In April of this year, versions of popular melodies in a medieval arrangement began to appear on YouTube. Today there are hundreds of such covers, and the genre now has a name – bardcore or tavernwave. In this article, we will tell you about a new genre that sounds like the best soundtrack for the ruthless 2020.
Have you ever wondered how the hits of Lana Del Rey or Thom Yorke would sound if they were born six hundred years ago? It's easy to imagine now as all you need to do is to search for bardcore, tavernwave, or medieval style on YouTube. Covers in such genres have recently become wildly popular. It turns out that modern music is simply created for performance on harps, flutes and tambourines. There are no special rules for this trend, but the general approach still looms:
It all started with a funeral
Against the backdrop of a raging pandemic, a meme with Ghanaian undertakers dancing to the Astronomia track by electronic musician Tony Igy became extremely popular this spring.
It all started when a friend sent a stylized engraving depicting a funeral procession to a web developer and musician from Germany, Cornelius Link. Cornelius and his friend thought that it would be curious to hear the music to which the pallbearers were dancing, and since Link had experience creating soundtracks for various video games and even films, they decided to record the melody, which became the first tavernwave cover.
Not only Link’s friends liked the short version of the track, but also users of Reddit, Discord and 9GAG. So Link, without hesitation, started an account on YouTube and published the full version there. It happened in April, when memes about the plague and dark times were especially relevant. The song hit right on the nose – people began to ask Link to create more.
For the following covers, he also chose recognizable melodies like “What is Love” and “Pumped up Kicks.” Soon, imitators began to appear, for example, the Canadian singer Hildegard von Blingin, who went a little further and began not only to remake the music, but also to rewrite the lyrics: she changed “I'm begging of you please don't take my man” to “I beg of thee, oh please take not my Lord.”
And this is another reason why bardcore has become popular: this kind of music sounds strange, but in general, it is quite familiar and understandable. It is unlikely that real medieval melodies would have made us as glad.
Videos are most often published with pictures in a certain style. There is even a special constructor site where you can assemble an illustration with characters from the Middle Ages. However, the pictures turn out to be more similar not to ancient engravings, but to popular memes. Therefore, tavernwave is a great soundtrack to the madness that seemed unlikely, but is happening now. After all, there is nothing more life-saving than turning everything into a joke, if possible.