Medieval/Renaissance Songs

Translations, sheet music, and performances

emily playing

 

 Troubadour and Trouvere songs

Be'm plai lo gais temps de pascor (Text/Translation; performance)

by Bertran de Born
Original Text, and translation by M. Amelie d'Anjou and M. Juliana Peri da Novellari

Bertran de Born's famous late 12th C. poem "I love the gay time of spring", celebrating warfare. Dante consigns Bertran to the 8th circle of his vision of hell; this poem, with it's glorification of the violence and mayhem of war, is a likely reason.

 

Ar em al freg temps vengut (sheet music; performance)

By Azalais de Porcairages
music by Amelie d'Anjou

This is the first trobaritz poem I wrote a melody for, after falling in love with the imagery of the 1st stanza in particular, with it's depiction of winter.

 

Estat ai en greu cossirier (sheet music; performance)

By Comtessa de Dia
music by Amelie d'Anjou, trans. by Leonard Cottrell

This is one of the Countess of Dia's 4 surviving poems. She is the only trobaritz with a surviving melody, the famous A chantar m'er.

 

Fortz chausa est (Text/Translation)

By Gaucelm Faidit
trans. by Owen Alun and Amelie d'Anjou

This is a lament on the death of Richard the Lionhearted.

 

Kalenda maya (Text/Translation; sheet music1, and 2)

By Raimbaut de Vaqueiras
trans. by Owen Alun and Amelie d'Anjou

This is one of the first songs I learned, but it's gone through some transitions. The format of this poem is so sophisticated that pinning down the rhythm is a challenge. Just to be different, I now perform it in 5. I was going to write an essay about it, but then I found a good one already out there: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274634664_A_Rhythmic_realization_for_Raimbaut_de_Vaqueiras%27_Kalenda_Maya 

For all the verses in Occitan and English: http://www.trobar.org/troubadours/raimbaut_de_vaqueiras/raimbaut_de_vaqueiras_15.php#

The original is online also, known as ms R, or B.N.fr. 22543: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b60004306/f137.item  search for folio 62r. or click here.

 

Song of Nothing (sheet music)

by  Guilhem VII Count of Poitiers
Music by Amelie d'Anjou, Translation by various
William was Eleanor of Aquitaine's grandfather, and the 1st troubadour whose poems we have. Several of his poems are dirty; this one is a parody of a genre we don't have previous examples of. The best example of what he is parodying is probably Jaufre Rudel's Lanquan li jorn about his far-off love.

 

Why Does My Husband Beat Me? (sheet music; performance)

music and rhyming translation by Amelie d'Anjou
Anonymous trouvere poem of the mal-maris (or bad husband) genre. This one is more fun than some other mal-maris.

 

L'on dit q'amors (translation, performance)

 rhyming translation by Amelie d'Anjou
Anonymous trouvere poem

 

Some Cantigas d'amigo, or Songs of a friend

Pilgrimage to Santiago (sheet music)

by  Airas Corpancho
Music by Amelie d'Anjou, Translation by Barbara Fowler
13c Galician-Portuguese song

Lovely Me (sheet music)

by  Joam Soarez Coehlo
Music by Amelie d'Anjou, Translation by Barbara Fowler
13c Galician-Portuguese song

 

 

Chansonnette/Par verite/etc. (sheet music)

3 part motet from the Montpelier Codex Anonymous 13-14th C
Transcription & English translation by Amelie

 

Post Partum Virgo/Ave Regina /Veritatem (sheet music)

3 part motet from the Montpelier Codex Anonymous 13-14th C
Transcription & English translation by Amelie

 

The Tongue is most Enemie to Mankind (sheet music; performance)

music by Amelie d'Anjou
Anonymous 15th C. Poem

 

Ave regina celorum (sheet music)

3 part chanson from the recently discovered 15th c. Leuven channsonier
Transcription by Amelie

 

D'un aultre amer (sheet music; performance)

3 part chanson from the recently discovered 15th c. Leuven channsonier
Transcription by Amelie

 

 The earliest polyphonic music we have extant is from Aquitaine, written at the monastery of St. Martial. Very similar is some music at Santiago de Compostela. Most of it is 2 parts, although there are 3 part pieces, one from Compostela and the other in a related manuscript from England. If you've taken music history classes, they will talk about the Notre Dame school in Paris, but this music is about a generation earlier. The following pieces are ones that I have transcribed into modern rhythmic notation, based on the relationship between the parts, with an assumption of generally one beat per syllable assuming not too many notes/neumes, and that this is coming out of a tradition of improvisation. I consulted Theodore Karp's The Polyphony of Saint Martial and Santiago de Compostela, Hendrik van der Werf's The Oldest Extant Part Music And The Origin of Western Polyphony and the manuscripts themselves when they are online.

 

Dulci Dignum (sheet music)

2 part 12th century Aquitainian
Transcription by Amelie

 

Lux Refulget (sheet music)

2 part 12th century Aquitainian
Transcription by Amelie

 

Noster Cetus (sheet music)

2 part 12th century Aquitainian
Transcription by Amelie

 

Oi Dex (sheet music)

2 part 12th century Aquitainian
Transcription by Amelie

 

Puer natus (sheet music)

A monophonic Christmas chant: I actually looked at about 6 different early manuscripts, several of which had no staff lines. The pitches come from later manuscripts and the Liber Usualis.
Transcription by Amelie