Hermann Pötzlinger's Music Book

Hermann Pötzlinger's Music Book

The St Emmeram Codex and its Contexts

Ian Rumbold, Peter Wright


Boydell Press



A study of one of the most significant medieval manuscripts containing music, and its owner, sheds light on many aspects of contemporary culture.
Hermann Pötzlinger (+ 1469), the university-educated schoolmaster of the monastery of St Emmeram, Regensburg, was the creator of one of the largest and most intriguing collections of late-medieval polyphonic music to have survived from Central Europe. His music book, the so-called 'St Emmeram Codex' (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14274), was compiled in the years immediately following his graduation from Vienna University in 1439. It contains a unique cross-section of polyphonic vocal music not only from the West but also from Central and Eastern Europe; moreover, it is only one among more than a hundred scholarly manuscripts that he copied or acquired during his career.

This volume presents an in-depth study of the manuscript and of the professional networks and academic culture within which it was compiled; its context as part of one of the largest surviving personal libraries of its time is also explored. It will appeal to all those interested in early music and other aspects of late-medieval life and culture.

Dr IAN RUMBOLD is an independent scholar; PETER WRIGHT is Professor of Music at the University of Nottingham.


September 2009
8 colour, 23 black and white, 2 line illustrations
374 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music
ISBN: 9781843834632
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Pötzlinger's Family Background
Vienna and Auerbach
Pötzlinger's Music Book: Clm 14274
Pötzlinger in Regensburg, I: Monastery Politics
Pötzlinger in Regensburg, II: Schooling, Liturgy and Music
Pötzlinger in Leipzig
Pötzlinger in Regensburg, III: Retirement and Legacy


This is a wholly admirable piece of work, a delight to read [...] and also a very finely produced book. In fact, admiration mingles with astonishment as one reads it. The handling of the primary documents and the construction of a narrative from them is first-rate. MUSIC & LETTERS

[T]his study represents the first comprehensive examination of the manuscript and its context. Meticulously researched, this book is highly specialised. THE CONSORT

A dazzling documentary study that explores the relationships between the source and the life of its scribe, owner and compiler [...] It is difficult to imagine a more thorough, balanced and rigorous treatment of the topic than Rumbold and Wright's. EARLY MUSIC
This is an excellent book. EARLY MUSIC REVIEW

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