[lit-ideas] Re: The Troubadour's Implicature
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- Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:31:28 -0500
Thanks to Lionpainter for sharing troubadour M. Willis's lovely
compositions -- 'tropi'.
In a message dated 2/19/2016 6:56:16 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
I liked the music and sound. Ever since Tomita I've been partial to that
sort of music.
As opposed, McEvoy would say, to the clear implicature of 'being total'.
Loved it. For the record,
Tomita once released an arrangement of Gustav Holst's The Planets (my
favourite, Jupiter, obviously, especially after it was turned into a hymn!)
Lionpainter wrote: "Modern Troubadour major 5ths and all those other
loverly chords. Let me know if you enjoyed having me share."
Loved it, and cograts to M. Willis.
[m]odern troubadour major 5ths and all those other loverly chords.
Indeed. Whereas the ancient troubadour (or as I prefer, pretentiously, the
'high mediaeval' -- as Geary taught me: "use 'high' whenever you can, and
even whenever you can not") one wonders.
There are -- how many? not a few -- high mediaeval troubadour tunes still
available. One book in Venice includes musical notation. The 'songs' or
'verse' (they thought that 'vers', since the Occitan does not pronounce the
final 's' when pronounced by a Parisian, was cognate with 'verum', the true)
were monophonic, and monadic, with the accompaniment providing God knows. I
often wonder if the 'basso continuo' of the later Italians carry an
implicature. I guess it does. What is the implicature of harmony, when you
the vocal line accompanied by some harmony or other? Surely the minor/major
distinction makes sense best in harmonic terms, but one wonders.
It is a good thing the troubadour's favourite musical instrument was the
lute, while other forms of poets would, say, play the flute. Alcibiades, back
in Ancient Greece, notably refused to play the pipes of Pan, saying that
they would disfigure what he thought was his lovely face. He _was_ a bit
They say that most of the folksongs that Sharp recorded, even in
Appalachia, were 'vocal' only, no accompaniment (thus, it is voice alone we
the soundtrack to "Far from the madding crowd", with Julie Christie --
folksong "Seeds of Love", but the film composer adds some accompaniment to the
other, "Bushes and Briars"), but it seems an established fact that the
troubadour loved the music of harmony which "hath charms", to echo the English
poet. What would a 'serenata' be without the extra that instrumental harmony
They say that the origin of Italian opera, in the Camerata led by Bardi (of
the Medici court), the madrigal had developed into so much polyphony, that
nobody could understand the words. Hence opera was viewed by historians as
a return to very ancient modes of music (they thought they were
re-creating the way the Greek and Roman tragedians had their tragedies
But what I found of interest is that some arias of early Baroque opera (like
Arianna's lamento, in the lost opera by Monteverdi) may well compare to the
'lamento' of the troubadour -- it is after all a fixed 'genre'.
I'm less sure about the choir or chorus. Apparently, it was also monodic,
and 'unison', but it is the chorus where, as Wagner will later shows, vocal
harmony reigns. And then, as Geary notes, we should NEVER forget the
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