Frame Drums III: Accompanying Dance and Women’s Song Repertoires

6 sessions - Self-paced

Course Description

During the Middle Ages, frame drums were most commonly played by women. There was for example a well-respected professional female performer known in Spain as the Cantadera, who sang, danced, and played the frame drum simultaneously. At the same time, non-professional female performers used frame drums to accompany choral and solo dances. The closeness between women and frame drums also suggests the use of these instrument in other women’s song repertoires.

In this course we will:


Explore the performance of frame drums in connection with different dance and women’s song repertoires


Learn to sing and play the frame drum simultaneously


Create frame drum accompaniments based on the rhythmic study of their texts, the application, ornamentations, and variation of the six rhythmic modes of the Notre Dame school, and the use of different hand, palm, and knuckle strokes, shakes, and other advanced drumming techniques

Octavio BeltránInstructor:
Octavio Beltrán



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




1 credit ECTS: 360€


English - Spanish


Level 3 / Advanced


The student should have taken the Frame Drums Beginner and Intermediate courses or have experience playing frame drums. Student must have basic musical knowledge and be able to read modern music notation.

Any type of commercial or handcrafted frame drums can be used in this course. Please check with us.


frame drumsSession 1 | Discussion about the role of frame drums in women’s song repertoire and study of rhythmic modes III and IV of the school of Notre Dame

Session 2 | Study of a rondeau and a Latin song in a simple rhythmic mode and creation of a rhythmic accompaniment

Session 3 | Study of a Cantiga de Santa Maria composed in a mixed rhythmic mode

Session 4 | Study of two Cantigas de Amigo of Martin Codax and creation of an accompaniment

Session 5 | Study of a Cantiga de Martin Codax utilizing elements from Arabic rhythmic theory and technique

Session 6 | Study of a Cantiga de Santa Maria in a “modus hemiolicus”


Teaching Methodology

This course will be comprised of:

    • 6 virtual one-on-one lessons (1 hour each)
    • Recorded introductory lecture or one group live Q&A session (30 min)
    • 6 tutorial videos (10-15 minutes each)
    • Downloadable materials and links to additional resources

Schedules and assignments:

    • The class dates and times will be scheduled with the instructor.
    • There will be some suggested deadlines to submit assignments.
    • The student workload to take the lessons, review the materials and practice is approximately 4.25 hours per session.
    • 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: