Medieval Singing and Performance Practice Workshop

Le Roman de Fauvel with Benjamin Bagby

July 25-27, 2020

At the University of Lleida

Medieval Singing Workshop

Course Details

Le Roman de Fauvel

Faculty: Benjamin Bagby

The Roman de Fauvel is an early 14th-century allegorical and satirical romance written in French that showcases a horse named Fauvel who becomes powerful in the royal court and whose figure serves to criticize hypocrisy and the excesses of the contemporary secular and ecclesiastical powers. In one of the manuscripts that contain the Roman (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 146) we find 169 musical compositions interpolated with the text. These musical pieces are a vast selection of all sung genres known at the time: liturgical chant (also chant parodies), Parisian church music from the 12th century, new cutting-edge polyphonic motets (using the latest notational symbols), and French songs in the fixed forms of the time (rondeau, virelai, balade, lai and dit).

In this workshop, Benjamin Bagby, director of the ensemble Sequentia, will examine the poems with their melodies (in Latin and Old French, with modern translations) and explore the ways singers can employ the techniques of rhetoric to bring them to life. For the musical sources, participants will work not only with the original manuscript (which is easy enough to read), but also transcriptions as needed and modern text editions.

Instrumental accompaniment will be discussed in relation to the performance of monophonic songs. The main questions are how (and if) an if possible, or necessary, it can aid in the performance of a given song. The type of instruments available, and the synergy between vocalist and instrumentalist, will pose yet new rhetorical challenges.


This workshop is intended for advanced singers and instrumentalist (vielle, harp, guittern and portative organ).


An audition recording is required. The piece for the audition should be a traditional or medieval monophonic song without accompaniment (no choirs, no chamber ensembles, no duos, etc.).



At the University of Lleida

Dates & Duration

July 25-27
15 hours


Reservation deposit required (non-refundable): 120€





For advanced singers and instrumentalists. Audition recording is required.

Register for 2020

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

With the support of: