Essays, Texts, Booklets


Residuum FRagmente - Gedanken zur Musik des Mittelalters und zur Klangauffassung in der heutigen Musik

Residuum Fragmente
Gedanken zur Musik des Mittelalters und zur Klangauffassung in der heutigen Musik
Essay und Vortragsskript im Rahmen des Arbeits – und Recherchestipendiums des Kulturamtes der Stadt Köln, 2021.
Norbert Rodenkirchen, Residuum Fragmente
Adobe Acrobat Document 440.5 KB

Tibia ex tempore, Medieval Flute Meditations: An attempt to reconstruct the contemplative art of instrumental improvisation in thirteenth-century Paris

Photo: Ute Dilger
Photo: Ute Dilger

In 2016 I celebrated the 15th anniversary of my solo debut CD "Tibia ex tempore - Medieval Sketches " which had changed so much in my artistic life since its release. I created a completely new live version of the original "one line, one track" - concept which had combined improvised and newly composed phrases with original medieval tunes neatlessly. And so I was very lucky and thankful that I got the chance to write a little reflection about that special concept for the Journals at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, hosted by Angela Mariani.

Subsequently I played the new live program in Vancouver and Moscow, but decided not to record it, as the original CD of 2001, recorded in the Romanesque Benedictine abbey of Brauweiler, is still very convincing to me in its improvisatory flow.

Stante pede, a workbook on medieval musical improvisation in double versicle form

Photo: Christoph Hillmann
Photo: Christoph Hillmann
Stante Pede, Norbert Rodenkirchen
A workbook on medieval musical improvisation in double versicle form. 2021
Stante Pede, Norbert Rodenkirchen, free
Adobe Acrobat Document 698.1 KB

The text "Stante Pede" is intended to serve as an inspiration guide for musicians and music lovers, dealing with early medieval instrumental music.

Much of the development of instrumental repertoires from early to late Middle Ages is hidden due to the lack of notated sources. This has to do with the fact that most instrumental music was played and sung ex tempore and usually it was not written down. But not all is lost in the faded out echoes of improvisation and oral transmission. There are recognizable steps from the early medieval sequela to the late medieval Istampita.

Even when the ultimate aim for an instrumentalist dealing with medieval music should be a convincing personalized extempore playing style, some part of the study and some important step on this creative path is the research for historical details. It is essential to get a profound picture especially of the earlier repertoire, preceeding the first written down estampies. But it is also essential to be openminded for creative experiments in that genre where many aspects depend on the musicians improvisatory input, back then in the Middle Ages and depend still today.

Thanks and Credits:

Many thanks to all my friends and colleagues who have read and commented the sketches of this essay: especially Ute Dilger, Benjamin Bagby, Marc Lewon for their detailed advice and valuable correction remarks and to Vincent Kilbidis for his great lectorship which guided me to the final version which you find here!


Köln, September 5th 2021, Norbert Rodenkirchen

Rheinische Melismen, das Antiphonar der Anna Hachenberch

2010 entstand Candens Liliums erste CD mit den Originalgesängen aus St Cäcilien, dem Sitz des Museums Schnütgen. Hier ist mein Werkstatt-Text zur Produktion. Die CD selber ist erhältlich im Museumsshop vom Museum Schnütgen.

Rheinische Melismen - Das Antiphonar der Anna Hachenberch, Werkstattbericht zur CD Produktion, Norbert Rodenkirchen, 2010
Anna von Hachenberch, musikalische Erschließung, Transkription, Teilübersetzung und Einspielung auf CD, aufgenommen am Originalort der Entstehung der Gesänge St Cäcilien. Künstlerische Leitung Norbert Rodenkirchen.
A.v. Hachenberch, CD Produktion, Werksta
Adobe Acrobat Document 387.7 KB