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In this episode we take a tour through Conrad von Zabern's 15th c. treatise on singing chant, "De modo bene cantandi choralem cantum." Von Zabern's exhortations are entertaining and still relevant today!Support the show (
the David McCormick episode

the David McCormick episode


This month we chat with our friend and colleague, David McCormick. David is the Executive Director of Early Music America, the Artistic Director of Early Music Access Project, a beautiful vielle player, and an overall delightful human being. We get to hear all about how he came to early music, and what his hopes and dreams are for the field.Support the show (
Pizan's Pastourelle

Pizan's Pastourelle


In this episode we discuss the poetic pastourelle genre popular with 13th c. French trouvères, and read excerpts from Christine de Pizan's longer narrative pastourelle, the Dit de la pastoure (Tale of the Shepherdess). Medieval pastourelles all begin with the same setup: a knight encounters a shepherdess while he's out riding. The stories play out in a variety of ways, but there is a consistent undertone of potential sexual violence, which is often realized in the narrative conclusion. While the tale is typically told from the perspective of the knight, Christine gives the shepherdess narrative control. She's a fully fleshed out character, with a sense of purpose and with aspirations that are upended by her encounter with the knight. Due to the sensitive topic and brief graphic description of rape that comes up in our introduction to the genre, we've decided to classify this episode as explicit. Support the show (
In this episode the trio was fortunate enough to snag a conversation with Anne Azéma, French-born vocalist, scholar and stage director, as well as the director of The Boston Camerata since 2008 and the French ensemble Aziman, which she founded, since 2005. We got to hear about Anne's musical training, and chat about the challenges and joys of working with and presenting medieval music to modern audiences. Enjoy!Support the show (
Warning: This month’s episode of Trobár Talks is so bad that we can only imagine you all using it as blackmail material years from now. Regardless, we wish everyone a happy holiday season and promise to do better in 2022!! *******In the episode we read excerpts of The Second Shepherds’ Play in a modern translation (with a few semi-appropriate musical insertions). Dover Thrift Editions - Candace WardReprint of The Second Shepherds’ Play, Everyman and Other Early Plays translated by Clarence Griffin Child (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press, 1910)Support the show (
In this episode the trio reads aloud an English translation of "Guigemar," an engaging and somewhat strange lai (or tale) by Marie de France, preserved in a manuscript from the 13th c.  And of course we provide context and color commentary along the way!Support the show (
In this episode the trio discusses the influence that Middle Eastern traditions may or may not have had on the development of European medieval music, and what modern re-creators of the music (like Thomas Binkley) have learned from studying those traditions. In particular we discuss Binkley's "On the Modern Performance of Medieval Monophonic Repertory," Jonathan Shull's "Locating the Past in the Present: Living Traditions and the Performance of Early Music," Kirsten Yri's "Thomas Binkley and the Studio der Frühen Musik: challenging 'the myth of Westernness," and John Haines's "The Arabic Style of Performing Medieval Music." Mentioned in the episode: musical selections by Boston Camerata; Sequentia; New York Pro Musica; Studio der Frühen Musik; more Studio; AltramarSupport the show (
In this episode Allison and Elena are joined by guest artists Sian Ricketts and Allen Otte, providing you a behind the scenes glance at our upcoming live concerts! We even preview two of our favorite selections from the program. Learn more about the two shows here, happening this Sep. 17 & 18 in Cleveland Heights and Cleveland's Clark Fulton neighborhood.And learn more about the excellent makers of Elena's harp, Campbell Harps, here!Support the show (
We've been busy and want to share what we've been working on with you! Listen for a behind-the-scenes glance at our process putting our new album together, and learn more about what we have planned for the 2021-22 season. We can't wait to share it with you all!More info on our season here: check out this link for ways to support production of the album, our season concerts, and our exciting new outreach programming! the show (
Join the trio for a romp through The Story of an Early Music Quartet, Sterling Jones's first-hand account of the rise and fall of the Studio der frühen Musik. The Studio helped set the standard for medieval music performance in the 1960s and influenced future generations of performers as founding members of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and the Historical Performance Department at Indiana University. The book is full of delightful anecdotes that paint a picture of an early music scene somewhat different from today's.Support the show (
What type of musician are you? Read this short medieval treatise to find out!! On this month's episode, the trio reads through and comments on Arnulf de St Ghislain's intriguing and thoroughly entertaining Tractatulus de differentiis et gradibus cantorum from c. 1400. It provides a fascinating glimpse into some real (and some unreal?) experiences of music making in the medieval period.Mentioned in the podcast: the medieval bestiary! Here's a link to a fantastic online resource, with the entry on the panther. Warning: the allegorical/moral portion contains some sadly predictable antisemitic content. Support the show (
In this episode we continue our conversation on Anna Maria Busse Berger's excellent book, Medieval Music and the Art of Memory,  focusing this time on her final chapter, which covers visualization and isorhythm. Information on the book here.Mentioned in the episode: 1) A quick explainer on the isorhythmic motet; 2) An isorhythmic motet video with score and recording; 3) David Rothenberg's book on Marian devotion and secular song in medieval and Renaissance music; 4) The Paul Noble Language InstituteSupport the show (
the Shira Kammen episode

the Shira Kammen episode


In this episode we interview one of our most beloved mentors, Shira Kammen. Shira is renowned in the early music world as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, with a particular passion for medieval music. We love her for her generous spirit, her infectious curiosity, and for the tangible joy that radiates through her music-making. We hope you enjoy this conversation with her!---Links:Shira's Website--- The Listening Book by W. A. Mathieu---Check out this list for more medieval history podcasts!Support the show (
In this episode we continue our conversation on Anna Maria Busse Berger's excellent book, Medieval Music and the Art of Memory,  focusing this time on her chapter on Notre Dame polyphony.  Information on the book here. Links to the videos mentioned in the episode: 1) Hilliard Ensemble singing Viderunt omnes of Perotin; 2) David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London singing the Viderunt omnes of Leonin; 3) Ensemble Organum singing the Viderunt omnes of Leonin; 4) more Ensemble Organum; 5) Keep It Classical - The Birth of PolyphonySupport the show (
Tune in to hear what we've been up to and what we're planning for the near future ******************** Links:  A good first intro to the Guidonian hand *** Tinctoris's Expositio manusSupport the show (
In this episode we begin a conversation on Anna Maria Busse Berger's excellent book, Medieval Music and the Art of Memory.  Information on the book here.  Here is a link to the Porterfield dissertation that we mention. Here is a video on Guido's hymn Ut queant laxis that signs on wholeheartedly to the great man theory of musical development but also has great visuals from primary sources. A demonstration of someone using their hand to solmizate the same hymn. A great resource on solmization as it was used in the 16th century.Support the show (
In this episode the trio explores Christmas traditions in medieval England, including feasting, decorating, knife throwing, caroling, and extra-special holiday treats (dried fruit and nuts disguised as entrails, anyone?)*****************************Watch this space for performances by yours truly of seasonal music, including one of the carols discussed in the episode.*****************************Relevant episodes of the History of English Podcast: The Birth of English Song ****** Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ****** Food for Thought*****************************Relevant episodes of Tasting History: What Did Medieval Peasants Eat? ****** How to Make a Medieval Trencher*****************************Support the show (
Let Three Tongues Speak!

Let Three Tongues Speak!


In this episode we discuss Poetria nova, the thirteenth-century treatise on poetry and rhetoric by Geoffrey of Vinsauf, focusing on his discussion of poetic delivery.Join our Patreon community at film clips discussed in the episode:The Passion of Joan of Arc (directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, not Ingmar Bergman!)ttps:// Barrymore's soliloquy from Richard III Bow documentary: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's Erlkönig: the show (
In this episode we return to Mary Carruthers's excellent book, "The Book of Memory," and spend some time ruminating on all we've learned from it. ************ Join our Patreon community at the show (
In this episode we chat with singer/writer/medievalist/composer/designer Sasha Kaoru Zamler-Carhart about speaking and singing in medieval and modern languages, including medieval Occitan, Old French, and Middle High German.************ Join our Patreon community at the show ( the show ( the show (
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