Fall 2021 Online
Explore medieval music history, genres and repertoires, sources, performance practice, and singing and musical instruments
Starts September 27, 2021
Explore modal notation, the key to the music of the School of Notre Dame, through the study of treaties, musical sources, and genres that record the practice, and learn to transcribe it, sight read it, and perform directly from original sources.
Learn to read Franconian notation directly from the original sources following the instructions given by Franco of Cologne and other medieval writers. This opens the door to monophonic and polyphonic repertoires of the 13th and 14th centuries.
Medieval Music History
Study the different repertoires, compositional and performative developments, music notations, musical and poetic frameworks, conventional performance practices, and social and cultural contexts of the central repertoires composed between 800 and 1150.
Explore Western European monophonic and polyphonic religious and secular music composed between 1150 and 1300 through an in-depth and practical study of its different sources, repertoires and styles, notations, compositional techniques, cultural contexts, and performance practices.
Performance Practice and Repertoires
Examine the principal composers and musical sources of the trouvère chanson, its main poetic-musical structures and genres, its historical and cultural context, and its performance practice.
Learn how to ornament a medieval vocal or instrumental melody utilizing pitch inflection, repercussive and tremulous sounds, passing and neighboring tones, and pitch and melodic substitution and transposition as it is indicated in medieval music sources.
Voice & Musical Instruments in Context
These courses will help you develop a historically-informed vocal or instrumental playing technique, realise and use appropriate medieval performance conventions, and build a relevant performance repertoire.
Learn about Hildegard’s life and her cultural environment, and perform several pieces from her Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum. This course will give you the necessary tools to sing Hildegard’s songs and make your own decisions about performing her compositions.
Study Philippe le Chancelier’s songs while developing an advanced vocal technique and acquiring practical tools for the understanding and performance of any medieval song repertoire.
Develop your vielle playing technique as you work with medieval tunings, learn how to improvise preludes and postludes, and perform different northern French repertoires: trouvère and clerical lyrical songs, dance pieces, and instrumental repertoires.
Bagpipe/Pipe & Tabor
Advance your bagpipe (musa) or Pipe and Tabor playing technique while reconstructing a collection of pieces for these instruments based on the pastourelle, dance song, and instrumental music repertoires connected to them in medieval sources.
Learn repertory and gain in expressivity and flexibility in your performance practice by developing a strong bellow technique and by learning a variety of articulation practices.
Frame Drums & Percussion
Learn to play round and square frame drums in medieval style by studying strokes and techniques recorded in medieval sources. You will also discover how to apply medieval rhythmic modes and their ornamentation to the accompany of vocal and instrumental pieces.
Learn to accompany songs and improvise applying different hand, finger, and wrist techniques. Relative medieval Arabic rhythms will be studied and their possible application in medieval European repertoires will be discussed.
Places are limited for each section, so sign up early.
What Our Students Say
The Online Course was amazing. The content was very well organized, very didactic, with a lot of information distributed weekly. I had the opportunity to go deeper into the subject and was able to organize the course according to own pace and time. Highly recommended for everyone who loves medieval music and its context, and who also wants to go deeper in the subject.
Marcelo Miranda – Brazil
This was the best summer course I did so far. It is very complete, well structured, all teachers have the highest quality and the ambience is always constructive and friendly. I truly recommend this course to everyone that is passionate about medieval music and to curious that want to learn more.
Jorge Luís Castro
The online summer course was a fantastic experience! The fact that we had a week to comprehend everything, practice and work on it, gave us the opportunity to go much deeper than in regular an onsite course. The course was challenging and of great interest for beginners as well as for more advanced and professional musicians. Where other courses and institutions teach you about Medieval Music, the Online Music Course of Besalú gives you the real Middle Ages.
Marjolein van Amers - The Netherlands
I enjoyed the course a lot and learned many new useful things about everything from historical context to performance practice. It opened my eyes to some new repertoires and added perspectives on some of the ones I already knew. I especially enjoyed the Improvisation class, because I think it made me understand medieval composition in a much better way. I’d recommend the course to anyone interested in understanding medieval music better and who want to work from the sources.
Gustav Olai - Sweden
Last year I had the opportunity to attend the Manuscript to Performance sessions and I can only say good things. The depth, the rigor and the care with which each subject is treated are unique, the first-class teachers and of course the good atmosphere, make this course an unforgettable experience.
This music program is excellent because it combines all relevant disciplines in a multi-disciplinary format that medievalists do not typically receive in graduate school: music performance, music theory, religious and philosophical study, and study in chant and liturgy that underlies other musical innovations. This ethno-musicological approach is an exciting way to bring the study of the Middle Ages to life.
I have been attending the Besalú program for four years and I have yet to attend another summer school which surpasses it. I work professionally as a musicologist (albeit specializing on a different era) and I can only say that I wish my colleagues in academic musicology worldwide displayed the same amount of rigor, excellence, seriousness and enthusiasm in their research as staff at Besalú systematically do.
Eva M. Rodriguez