Hail fellow! How fare thee? If you’re curious about bardcore, welcome thee.
This medieval style has been taking over the internet for over a year, and the current result is worth exploring. What started as a lockdown joke has now become an internet phenomenon- called Bardcore, a blend of modern and medieval.
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Bardcore or tavernwave is an internet trend where modern rock or pop songs have medieval-inspired instrumental remixes. It is considered a whole new music genre and is taking over YouTube and Reddit by storm. In the bardcore versions, the music has the original tune but with a slight change in rhythm and lyrics. Instead of electric guitars and jazz drumming, you would hear the sounds of the middle age centuries through lutes, bagpipes, Celtic harps, hurdy-gurdys, flutes, and many more. Another bonus feature is the aesthetic appeal of the album art (and thumbnails) that resemble Renaissance paintings and Bayeux tapestries.
Origin of Bardcore
The origin of Bardcore dates back to 20th April 2020, when German YouTuber Cornelius Link released his first medieval rendition of the track Astronomia, a.k.a the “coffin dance song.” This music was intended to be a fun addition to the Bayeux tapestry version of the coffin dance meme. Still, as the track gained popularity, he released his next instrumental remix of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People.
Pumped Up Kicks then got re-released by Canadian Youtuber Hildegard von Blingin’ (a play on the name Hildegard von Bingen, a medieval composer), but this time with a vocal track as well. The remake accompanied by the medievalised lyrics got even more popular, and lead to the burgeoning of the tavernwave. Hildegard von Blingin’ has made several other covers, including Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know and Dolly Parton’s Jolene.
Apart from western songs, artists have taken a new turn towards remaking k-pop hits like YouTubers Stantough and Jaredcovers.
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Bands and artists have posted the renditions of their songs on their official channels. The same year the BBC Radio 1 show by radio DJ Scott Mills featured the music covers by YouTubers Beedle the Bard, Hildegard von Blingin, and Stantough.
Why You’d Love This Genre
Tavernwave music is a fantastic mash-up of old music but with the freshness of modern times. The songs are not authentically medieval but are still like “looking backward” to ancient art and music, as Hildegard von Blingin’ puts it. For music lovers and English history enthusiasts, these adaptations would surely be a wave of fascination.
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It all started as a dark existential joke of the Gen Zs (like the medieval parody of the song Closer), seeing the pandemic as a repetition of history-the Black Death. But instead, the trend was able to help people get through their worrisome, monotonous lockdown lives. So, if you ask me what good 2020 brought, Bardcore would be on my list.
So here’s to something new to explore. Fare thee well!
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