As COVID-19 continues to rage across the world (especially in the United States, but not going to get into the politics of it here, suffice it to say is that the occupant of the Oval Office and his administration dropped the ball in every conceivable way), those of us who enjoyed gathering with others for medieval fun and games have had to figure out ways to keep those passions alive. The Society for Creative Anachronism has told us there will be no large-scale public events until February 2021 at the very earliest. We have been making do with online meetings and gatherings.
Back in March, I ordered myself a citole from Trouvere Music Works because I figured that since I had lots of time on my hands, I could learn a new instrument. This turned out to be a good strategy. The citole I now have was modeled after ones in the illuminations for Alfonso X “El Sabio” ‘s Cantigas de Santa Maria. While the Cantigas are more than a century later than the Norman reign in Sicily and are very much a product of their place (being written in Galician-Portuguese), they’re the largest collection of medieval music that we have and the citole has been a fairly easy instrument to pick up. Once events start up again, I’ll be able to sit and play it and be entertaining enough.
Here is one piece I have been able to learn, “Totentanz,” a 14th century German tune by that fine composer, Anonymous. Enjoy!