... Ah, most of the time I do that in-persona introduction. Like once I said I heard
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 5 1:18 AM
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              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"
              > introduction.
               
              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.  :)  

              Moshe
              --------------------------------------------------
              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

            • Kass McGann
              ... I have a point to make though it has nothing to do with music. About a year ago, I judged an A&S competition that my friend was running. Enter in it was
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 6 6:41 AM
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                > Oh, that's another good point. The DRAMA of the original language. Like
                > Beowulf in Old English as opposed to modern English.

                I have a point to make though it has nothing to do with music. About a year
                ago, I judged an A&S competition that my friend was running. Enter in it
                was a "10th century Irish poem" and she asked if I could judge it. I took
                one look at it and said, "No. I can't. I would give it a terrible score
                and I don't think you want that." "Why?" she asked. "Because it's in
                modern English."

                I do not believe that you can write a poem in the style of the 10th century
                Irish in modern English. It simply doesn't work. You can't write a
                Shakespearean sonnet in French because the iambic pentameter gets screwed
                up. You can't write a Japanese tanka in English because you can't execute a
                makura kotoba. And you can't write "in the style of 10th century Ireland"
                in English either. You can't. It's like painting the Mona Lisa with poster
                paint.

                Her Laurel (who was sitting there too) was furious with me, but that is the
                beginning of another story...

                Kass
              • L Joseph
                ... Kass, you witnessed who won as the East Kingdom s Queen s Bards last month and with what material. I d dearly LOVE to see what sources they used to
                Message 7 of 26 , Mar 6 7:18 AM
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                  --- Kass McGann <historian@...>
                  wrote:
                  > I do not believe that you can write a poem in the
                  > style of the 10th century
                  > Irish in modern English. It simply doesn't work.
                  > You can't write a
                  > Shakespearean sonnet in French because the iambic
                  > pentameter gets screwed
                  > up. You can't write a Japanese tanka in English
                  > because you can't execute a
                  > makura kotoba. And you can't write "in the style of
                  > 10th century Ireland"
                  > in English either. You can't. It's like painting
                  > the Mona Lisa with poster
                  > paint.

                  Kass, you witnessed who won as the East Kingdom's
                  Queen's Bards last month and with what material. I'd
                  dearly LOVE to see what sources they used to determine
                  that "Red Is The Rose" is period (to be fair, I didn't
                  see what their documentation was) and they outright
                  lied about singing it in organum, because that
                  harmonic structure would've made it sound extremely
                  alien to modern Western listeners.

                  Then there's Lady Ana, who writes period poetry in
                  Spanish AND English. Amazing.....

                  Guess I'd better get my kiester in gear and learn "Ja
                  Nus Hon Pris" like I've been meaning to do.

                  Jehanne de Wodeford, Rusted Woodlands, East

                  =====
                  "I do but sing because I must, And pipe but as the linnets sing." Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam."

                  __________________________________________________
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                • Kass McGann
                  ... Amen sister! Bob was busy doing court business stuff and didn t get to hear them perform, and I am a rank amateur, but what they did didn t sound anything
                  Message 8 of 26 , Mar 6 7:27 AM
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                    > Kass, you witnessed who won as the East Kingdom's
                    > Queen's Bards last month and with what material. I'd
                    > dearly LOVE to see what sources they used to determine
                    > that "Red Is The Rose" is period (to be fair, I didn't
                    > see what their documentation was) and they outright
                    > lied about singing it in organum, because that
                    > harmonic structure would've made it sound extremely
                    > alien to modern Western listeners.

                    Amen sister! Bob was busy doing court business stuff and didn't get to hear
                    them perform, and I am a rank amateur, but what they did didn't sound
                    anything like the organum *I*'ve ever heard.

                    They were Ren Faire performers and the King and Queen aren't learned enough
                    to know that.

                    > Then there's Lady Ana, who writes period poetry in
                    > Spanish AND English. Amazing.....

                    Amen again! Personally, I think Ismenia was downright robbed... [for all
                    those who aren't in the East, Lady Ismenia Wysten is a wonderful storyteller
                    who was the only finalist in the Bardic Championships who didn't win]

                    > Guess I'd better get my kiester in gear and learn "Ja
                    > Nus Hon Pris" like I've been meaning to do.

                    You better! And as soon as I find out from Bob what that means, I'll be
                    sure to ride you about it... =)

                    Kass
                  • L Joseph
                    ... The King had enough sense to pick Mistress Dorigen. He tries. He really tries for a stick swinger. ... Agreed. Storytelling is not my metier, but she s
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 6 8:17 AM
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                      --- Kass McGann <historian@...>
                      wrote:
                      > Amen sister! Bob was busy doing court business
                      > stuff and didn't get to hear
                      > them perform, and I am a rank amateur, but what they
                      > did didn't sound
                      > anything like the organum *I*'ve ever heard.
                      >
                      > They were Ren Faire performers and the King and
                      > Queen aren't learned enough
                      > to know that.
                      The King had enough sense to pick Mistress Dorigen. He
                      tries. He really tries for a stick swinger.
                      >
                      > Amen again! Personally, I think Ismenia was
                      > downright robbed... [for all
                      > those who aren't in the East, Lady Ismenia Wysten is
                      > a wonderful storyteller
                      > who was the only finalist in the Bardic
                      > Championships who didn't win]
                      Agreed. Storytelling is not my metier, but she's
                      amazing.
                      >
                      > You better! And as soon as I find out from Bob what
                      > that means, I'll be sure to ride you about it... =)

                      On his way back from the crusade, Richard Lionheart
                      was captured and imprisoned by Leopold(?)of Austria.
                      "Ja nus hon pris" is the song he wrote complaining of
                      his plight. The melody is lovely and will be easy
                      enough to arrange for psaltery. Whether I can memorize
                      that much Old French (and pronounce it) will be the
                      test.

                      Jehanne de Wodeford, Rusted Woodlands, East

                      =====
                      "I do but sing because I must, And pipe but as the linnets sing." Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam."

                      __________________________________________________
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                      Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
                      http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                    • Ariane Helou
                      ... oh, wow! I actually hadn t thought about performing classical Latin as well as medieval...I m taking a class right now featuring the writings of Catullus,
                      Message 10 of 26 , Mar 6 8:17 AM
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                        At 05:31 PM 3/6/01 , you wrote:
                        I must fully agree. I've read "The Illiad" many times, and it's a great story. But I finally had a friend (Doctor/Professor of Classical Civ) recite a good chunk of the first book to me in its original Greek language with the rythmn of its dactyllic hexameter, and well, I was enamored. I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was clearly something very epic by her body language, facial expressions, and the way the rythmn worked. It was inspiring.
                        >>>>
                        A friend of mine in the East, Brighid, recites racy Latin poetry in the original language.  You don't have to understand Latin to... um...  "get the drift"...  <snicker>  When he heard her recite for the first time, one friend of hers responded, "I don't know what you said, but I KNOW it was dirty..."  She won the King's Bardic Championship two years ago with that stuff.  I love it!
                         
                        Kass

                        oh, wow!  I actually hadn't thought about performing classical Latin as well as medieval...I'm taking a class right now featuring the writings of Catullus, whose poetry is beautiful and intricate and unbelievably raunchy.  Lots of good material there :)  And I agree that Homer is truly magical (even though I didn't think him anything but difficult and frustrating during my Greek midterm today!)  Quite frankly, the only reason I became a classics major is because I love the literature but it never sounds quite right in English; this way I can learn to read the original texts.  Likewise, the main reason I chose a late-period and well-educated persona was so that I freely use the mythology and literature which had only recently been re-discovered, for conversation, artwork, etc.  The works of "pagan" classical authors didn't have as much presence in the early medieval world, as far as I gather (though I could be totally wrong).  For example, if I likened Moshe to Apollo for his skill with music and poetry, he wouldn't have a clue (being from the 12th-century) what I was talking about.  And (back to the musical stuff!) the Florentine Camerata was active in the 1580's and 1590's inventing opera - their original idea was to model it after Greek drama.  They wanted to recreate the half-singing, half-speaking style they thought the Greeks had used to perform, and invented the recitative; then they added the arias so the audience would be entertained and musicians could show off.  Amateur musicians may have amused themselves with setting portions of Homer and Sophocles to music, rather than reciting them straight out.  Can anyone support/refute this?  I'm totally guessing about this :)

                        Vittoria
                      • Kass McGann
                        ... That s true, though I thought Dorigen mispoke too much to win. I thought Ismenia was robbed... ... All you had to do was look at that lot of Andre s
                        Message 11 of 26 , Mar 6 8:29 AM
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                          > > They were Ren Faire performers and the King and
                          > > Queen aren't learned enough
                          > > to know that.
                          > The King had enough sense to pick Mistress Dorigen. He
                          > tries. He really tries for a stick swinger.

                          That's true, though I thought Dorigen mispoke too much to win. I thought
                          Ismenia was robbed...

                          > Agreed. Storytelling is not my metier, but she's
                          > amazing.

                          All you had to do was look at that lot of Andre's squires who competed to
                          see that Ismenia is really a talented storyteller.

                          Though I do give Andre's squires a gold star for doing something other than
                          swinging a stick. I just wish I didn't have to sit through it. =)

                          > On his way back from the crusade, Richard Lionheart
                          > was captured and imprisoned by Leopold(?)of Austria.
                          > "Ja nus hon pris" is the song he wrote complaining of
                          > his plight. The melody is lovely and will be easy
                          > enough to arrange for psaltery. Whether I can memorize
                          > that much Old French (and pronounce it) will be the
                          > test.

                          Well then I want to hear it! =)

                          Kass
                        • L Joseph
                          ... Yeah. Well, one of these days she ll get hers: she s too talented not to. ... Performing is frequently terrifying enough for those of us who profess to
                          Message 12 of 26 , Mar 6 9:08 AM
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                            --- Kass McGann <historian@...>
                            wrote:
                            > That's true, though I thought Dorigen mispoke too
                            > much to win. I thought
                            > Ismenia was robbed...
                            Yeah. Well, one of these days she'll get hers: she's
                            too talented not to.
                            >
                            > Though I do give Andre's squires a gold star for
                            > doing something other than
                            > swinging a stick. I just wish I didn't have to sit
                            > through it. =)
                            Performing is frequently terrifying enough for those
                            of us who profess to enjoy it. They were under
                            specific orders from His Majesty to go forth and be
                            well rounded or else be in for a world of hurt. They
                            did a lot better than I dared hope.
                            >
                            > Well then I want to hear it! =)
                            One of these days. That's a promise. It's too
                            beautiful a piece for me not to want to give it a
                            shot.

                            Jehanne

                            =====
                            "I do but sing because I must, And pipe but as the linnets sing." Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam."

                            __________________________________________________
                            Do You Yahoo!?
                            Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
                            http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                          • Kass McGann
                            ... One can only hope... and write letters to TRM... ;) ... You re right. Vivants for trying! ... Good. I m holding you to it now. Bob? You listening?
                            Message 13 of 26 , Mar 6 9:13 AM
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                              > Yeah. Well, one of these days she'll get hers: she's
                              > too talented not to.

                              One can only hope... and write letters to TRM... ;)

                              > Performing is frequently terrifying enough for those
                              > of us who profess to enjoy it. They were under
                              > specific orders from His Majesty to go forth and be
                              > well rounded or else be in for a world of hurt. They
                              > did a lot better than I dared hope.

                              You're right. Vivants for trying!

                              > One of these days. That's a promise. It's too
                              > beautiful a piece for me not to want to give it a
                              > shot.

                              Good. I'm holding you to it now. Bob? You listening? Remember this!

                              Kass
                            • Kass McGann
                              I must fully agree. I ve read The Illiad many times, and it s a great story. But I finally had a friend (Doctor/Professor of Classical Civ) recite a good
                              Message 14 of 26 , Mar 6 9:31 AM
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                                I must fully agree. I've read "The Illiad" many times, and it's a great story. But I finally had a friend (Doctor/Professor of Classical Civ) recite a good chunk of the first book to me in its original Greek language with the rythmn of its dactyllic hexameter, and well, I was enamored. I had no clue what she was talking about, but it was clearly something very epic by her body language, facial expressions, and the way the rythmn worked. It was inspiring.
                                >>>>
                                A friend of mine in the East, Brighid, recites racy Latin poetry in the original language.  You don't have to understand Latin to... um...  "get the drift"...  <snicker>  When he heard her recite for the first time, one friend of hers responded, "I don't know what you said, but I KNOW it was dirty..."  She won the King's Bardic Championship two years ago with that stuff.  I love it!
                                 
                                Kass
                              • Bob Davis
                                ... She bloody well better. You are staring at me as I type this, so I am filing it away for future blackmail. ;-) I confess, I had no idea what Jehanne was
                                Message 15 of 26 , Mar 6 5:54 PM
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                                  Kass McGann wrote:

                                  > > One of these days. That's a promise. It's too
                                  > > beautiful a piece for me not to want to give it a
                                  > > shot.
                                  >
                                  > Good. I'm holding you to it now. Bob? You listening? Remember this!

                                  She bloody well better. You are staring at me as I type this, so I am
                                  filing it away for future blackmail. ;-)

                                  I confess, I had no idea what Jehanne was referring to, spake the
                                  college-trained musicologist, but am keen to learn.

                                  Pax et bonum,

                                  -RfT
                                • Brighid the-short-blonde-Scot
                                  ... Amateur musicians may have amused themselves with setting portions of Homer and Sophocles to music, rather than reciting them straight out. Can anyone
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Mar 7 5:38 AM
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                                    >>
                                    Amateur musicians may have amused themselves with setting portions of Homer and Sophocles to music, rather than reciting them straight out.  Can anyone support/refute this?  I'm totally guessing about this :)

                                    Vittoria
                                    >>
                                     
                                    We just got done with Homer's Illiad in my Classics class too. (I'm not a classics major though, I'm an Industrial Design Major that invades everyone else's classes.) It begins the poem with "Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus's son Achilleus", but that could be just an invocation of the Muse, or a translational change. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have problems changing "sing" from Greek to English though, but I'm not a linguist. In the Introduction section of my Illiad (by Richmond Lattimore), it is said that it is meant to be orally presented. Whether that's recited, sung, and whether that's to music is not really stated. My classics prof (a Dr.), had said that it should be recited with harp music, but admittedly I was really tired that class and I can't tell you her explanation. I'll ask her tonight and let you know.
                                     
                                    Brighid
                                     
                                  • L Joseph
                                    ... Check out Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouveres edited by Frederick Goldin. (Not the easiest to find, but I got mine through amazon.com.) It is a
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Mar 7 5:45 AM
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                                      --- Bob Davis <brewer@...> wrote:
                                      > Kass McGann wrote:
                                      > She bloody well better. You are staring at me as I
                                      > type this, so I am
                                      > filing it away for future blackmail. ;-)
                                      >
                                      > I confess, I had no idea what Jehanne was referring
                                      > to, spake the
                                      > college-trained musicologist, but am keen to learn.
                                      Check out "Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouveres"
                                      edited by Frederick Goldin. (Not the easiest to find,
                                      but I got mine through amazon.com.) It is a terrific
                                      compilation of poetry in the original dialects, with
                                      translations, and includes the text of Coeur de Lion's
                                      "Ja Nus Hon Pris". Sorry, no musical notation, but
                                      it's good stuff.

                                      Also worth reading is Meg Bogin's "The Women
                                      Troubadours."

                                      Jehanne de Wodeford, Rusted Woodlands, East

                                      =====
                                      "I do but sing because I must, And pipe but as the linnets sing." Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam."

                                      __________________________________________________
                                      Do You Yahoo!?
                                      Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
                                      http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                                    • Ariane Helou
                                      ... Got it ;) my Greek prof gave us numerous lectures on the practice of singing the Homeric poems. The opening of the Iliad, in rough transliteration:
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Mar 7 5:59 AM
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                                        Brighid wrote:
                                        >
                                        >We just got done with Homer's Illiad in my Classics class too. (I'm not a
                                        >classics major though, I'm an Industrial Design Major that invades
                                        >everyone else's classes.) It begins the poem with "Sing, goddess, the
                                        >anger of Peleus's son Achilleus", but that could be just an invocation of
                                        >the Muse, or a translational change. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have
                                        >problems changing "sing" from Greek to English though, but I'm not a
                                        >linguist. In the Introduction section of my Illiad (by Richmond
                                        >Lattimore), it is said that it is meant to be orally presented. Whether
                                        >that's recited, sung, and whether that's to music is not really stated. My
                                        >classics prof (a Dr.), had said that it should be recited with harp music,
                                        >but admittedly I was really tired that class and I can't tell you her
                                        >explanation. I'll ask her tonight and let you know.
                                        >
                                        >Brighid

                                        Got it ;) my Greek prof gave us numerous lectures on the practice of
                                        "singing" the Homeric poems. The opening of the Iliad, in rough
                                        transliteration:
                                        Menin aeide, thea, Peleiadeo Achileos
                                        oulomenen...
                                        And literally means:
                                        Sing of the destructive wrath, goddess, of Achilles son of Peleus...
                                        And the word "aeide" literally means "sing." The word "ennepe" is used
                                        instead in the first line of Odyssey, but though it means "tell," "speak,"
                                        or "narrate," poets often translate it as "sing" because it sounds more
                                        poetic. But the Greek epics were certainly sung, probably with a lyre
                                        accompaniment, often by highly-trained performers. (Roman poetry, even
                                        epic, was usually recited, except for hymns which were typically set to
                                        music and performed by a chorus.) Sorry for the digression, but what can I
                                        say, I'm a nerd...
                                        But what I was asking was not about the performance techniques of
                                        antiquity, but whether amateur musicians during the Renaissance might have
                                        tried to mimic an idealized version of epic song - setting bits of Homer to
                                        music in the way they imagined the ancients might have done it. I do
                                        suspect this is true, but I was wondering whether anyone could support
                                        that. Perhaps some of the music has even survived...?
                                        On the other hand, it might be fun to contrive a melody based on Greek
                                        music. (Moshe once invented a melody for reciting a portion of Beowulf -
                                        it was awesome. He also has a CD of reconstructed ancient Greek music
                                        which I am *sure* he will let me borrow, right?).
                                        Bob the musicologist, where can I find information on Greek modes? Will
                                        any music theory text have them? I vaguely remember names like Lydian,
                                        Phrygian, and Mixolydian being thrown about in my high school music history
                                        class - are they indeed the same scales the Greeks used, and weren't they
                                        carried through to the Middle Ages? When did the "modern" major and minor
                                        scales come into use? I'd love some information, or the title of a good
                                        book where I could find it - our music library is very well-stocked.

                                        Vittoria
                                      • Kass McGann
                                        ... What you sorry for, Vittoria? So are we all! That was really cool to know, even though I know nothing about classical poetry or musical performance. =)
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Mar 7 1:48 PM
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                                          > Sorry for the digression, but what can I
                                          > say, I'm a nerd...

                                          What you sorry for, Vittoria? So are we all! That was really cool to know,
                                          even though I know nothing about classical poetry or musical performance.
                                          =)

                                          > Bob the musicologist, where can I find information on Greek modes? Will >
                                          any music theory text have them? I vaguely remember names like Lydian,
                                          > Phrygian, and Mixolydian being thrown about in my high school music
                                          history
                                          > class - are they indeed the same scales the Greeks used, and weren't they
                                          > carried through to the Middle Ages? When did the "modern" major and minor
                                          > scales come into use? I'd love some information, or the title of a good
                                          > book where I could find it - our music library is very well-stocked.

                                          You know you've just made sure that my dinner doesn't get made on time,
                                          don't you? ;)

                                          Kass
                                        • Bob Davis
                                          ... Hush, woman; I still have to do the dishes... ;-) There is very little support indeed for the supposition that the Greek-named modes are in fact Greek in
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Mar 7 3:00 PM
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                                            Kass McGann wrote:

                                            > > Bob the musicologist, where can I find information on Greek modes? Will >
                                            > any music theory text have them? I vaguely remember names like Lydian,
                                            > > Phrygian, and Mixolydian being thrown about in my high school music
                                            > history
                                            > > class - are they indeed the same scales the Greeks used, and weren't they
                                            > > carried through to the Middle Ages? When did the "modern" major and minor
                                            > > scales come into use? I'd love some information, or the title of a good
                                            > > book where I could find it - our music library is very well-stocked.
                                            >
                                            > You know you've just made sure that my dinner doesn't get made on time,
                                            > don't you? ;)

                                            Hush, woman; I still have to do the dishes... ;-)

                                            There is very little support indeed for the supposition that the
                                            Greek-named modes are in fact Greek in origin. For all we know,
                                            Boethius arbitrarily assigned those names to the scale patterns we call
                                            modes.

                                            I'd list them for you, but I've misplaced my copy of a really cool
                                            college-level textbook: Grout/Palisca, _A History of Western Music_, 5th
                                            Edition, WW Norton & Co., NY. 1996. This was the text from which we
                                            music pinheads studied when I was in college; I presume there are copies
                                            available of the various editions. Regardless of the edition, the modes
                                            do not change. I suggest studying the modes while listening to chant,
                                            while following the chants in the Liber Usualis, which book will be
                                            found in any decently-equipped college library. Each chant in the LU has
                                            the mode number over the large capital which begins the line (see
                                            attached JPG). Analyze the chant to find the tonic, and the mode will
                                            start to make sense.

                                            Good luck, and please keep me posted!

                                            -RfT
                                          • stephen higa
                                            ... It seems very probable to me. ... Of COURSE I will, dearie. :) The Beowulf thing was more of a recitation formula than a melody per se. Interestingly
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Mar 7 4:20 PM
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                                              > But what I was asking was not about the performance techniques of
                                              > antiquity, but whether amateur musicians during the Renaissance might have
                                              > tried to mimic an idealized version of epic song - setting bits of Homer to
                                              > music in the way they imagined the ancients might have done it. I do
                                              > suspect this is true, but I was wondering whether anyone could support
                                              > that.

                                              It seems very probable to me.

                                              > music. (Moshe once invented a melody for reciting a portion of Beowulf -
                                              > it was awesome. He also has a CD of reconstructed ancient Greek music
                                              > which I am *sure* he will let me borrow, right?).

                                              Of COURSE I will, dearie. :) The Beowulf thing was more of a "recitation
                                              formula" than a "melody" per se. Interestingly (perhaps ;)), I incorporated
                                              a melodic phrase I heard in a Greenland Inuit epic, which sounded
                                              surprisingly similar to Scandinavian ballad melodies...perhaps this points
                                              to a general "Northern" musical aesthetic?

                                              > are they indeed the same scales the Greeks used, and weren't they
                                              > carried through to the Middle Ages?

                                              The Arabs, especially al-Farabi (9th/10th c.) and Ibn Arabi (13th c.),
                                              studied the ancient Greek musical treatises and philosophies for their
                                              descriptions and formulations of the maqamat (modes; singular, "maqam") that
                                              persist in Arab music even to this day. The Arabs brought modal theories
                                              into Europe through Spain and Italy in the early Middle Ages, and Byzantium
                                              helped, too. If you listen to Ancient Greek music, you hear a lot of modes
                                              similar to the Arab maqamat (we had to memorize several maqamat and be able
                                              to identify which one(s) were used in a given song...argh! it helps in
                                              performing/reconstructing period Arabic music, though, one of my favorite
                                              projects). And when you listen to folk music in Spain today, you hear the
                                              maqamat again. Unfortunately, apparently the medieval European musicians
                                              and composers only liked some of them; you only get ones that are similar to
                                              the ones you hear in European music today. The Arabs in Spain also
                                              abandoned many of them in favor of more European modes, like al-Istihlal
                                              (similar to C major but with B flat on the descent). I'm currently
                                              attempting to formulate a melody for a 12th c. Hebrew muwashshah (sung poem)
                                              and this is the mode I'm going to use.

                                              Of course, these are just theories. The Europeans could have very well come
                                              across the Greek modes themselves, or already had them in their indigenous
                                              musics. Patterns of influence are sometimes very difficult to trace.

                                              What was I talking about? Sorry, I don't remember if this has any
                                              relevance...


                                              Moshe
                                              ----------------------------------------------------------
                                              "Do not take a liking to poison just because there is an antidote."
                                              --Shinran (1173-1262)
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