Adam de la Halle


Adam de la Halle was a 13th century trouvère. Thirty-six chansons by Adam survive, plus a variety of music in other styles, including what many consider the first comic opera. The music is recorded in a notation that accurately specifies notes but only hints at their durations.

I have attempted a rhythmic reconstruction/invention for several of Adam's chansons, based on the transcriptions given in "The Lyrics and Melodies of Adam de la Halle" (1985) by Deborah Hubbard Nelson and Hendrick van der Werf.

Sheet music in PDF and ABC format, and MIDIs:

The words have all of the intellectual depth of Lady Gaga -- this is 13th century pop -- but they're in an archaic French dialect, so no one will know! Some of these tunes have an anthem-like quality, and may be suitable for filking.

D'amourous cuer voel cantur

Li jolis maus ke jou senc

Jou n'ay autre retenanche

Pour koy se plaint d'Amour nus?

Tant me plaist vivre en amoureus dangier

Or voi jou k'il souvient Boune Amour de mi

Well a human would play these much better, but you get the idea.

I place the contents of this page and all linked files in the public domain.