minstrel: Medieval music for Mandolin

D. Glenn Arthur Jr. dglenn at radix.net
Tue Jan 25 10:17:15 PST 2005

warden <warden_2 at comcast.net> wrote:
> I bought "Medieval Music for Mandolin" by Allan Alexander a while ago 
> and highly recommend it. The pieces are fairly easy and certainly 
> appropriate for SCA events.

Are these mandolin arrangements, or just period melodies that
happen to work well on the mandolin?  (Either is useful, of
course, though of different degrees of interest to folks who
already have a bunch of the melodies.)

> So, are there any other medieval mandolin players out there? Would love 
> to share tunes and history.

I haven't been playing much since my good mandolin pulled 
itself apart and my backup is an electric with a divot in 
the 6th fret, but I'm hoping to get one of the antiques 
into playable condition.  Unlike the other genres and periods
I play, I haven't found too many medeival tunes that are
significantly easier to play on mandolin than guitar so
far (though "suited to the mandolin sound" is a completely
separate matter, of course).  Most of what I know is dance
music (and I've got more renaissance and ECD tunes than
medeival, but I do have a copy of McGee, and photocopies of
a couple of basse dances and songs.

Do you know "Douce Dame Jolie"?  I usually think of it as
a recorder tune, but it should sound pretty on mandolin,
and it's the most brain-sticky tune I know.  (It's actually
a song (... and in the back of my mind I have the seeds of
a modern big-band/swing arrangement I need to write down, 
but that takes us into an OOP tangent...))  

I think "Edi Be Thu, Heven Queene" (yah, that 'th' should
be a thorn but I'm not sure how to insert that character 
in an email-friendly way from here -- and there should be
an umlaut over the final 'e') would sound lovely on
mandolin (you can put a certain "bounce" into it that the
guitar only hints at), and I think the melody would be very 
easy to finger, but I haven't actually tried it yet.

					-- Glenn

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