Circular song – En la maison Dedalu

reblogging erikkwakkel:


Circular song

“Medieval music books, with their merry notes jumping off the page, are a pleasure to look at. This sensational page from the 14th century adds to this experience in a most unusual manner. It presents a well-known song, the French ballade titled En la maison Dedalus (In the house of Dedalus), be it that the scribe decided to write both music and lyrics in a circular form. There is reason behind this madness. The maze created by music and words locks up the main character of the song, the mythological figure Ariadne, who is a prisoner in the house of Daedalus – she is represented by the red dot. The book contains treatises on music theory, notation, tuning and chant. In other words, it was meant for experts readers. The beholder likely enjoyed the challenge of singing a circular song (did he or she spin the book around?) and how it held its subject hostage in the merriest of ways.”

“Pic: Berkeley, Music Library, MS 744 (made in Paris in 1375).”

from erikkwakkel:

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