minstrel: first message on the list & a query

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Sat Feb 25 17:33:02 PST 2006

On Sat, Feb 25, 2006 at 05:23:56PM -0500, Kevin Brock wrote:

> The notion is this: in the 15th century "L'homme arme" masses, the tenor is 
> the melody of the tune "L'homme arme" itself. Is it possible to look at 
> some contemporary masses and: 1) extract the tenor part so that 2) we can 
> perhaps speed up or manipulate the tenor part into creating a viable 
> melody, separate from the mass?

Yes. For L'hom arme in particular, the (slow) tenor used in the masses
is also used in period as a (fast) tune. The only example I have in my
CD collection is on 'Music from the Time of Richard III', and is
labeled 'Traditional French arranged by Robert Morton d. 1475.' I
don't think this is the only one.

Note that the other class of mass tenors, plainchant, probably don't
make very good melodies when played fast.

-- Gregory

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