minstrel: Pertaining to Guillaume de Machaut

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Wed Apr 19 16:32:01 PDT 2000


> Most of his music is beautiful polyphony, which is sad because
> my vocal chords are monophonic!

Actually, Machaut wrote an unusually large number of monophonic tunes
-- he's the most important 14th century composer of "solo" music. My
apprentice is a real fan of his.

> First question: how interested are people
> in period bardic circles in hearing Old French?

Good question. Everyone would like to hear a little, so if you sung in
English translation, and sang one of the middle verses an extra time
in French, that would work everywhere.

If you aren't singing solo, most people won't be picking out that many
words anyway, so you might as well sing in Pig Latin. (Then again, I'm
a heathen when it comes to lyrics... screw the lyrics.)

> My second question, which is more ambitious, is this:  I am going to
> Pennsic, and I am wondering if anyone would like to get together and learn
> to sing some French 14th and 15th C. polyphonic music.

Sure. Bring copies, and advertise. I'd show up for an hour a day.

There is a pennsic choir, but it's a mass-market kind of event, and it
doesn't meet early in the war.

-- Gregory Blount

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