Deborah White wrote:
> I'm wondering if anyone has any Medieval references to musicians playing in
> an ensemble setting -- or at least more than one musician playing in harmony
> with another.
The early poem "Amra Choluim Chille" has this line:
Is cruit cen ceis, is cell cen abaid.
This appears to be a proverbial expression, roughly:
It is a harp(er) without a céis, it is a church without an abbot.
(i.e. something deprived of a vital part)
One of several glosses on "céis", a word of doubtful meaning, says:
.i. céis ainm do chruit bic bís i comaitecht chruite
móre hi comsinm.
i.e. 'céis' is the name of a small harp that accompanies
a large harp in playing together
Note that the gloss would be much later than the venerable poem,
but still probably not later than ca. 1100 AD.
DIL defines "comsheinm" as "act of making music, playing together".
It gives two other later examples of the word. One is taken from
a journal article, ZCP vi 52.8, so I don't know its ultimate source
or date. Here it is:
aes ciuil ... a comseinm itir orgán 7 gitart 7 galltrump