Medieval secular poetry was recited aloud in front of an audience and silent reading was rare. However, performing artists have yet to use this understanding in their stage work. Nevertheless, the connection between the origins of poetry and its oral performance is obvious and leads to an abundance of potential experiments on stage.
A vast amount of Middle French chivalry romance fragments, narrative poetry and theatre plays contain scenes focusing on the performance of poems or songs. Those passages provide considerable information about the context in which musical instruments were used and about their role in reciting, declaiming and singing poetry.
Medieval treatises supply immediate information about the application of the rules of prosody, the melodic aspect of recitation and its final written reflection in a music score. They also shed a particular light on the interpretation of rhythmic notation in 13th and 14th century secular monody.
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