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Music 1711F/G Lecture Notes - Roman De Fauvel, Intabulation, Rebec

Course Code
Music 1711F/G
Kate Helsen

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Feb 6 – Music of the 14th Century: Instrumental Music
What is 'Instrumental?'
Difficult to say whether purely 'instrumental' music existed on its own for
most of the Middle Ages.
Instruments usually: doubled vocal lines, played with singers, accompanied
or substituted for particular vocal lines in motets, etc.
Also used for processions/battle calls/dances.
Questionable Nature
The mysterious power of purely instrumental music (first seen with
Greeks /Romans) not totally welcomed in the church.
Music in Medieval era always had a purpose – ornamentation of an event,
worship. Music allowed people to remember the words.
Music which does not “produce” anything is questionable in its moral
However, a lot of church iconography (carvings, pictures etc.) show
instrumentalists accompanying singers in church (vielles, rebecs, lutes,
bells, trumpets, etc.)
First Instrumental Notation
First: late 13th century untexted hocket passages in The Bamberg Codex.
Second: around 1320, several folios of intabulation for motetes in the
Roman de Fauvel are found in the Robertsbridge Cosex
Intabulation: keyboard/stringed instrument reduction of a vocal work.
Third: early 15th century Faenza Codex contains 96 folios of intabulation of
dances, Mass movements, chansons and madrigrals.
Dance Music: Puncta
Puntca: short sections of a piece that are repeated immediately one after
the other. eg. Macarena
- They can be ornamented the second time they are played.
- They have first and second endings (open and closed).
- Style of the dance will determine the number of repetitions.
This structure reflects the structure of the dance they would accompany.
Dancing was done by all levels of society – every class danced together.
*Instruments (Box on pg. 90)
Stringed Instruments
Vielle – like a violin with a drone string
Rebec – quiet instrument
Woodwind Instruments
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