Friday, January 21, 2011

ANALYSIS: Belle, Bonne, Sage x AatP Hymn print

Hello! Today's entry will be very descriptive, prepare for a little lesson in medieval music!

AatP's Hymn print has been on my mind a LOT lately, it's definitely slipped into #1 on my wishlist in the last few weeks. I missed it on the sales_comm just yesterday, so I'm feeling very disappointed! To vent this feeling in a useful way, I would like to share with you a comparison which you may not have known about in this print, which I discovered in my late night browsing a while ago, and made me love it tenfold :) (I'm quite proud of this discovery!)

Firstly, you will notice that one of the main aspects of the print is the heart-shaped manuscript.

You'll notice diamond shaped notes (but I'll get to that later) and an interesting squiggle in the middle corner of the heart. It's strange isnt it? Why didn't they just link the bottom like they did at the top? Well, it's because Alice and the Pirates are amazing! They are very authentic in their designs, which is one of the reasons I love them so much. Most girls would not notice things like that because the dress will just be something for them to wear (which is fair enough, as most prints don't really have 'deeper meanings') but I shall explain why the little squiggle is so important to me!

Take into instance the below picture:

Can you see the resemblance? ;)

It was created by Baude Cordier, a french composer born c. 1380. This is Cordier's rondeau about love, 'Belle, Bonne, Sage' (Beautiful, Good, Wise). It is in a heart shape, with red notes indicating rhythmic alterations. Furthermore, hanging like a locket in the upper left are notes all in red also in the shape of a heart.

The above form of notation is called 'ars subtilior' (more subtle art) as well as 'eye music'. This piece is found in the Chantilly Codex (a manuscript of medieval music containing pieces in the style of 'ars subtilior').

Now it seems that the designers at AatP like to do research before putting out a print, which is so refreshing! They have simplified the design of course, but generally speaking, it's pretty obvious where (at least part of) their inspiration was from, and I am so pleased about this ♥

The diamond notes might be more commonly recognised, at least by those who study music. It is officially called 'Mensural Notation' and is most closely associated with the successive periods of the late medieval Ars nova and the Franco-Flemish school of Renaissance music.

And now; the last little link that ties everything together! Medieval music was both sacred and secular, however in earlier medieval times, the liturgical genre and gregorian chant was predominant.

So in conclusion, the chain looks a little like this:
Heart shaped manuscript > ars subtilior > Mensural Notation > Medieval Music > religious chants/hymns

Quite impressive, don't you think? Aatp are my favourite brand for prints because of their close attention to detail, which makes you learn more and more once you find one link to the 'puzzle'. They reward those with knowledge by adding these little subtle hints within the print, to make it much, much more than just a pretty dress ♥

I hope you enjoyed this analysis, and come away with a newfound (or a deeper) love and appreciation for this print :)

Without further ado, here is the piece by Baude Cordier!

I think it's very interesting rhythmically and melodically, and indeed very romantic.. filled with longing.

Thanks for reading!!
♥ Ju

Disclaimer: All information from wikipedia, as they describe it much better than I could have!