A player's introductory guide to the medieval vielle
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The vielle, or medieval fiddle, was one of the most popular instruments across Europe from about 1150 to 1450. The transmission of instrumental techniques and processes of modern historical performance practice has been transmitted primarily through face to face master-student interactions. This document is a manual for the player of bowed-string instruments to learn the introductory practices and processes in the modern performance of medieval music. Although applicable to almost any medieval bowed-string instrument, the ideas and exercises in this manual are aimed specifically toward the medieval fiddle, also called the vielle. Working through the exercises pertaining to areas of performance practice, such as song accompaniment, dance music, and instrumental arrangements of vocal works, over the course of this manual, the player should be able to learn new and different playing techniques on the instrument itself, attune the ear to new theoretical organization of melody, and embrace ideas for experimentation within the performance. After working through the document, it is expected that the player will be able to draw upon and expand any technique and process for his or her own personal artistic preferences for instrumental arrangement and presentation. Prior experience trained in classical performance in shoulder position is optimal for this manual, but this method presumes a player with little familiarity with the repertoire, with basic competency on bowed strings, some facility with rudiments of phrasing and bow position.