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Erntell, Rebecka LU (2009) ARKM04 20091
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
Abstract
Today our conception of the Middle Ages is accompanied by musicians who claim to play "in the old-fashioned way". Nevertheless reconstructions of a concept as abstract as music could be questioned. The purpose of this essay is to illuminate and discuss the conditions of reconstructed medieval music and its relation to the original tradition.

What characterizes the music tradition of the Middle Ages and today's reconstructions?
How close to original medieval music can reconstructions get?
To what extent can reconstructions be applied on something as abstract as music?

This is examined in a comparison between reconstructed and original medieval music in southern Scandinavia. The medieval tradition is studied in mural paintings and... (More)
Today our conception of the Middle Ages is accompanied by musicians who claim to play "in the old-fashioned way". Nevertheless reconstructions of a concept as abstract as music could be questioned. The purpose of this essay is to illuminate and discuss the conditions of reconstructed medieval music and its relation to the original tradition.

What characterizes the music tradition of the Middle Ages and today's reconstructions?
How close to original medieval music can reconstructions get?
To what extent can reconstructions be applied on something as abstract as music?

This is examined in a comparison between reconstructed and original medieval music in southern Scandinavia. The medieval tradition is studied in mural paintings and musicological research. As to reconstructions, instruments, instrument makers, music and musicians are overviewed.
It is concluded that there are more similarities than differences between original and reconstructed music although the differences are considerable. Reconstructions are described as reliable enough for practical purposes but uncertain related to the audience’s confidence in them. As it is considered impossible to recreate a tradition in a different context, music is understood as a bridge in time. The need and value of authenticity is established even though it is also argued that liberal interpretations might get closer to the original than minimalistic alternatives.
Reconstructions of music are found to serve several purposes. They generate intellectual challenge, appreciated music, job opportunities and associations to the past even though historical reliability might not be their strongest point. Above all the value of bringing history to life is stressed, provided that interpretations are discussed. Modern medieval music is brought out as a way to fully make use of the potential of the debate about the past in the present. (Less)
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author
Erntell, Rebecka LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Medeltidsmusik i rekonstruktion och original
course
ARKM04 20091
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
archaeology, musicology, medieval, music, reconstruction, musical instruments, instrument makers, mural paintings, Middle Ages, Scandinavia, experimental archaeology
language
Swedish
id
1362000
date added to LUP
2009-04-08 14:37:05
date last changed
2009-04-08 14:38:20
@misc{1362000,
  abstract     = {Today our conception of the Middle Ages is accompanied by musicians who claim to play "in the old-fashioned way". Nevertheless reconstructions of a concept as abstract as music could be questioned. The purpose of this essay is to illuminate and discuss the conditions of reconstructed medieval music and its relation to the original tradition.

What characterizes the music tradition of the Middle Ages and today's reconstructions?
How close to original medieval music can reconstructions get?
To what extent can reconstructions be applied on something as abstract as music?

This is examined in a comparison between reconstructed and original medieval music in southern Scandinavia. The medieval tradition is studied in mural paintings and musicological research. As to reconstructions, instruments, instrument makers, music and musicians are overviewed.
    It is concluded that there are more similarities than differences between original and reconstructed music although the differences are considerable. Reconstructions are described as reliable enough for practical purposes but uncertain related to the audience’s confidence in them. As it is considered impossible to recreate a tradition in a different context, music is understood as a bridge in time. The need and value of authenticity is established even though it is also argued that liberal interpretations might get closer to the original than minimalistic alternatives.
    Reconstructions of music are found to serve several purposes. They generate intellectual challenge, appreciated music, job opportunities and associations to the past even though historical reliability might not be their strongest point. Above all the value of bringing history to life is stressed, provided that interpretations are discussed. Modern medieval music is brought out as a way to fully make use of the potential of the debate about the past in the present.},
  author       = {Erntell, Rebecka},
  keyword      = {archaeology,musicology,medieval,music,reconstruction,musical instruments,instrument makers,mural paintings,Middle Ages,Scandinavia,experimental archaeology},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Toner från det förgångna},
  year         = {2009},
}