Winter Course at Montpellier

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Medieval Song Performance: Source Study and the Recovery of Vocal Practice

Medieval music course

Presented by the CIMM Centre International de Musiques Médiévales—Université Paul Valéry de Montpellier in connection with the International Course on Medieval Music Performance of Besalú

The medieval monophonic songs that have survived to our days in written form were first and foremost conceived to be sung. The interaction of expected performance elements such as appropriate vocal production, expression, articulation of syntactic and semantic constituents, phrasing, tuning, use of performance space, instrumental accompaniment, and gesticulation among others, ensured the song’s complete artistic and communicative realization before its spectators.

The purpose of the course Medieval Song Performance: Source Study and the Recovery of Vocal Practice is to attempt a reconstruction of a medieval vocalité appropriate to the performance of medieval song. This will be done by:

  • The compilation and analysis of singing and performance elements that are recorded explicitly or implicitly on different types of medieval sources (music and poetic treatises, songs, sermons, chronicles, fiction writing, and iconography)
  • The study of medieval notations, language and poetic construction, and historical pronunciations and tuning.
  • The methodical application of the assembled elements to the surviving corpus of medieval song.
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The medieval songs that have survived to our days in written form were first and foremost conceived to be sung. Undoubtedly these pieces were performed following certain aesthetic, stylistic, and discursive parameters and conventions that were established and valued by contemporaneous audiences. The interaction of expected performance elements such as appropriate vocal production, expression, articulation of syntactic and semantic constituents, phrasing, tuning, use of performance space, instrumental accompaniment, and gesticulation among others, ensured the song’s complete artistic and communicative realization before its spectators. And while the conventions and practices of the period have been lost to us, different types of sources such as sermons, ecclesiastical edicts, romances, historical narratives, songs, as well as music and poetic treatises present us with a considerable amount of information about the performance of song. All this information awaits to be compiled and analyzed by musicologists and philologists in conjunction with singers to attempt the recreation of a performance that can bring out the full aesthetic and rhetorical potential of the song within a specific historical context.

The purpose of the course Medieval Song Performance: Source Study and the Recovery of Vocal Practice is to compile and assemble the elements of singing that are recorded in medieval written and iconographical sources. With the combination of these elements the participants will attempt to reconstruct a vocalité that is appropriate to the extant repertoires. Besides the information contained in literary and visual sources, students also will review medieval notations and their performance implications, analyze language and poetic construction, work on the basic elements of singing a melody with words, and explore historical pronunciations. The joint effort of professors and participants will stimulate the creation of theories of medieval performance practice.


 

Course Information:

The course is comprised of 50 hours of work divided into 5 weekends (Saturday-Sunday).

Classes will be held for 5 hours a day (10:00-13:00 and 16:00-18:00) during the following weekends. (Expand each tab to see professors and topics)

January 21-22

Dr. Mauricio Molina, Cristina Alís Raurich

Topics:

  • Sound and the ideal voice production
  • Expression and rhetoric
  • Notations and their indication (different neumatic notations, letters of expression)
  • Practice with selected songs

January 28-29

Dr. Mauricio Molina, José Pizarro

Topics:

  • Vocal technique practice
  • Assembling text and melody
  • Note articulation and phrasing
  • Practice with selected songs

February 4-5

Dr. Mauricio Molina, Cristina Alís Raurich

Topics:

  • Music notation (square, Franconian)
  • Theories of rhythm
  • Ornamentation and chromaticism
  • Practice with selected songs

February 18-19

Cristina Alís Raurich, Lorena García

Topics:

  • Pythagorean tuning
  • Voice production and intonation
  • Historical pronunciations (medieval French, French Latin, Occitan, Galician Portuguese)
  • Practice with selected songs

February 25-26

Dr. Mauricio Molina, Cristina Alís Raurich

Topics:

  • Instrumental accompaniment
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Use of the performance space
  • Practice with selected songs

 

 

Instructors

Dr. Mauricio Molina

 

Dr. Mauricio Molina
Musicologist

 

Cristina Alís Raurich

 

Cristina Alís Raurich
Researcher and performer

 

José Pizarro

 

José Pizarro
Voice Instructor

 

Lorena Garcia

 

Lorena Garcia
Voice Instructor

 


 

Course taught in Conjunction with the Medieval Song Performance Course within the curriculum of Master in Musicology

This course is required for students of the Master in Musicology but optional for those students that are taking only the Medieval Song Performance Course (5 weekends). The latter will participate as auditors.

(taught in French)

“Interroger la vocalité au Moyen Âge”

En complémentarité avec le cours de Mauricio Molina, ce cours questionne la “vocalité”, c’est-à-dire la ou les qualités de la voix impliquée dans les chants, à partir des textes médiévaux qui décrivent l’action de chanter. L’étude abordera les sources mais aussi la fonction et le sens des chants envisagés ainsi que les conditions de leur performance. 

Gisèle ClémentGisèle Clément, Maître de conférences en Histoire des musiques médiévales, Centre d’Etudes Médiévales de Montpellier (EA 4583)

Gisèle Clément est Maître de conférences en Musicologie, spécialiste de l’histoire des musiques médiévales, enseignante-chercheuse à l’université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier 3 depuis 2002 et membre du Centre d’Études Médiévales de Montpellier (EA 4583). Ses recherches portent sur le chant liturgique, en particulier sur les chants de procession du IXe au XVe siècle et sur le motet aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles. Elle oriente ses travaux vers les questions liées à la vocalité et aux conditions de la performance musicale au Moyen Âge et développe parallèlement un travail de valorisation de la recherche et de transfert des savoirs dirigé vers le spectacle vivant et la formation professionnelle, étudiante et amateur. Dans cet objectif, elle a récemment fondé le « Centre International de Musiques Médiévales – Du ciel aux marges » (CIMM) qui accueille des artistes professionnels, spécialistes de ces musiques et ouverts au travail pluridisciplinaire, en résidence de création, de sensibilisation et pour des master-classes. Le CIMM accueille aussi des archéo-luthiers pour des conférences, expositions et ateliers.

Elle a publié Des moines aux troubadours. La musique médiévale en Languedoc et en Catalogne (Montpellier, Presses du Languedoc, 2004), a coédité avec Cécile Beaupain et Terence Waterhouse les 102 ballades du manuscrit Torino J.II.9 (Bologne, Ut Orpheus, 2013, 2014, 2016). Son ouvrage Le processionnal en Aquitaine (IXe-XIIIe siècle). Genèse du livre, constitution du répertoire est à paraître aux éditions Garnier.

 

Course Fees

General

450€

Alumni and students from the International Course on
Medieval Music Besalú

300€

Montpellier University Students*

Free

*Musicology students and other students registered at the Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier 3

University Credits

Only for students registered at the Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3

Licence 1 et 2

3 ECTS

Licence 3

6 ECTS

Master 1 et 2

2 ECTS

 

For more information or to register for the course, contact:

Gisèle Clement / contact@cimmedieval.org / 0033 670 74 19 20