The musical notation has certain features familiar to us, but lacks certain others such as key signatures and bar lines. It also only shows the melody and does not indicate how it is accompanied. Music is perhaps only at a crib sheet, rather than fully literate, stage at this time. The entertainers worked out what to do with their lutes and fiddles, or copied others. The words written beneath the music are a repeat of the first verse, in a much more untidy hand than that used for the full text.
If any musically clever person out there can supply us with a little midi file of what this tune sounds like, you may achieve international fame by having it added to this page. No, not a full RealAudio rendition by the South Puddleduck Waites with six piece crumhorn and shawm accompaniment; just a little midi file!
French Popular Song, 15th century (Bibliothèque Nationale, ms. franç. 12744). All images from Bédier and Hazard 1923, p.118.

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Medieval Writing
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 1/6/2005.