Medieval music recreated and performed for the first time in 1000 years


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Hmm. Sounds a bit too modern in its tuning. Shouldn’t the fifths at least be a bit sharper?


The headline makes it sound like there was a big discovery, but there wasn’t. A lot of hard work and interpretation, but other scholars have done the same. We still can’t read this music.


Fun fact: this type of notation is the basis for shape note (Sacred Harp) singing prevalent in Appalachian tradition.


Oh man I love mountain music so much!


Why would the fifths be sharper? Then you get very audible “beats”. Thirds, fourths, sevenths, etc are all debatable (this was well before well tempered, equal tempered, or stretched), but octaves and fifths are… And @PatRx2 likely knows the exceptions to this rule… Fixed and agreed upon.

The tune was fantastically played.


There is nothing to read. You start with the sixteenth century, and slowly trace musician to teacher backwards. This describes a tradition, not a formula. So you trace the tradition.


“This video has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Knights of the Roundtable, LLC.”

I heard they’ve employed Merlin as their lawyer because if his uncanny ability to sniff out infringement throughout time.


The music is just a cover for their plans to dig a tunnel connecting to the casino vault.


Depends. There was written polyphonic music back to Léonin. Actually, Guido d’Arezzo had added staff lines to notation in the previous century (i.e., in the early 11th century), which was a necessary precondition of polyphony. This would have applied less to popular music, though, where oral traditions would have held sway. Still… Sumer is icumen in.

Temperament would likely have been Pythagorean just intonation, so @LemoUtan’s point is taken - we don’t use perfect fifths in meantone or well-tempered tunings. They’re all slightly flat to remove the comma and allow re-entrancy in the cycle of fifths. Still, it’s debatable that most people would notice the fifths as sharp. Our fifths have a very slow beat; just fifths have none.


I wish I could find a shape-note group around here.


Of all the days for @japhroaig to get musically pwned.



suck it, pat and i agree.


Where’s Jethro Tull when you need them?


Well, Martin Barre has retired. Mind you, Tull has played often enough with the original line-up in recent years, which means Mick Abrahams on guitar, so it’s all good.

Edit: Oops. Glenn Cornick died a couple of years ago, so not-so-original line-up these days.


That this was well-before well-tempered etc is exactly my point. The ‘modern’ fifth is 1.4142… (square root of two) times the frequency of the tonic because of such well-temperedness. The ancient fifth, the pythagorean one, was in the ratio 3 to 2, i.e. it would have sounded sharper.


i’ll bet you my bottom dollar that while i agree with your math, the artists still would have flattened them.


No dispute there!


I’ll take that bet.


Which artists? The medieval ones, or the modern ones performing the recreation?