Sunday, December 26, 2010

Une jeune fillette

The film Tous les matins du monde (1991) made me discover simultaneously Jordi Savall, the viol and the music of Sainte-Colombe and Marin Marais. I later purchased the CD of the movie soundtrack and that is when I really heard Une jeune fillette, which left an indelible impression on me.
The melody was very popular in the Renaissance but probably dates back to an earlier time. In France, it first appeared in the collection of songs "en forme de voix de ville" published by Jehan Chardavoine in 1576, but it was also known in Italy as Madre mia non mi far monaca: both the French and Italian lyrics tell the story of a young girl forced into a nunnery.
It is a prime example of an "evergreen tune", not only because it has spread geographically under various guises (our previous Huron carol is no accident since there is at least one French carol in the Lorraine region -- Une jeune baisselle, in the local dialect -- which is based on that melody), but also because it has inpired many musicians and composers up to the present day. I hope to post a few ukulele adaptations of Renaissance compositions, but for now, here is the bare bone traditional melody for re-entrant tuning in TablEdit tabs and the PDF file.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Huron carol

Known as the first Canadian carol, "Jesous Ahatonhia" was written in the huron language, presumably by the French missionary Jean de Br├ębeuf around 1641. The tune is an adaptation of an ancient melody known in France as "Une jeune fillette" and "La Monica" in Italy (I will come back to the fascinating story of that song after the festivities). The carol was apparently first sung in Sainte-Marie-au-pays-des-Hurons near Georgian Bay.
How is that for a bit of Canadiana during this jolly holly season?
It was later translated into English as "Twas in the moon of winter-time".
Here is the melody: TablEdited tabs for re-entrant ukulele and the PDF file. The lyrics in several languages, including the original, can be found on Wikipedia and other sites.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Henry VIII - Pastime in good company

Jolly old Henry VIII to the rescue, so you can provide some royal entertainment over the holidays.
A TablEdited adaptation for re-entrant tuning.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

V. Haussmann - Dance

A late 16th century German musician and composer, Haussmann was blessed with "Valentin" as a first name, which, when coupled with dance, immediately conjures up (for the impenitent anachronist) the glorious boneless or "de-boned" wonder immortalized by Toulouse-Lautrec.
TablEdited adaptation for low 4th ukulele (but the tabs seem to work fine for re-entrant as well) and PDF file.