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Medieval English Music. Medieval English Music We use the term Anglo-Saxon England to refer to England in the period between 410aD and 1066aD. 'Anglo.

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Presentation on theme: "Medieval English Music. Medieval English Music We use the term Anglo-Saxon England to refer to England in the period between 410aD and 1066aD. 'Anglo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medieval English Music

2 Medieval English Music We use the term Anglo-Saxon England to refer to England in the period between 410aD and 1066aD. 'Anglo Saxon' refers to settlers from the German regions of Angeln and Saxony, and also to the Jutes and the Frisians from Denmark, the Scots from Ireland (yes!) and the Picts from Scotland, who were also making their way over to Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire around AD 410 and settling in the British Isles. (The Roman armies withdrew from Britain early in the fifth century because they were needed back home to defend the crumbling centre of the Empire. Britain was considered a faraway outpost of little value.) The Anglo-Saxon settlers were effectively their own masters in a new land and they replaced the Roman stone buildings with their own wooden ones, and spoke their own language, which eventually evolved into English spoken today.

3 Medieval English Music

4 England became Christian in the 7 th century. The Vikings begin raiding Britain in 787 and continue periodically until the 11th century. In less than a hundred years, these ferocious Danes ruled most of eastern England, and remained in power until the Anglo Saxons striked back under Alfred the Great in 878. The Danes suddenly found themselves restricted to an area called the ‘Danelaw’ – roughly the areas north east of a diagonal line from Chester to London. But the Danes retaliated, and by 980, a series of fresh assaults brought the rest of England under the rule of a Danish king, Cnut (Canute), in Danish dominance lasted until 1042.

5 Medieval English Music In 1066, William of Normandy invades England, which is the beginning of a new social and linguistic era. The Normans were in fact of Viking ascent (just Vikings that had established themselves in Normany a few centuries before). The Normans did effectively wipe out the Anglo Saxon ruling class and substituted noble titles, and positions of power within the church with their own men. Many Anglo Saxon noble women were compelled to marry Norman men. French is rapidly established as the language of power and the court. William appoints French-speaking supporters to all the key positions of power, and this elite of barons, abbots and bishops retains close ties with its native Normandy.

6 Medieval English Music We don't know a lot about Anglo Saxon & Viking music, but some of their instruments were these:

7 Medieval English Music → Here is an example of how a Viking instrument sounded: a bukklehorn (a goat's horn) → Here is an example of Corwen Broch playing a replica of the Trossingen Lyre, a 6 th century lyre found in Germany, which is very similar to an Anglo Saxon lyre: → Here is an example of an Anglo Saxon poem called 'Deor' played with music composed for an Anglo Saxon lyre (music created by the player!). Notice how Anglo Saxon English sounds read alone first:

8 Medieval English Music Welund him be wurman wræces cunnade, anhydig eorl earfoþa dreag, hæfde him to gesiþþe sorge and longaþ, wintercealde wræce, wean oft onfond siþþan hine Niðhad on nede legde, swoncre seonobende on syllan monn. Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg. Beadohilde ne wæs hyre broþra deaþ on sefan swa sar swa hyre sylfre þing, þæt heo gearolice ongietan hæfde þæt heo eacen wæs; æfre ne meahte þriste geþencan hu ymb þæt sceolde. Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg. Weland himself, by means of worms (swords?), experienced agony, the strong-minded noble endured troubles; he had for his companions sorrow and longing, winter-bitter wrack, he often found misery after Niðhad put fetters on him, supple sinew-bonds on the better man. That was overcome, so may this be. Beadohild was not as sad in mind for the death of her brothers as for her own trouble, she had clearly realized that she was pregnant; she could never think resolutely of how that would have to (turn out). That was overcome, so may this be.

9 Medieval English Music Medieval English music after the Norman conquest: Courtly Love and the Troubadours In the 11th and 12 th centuries Troubadours, Trouveres and Minstrels were the poets and musicians who influenced Middle Ages music singing songs of courtly love. The aristocratic troubadours were poets who originated in the south of France, where they wrote the lyrics in Provencal (langue d'oc). The troubadours of the north of France wrote in French (langue d'oil)and were called called trouvères. The poetry of the troubadours and the trouvères was invariably linked with music. The songs of French troubadours were heard in English courts as a result of England's political affiliations and royal marriages. Since the Norman Conquest the language of the English court was French so the songs and music of the French troubadours and minstrels were easily assimilated into English society. The tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, originating with music and the poems of the English and Welsh Bards, were themes which were included in the lyrics of the Troubadour and minstrels songs. Noble ladies of the Medieval period were famous for their patronage of Middle Ages music. Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Henry II of England in 1152 and brought her love of music and the troubadours to the English court transferring the tradition to England.

10 Medieval English Music Medieval English music after the Norman conquest: a late 13 th century secular madrigal (=non religious song): Bryd one brere: Once upon a time, a bored English cleric flipped over a papal bull which was already a hundred years old and began to write down a song. That song today is recognized as being the oldest extant English love song. Bryd one Brere is an honest confession of undying love (from the poet to a bird in a tree), devotion, and praise of a lady. It eloquently conveys the very heart of amor courtoise. Bryd one brere, brid, brid one brere, Kynd is come of love, love to crave Blythful biryd, on me thu rewe Or greyth, lef, greith thu me my grave. Hic am so blithe, so bryhit, brid on brere, Quan I se that hende in halle: Yhe is whit of lime, loveli, trewe Yhe is fayr and flur of alle. Mikte ic hire at wille haven, Stedefast of love, loveli, trewe, Of mi sorwe yhe may me saven Ioye and blisse were were me newe.

11 Medieval English Music This is a traditional version of the song: This is a modern version by Medieval Babes: Now try and sing the song yourself with this music only version:

12 Medieval English Music Stringed instruments: The Harp - The harp was a favorite instrument of the troubadours and minstrels and was about 30 inches in length The Fiddle - There were a variety of Medieval Fiddles which were played with a bow or plucked and usually held under the chin or in the crook of the arm. Easily portable and one of the most popular street musical instruments The Rebec - The rebec was an instrument with a round pear-shaped body much like an early violin The Psaltery - The Psaltery was a musical instrument of the Middle Ages which was a cross between a harp and a guitar The Dulcimer - The Dulcimer was played by striking the strings with small hammers The Hurdy-gurdy - the hurdy-gurdy was introduced to England during the 12th century - the bow was replaced by strings attached to a wheel which was cranked by a handle The Viol - Viols were played with a bow and held on the lap or between the legs

13 Medieval English Music Wind instruments: The Flute - Similar to our modern flutes. This type of Musical instruments played by flute-minstrels of the Middle Ages The Trumpet - Long instrument made of metal, often in four parts - often associated with fanfares and pageants The Pipe - The pipe was an extremely basic instrument usually having only three melody holes The Shawn - The shawn was a reed instrument with vent holes Recorder - The recorder was also an extremely basic instrument with melody holes The Bagpipe - The Bagpipe was an ancient instrument, used by the poorest people and was made using a goat or sheep skin and a reed pipe The Crumhorn - The crumhorm (Curved Horn) was introduced in the 1400's as a double reed musical instrument The Gemshorn - The gemshorn was made of an ox horn and played as a flute-like musical instrument The Lizard - The lizard was a descriptive term for an s-shaped horn

14 Medieval English Music Percussion instruments: The Drum - Drums were made initially from a hollow tree trunk, clay or metal and covered by skins of water animals - also called tambours The Cymbal - Thin round concave metal plates The Triangle - The triangle was a musical instrument introduced during the 14th century The Tambourine - This Musical instrument was traditionally used by a woman


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