A Medieval Songbook
Title Details

267 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

28 b/w. 1 line; musical examples Illustrations

Series: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music

Imprint: Boydell Press

A Medieval Songbook

Trouvère MS C

Edited by Elizabeth Eva Leach, Joseph W. Mason and Matthew P. Thomson

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Detailed exploration of an enigmatic manuscript containing the texts to hundreds of songs, but no musical notation.
The medieval songbook known variously as trouvère manuscript C or the "Bern Chansonnier" (Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 389) is one of the most important witnesses to musical life in thirteenth-century France. Almost certainly copied in Metz, it provides the texts to over five hundred Old French songs, and is a unique insight into cultures of song-making and copying on the linguistic and political borders between French and German-speaking lands in the Middle Ages. Notably, the names of trouvères, including several female poet-musicians, are found in its margins, names which would be unknown today without this evidence. However, the manuscript has received relatively little scholarly attention, partly because the songs' musical staves remained empty for reasons now unknown, and partly because of where it was copied.
This collection of essays is the first to consider C on its own terms and from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including philology, art history, literary studies, and musicology. The contributors explore the process of creating the complex object that is a music manuscript, examining the work of scribes and artists who worked on C, and questioning how scribes acquired and organised exemplars for copying. The peculiarly Messine flavour of the repertoire and authors is also discussed, with contributors showing that C frames the tradition of Old French song from a unique perspective. As a whole, the volume demonstrates how in this eastern hub of music and poetry, poet-composers, readers, and scribes interacted with the courtly song tradition in fascinating and unusual ways.
Introduction
Elizabeth Eva Leach, Joseph W. Mason, and Matthew P. Thomson
1. The Trouvère Manuscripts of the Bern Burgerbibliothek
Florian Mittenhuber, translated by Henry Hope
2. The Lorraine Repertoire of C
Mélanie Lévêque-Fougre
3. Chansonnier C: Contents, Stemmatic Position, Particularities
Paola Moreno
4. A Note on the Decoration of C and its Artistic Context
Alison Stones
5. Author Ascriptions and Genre Labels in C
Luca Gatti
6. Common Exemplars of U and C
Robert Lug
7. Shared Small Sources for Two Early Fourteenth-Century Metz Chansonniers?
Elizabeth Eva Leach
8. The Legacy of Thibaut de Champagne in C
Daniel E. O'Sullivan
9. Strategies of Appropriation in Jacques de Cambrai's Devotional Contrafacts
Christopher Callahan
10. Jeux-Partis and their Contrafacts in C
Joseph W. Mason
11. C and Polyphonic Motets: Exemplars, Adaptations, and Scribal Priorities
Matthew P. Thomson
Appendix: List of Songs in C
Bibliography of Works Cited
General Index

ELIZABETH EVA LEACH is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her work focuses on song in the medieval West in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

JOSEPH W. MASON is a Junior Research Fellow at New College, University of Oxford. His research focuses on vocal music from the twelfth to the fourteenth century.

MATTHEW P. THOMSON is a Fitzjames Research Fellow at Merton College, University of Oxford. His research focuses on music of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, including polyphonic motets, monophonic song, and the role of music in literature.

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9781783276523

February 2022

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Title Details

267 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

28 b/w. 1 line; musical examples Illustrations

Series: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music

Imprint: Boydell Press