Book: Blondel Medieval Bagpipe Collection 2
Trios and duos for bagpipes in G and C, or other Medieval instruments. Arranged by Lizzie Gutteridge.
The late 13thc motet Alle, psallite/Alleluia (Montpellier) is a sacred motet in the Parisian Notre Dame style. Its repeating and expanding phrases pass back and forth between the upper voices, creating a sense of heightening tension. All the notes are original, all I have done is chose an appropriate key and to remove some rests which might prove awkward to the piper. Chanterai por mon corage (Guiot de Dijon, fl. 1215-25) is is a monophonic song in the Burgundian trouvère tradition, in which a lady, left behind by her pilgrim (crusading) lover, tells of her pain at his absence. The final verse contains a wonderfully human touch: “I regret not having gone along with him; he sent me the shirt he had been wearing, for me to embrace...” The other Trouvère song in this collection, Au renouvel du tens (Manuscrit du Roy, BnF 884) has a much lighter tone: in and early version of the cliché “As I rode out one spring morning...” the singer reports an overheard conversation between two ladies about the relative merits of a poor but well mannered and beautiful lover as opposed to one who is rich, rude & ugly. For both of these pieces I have added a lower part for C pipes. Fowles in the frith (MS. Douce 139) is one of a handful of early English language secular songs to have survived in personal notebooks, in this case amongst legal texts belonging to a monk. The lyrics are Powerfully evocative with their Anglo-Saxon alliteration and rhyming scheme, and tell of the singer's empathy with the suffering of the birds and fishes. Both lines here are original, but I have had to change a note in the first bar of the lower part in order to fit it on the C pipe. The “Ductia” (Harley 978) in this book in fact has no title in the original manuscript. It is one of 3 untexted 2-part pieces found (again) amongst personal notes, this time on subjects ranging from herb law and medicine to odds and ends of history and drinking songs. The famous song “Sumer is I cumen in” is also found in this source. These pieces are often referred to as ductias – a kind of dance mentioned by scholars of the same period, and their structure lends them to the layering up of extra repeats of the same material to make 3 or even 4 part harmonies, as I have done in the 2nd half here. The Salterello (Add MS 29987) was a dance form found in 4 examples of instrumental pieces in one Tuscan manuscript during the late 14th century. It is also the name of a dance step and related tempo in the 15th century, and dances named “Salterello” contuniue to appear throughout the 16th century and beyond. The 14th century examples, including this one, follow a fairly typical Medieval dance structure of repeated and expanded material punctuated by “open” and “closed” refrains. The lower voice here is composed by myself for C pipes. The lied (song) Elslein, liebstes Elselein (Glogauer liederbuch) is one of those popluar 15th century tunes which was adopted and re-arranged repeatedly. The other famous 15th century version is by Ludwig Senfl and there are also several 19th century settings. In this arrangement all 3 lines are original but the middle voice has been brought up an octave to allow it to fit G pipes. Of course if you have some very low G pipes, or want to use another instrument, then you can put it back down in its proper place. Gabriel fram Heven-King (XXIX, fo. 36V & Cambridge MS Add. 710) is an English language setting (or two of them in fact) of the popular Parisian carol Angelus ad Virginem. The two part setting is entirely original, the three part version requires two sets of C pipes – if the middle line is played on C pipes which are higher in pitch than your G pipe, or perhaps on another instrument such as a recorder, then your octaves will be correct but the overall tone might be fairly strident. This arrangement also works well, however, with 2 sets of big C pipes both playing below the G pipe on the melody.
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