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Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)

Jack Campin 07 Sep 15 - 06:57 PM
Jack Blandiver 08 Sep 15 - 04:03 AM
Jack Blandiver 08 Sep 15 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Sep 15 - 12:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Sep 15 - 04:11 AM
Jack Campin 09 Sep 15 - 06:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Sep 15 - 07:09 AM
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Subject: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Sep 15 - 06:57 PM

I just got the Martin Best Ensemble's 1980s CD of the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Nimbus NI 5081), and this item surprised me:

Cantiga 159: The Lost Steak

The surprise was that I already knew the tune, or something very close to it. I'd learned it from the fiddler in a band I was in more than 20 years ago:

X:1
T:Galician Solstice Song
H:Learnt by Panda Smith at a Rainbow Gathering in northern Portugal
M:4/4
L:1/4
Q:1/2=100
K:EMin
aa/g/ f/e/d|gg fz|a/b/a/g/ f/e/d|gg fz:|
ee/e/ ff/f/|dc cz|ee/e/    ff/f/|de ez:|


So. We have a mediaeval Christian song about an unusually daft miracle reinterpreted by a bunch of knit-your-own-windmill hippies as a pagan ritual tune. But, in exactly the same region as where the miracle song originated. How did this happen?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 04:03 AM

Seems likely. I think the earliest versions I have of this are from The Clemencic Consort, Rene Zosso and Esther Lamandier. Best's is a little different, but the melody's migration from early-early music LPs into the hippy consciousness of the 70s / 80s seems more or less assured. Hell, it was one of the first tunes I played upon taking delivery of my first crwth from Tim Hobough circa 1983 and I remember it being a firm favourite with the various medieval musicians I crossed paths with at the time.   

Digging out the old crwth a few years back I found it still fell naturally under the fingers : Medieval Crwth : Cantiga #159 Improvisation 2009

The one I remember puzzling over back then was Cantiga 79 (Ay Santa Maria), the melody of which suggested Little Rabbit Fou Fou and Alouette.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 05:15 AM

PS - You have it down as Eminor, but the melody as I know it is near definitive of the Mixolydian mode (G-G on the white notes) which gives it it's playful character. Sounds pretty cool on that lately revived early musical instrument the Korg MS-20 too...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Sep 15 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for the link to the crwth performance. You both have revived my interest in the cantigas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 04:11 AM

Cheers, leeneia. With their depictions of multi-cultural music making, gory / humorous miracle stories & transcendently beautiful praise songs the Cantigas de Santa Maria were always a firm favourite here. This site has it all & then some!

The Cantigas de Santa Maria (sic).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 06:59 AM

I have this print edition:

http://www.gaita.co.uk/publications.html

(I know the editor and went to the launch party for it).

The main problem with it is that it's helluva big. An electronic edition would be a lot easier to carry around.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Non Sofre Santa Maria (Cantigas)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Sep 15 - 07:09 AM

Looks nice. Love the Llibre Vermell - just watching this on my in-laws' super smart HDTV the other day. Looked and sounded amazing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_8lVzFQ7UY


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