Performance Practice Workshop

The Clerical Dance-Song of the Ms. Pluteo 29

July 11-12, 2020

In the town of Besalú

Performance Practice Workshop

Course Details

The Clerical Dance-Song of the Ms. Pluteo 29

Dr. Mauricio Molina

In the last fascicle of the famous manuscript known as the Pluteo 29 (Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29.1, fols. 462v-471v) there is a collection of monophonic pieces in Latin that are considered to be clerical dance-songs: their poetic and musical structures are closely connected to those of the secular dance-song known as the rondeau. This is also the reason why they are nowadays referred to as rondelli. While some of them present religious subjects (connected to specific dates of the liturgical calendar), others have secular themes.

It is completely possible that these pieces were meant to be danced since we know that in the Middle Ages religious dances were performed inside churches during special dates of the liturgical calendar. The 12th-century Parisian theologian Johannes Belethus, for example, informs us that dances were conducted by students, deacons, and priests inside the church on the feats of Saint Stephen (Dec. 26), Saint John the Evangelist (Dec. 27), Holy Innocents (Dec. 28) and Epiphany (Jan. 6).

In this workshop, open to singers and instrumentalists, we will explore this repertoire of the rondelli, the clerical dance-songs of the Ms. Pluteo 29 by:


Reading them from the original notation


Reconstructing their rhythmic interpretation based on medieval and modern theories of rhythm


Creating an appropriate instrumental accompaniment


Exploring a possible choreography based on the information given by the contemporary literature: this will help us reconstruct elements of phrasing, tempo, and expression.



Town of Besalú

Dates & Duration

July 11-12, 2020
12 hours


Reservation deposit required (non-refundable): 100€



English / Spanish

Open to

singers and instrumentalists

Register for 2020

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

With the support of: