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Songbook for a King: Music from the Manuscrit du Roi

  • Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral 421 South 2nd Street Louisville, KY 40202 (map)

Trobár presents the story of a lavish thirteenth-century anthology of French music, known today as the “Manuscrit du Roi.” The diversity of its content makes it unique for its time, containing sacred and secular songs, vocal and instrumental pieces, works in three languages, and originally sixty-two miniature artworks. While much of its history remains murky, the manuscript itself gives clues as to why it was created and what it was originally intended to be. The gilded illuminations indicate the wealth and importance of whoever commissioned it and the multiple layers show it changing hands from owner to owner, with some of these owners having music added to empty corners or blank pages. Ultimately landing in the Bibliothèque Nationale, the manuscript also sheds light on former library practices in the preservation and maintenance of books. Come, gain a glimpse into the medieval experience through the music and images of a songbook fit for a king!

Admission is free and open to the public.