Reception and recomposition in the polyphonic conductus cum cauda: the Metz fragment.
Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 125, (2), . (doi:10.1093/jrma/125.2.135).
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A membrane fragment in the Bibliothèque da la Ville de Metz (rèserve prècieux, MS 732bis/20) contains parts of four works (Premu dilatio, Ego reus confiteor, Sursum corda and one as yet unidentified composition), of which three are known from the Florence manuscript (Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, MS Pluteo 29.1). The notation, decoration and handwriting of the fragment suggest that the manuscript from which they were taken dated from c.1300. The notation of the fragment clearly distinguishes between longae and breves in passages cum littera; in sine littera sections, the graphic presentation of ligatures reveals attempts to reflect changing concepts of notational precision from the last quarter of the thirteenth century. The Metz fragment is therefore analogous with other late thirteenth-century redactions of conducti. Although all four compositions in the Metz fragment are in three parts, concordances for two of the works from earlier thirteenth-century sources are in two parts only. While normal practice in the late thirteenth-century transmission of the conductus was to strip away voices, the versions of Ego reus confiteor and Sursum corda in the Metz fragment added a new third part to a two-part original. Such a practice was more typical of the motet repertory, and in this as well as its use of mensural notation the Metz fragment shows how the conductus was beginning to approach the compositional priorities of the motet c. 1300
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