February 26, 2011

How to be a Troubadour

Today at Caldrithig's Practicum, I'm teaching a new class about songwriting in the style of the troubadours.  In addition to basic cultural background, my course covers some musical and poetic features that make troubadour songs distinct, so that modern songwriters can more easily create original work in this classic medieval style.  If you'd like a copy of the handout, download this here PDF.

It seems to me that many bards in the SCA shy away from writing period-style songs because of a persistent belief that medieval music sounds "weird" and "inaccessible to a modern audience."  It is my firm belief that if people had a little more grounding in early music, they'd realize just how beautiful and universal it can be and would be quite a bit less intimidated by it.  People write what they hear, and if our most prominent bards are writing music that sounds nothing like medieval music, new bards will follow suit.  But when we take the plunge into more authentic sounding music, we make it easier for others to do so as well.  I hope this class will help to demystify troubadour music for those willing to try.

1 comment:

  1. Are you aware that your family (mother's side) comes from the Bordeaux region? I believe it's in the green part of the map in your handout. Don't know if we go back to troubadour days, but we left in the late 1500s. So being a troubadour could very well be in your heritage.
    : D