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Review Margaret Switten, Director. The Medieval Lyric: A Project Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Mount Holyoke College. South Hadley, MA: 1987-1989. Five audio compact discs withfour illustrated manuals: Pp. xx + 185; pp. Ui + 79; pp. i + 98; pp. ii + 30. $45.00 [see http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/mdll-5cd.htm] Anthology I: Monastic Song, Troubadour Song, German Song, Trouvère Song, Revised edition. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1988. Pp. xx + 185. Illus. With three audio compact discs (72:52, 70:54, 67:26). Anthology II: Guillaume de Machaut, "Remede de Fortune". Revised edition. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1988. Pp. Hi + 79. Illus. With one audio compact disc (60:58). Commentary Volume. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1988. Pp. i + 98. Illus. Anthology III: Medieval English Lyric. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1989. Pp. H + 30. Illus. With one audio compact disc (40:03). Since 1986 the Medieval Lyric project directed by Margaret Switten at Mount Holyoke College has produced a rich body ofinterdisciplinary resources for use in teaching medieval lyric as music, rather than simply as literature. The original set of resources produced between 1987 and 1989 comprises four spiral-bound manuals accompanied by five audio compact discs of musical performance (originally distributed on tape cassette). The introduction to the manual of Commentary (1-11) explains best the project's scope, methods and purpose. It seeks above all to restore the performative unity of music and word that the vague modern usage of the term "lyric" effaces, and which perhaps was weakening already in the later Middle Ages as manuscripts of lyric La corónica 31.1 (Fall, 2002): 129-36 130Mark JohnstonLa coránica 31.1, 2002 texts without accompanying musical notation proliferated. Despite the limited number of sources that combine lyric texts with their original music, the Medieval Lyric anthologies nonetheless achieve a broadly representative sampling of such works, by including lesser-known or anonymous compositions where no scores survive for the creations of more famous authors. The selection focuses chiefly on France and Occitania, from the eleventh through the fourteenth century, and includes polyphonic as well as monophonie compositions , seeking ultimately "to raise important issues rather than to achieve coverage" (Commentary 2). The audio recordings of these works, with performances by members of major early music ensembles such as the Folger Consort , are a delight in themselves for any lover of medieval music. For each recorded work the manuals provide a mass of contextual information, including guides to the pronunciation of Old Provençal and Old French; historical, biographical and musicological data; bibliographies; suggestions for interpretation ; complete musical scores; and full texts with English translations, as well as black-and-white reproductions of selected manuscript pages. Though not intended as a contribution to scholarship, the manuals include valuable commentary from many accomplished scholars. Along with the musical recordings , they provide teachers with the resources necessary to recreate the "sonorous 'reality'" (Commentary 8) of the medieval lyric, principally through informed and critical listening, but also through performance, "the active appropriation of the song" (Commentary 9). Toward this end the recordings include several performances of initial stanzas only, which users can then apply to the full text provided in the manuals. The wide selection of works in the anthologies (which include variants of some songs) especially encourages comparative analyses of how particular rhetorical devices or melody types function in different works. For any teacher of medieval literature eager to bring the performed lyric alive in the classroom, these manuals and recordings remain a comprehensive and still rewarding pedagogical resource. Margaret Switten, Director. Teaching Medieval Lyric with Modern Technology : New Windows on the Medieval World: A Project Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Mount Holyoke College. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 2001 . One program compact disc for Windows or Macintosh, seven audio compact discs, and Instructor's Manual. Pp. 14 + 61 + 10 + 16. Illus. For IBM-type Pentium computers running Windows 95, 98 or NT (64 MB ofRAM recommended) with SVGA display (800x600), and for Macintosh computers with OS 7-9. $50.00 [see http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/medst/medieval_lyric/index.html...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 129-136
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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