Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Saltarello....

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A "modern" arrangement of the Saltarello...

The saltarello is a musical dance form originally from Italy. The first mention of it is in Add MS 29987, a fourteenth-century manuscript probably of Tuscan origin, now in the British Library.[1] It was played in a fast triple meter and is named for its peculiar leaping step, after the Italian verb saltare ("to jump"). This characteristic is also the basis of the German name Hoppertanz or Hupfertanz ("hopping dance"); other names include the French pas de Brabant and the Spanish alta or alta danza.[1]


Saltarello rhythm.[2]
The saltarello enjoyed great popularity in the courts of medieval Europe. During the 15th century, the word saltarello became the name of a particular dance step (a double with a hop on the final or initial upbeat), and the name of a meter of music (a fast triple), both of which appear in many choreographed dances. Entire dances consisting of only the saltarello step and meter are described as being improvised dances in 15th century Italian dance manuals. (The first dance treatise that dealt with the saltarello was the 1465 work of Antonio Cornazzano.) A clearer, detailed description of the this step and meter appears in a 16th-century manuscript in the Academia de la Historia in Madrid.[3] During this era, the saltarello was danced by bands of courtesans dressed as men at masquerades. The saltarello gave birth to the quadernaria in Germany, which was then fused into the saltarello tedesco (German saltarello) in Italy.[citation needed] This "German saltarello", in contrast to the Italian variety, was in duple time and began on the downbeat, and was also known by the name quaternaria.[4]
In 1540, Hans Newsidler published an Italian dance under the name Hupff auff (introductory skip), and identified it with a parenthetical subtitle: "saltarella".[5]

Saltarello as a folk dance[edit]

Although a Neapolitan court dance in origin,[contradiction] the saltarello became the typical Italian folk dance of Ciociaria and a favorite tradition of Rome in the Carnival and vintage festivities of Monte Testaccio. After witnessing the Roman Carnival of 1831, the German composer Felix Mendelssohn incorporated the dance into the finale of one of his masterpieces, the Italian Symphony. The only example of a saltarello in the North is saltarello romagnolo of Romagna.
The saltarello is still a popular folk dance played in the regions of Southern-Central Italy, such as Abruzzo, Molise (but in these two regions the name is feminine: Saltarella), Lazio and Marche. The dance is usually performed on the zampogna bagpipe or on the organetto, a type of diatonic button accordion, and is accompanied by a tamburello.

Medieval saltarelli[edit]

The principal source for the medieval Italian saltarello is the Tuscan manuscript Add MS 29987, dating from the late 14th or early 15th century and now in the British Library. The musical form of these four early saltarelli is the same as the estampie.

Saltarello in classical music[edit]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Meredith Ellis Little ([n.d.]). "Saltarello", in: Deane Root (ed.), Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Accessed June 2015. (subscription required).
  2. Jump up ^ Alfred Blatter (2007). Revisiting Music Theory: A Guide to the Practice. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. p 28. ISBN 9780415974394.
  3. Jump up ^ Curt Sachs (1937). World History of the Dance, translated by Bessie Schönberg. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. p 323.
  4. Jump up ^ Curt Sachs (1937). World History of the Dance, translated by Bessie Schönberg. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. p 294.
  5. Jump up ^ Curt Sachs (1937). World History of the Dance, translated by Bessie Schönberg. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. p 324.

A Collection of "Fantasy" Medieval Music

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Published on 19 Apr 2014
A collection of some medieval tracks I have come to love. I have used one picture to represent each song, that way it is easier to find your favorite. The tracklist is as follows:

01 France, 1184 - Harry Gregson-Williams
02 Dream of Venice - Jesper Kyd
03 Florence Tarantella - Jesper Kyd
04 Time And Again - Jeff van Dyck
05 Destiny - Jeff van Dyck
06 Dream Of Albion - Jeff van Dyck
07 Lost Battle - Borislav Slavov
08 Sword And Faith - Borislav Slavov
09 Bard's Tale - Borislav Slavov
10 Castle Dance - Borislav Slavov
11 First Battle - Borislav Slavov
12 The Die Is Cast! - Borislav Slavov
13 Crusade - Borislav Slavov
14 Crusaders - Jeff van Dyck
15 War Of Kings - Jeff van Dyck
16 Last Fortress - Borislav Slavov
17 March Of Honor - Borislav Slavov
18 Pride Of Pain - Borislav Slavov
19 Dove In The Sky - Borislav Slavov
20 The Widow - Jeff van Dyck
21 Tazer - Age of Empires II Soundtrack (Ensemble Studios)
  • Category

  • Licence

    • Standard YouTube Licence


Photo Wikipedia


Monday, 14 March 2016

In Dulci Jubilo

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...and the "original" In Dulci Jubilo, a classic of Early Music

In Dulci Jubilo / On Horseback
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"In Dulci Jubilo"

Netherlands single cover (the UK version has no unique cover)
Single by Mike Oldfield
B-side"On Horseback"
Released14 November 1975 (1975-11-14)[1]
Format7-inch vinyl
RecordedNovember 1974–October 1975
LabelVirgin Records
Producer(s)Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield singles chronology
"Don Alfonso"
"In Dulci Jubilo"
French single cover
"In Dulci Jubilo Christmas EP"
Single by Mike Oldfield
from the album Elements - The Best of Mike Oldfield
Released19 November 1993 (1993-11-19)
GenreClassical, Folk
LabelVirgin Records
Producer(s)Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield singles chronology
"Moonlight Shadow" (reissue)
"In Dulci Jubilo" (reissue)
"In Dulci Jubilo" / "On Horseback" is a single by musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1975 (see 1975 in music). The prominently festive single features an instrumental version of a Christmas carol, "in dulci jubilo", as well as the finale-song from Oldfield's Ommadawn album, "On Horseback".


Mike Oldfield's "In Dulci Jubilo" is an instrumental version of the German traditional Christmas carol of the same name, known best in England as "Good Christian Men Rejoice". Mike Oldfield had recorded another version of this song as the B-side to his previous single, "Don Alfonso", which did not chart, playing all instruments himself. Later, he felt a better version could be done, and re-recorded it in October 1975 at the Manor, but incorporating some of the previous version's backing tracks recorded November 1974 at the Beacon, his home studio.
The new version features Leslie Penning on two recorders and kortholt, Mike Oldfield on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and ARP string synthesiser, and William Murray on snare drum.[2] Oldfield's decision to re-record the song proved to be a good move; it appeared in Christmas season playlists on radio across Europe, charting at number 4 in the UK,[3] and is one of his most re-issued short songs. It also charted at number 7 in the Irish Singles Chart and at number 2 on the Dutch Top 40.
The song's authorship shown in the track listing below is how it appears on a recent compilation CD. Most editions from the 1970s and 1980s credit it to R. L. Pearsall, arr. Oldfield. Bach and Pearsall both wrote arrangements of it, but the song dates further back than either composer. Italian pressings of the single from 1975 credit it to J. S. Bach.
"On Horseback" features Mike Oldfield on vocals, accompanied by a children's chorus credited as the Penrhos kids. It previously appeared as an untitled song at the end of Oldfield's 1975 album Ommadawn, banded separately but merely listed as part of "Ommadawn part two" on the label. The album's liner notes refer to it as "the horse song on side two". Virgin Records recognised this song could also be a contender as a Christmas hit, and was already being played on radio before it was issued as a single; therefore the UK single's label bore a large "A" on each side to encourage radio play of both sides. A large "A" is often used to mark promo records, and copies are often misidentified as promos, but all have this mark.
This record's success as a Christmas single encouraged Oldfield to issue a similar instrumental piece, Portsmouth, the following year.
On 27 July 2012 at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony Mike Oldfield performed renditions of Tubular Bells, "Far Above the Clouds" and "In Dulci Jubilo" during a segment about the NHS. This rendition appears on the soundtrack album Isles of Wonder.

Music video[edit]

A music video was made for this song, and can be found on the DVD Elements – The Best of Mike Oldfield. It is probably the only non-recent Mike Oldfield video that is still shown occasionally on television. The video splits the screen in up to 9 thumbnail frames, each showing Oldfield miming playing a different instrument. Oldfield's face is not shown in frames where he is seen playing an instrument he did not play on the record. The music video was directed by Bruce Gowers.


Chart (1975)Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4]4
Irish Singles Chart[5]7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6]3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7]2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8]4

Track listing[edit]

UK 7-inch single[edit]

  • "In Dulci Jubilo" (J. S. Bach / M. Oldfield) – 2:49
  • "On Horseback" (music: M. Oldfield; lyrics: M. Oldfield / W. Murray) – 3:25
Virgin VS-131
The UK edition has "In Dulci Jubilo" marked as side "A".[9] It was also issued in other European countries, excluding France.[10]

UK 12-inch promo single[edit]

  • "An Excerpt From Ommadawn - Part I" (M. Oldfield) – 7:18
  • "An Excerpt From Ommadawn - Part II" (M. Oldfield) – 3:25
Virgin VDJ-9
Side 2 is actually "On Horseback". Issued in a generic cover for promo records.[10]

USA 7-inch single[edit]

  • "Theme From Ommadawn" (Oldfield)
  • "On Horseback" (music: M. Oldfield; lyrics: M. Oldfield / W. Murray) – 3:25
Virgin (dist. CBS) ZS8-9505
Also issued in Canada.[10]

Canada 7-inch single[edit]

  • "Theme From Ommadawn" (Oldfield)
  • "In Dulci Jubilo" (J. S. Bach / M. Oldfield) – 2:49
Virgin (dist. CBS) ZS8-9509
Re-issue with alternate B-side.[10]

France 7-inch single[edit]

  • "Ommadawn" (Oldfield) – 3:28
  • "In Dulci Jubilo" (J. S. Bach / M. Oldfield) – 2:49
Virgin (dist. CPF Barclay) 640079 : 1st ed. 1975
Virgin (dist. Polydor) 2097 930: 2nd ed. 1977
This single has been re-issued in 1977 with another picture sleeve. The B-side has been called "In Dulce Jubilo", and credited to "R.L. Pearsall, arrt Mike Oldfield". The A-side is an edited version of the end of Ommadawn part 1. This may not be the same excerpt from Ommadawn used on North American singles.

In Dulci Jubilo EP[edit]

  1. "In Dulci Jubilo" (J. S. Bach / M. Oldfield) – 2:49
  2. "Wonderful Land" (Jerry Lordan) – 2:48
  3. "Portsmouth" - (traditional, arr. Oldfield) 2:01
  4. "Vivaldi Concerto In C" – 3:52
Released in 1993 on CD.


  1. Jump up ^ "Singles - "In Dulci Jubilo"". Amadian. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  2. Jump up ^ Boxed album liner notes, 1976, Virgin Records
  3. Jump up ^ "". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  4. Jump up ^ " – Mike Oldfield – In dulci jubilo" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  5. Jump up ^ Irish Charts
  6. Jump up ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Mike Oldfield search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  7. Jump up ^ " – Mike Oldfield – In dulci jubilo" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  8. Jump up ^ "Archive Chart: 1976-01-17" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  9. Jump up ^ Mike Oldfield: "In Dulci Jubilo" at Discogs (list of releases)
  10. ^ Jump up to: a b c d "Mike Oldfield's Tubular World". Rainer Muenz. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Miscellaneous Selection of Folk, and Rock Medieval Music

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The following are examples of Rock + Early Music by Corvinia. This appears to be a Romanian group but it has not been possible to get more detailed info about them so far. RS

A castle of square plan surrounded by a water-filled moat. It has round corner towers and a forbidding appearance.

Rock meets Early Music....

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Some Examples....

Rock Medieval jam-out!

Rock and Roll...

a color photograph of members of the group the Strokes performing on stage