“Bone amourete”

We almost made it through the week of the trouvére without any actual music!

Bone amourete is a wonderfully elegant little rondeau by the great trouvére Adam de la Halle. (A rondeau, as Mark reminds us in the week’s review, has the poetic formula of [AB] a [A] ab [AB].) Perhaps unlike most of the chant repertory so far discussed, you can really hear the impulse of popular music at work here – the melodic phrase is incredibly simple and easy to remember, there’s a good deal of repetition, and the lyrical subject falls into the courtly love genre. This performance is combined with a separate composition: Bone amourete only runs thirty seconds or so. It it repeated once – the first time through is monophonic, the second polyphonic.

Here’s the poem:

[A] My kind mistress [B] keeps me gay; [a] My sweet companion, [A] My kind mistress, [a] I will sing you [b] my little song: [A] My kind mistress [B] keeps me gay.

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