Performance Practice and Repertoires

The Art of the Troubadour Song

6 sessions - Self-paced

Course Description

The troubadours have been credited as the creators of the lyrical song in modern European languages. The exquisite poetic-musical craftmanship of their compositions, turned Occitan, the vernacular language of southern France, into an authentic vehicle of artistic and intellectual expression (challenging the hegemony of Latin on these fronts). In this type of early vernacular song, rhythmic poetry, rhetoric, and melody are masterfully combined to create a visceral discourse where the poetic “I” (of the composer/performer) conveys personal views about love, politics, war, and religion.

A thorough poetic and musical examination of this exquisite song repertoire can be conducted through the study of extant songs and contemporary poetic treatises that discuss their composition. Nonetheless, the troubadours composed their songs to be sung and as such they only achieved their full “materialization” through the act of performance. For this reason, a comprehensive study of their art must place performance at the center of the discussion. 

In this course, students will:


Explore the historical, social, geographic and performance context of the troubadour song


Analyze its different poetic and musical compositional techniques in relation to its memorization and oral dissemination


Examine how its music notations, sources, and genres provide information about performance practices


Reconstruct performance conventions based on both medieval literary and iconographic data, and modern musicological theories (rhythm, voice production, ornamentation, instrumental accompaniment)

Dr. Mauricio MolinaInstructor:
Dr. Mauricio Molina



February 19 to June 10, 2024
6 sessions – Self-paced



Price 1.5 creds

1.5 credit ECTS: 320€


English - Spanish


Open to musicians, musicologists, and people interested in Medieval music and the Middle Ages in general (with or without experience playing medieval musical instruments)


Session 1 | The Occitan Song Before the Troubadours

Session 2 | Language, Poetic Construction, Rhetoric, and Genre in the Troubadour Song

Session 3 | Melody and Movance

Session 4 | Sources, Composers, and Scribes

Session 5 | Performing the Troubadour Song: Voice Delivery, Rhythm, Ornamentation

Session 6 | Performing the Troubadour Song: Instrumental Accompaniment

Teaching Methodology

This course will be comprised of:

    • 6 tutorial videos of 20-35 minutes each (total 3.5 hours)
    • 6 recorded lectures of 45 minute each (total 4.5 hours)
    • 3 biweekly live Q&A sessions of 1hour and 15 minutes each (total 3.5 hours) conducted through the course. The sessions will be recorded so that students can access them at any time.
    • Downloadable materials and links to additional resources

Schedules and assignments:

    • The course is self-paced.
    • The majority of pre-recorded video lessons, lectures, and study materials will be posted on the first day of the term.
    • Students will have access to all session and their materials until the last day of the term.
    • The student workload to review the materials and complete the assignments is approximately 6.25 hours per session
    • There will be some suggested deadlines to submit assignments
    • Homework will be accepted until a week before the end of the term
    • Students taking the course for credit must complete all assignments and class requirements

Technical Requirements

    • Broadband Internet connection / WIFI

    • External or internal webcam
    • External or internal microphone
    • Speakers or headphones
    • Possibility of printing downloaded materials
    • Possibility of scanning your assignments
    • Possibility of auto-recording (audio and video)

Enroll Now

Places are limited for each section, so sign up early.

The International Course of Medieval Music Besalú offers singers and instrumentalists the possibility of studying the repertoires of monodic and polyphonic music composed between the 11th and 13th centuries.

With the support of: