Authentic performance of troubadour melodies

Authentic performance of troubadour melodies

McKay, Cory (University of Guelph)

Published Online (1999)


As is the case with most early  music, there is a great deal of debate on exactly how troubadour music was performed. Scholarly research in this field is thus very important if a modern performer wishes to attempt an authentic performance. Three paramount factors to consider when attempting to replicate the manner in which a troubadour piece was originally performed are rhythm, the use of instrumental accompaniment and the amount of faithfulness with which the given melodies should be treated.

There are 460 known troubadours with approximately 2600 surviving poems. Unfortunately, only 264 of these poems survive with musical accompaniment, and this is usually little more than a simple melody. Also, although scholars of the time wrote prolifically about the poetry, they were relatively silent regarding the descriptions of the music and its performance.


Click here to read this article by Cory McKay

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