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The Codex Faenza and the Tradition of Improvisation

Laura Osterlund lecture on, and performance of, the music in the Codex Faenza.

How was music invented? A medieval answer

Have you ever wondered how music was invented? Apparently, people in the Middle Ages thought about this question too, and they came up with several interesting answers.

Medieval Manuscripts: Seven Songs for an Absent Lover

The Pergamino Vindel leaf is famous for its 13th century collection of seven songs written in the voice of a young woman awaiting her absent lover.

New Medieval Books: Music in the Middle Ages

Five recently published books about medieval music.

We with Merth Mowe Savely Synge: Henry V, Royal Musician

King Henry V of England was a well-acclaimed musician and musical patron. Thus, this thesis first examines the role of music in defining the reign of Henry, through his patronage of the Chapel Royal and its various composers, and his founding of Syon Abbey in 1415.

The social, political and religious contexts of the late Medieval carol

This thesis examines the late medieval English carol, an important indigenous musical form that is abundant in a number of sources from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth century, both with and without extant musical notation.

Two unnoticed pieces of medieval polyphony

The two pieces introduced and briefly discussed in this article have so far remained unnoticed because of the manner of their notation. In each case pieces of twovoice polyphony were notated with the two voices separate, instead of in the score notation which has been usual since, roughly, the second half of the twelfth century.

The Guitar in Tudor London

Few people now remember that the guitar was popular in England during the age of Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare, and yet it was played everywhere from the royal court to the common tavern.

Traditio vel Aemulatio? The Singing Contest of Samarra, Expression of a Medieval Culture of Competition

The rivalry between two famous female singers was the topic of the day in al-Mutawakkil’s (r. 847–61) Samarra, according to the Kitab al-aghani.

The Christian Singer: Charlemagne and Beyond

How did this Gregorian or Frankish-Roman music come into existence?

The Desire for Solitude: The Secret Poems of Irish Monks

Medieval monks worked long hours in silence copying and illustrating manuscripts. But what happened when their minds began to wander?

Roman Singing and its Influence Across Europe

In this lecture we shall explore what the singing of Rome meant far afield: in northern England, Ireland, Spain and Germany.

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

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

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

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

A look at medieval musicians, Stary Olsa.

Medievalism and Exoticism in the Music of 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.

REVIEW: The Ballad of Robin Hood

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

Free Online Course on Medieval Music Begins today

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

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

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

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

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 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

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.

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