minstrel: OMOT: Some polyphony questions

Cynthia J Ley cley at juno.com
Tue Jun 6 07:59:45 PDT 2000

> > Does anyone know of any actual evidence that *secular* Medieval music
> > was ever acutally sung in organum?
> No. For quite a bit of it we know it wasn't.

Hmm, maybe not quite so cut and dried. There is some evidence which
supports the theory that some troubadour pieces may have been harmonized
on instruments using the organal style. But if  you're referring strictly
to secular part song, then no. 

This may be a problem of history. Troubadour music was initially based
largely off of plainchant; organum was the part-song style of the day;
one is secular, based off of a sacred style; the latter is also a sacred
style, but possibly may have "leaked" also into secular use--it may be a
matter of what survived.


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