Monodic repertory of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) and of Birgitta de Suède, as well as polyphonies of Saint Martial de Limoges (XIIe siècle)


  • Invitation to move in the footsteps of a yesteryear music with a today’s perspective.
  • Learning of Hildegard von Bingen’s monodies (1098-1179)  and Birgitta de Suède (1303-1373) in all their textuals and melodics diversities.
  • Learning polyphonies from St Martial de Limoges.
  • Initiations: to the «neumes» used by Hildegard and her contemporaries, to the polyphonic musical writings of the XII century and to the Pythagorean temperament.


  • A legendary visionary, Hildegard von Bingen is one of the few women in the history of music who has left so many writings on a wide variety of subjects. The monodies, in Latin, of this extraordinary abbess are poetic songs inspired by her solitary visions and true hymns to life, love, fertility and to woman. They inform us about the tradition of scholarly singing and show us the richness of a liturgical vocal practice commonly associated with male voices.
  • Widowed, Birgitta of Sweden became Abbess and founded the order of Brigittines which spread throughout Northern Europe. She was an important polotical figure and was received in major European courts, including the Vatican. She used an exceptional outspokenness for her time and gave her advices in divines visions to anyone who wanted to hear it or not. Her music has only come down to us in manuscripts from the 16th century.
  • The schoolworks of Saint Martial de Limoges open the way to the first polyphonies with a certain complexity offering absolute wonder. Aquitaine musical writing.


  • Body preparation of the singer and voice
  • Oral transmission: learning by listening and imitation (without scores)
  • Work on listening and harmonic accuracy, search for timbres
  • Work on breath dynamic, sustained sounds and melisma
  • Text interpretation search (e.g. spoken/sung)



Teenagers and adults, women and men, of any level, no prior knowledge required.
This course will adapt to everyone’s abilities and is aimed at beginners as well as experienced singers. The teaching method lends itself to mixing levels in a single group while maintaining an individualized approach.


After a degree in Speech-Language Pathologist, the singer Els Janssens continued her musical training at the Jazzstudio in Antwerp (B), then in classical singing at the Conservatories of Antwerp (B) and Liège (B). She then went to specialize in baroque and renaissance music at the Toulouse Conservatory and in medieval music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (CH).

Today, Els Janssens leads an international career, enthusiastically venturing into twelve centuries of so-called “classical” music. With Mora Vocis, of which she is the artistic director since 2011, Els Janssens designs concerts and shows of medieval and contemporary music, sometimes mixing circus, theater, video, dance, thus giving an important place to the body as an instrument and extension of the voice.

Numerous audio and video recordings (and their awards) testify to collaborations with renowned musicians (Ensemble Leones, Mora Vocis, Ensemble Dialogos, Solistes XXI, Oensemble recherche, Ensemble Meitar…). Els Janssens gives an important place to creation and live work with composers of our time. In this same light, improvisation regains ground, thanks to various encounters with artists from very varied countries and styles.

In parallel with her career as a multilingual singer-performer, Els Janssens teaches singing and stage presence in the form of an internship or master class. She also works with various artists and ensembles as a musical, linguistic and scenic advisor.

Ⓒ : François MARIOTTI