I enjoy the lectures from Gresham College on the subject of music and history. There are some half dozen by Professor Christopher Page on Gregorian Chant, with singers providing examples. The lectures are full of fascinating anecdotes. Gently academic.
Medieval Music: The Stations of the Breath
Medieval Music: Chant as Cure and Miracle
Medieval Music: The Land of the Bell Tower
There are others, but those I recall in particular.
I love finding obscure amusements. I used to play the crumhorn. I was 14 or so, and it sounds like a fart, and it’s really hard to play without laughing. I remember our little early music group falling into useless laughter most evenings when someone pulled out the crumhorn.
From the FAQ page of the super site “Cantigas de Santa Maria“:
Q. Can I play the Cantigas on my crumhorn?
A. Definitely not; that would be silly. Crumhorns were, to quote an Early Musician friend of mine, “popular for about five minutes in the 16th century”. If you like musical anachronisms though, you might like to try playing CSM 159 on the electric guitar, which rocks.
Here’s a crumhorn player not taking himself too seriously:
If this kind of music interests you, visit Gaita Publications for modern-notation transcriptions of medieval chants and dances. Above notation is from their Medieval Tunebook.
This site about the Cantigas de Santa Maria has really geeky transcriptions from the manuscripts, too, available in different notation styles.