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Origins: Rounds

GUEST,dmuldawer 24 May 13 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 13 - 06:36 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 May 13 - 12:24 PM
artbrooks 25 May 13 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,Grishka 25 May 13 - 07:04 AM
Johnny J 25 May 13 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,dmuldawer 26 May 13 - 12:44 AM
MartinRyan 27 May 13 - 09:51 AM
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Subject: Origins: Rounds
From: GUEST,dmuldawer
Date: 24 May 13 - 01:14 AM

Hi. Does anyone out there know the origin of rounds? There's tons of information on catches and canons and what rounds are, but where did they come from originally? How did they evolve?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 13 - 06:36 AM

Excellent question, dmuldawer. "Sumer is icumen in" is the oldest manuscript we know of, and already shows an expertise presumably based on a century-old tradition. Rounds can be viewed as the most rigid form of imitation, a principle that is much older. The problem is that written sources were ususally restricted to the highbrow culture of the monasteries, where the artistic value of imiatio was often questioned, in favour of varietas. The "Sumer" manuscript seems to be exceptional in many senses.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 13 - 12:24 PM

The Wikipedia article linked by Grishka is interesting. It shows the MS. sheet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 May 13 - 01:09 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 May 13 - 07:04 AM

The topic of rounds deserves more attention from Mudcat than it seems to get. Some of us tend to believe that vocal folk music in English is characterized by lack of musical sophistication in favour of the lyrics; many English rounds are excellent counter-examples. Folk-revivalists should therefore not exaggerate their self-imposed limitations on musical quality.

The "Sumer" manuscript is rightly regarded as an icon of European music, and a token of England's share. Ironically, it is in fact an "accidentally" surfaced tip of an iceberg. Musicologists who have read the texts of medieval theorists insist that thinking in "chords" had not been invented yet, but I guess that it was well known and frequently practised in folk music, and the monks were actively rejecting it for church music. The same may be true for the imitatio principle, which only later, in the Renaissance period, became the state of the art. Afterwards it almost changed sides to become a characteristic of church music. Chord harmonics had become universal.

Popular (= folkloristic) round singing and composing went on as ever. Many famous and "serious" composers contributed, from many countries. Those of us who refuse to sing rounds for being either not "folkish" or not serious enough, miss out on a lot of dignified and instructive fun. (Of course, like in other forms of art, not everything that is old or appears in print is also good.)

The Wikipedia article about rounds is very poor; a bit more information can be found at Canon - the broader international term for the genre.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: Johnny J
Date: 25 May 13 - 07:08 AM

In my experience, singers were never that quick to buy a round.
Unlike the fiddlers and pipers.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: GUEST,dmuldawer
Date: 26 May 13 - 12:44 AM

Thanks to all who replied. You guys are amazing!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rounds
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 May 13 - 09:51 AM

refresh


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