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Poetry Meets Music: The Medieval Sequence

August 27 - September 2


Cristina Alís Raurich – Portative organ, Theory, and Performance Practice

Lorena Garcia – Voice and Performance Practice


Courses on medieval music performance are rarely seen in conservatories and music schools. Today, many performers are thus missing a large and rich part of music history – six centuries – from their education, the fundament of today’s understanding of Western music.

This course is offering any musician with the thirst for medieval music –both those new to the field and those who are already into medieval music– the possibility to taste as a panorama: one topic per year that takes you on a promenade through the medieval centuries. In the current year, you will get acquainted with an outstanding genre that blends poetry and music into a perfect union: the sequence.
Take the journey into the origins of modern music and get to experiment with music in a new and surprising way by adding new tools to your palette. In this way, you will gain a an insight into the medieval perspective and discover stunning repertories, while also enjoying them.

This course is a rare opportunity in which you will get to know the sequence in such a broad span, from the early medieval to late medieval periods, and in both monophonic and polyphonic repertories, all this in a favorable international atmosphere.

Experiment with the colors of the sequence repertory and performance practice thanks to:
– 7 day course
– 2 faculty members
– 3 subjects: theory, small ensemble, big ensemble
– 3 extra activities: conference, workshop on NLP for musicians, and a tour

Find out more about your own music history and obtain precious materials for developing your artistic career.

Are you ready to start exploring? Read the FAQ, fill in the registration form, and send it to us.


Who can participate?

Singers and portative organ players as active participants.
There is the possibility of participating with other medieval instruments. To learn more about eligibility for participating with other instruments, please contact us.
Do you not have a portative organ? Get in touch with us to learn about the possibilities.

Musicologists who wish to participate as auditors – that is, not taking part in the performance or ensembles – are welcome to register with a price reduction.

Ensembles who register with a minimum of 4 members will receive a reduction.

What is the course about?
This course is on the performance practice of medieval music with the fundaments of applied musicology for singers and portative organ players (see question below about other instruments).

In the middle ages, a phenomenon appears alongside liturgical chant repertories: a practice that allows the use of non-biblical texts over melismas that originated in chant repertory, and thus is a blend of medieval poetry and music. One of the largest cultivated genres that evolved from this practice is the sequence (sequentia) also known as prosa or neuma. Sequences appear in a variety of forms and also diverge in their roots: some of these sequentiae relate to an existing Alleluia, others became independent from the Alleluias, and even independent from the liturgy itself.
Sequences emerge as early as 9th century, in the following centuries their corpus widens through the Middle Ages until the Council of Trent (1545–1563), when the vast repertoire of monophonic and polyphonic sequentiae were reduced to just a few items for liturgical use. A couple of exceptional poets are connected to the creation of texts for sequences: Notker Balbulus and Hugo of St. Victor.

The course explores:

– The history of the sequence: the monophonic and polyphonic sequence in the middle ages.
– The sequence as poetry: how words, sounds, and melodic formulas are brought together, characteristic elements of the sequence.
– Performance practice: preparation of a program of sequences, use of medieval tunings, ensemble work, concert.

How is the course organized?
There will be daily activities that will include: a theory class on applied musicology, a small ensemble class and a large ensemble class.
In addition, a conference, a workshop on NLP for musicians, and a tour to historical sites of the region will be offered to the students.
Active participants will perform at the concerts of the course.

Do students need to have previous knowledge of medieval music?
It is not necessary to have previous knowledge on medieval music.
Keyboardists who never played a portative organ are allowed to enroll as well.

Portative organists are expected to bring their own instrument.
Do you not have an instrument? Contact us to learn about possibilities for getting an instrument.
It is possible to participate with other medieval instruments, to learn more about eligibility to participate with other instruments please contact us.



August 27
September 2


San Marino International Music Summer Courses


San Marino – International Music Summer Courses
San Marino, San Marino
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