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420 13th Century songs about miracles attributed to the Virgin Mary, collected (and a few were written) by King Alfonso "El Sabio" X of Spain during that country's "Convivencia" (when Christians, Muslims and Jews were all living in parts of Spain without trying to kill/convert one another). A number of the pieces show a strong Moorish influence in the rhythms and melody lines. One problem finding Cantiga recordings is that CDs may list a song by its manuscript number or by its title, but not necessarily by both. Oxford has a website ( http://csm.mml.ox.ac.uk/?p=intro ) which lists titles and shows lyrics in translation, and there is a French website

( http://brassy.perso.neuf.fr/PartMed/Cantigas/CSMIDI.html?CFID=5565247&CFTOKEN=81659121) which contains midi files.

--Quen a omagen (CSM 353) -- Gothart

--Cantiga 166 (Como Poden per sas culpas) -- Ensemble Galilei

--O Que Mui Tarde Ou Nunca (Cantiga 321) -- Synfonye (This one sounds very exotic to me)

--Santa Maria, Strela Do Dia (CSM 100) -- Stephanie Heidemann

--Quen  Quer  Que (CSM 167) – Musica Subterranea

--Non e gran Causa (CSM 26) -- Phillip Pickett, New London Consort

--Santiago (adaptation/arrangement of "Non e Gran Causa"/CSM 26) -- Loreena McKennitt


The Carmina Burana manuscript (Codex Buranus) is a collection of songs, lyrics, poems and plays believed to have been written by clerical students between the 11th and 13th centuries. There are two secular sub-sections called "Carmina Amatoria" (131 medieval Latin or German love songs) and "Carmina Potoria" (40 medieval Latin...uhh...drinking songs). One challenge with this collection is bypassing the numerous recordings made using the early 20th Century music composed by Carl Orff (you have probably heard his "O Fortuna", whether you know it by that name or not 8). The recordings are also (necessarily) based on musical historians' best educated guesses at the very rudimentary, imprecise manuscript notations which lack the clear benchmarks of modern sheet music or of other Early Music notations and tablature (scholars use the term "neumes" to describe notations like those in the Carmina Burana).

--Tempus est iocundum (Carmina Amatorum) -- Unicorn Ensemble

--In Taberna quando sumus (Carmina Potoria) (Sabine de Kerbriant of the Bhakaili Branslers has written an EK contrafact, "Carmen Orientalis", to this tune.)

--Ich was ein chint so wolgetan (Carmina Amatorum) -- Unicorn Ensemble

--Bache, bene venies (Carmina Potatorum) -- Oni Wytars Ensemble

--Fas et Nefas Ambulant—Rene Clemencic


There is a surviving palace song book from the court of Ferdinand and Isabella which contains a number of songs with fairly simple melodies. Authors include court composer Juan del Encina.

--Una sañosa porfia ( Juan del Encina) -- Jordi Savall; Hesperion XX (I wrote an adaptation based on this song, and particularly based on the arrangement used in this recording)

--Levanta, Pascual (Juan del Encina) -- Jordi Savall; Hesperion XX

--Hoy comamos y bevamos -- Jordi Savall; Hesperion XX (This carnival song basically boils down to "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow...is LENT 8P")

--Calabaza, No Sé, Buen Amor ( Anon) -- New London Consort - directed by Phillip Pickett (I've been told this is a love song comparing the beloved to a drinking gourd...must find a complete translation...)

--So ell Enzina (Under the Oak Tree) -- Capella Virelai.


--Orientis Partibus ("Song of the Ass"; 12th Cent. anon.) -- Philip Pickett; New London Consort (This melody survives as the modern Christmas carol "The Friendly Beasts" )

--Gaudete (From "piae cantiones", 1582) -- Steeleye Span (who else?) I know of two different bards who have written contrafacts of this song for their home groups 8)

--Ecce Mundi Gaudium (Anonymous, 13th century) -- Medieval Baebes.


ENGLAND  Songs which are found in Playford (some of these also serve as base tunes for 16th and 17th century broadsides):

--Sellenger's Round--Musica Subterranea (While the dance steps are from a 1670 edition of Playford, the music dates to 1591's My Ladye Nevell's Book, among other sources.)

--Upon A Summer's Day -- The King's Noyse, uses lyrics from "I Smell A Rat")

--Heart's Ease--Musica Subterranea

Other Broadside base tunes :

--Packington's (Paggington's) Pound -- Musicians of Swanne Alley, uses lyrics from "Caveat for Cutpurses" ; Baltimore Consort, uses lyrics "Unto the Prophet Jonas"

--Greensleeves (Baltimore Consort -- begins with a 4/4 time arrangement)

--Stingo (M. of Swanne Alley--instrumental; Steve Hendricks' website has lyrics, "The Little Barley-Corne")

--Watkins Ale (Baltimore Consort)

Other 16th/17th Century English Tunes:

--Now O Now I Needs Must Part by John Dowland (The King's Noyse)

--Fortune My Foe (M. of Swanne Alley)

Two SCAdians have extensive websites with lyrics and/or midi files and/or and sheet music for pre-1600 and some 17th Century songs -- Steve Hendricks (http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/Hendricks )and Greg Lindahl, ska Gregory Blount of Isenfir ( http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/music.html ). Singer / historian Lucie Skeaping has also published a collection called "Broadside Ballads" with a number of tunes and lyrics dating to before 1600, and listing some 16th Century music collections. Please go check them out, and tell your friends 8)

16th-Century Germany-- A number of composers created tunes in a style called "Tenorlieder"-- meaning just what it sounds like, the Tenor line carries the lead vocal. I'm still checking these songs out myself, so in addition to composer names like Henrich Isaac and Ludwig Senfl, I mention Caspar Othmayer, whose song "Es ist ein Schnee Gefallen" has been contrafacted (modesty forbids). There are recordings of works by these composers made by Fretwork (with tenor Charles Daniels) and Piffarro.

16th-Century France: Arbeau's dance manual "Orchesographie" (which contains many bransle tunes used in the SCA) was published in the 1580's. Some bransles were known to have been composed by Michel Praetorius.

--Torch Branle --Baltimore Consort 

--Official Branle -- Musica Subterranea 

--Une m'avois promis -- Baltimore Consort ( In the 1550's, Adrian Leroy and Robert Ballard published a series of books for Renaissance guitar. **DROOL**...ahem...sorry...)

--Mignonne, allons voir si la rose--Baltimore Consort. In spite of this song's vaguely misogynistic lyrics, by Pierre de Ronsard ("Come see if that rose outside has withered yet...as your beauty inevitably will." 8P ), Jehanne Chardevoine's collection ("Le Recueil des Plus Belles et Excellentes Chansons en Forme de Voix de Ville") contains a number of beautiful melodies.

What a wonderful list!

Date: 2012-08-25 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gildedacorn.livejournal.com
I will probably try to copy it for my own reference.

I don't think statements that women won't stay young and beautiful forever count as "misogynist," but only depressingly accurate, like the statement that we will all die someday.

Cantiga Site

Date: 2012-08-27 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] momtoast.livejournal.com
I love this site, because it gives a lot of pronunciation help for the cantigas.


Re: Cantiga Site

Date: 2012-08-31 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minstrlmummr.livejournal.com
Awesome...it's fun to sing along from here with the recordings I have on the computer 8)


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