Some time ago, I acquired a fan, because sitting in court in summer is hot, and also because one needs a fan in order to whisper behind it. The particular fan I purchased has several poems written on it in Chinese characters.
(As I suspected based on the forms of the poems, it turns out that they are in Chinese — as opposed to Japanese, Korean, etc. — but now I’m getting ahead of myself.)
Check out this post that I co-wrote with Monique Rio (Jadwiga Krzyzanowska) at BlowThyHorn.com. It’s essentially a checklist of skills we expect SCA musicians to have before we call them “experts”.
If you’re looking for ways to expand your musical knowledge, you could also use it as a guide for what to learn next!
As many of you know, the Middle Kingdom is currently working on updating the criteria for A&S competitions. I’m the team lead for Division I, which includes the performing and literary arts.
It is very important that the new criteria work well for the people who plan to enter these categories in A&S fairs. So Midrealm performing and literary artists, we need your feedback!
As categories become available for public commentary, I’ll post links to them here. Please read and comment on any that are of interest to you.
Today I get to talk about one of my favorite literary genres: the Japanese war tale!
War tales (gunki monogatari) are books of Japanese prose fiction about wars and other military conflicts, primarily written in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods (though some of those I’ll discuss are even older). Usually written by anonymous authors or compiled from oral tradition, war tales depict actual historical events and characters in a fictionalized way. Although they’re not always completely historically accurate, war tales are valuable resources for medieval Japanese ideas about specific historical events, the overall meaning of those events, and values about warfare and the people involved in warfare. Continue reading
This story is an early version of “The Girl Without Hands” from 16th-century Italy. My retelling is based on The Facetious Nights (published 1550-1553) by Gianfrancesco Straparola (c. 1485 – 1558).
This story is an early version of “Puss in Boots” from 16th-century Italy. My retelling is based on The Facetious Nights (published 1550-1553) by Gianfrancesco Straparola (c. 1485 – 1558).
In 1803, a manuscript was discovered in a Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuern, 50 km south of Munich, a discovery that was do be crucial to our understanding of Latin secular writing in medieval Europe. Because it was found in Beuren, Johann Andreas Schmeller, who published a complete edition of the poems in 1847, called the manuscript Carmina Burana. Continue reading
As I mentioned earlier, I have been asked to create singable translations for all the pieces at St. Cecilia Press, and I am happy to be able to say that I have finished! (Or, at least, I’m caught up until Monique adds more pieces.)
My recent translations include 16 pieces to accompany Monique’s editions, plus two I’ve done just on my own initiative. 🙂 They are as follows: Continue reading
Last night we received our first big snowfall of the year, and that means it’s time to talk about Piae cantiones!
Why should you become familiar with Piae cantiones? Only because it’s a incredibly rich source of medieval Christmas music, some of which you already know. And because it’s easy for modern musicians to read and understand. And because of its importance to the history of religious and school music in Scandinavia. And because what other medieval Finnish music do you know? Continue reading
Today I have five chanson for you, all published between 1520-1540. Although I chose them a bit randomly, they happen to be perfect examples for a discussion of the characteristics of the chanson during this period!
So, what is a chanson? Continue reading