The Symphonia Series is a free sheet music resource devoted to the works of Hildegard von Bingen.
It was born out of almost twenty years of singing and teaching her extraordinary music. I have for some time recognized (and lamented) the void of modern musical resources that adequately capture Hildegard’s creative genius. The Symphonia Series fills that void. It fosters a deeper connection with Hildegard’s music in its original form in a conventional format.
I hope these new musical “translations” will allow a clearer portrayal of her original musical settings than is currently available online and in print. Like any translation, there must be allowances for the interpreter. These editions are viewed through my particular lens, and subject to limitations in current notational technologies. Modern editions of medieval music must, by default, be lost of the ineffable qualities present in original notation. Alas, there is no help for it!
But I intend for these editions to portray the highly expressive and ornately detailed nature of Hildegard’s compositional style. Every musical and textual gesture is highly specific. I believe our connection with her music and spirit is deepened and amplified when we consider these crucial elements of her musical works.
Be forewarned: the editor is a singer! Which means the choices I have made in transcribing these works focus upon making visual, vocal, and musical sense in a highly accessible format.
Each song is accompanied by a fresh translation by my colleague Hugh McElroy, who has graciously partnered with Eya to offer these translations as a free, open resource. The poetic structure of texts are informed by the brilliant work of Dr. Barbara Newman in her seminal work Symphonia (2nd ed. published by Cornell University Press) whose shoulders we stand upon in bringing this work to you.
Working on Hildegard’s music is a creative, intellectual, and musical challenge. I hope the Symphonia Series will help you connect with her music and her legacy.
These editions are yours. We believe that your voice is sacred. Please enjoy: sing, make art, be inspired, play, pray, or whatever it is that you are called to do with these songs.
And please share the love! We want to make sure as many people know about this resource as possible. We would be so grateful if you tag us (@eyaensemble), and let us know what you are creating!