I Dreamed a Dream

dromdemigendrom-l.gif (8485 bytes) Not long after the Viking Age people found a system for writing down music. Carved on a small piece of wood from the 14th century, found in Denmark, we can still read the first bars of the song "I Dreamed a Dream".

dromdemigendrom2-l.gif (1904 bytes)The music on the piece of wood is written in a way common during the Middle Ages. Researchers into old music, and musicians playing old music, can read this music without too much trouble. The lyrics are written in runes and we can easily make out the words. Listen here to the melody played on a copy of a pan flute found during the excavation of Viking Jorvik (York) in England. Perhaps you would like to try playing the tune yourself? It is not too difficult when written using modern notation.

Music which was written down in those times, whether it was lyrics or melody, was usually of well known tunes passed down from one generation to the next. This is why we have reason to believe that the tune "I Dreamed a Dream" was not new when it was carved on the piece of wood. It may well have been an old tune, familiar to the Vikings.

- 14. august 2004 -