Bowed Strings | Level 1 – Basic

Vielle I: Basic Technique, Repertoires and Performance Practice

6 sessions - Self-paced

Course Description

Medieval sources reveal that the vielle was the most cherished and popular musical instrument of the medieval West. It was recorded in all different types of music contexts and discussed by important contemporary writers and music theoreticians. Thus, the vielle functions as a proper window into the world of medieval music culture. The purpose of this course is to introduce players of modern, historical, and traditional bowed string instruments (violin, viola, cello, viola da gamba) to the basic techniques and tunings of the vielle while exploring a wide gamut of medieval music repertoires.

In this course students will:


Explore the use of the vielle in medieval music


Study the basic techniques and performance possibilities of the instrument


Learn about the different tunings prescribed by medieval music theoreticians


Discover and play different repertoires associated with the instrument



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


1 credit ECTS: 360€


English - Spanish


Level 1 / Beginner


The course is designed for professional bow players (violin, viola, cello, etc.) or musicians who play bow instruments as a second instrument (in any case it is necessary to know the basic rudiments of the bow technique).

It is possible to participate without having vielle (by using and retuning a relative bowed instrument). The instrument should not have frets.

No previous experience in medieval repertoires or in the reading of medieval manuscripts is necessary.



VielleSession 1 | Latin song repertoires

Session 2 | The Cantigas of Santa Maria

Session 3 | Trouvère songs

Session 4 | The Last Generation of Troubadours

Session 5 | Rondellus and Dances

Session 6 | Modal Formulas, Ornamentation, and Prelude/Postlude Playing

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: