Manuscript to Performance

| July 10-14

Reconstructing the Context and Performance of the Crusade Song

Dr. Mauricio Molina, Dr. Meritxell Martín, Juan Carlos Asensio, Cristina Alís Raurich, Martí Beltrán, Raúl Lacilla 

Peter the HermitThe crusades had a tremendous political and religious impact in medieval Europe. The military expeditions and the foundation of European states in the Holy Land created an unprecedented sense of purpose and identity in the medieval West. The medieval song—at the height of its development—was crafted by poets and musicians as a vehicle for the expression of religious and secular ideas. Heroic themes, the yearning for the Holy Land, the sense of sacred duty, the departure of lovers, and even the censure of a futile enterprise were common subjects in this repertoire.

Continuing with the development of song and liturgy in the West from the 11th to the 13th centuries and with its “materialization in Performance”, the course Manuscript to Performance offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the development and performance of the religious and secular crusade song repertoire.

The Manuscript to Performance Course is open to practical musicians, musicologists, philologists, historians, and anyone interested in the study of medieval culture and music performance. Knowledge of music and experience with music reading is essential for active students

All classes in English.

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Class Descriptions

The Historical, Political and Religious Context of the Crusades

Dr. Meritxell Martín i Pardo 
1.5 hours per day (Tuesday-Saturday)

For the reconstruction of medieval music and its performance it is crucial to understand the historical, political, religious, and artistic context of the period in which the compositions were forged. This is especially true for the crusade song because its development, performance, and message responded to specific religious and secular concerns, and extraordinary circumstances and historical events.  

In this class, the historian and religion specialist Dr. Meritxell Martin i Pardo will explore the circumstances that contributed to the development of the crusades, analyze their cultural implications in Western Europe, and discuss the European expansion into the East and its religious and cultural encounter with Islamic cultures. 

Materializing the Crusader's Song

Dr. Mauricio Molina 
1.5 hours per day (Tuesday-Saturday)

A crusade song refers to a type of poetic-musical composition that makes reference to the crusades. This type of song — composed by clerics, troubadours, and trouvères in Latin as well as in vernacular languages — is of incredible importance within the repertoire of the medieval song not only because of its historical significance, but also for the high stature of some of its composers, and its exquisite poetic, musical, and rhetorical components.

In this class, the musicologist and performer Dr. Mauricio Molina will place the crusade song in the overall compositional context of the 11th and 12th century-song, and explore elements of performance practice that can be applied to this specific repertoire. This will be done by compiling, analyzing, and applying information extrapolated from contemporary musical, literary, and iconographic sources. Students also will become acquainted with the latest musicological research on the subject, and construct a historically-informed performance of some of the pieces discussed during each session.

Medieval Liturgy and the Military Orders

Juan Carlos Asensio
1.5 hours per day (Tuesday-Saturday)

The knights of the medieval military orders were a combination between monks and soldiers. Following the decrees of the orders these “soldiers of God” committed to both praying and the use of weapons for the defense of the holy places and the protection of the pilgrims who visited them. As in the case of any regular monastic order and inspired in the Cirtercian rule, these monk-soldiers conducted liturgical singing uniting their voices to the clergy who prayed with the help of song. 

In this class, the Liturgical Chant specialist Juan Carlos Asensio will survey, study and lead a performance of the religious repertoire of some of these military orders. This will be done directly from the original notation.

Crusade Songs and their Sources: Copying, Remembering and Performing

Cristina Alís Raurich
1.5 hours per day (Tuesday-Saturday)

Crusade songs of all kinds have survived to our days in a wide variety of musical manuscripts produced during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Since the sources that contain the songs were produced in different places and during different periods, the notational conventions used to preserve the pieces are all but uniform: each of them responded to the changing compositional and performative conventions and needs. Thus, to attempt a reconstruction and performance of the crusade song repertoires it is crucial to understand different medieval notations (neumatic, square, modal, mensural) that appear in the manuscripts.

In this class, the performer and researcher Cristina Alís Raurich will explore the sources that contain crusade songs, place the compositions in the context of the manuscripts, and review and explain the different types of music notations used to preserve the crusade song repertoires. During the class, students will transcribe the pieces and conduct a performance from the original sources.


Special Lectures

Exploring Crusader Art

Martí Beltrán
1 hour 

During the crusades exquisite art and architecture were developed in the states founded by Europeans in the Holy Land. This lecture focuses on the development and special features of crusader art exploring the main workshops and scriptoria of the period, and the most important illuminated manuscripts, castles, and sculptures that have survived to our days.

Introduction to the Music Theory Sources Written During the Period of the Crusades (11th-13th centuries)

Raúl Lacilla
1 hour 

The examination of medieval music theory is crucial for the understanding of the composition, preservation, and performance of the medieval song. In this lecture the content of some of the most important music treatises written between 1100 and 1300 will be explored and explained. The sources include Guido of Arezzo’s Micrologus, Johannes Cotto’s De musica, Bernard of Clairvaux’s Institutio, Johannes de Garlandia’s De mensurabili musica, and the De musica of Anonymous IV.

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