minstrel: period music/period sounding music

Ed Hopkins Ed.Hopkins at MCI.Com
Mon Apr 21 14:46:00 PDT 1997

> I have read here lately about using this tune or that tune from
> contemporary sources, and I'd like to ask, if I may, "why?"
> It seems to me that it would be more authentic, or at least more
> authentically bardic in spirit to compose your own tunes if you
> need one to fit your original lyrics, and writing a simple period
> style tune isn't very hard - it would certainly sound better
> than, say, a Beatles tune, wouldn't it?

I once wrote a song I called "Strawberry Leaves Are Forever" and
presented it to nice couple who were soon to become Duke and Duchess.
As it happens, I also presented a scroll of the tune, in modern
musical notation, but I don't know how I could convey that modern
musical notation to you all on this list.  I could snail-mail
or fax photocopies of my scroll, but I'm not at all sure that
every subscriber to this list can read modern musical notation.
However, I could post the words to this list right now, and ad
a simple note that it was set to the tune of "Strawberry Fields",
and be sure that almost everyone would know the song.

Of course, when I'm _performing_ the song, none of these concerns
matter, _but_ I suspect that _listening_ to a song is almost as
much a learned activity as sight reading musical notation, and
(I further suspect) that most of my listeners would not _really_
know how to listen to, say, a Gregorian chant (even if it were
written in English instead of Latin).

Please note that I only seek to explain _why_ some misguided people
might set songs to modern melodies; I make no attempt to _defend_
the abhorrent practice.

-- Alfredo el Bufon, MSoB
Elvegast, WH, Atl, SCA

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