Héloïse praised these songs in a letter: "The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered", Abelard later composed a hymn book for the religious community that Héloïse joined. This hymn book, written after 1130, differed from contemporary hymnals, such as that of Bernard of Clairvaux, in that Abelard used completely new and homogeneous material. They were grouped by metre, which meant that comparatively few melodies could be used. Only one melody from this hymnal survives, O quanta qualia. Abelard also left six biblical planctus (laments), which were very original and influenced the subsequent development of the lai, a song form that flourished in northern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. Melodies that have survived have been praised as "flexible, expressive melodies (that) show an elegance and technical adroitness that are very similar to the qualities that have been long admired in Abelard's poetry." Read more on Last.fm.
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