Teaching at King's College

Last weekend I taught a class on I.33 and one on the Cantigas de Santa Maria at King's college. I have an older write up on some I.33 material here. The class was very well attended- maybe 20 people including king Jean-Paul (on the right above). I covered some of the history of the manuscript, the 7 main wards, and most of the plays from first ward.

In the foreground here you can see Therese (hope I spelled her name right) in blue rocking along with my spring steel buckler and Eleanor on the right. I made some mini-posters of the manuscript so folks could see them during the class without fiddling with handouts, and Therese was nice enough to hold them up for me.
Brian Price taught a great class on short spear, and finally made the fenestre guards make sense. I'll still have to work quite a bit to make them work for me, but I think I get it now.
I searched back through my blog and was a little surprised that I haven't talked at any length about the Cantigas de Santa Maria. They're a collection of about 400 songs of praise of St. Mary written down in the 13th century. Some of them are really great tunes, and I've been working on my own transcription of a few of them for a while. The music system is one of the earliest that we've been able to sort out and reconstruct with any certainty, though there's still a lot of examination and research going on around them. I played a couple and put them on my YouTube channel.
The class went well, though I may have gotten more into the technical details than the students really were looking for. I'm into recreating this music, and, well, not everyone will be doing that. So I sang a little and played about 8 of them on my recorder and bagpipes so they'd get a taste for what the Cantigas sound like. I'm still a little concerned I sounded preachy. The nature of the material is pretty religious, and with the Reconquista going on it was still a pretty charged era, so hopefully the students were able to focus on the music and the history and not get too distracted by me rambling about saints and miracles. Oddly, I.33's main protagonists are a priest and his student too, and the collegium I was teaching at was in a church. Honestly, I'm not out to convert people, and I'm sure I'd suck at that job. Anyway, the classes were fun, and I hope the students got something out of them.


Yes, I has them! I try not to do the agro-peasant look, but it was SO hot out I just couldn't resist.

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