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The directory of finds

Petre amas me - folio 75r.jpg

The directory of the School of Notre Dame

How today to sing music 500, 800, 1000 years old?What approach should be taken, guided by what criteria? It's a whole series of questions that arise as soon as we try to restore these monodies and polyphonies, as for all very old music.

The primary concern that has motivated all the work of the Diabolus in Musica ensemble since its beginnings in 1992 isthe concern for historical veracity and the constant search for the conditions of interpretation of the time. It is this choice that guides all the projects of the ensemble andinduces all interpretation options. There are other possible choices, other approaches are of course possible, I simply explain here my desire toattempt to reproduce the sounds and colors closest to what our predecessors in the Middle Ages heard. When we talk about historical concern, quotation marks are in order and everyone underlines the subjective, even chimerical aspect of the company "the sounds of the past are forever lost, like the era that saw them born"... I however believe that it ispossible to follow this difficult path with great humility, making as few concessions as possible and at the very least trying to put the odds on its side.

This first passes through agreat knowledge and a very attentive fidelity to the manuscript sources. Musicology is then obviously an indispensable tool, even if it is not enough. Thereknowledge of historical and artistic contextsis a second pillar on which we can base a serious work of restitution, this of course within the framework of the modern concert and taking into account oursubjectivity of 21st century musicians.

You will find throughout these pages, for each repertoire covered by the ensemble,significant examples of rewritten or transcribed pieces, their manuscript source and commentsenlightening our work.

Antoine Guerber

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