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Nouvele amour

Kirjoitettu: 2014-01-03 22:38:26

A wonderful source for old manuscripts is Gallica by the French national library (www.gallica.bnf.fr). I managed to find a lovely collection of 13th century songs. From there I took this song, Nouvele amour qui si m'agree by Rogeret de Cambrai:

I made three versions of the song. One a basic transcription with stemless notation, one with modern notation, inspired by the version of Boston Camerata and one I arranged so that it can be played with a 5-string kantele (which required slight alterations to the melody).

For me the challenge in transcribing a medieval song is threefold. First of all there is the music. I cannot say that I am an expert on reading medieval music, though little by little I am working on getting familiar with the notation system. Then there is the language. It is useful to know modern French, but for example this song with its combination of medieval French and Occitan, is very far from it, leaving me guessing if I got some of the words right, which leads me to the third challenge: calligraphy. Understandung the small quirks of medieval calligraphy is something I really have to work on. I did realize that the stroke above the vowel meant that there was a nasal diphthong, but with the same letters looking different from place to place and different letters looking the same, it can be rather confusing for a beginner. But, with the original attached, have a look, you might make better sense of the text. But more importantly, it is a wonderful song, so sing, play and enjoy!


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