Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Better earlier than later, I guess...

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of what they like to call "early music"... lots of early choral pieces, many dating back before the Rennaissance... and, while searching around by artist, I found AncientFM, a shoutcast station that specializes in earlier music. Great stuff at times... and some of the lyrics for the early folk songs are surprisingly... um... ribald.

"I saw a maid milk a bull, fie, man, fie
I saw a maid milk a bull, who's the fool now?
I saw a maid milk a bull, at every pull a bucket full
Thou hast well drunken, man, who's the fool now?"

"Early music" seems like the wrong term, really... it lacks the kind of respect that you get with terms like traditional, classicel, roots, etc. It seems a bit unfair to ignore "early music" to the degree that our culture does, as much of what we have now originates musically from what we had back then. But if you went to most music stores, you'd think that Western music started with Bach, when, infact, much of the music that preceded classical shared a kind of freewheeling nature that's certainly more similar to modern bands than classical, which is arguably more constrained by the rules.

For instance, I was listening to one early piece called "Nevestinko Oro", a medieval Macedonian song, only to discover that it was the basis for a Kate Bush song... and while it's not surprising that she would know about and use such a song, what's more surprising is that it would sound so contemporary.

Jumping forward several hundred years to the late 1600s/early 1700s... I've also been pretty fond lately of vocal pieces such as this one from Francois Couperin, and recordings such as those done by Stile Antico, an excellent choral group that specializes in earlier pieces.

(Yeah, I know... it's old music. But it's not *the same* old music, which, given my ecclectic nature, is kind of mandatory, sanitywise. Next month, I will have probably moved on to strange polyphonic chants from an obscure island somewhere...!)

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