I started yesterday to try and reconcile the translation of the Bertran de Born war song with its music.
I wrote down on paper the notes of each line, noting the melismas (mostly to ignore them later). The tones were given as stemless noteheads in the book I was using, to reflect their original neumic nature.
Then I underlayed the English text for the first verse and started a matchup. I had to regroup most of the melismas - probably a cardinal sin - to work with the text. I think I dropped one repeated note.
Next, I picked out the melody on my psaltery, paying careful attention to which notes I wanted to hold and which I didn't. Stresses often (but not always) were getting about twice the duration of unstresses, especially if we were in an iambic situation. (Breve - semibreve, it seems to me, was one of the common rhythmic modes, so that's about right.)
Then I tried to migrate that to Finale Composer, with some mixed success. Finale requires a meter, and I do wonder at times if I'm following the same one (3/4, owing the preponderance of repeated half - quarter patterns; maybe it should be 6/8?) throughout. There are times (at this first glance) when it feels like I just want to lose a beat here or there, perhaps with a measure of 2/4, but I also seriously doubt that I'm naturally composing in that fashion. Probably I have some written note durations off from what's in my head.
I'm not very good at translating head or ear music to paper, rhythmically speaking. I can get the notes just fine, but I'm often not sure if that pickup is a quarter note on "Three" or an eighth note on "three-AND."
After the note values are good and I'm convinced the first verse is singable, we'll see about shoehorning the other verses in. If I recall, the poet-translator was mostly good about maintaining stress schemes between stanzas, but a few balloon from eight syllables to ten or twelve. If the stresses are about the same, though, we can do the folkie thing and subdivide some notes to fit in the extra syllables.