In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, musical scores were rare. The photocopy machine had not yet been invented, and musicians had to share a single choirbook or chansonnier. Deprived of visual support, each singer had, over the course of his life, to memorize a large number of melodies and internalize fundamental skills: learning the plainchant repertory by heart, adding non-written voices to an existing melody, singing notated polyphony, improvising in all the modes, singing on the hand, etc.
This concert probes the memories of the members of the Coclico ensemble, who will draw on this large technical toolbox to create a variety of music on the spot, none of which they will have in written form: Gregorian chant, virtuoso polyphony from the Notre Dame school, trouvère songs, falsobordone, and a host of canons and live improvisation in five voices around a melody composed by the audience.
The art of memory
Singers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance