Medieval Songbook


Cantigas de Santa Maria

The Cantigas de Santa Maria are a colleciton of 420 songs in praise of the Virgin Mary, compiled by Alfonso X the Wise, a 13th century king of Castile.

These are my rhythmic interpretations and arrangements of some of the Cantigas de Santa Maria. I tend toward a strictly metrical interpretation. I make no claim that this is correct, merely that it is pleasing to the ear. This page explains in more detail where I am coming from.

I am working from the excellent transcriptions by Chris Elmes.

You can find some other transcriptions of the cantigas in Cantiga's Renaissance Festival Favourites.

Images of the original manuscripts can be found on Greg Lindahl's website.

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.

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.



Cantiga Prologue

Cantiga 32

Cantiga 57

Cantiga 63

Cantiga 119

Cantiga 131

Cantiga 139

Cantiga 164

Cantiga 196

Cantiga 214

Cantiga 225

Cantiga 237

Cantiga 245

Cantiga 288

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

Glorieuse Virge Maria