Viking Music? New CD of Viking age music climbs the charts

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Can one recreate the music of the Viking age? A newly released CD called Ice and Longboats: Ancient Music of Scandinavia hopes to do so, and has already earned praise from reviewers and risen into the top 20 of the Official Specialist Classical Chart.

The Troubadours and the Song of the Crusades

Troubadour playing a fiddle  - image from BnF ms. 854 fol. 49

The troubadours have been credited as giving birth to the lyrical poetry of modern European languages. Emerging in France, they were predominantly male composers from parts of Western Europe during the High Middle Ages

Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

Spanish crest from Valencia. Photo by

Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.

Medieval Meets Modern: Stary Olsa Take on Rock Classics With a Medieval Twist

Stary Olsa. Photo courtesy of Stary Olsa by Vitali Frozen. August 2015.

A look at medieval musicians, Stary Olsa.

Medievalism and Exoticism in the Music of Dead Can Dance

dead can dance medievalism

In 1991, the alternative rock band Dead Can Dance released an album that caught the attention of music reviewers by constructing an aural allegiance to the Middle Ages.

REVIEW: The Ballad of Robin Hood

The Ballad of Robin Hood at the Southwark Theatre, London.

Over the holiday season, Southwark Playhouse is presenting their reinterpretation of The Ballad of Robin Hood.

Free Online Course on Medieval Music Begins today

from ink to sound

The University of Basel and Future Learn have teamed up to offer a seven week free online course that will teach the history of musical notation in the Middle Ages, and show you how to decode medieval music manuscripts.

Music for a Captured King: Richard the Lionheart and Blondel

Blondel meeting Richard I - Photo by JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

Love him or hate him, one thing you can say about England’s Richard the Lionheart is that there are some great stories about him.

Anne Boleyn’s Songbook

Anne Boleyn's Songbook - photo courtesy Heather Teysko

Now for the first time in 500 years much of the music included in Anne Boleyn’s songbook has been recorded by the Alamire Consort, under the direction of Dr. David Skinner of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.

Horn Iconography as Found in the Grand Medieval Bestiary

animal scene and horn player - British Library Harley 4751   f. 10

Given at the 47th International Horn Symposium, on August 4, 2015

Hildegard’s Cosmos and Its Music: Making a Digital Model for the Modern Planetarium

Margot Fassler lecture

The work reported on in this talk is a collaborative effort involving forces performative, scholarly, and technological. Because of the way Hildegard describes her understanding of the cosmos in the treatise Scivias, the model unfolds in two acts.

Through the Looking Glass Darkly: Medievalism, Satanism, and the Dark Illumination of the Self in the Aesthetics of Black Metal

The basement of Helvete, showing graffiti from the early 1990s - Photo by Marieke Kuijjer

The upside-down world of Satanic black metal is uncanny, both familiar in its use of inverted tropes and schemes and yet completely ‘other’ to those on the outside looking in, including Christians and consumers of mainstream popular culture.

Californication – Medieval cover version by Stary Olsa

medieval californication

The Belarussian band Stary Olsa, whose video of their medieval version of Metallica’s song One was a viral hit last year, have just released a new cover for the song Californication, originally by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Discovering hidden music in the Bestiary of Love

Elizabeth Eva Leach

Elizabeth Eva Leach speaks on ‘Richard de Fournival Across the Disciplines’

Medievalism and Exoticism in the Music of Dead Can Dance

dead can dance

In 1991, the alternative rock band Dead Can Dance released an album that caught the attention of music reviewers by constructing an aural allegiance to the Middle Ages.

The Troubadours, Part I: Sad Songs Say So Much

A Troubadour playing his fiddle

The height of their popularity was in the 12th-13th Centuries, and they wrote songs about people, politics, and religion, but most of all, love. Let’s take five minutes to talk about troubadours.

Earliest known piece of polyphonic music discovered

The music was written around the year 900, and represents the earliest example of polyphonic music intended for practical use.  Credit: British Library

New research has uncovered the earliest known practical piece of polyphonic music, an example of the principles that laid the foundations of European musical tradition.

The Medieval version of Metallica

medieval metallica

The medieval folk band Stary Olsa has made an impressive cover of the Metallica song ‘One’.

A Medieval Scholasticus and Renaissance Choirmaster: A Portrait of John Hothby at Lucca

Rome - music manuscript, 15th c. - polyphonic music

John Hothby’s career as cathedral choirmaster at Lucca is one of the longest, best documented, and most exceptional of any Northern musician active in fifteenth-century Italy.

Natasha Mira finds her voice with Medieval Pop

Natasha Mira

‘I can finally say I feel at home with Medieval Pop as a sound and a brand that is 100% honest with myself.’

Medieval Song of Summer: Sumer is Icumen In!

Sumer is Icumen In

One of the most famous pieces of music that has survived is a Middle English song about summer.

Music as Text and Music as Image

Music as Text and Music as Image

Danielle Trynoski reports on ‘Music as Text and Music as Image’ by Susan Boynton at the Medieval Academy of America and Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference

‘A great heathen fist from the North’: Vikings, Norse Mythology, and Medievalism in Nordic Extreme Metal Music


Viking metal is a dynamic and popular subgenre of metal music of burgeoning popularity coming primarily from Nordic countries.

The Place of the Organ in the Medieval Parish Church

Church organ

A list of eight hundred existing parish churches with a priori evidence of organs has been drawn up, forming the basis for exploration of medieval churches for physical evidence of liturgical musical arrangements, including organs.

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