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The earliest source of Notre-Dame polyphony? A new conductus fragment from the early thirteenth century

The earliest source of Notre-Dame polyphony? A new conductus fragment from the early thirteenth century
The earliest source of Notre-Dame polyphony? A new conductus fragment from the early thirteenth century
While it is known that Parisian organum and related genres were being cultivated in the last quarter of the twelfth century, no manuscript collection dating before the 1230s has yet been discovered. The surviving Notre-Dame sources do not predate the decade 1230–40 at the earliest. The manuscript Troyes, Médiathèque du Grand Troyes 1471 alters this picture. The binding flyleaves of this source transmit the texts of eight conducti and two Benedicamus Domino, which were set to receive two-part music that was never entered. Despite the absence of written notation, these fragments offer the opportunity to address the implications of polyphonic book production in the generation preceding the great Notre-Dame manuscripts. Codicological and historical evidence suggests a Parisian origin and a possible date of 1210–20 for a source probably comparable to such manuscripts as F and W1. Such an early date makes these flyleaves the earliest surviving witness to the production of books of Parisian polyphonic music, and challenges the general assumption that no thirteenth-century manuscripts of Notre-Dame polyphony were produced before the second quarter of the thirteenth century. It also raises questions relating to the notation, chronology, and transmission of the repertory in the early thirteenth century.
0027-4224
1-41
Bevilacqua, Gregorio
e93e3b18-7d1e-4da5-9fcd-e6b4637e1c2e
Bevilacqua, Gregorio
e93e3b18-7d1e-4da5-9fcd-e6b4637e1c2e

Bevilacqua, Gregorio (2016) The earliest source of Notre-Dame polyphony? A new conductus fragment from the early thirteenth century. Music and Letters, 97 (1), 1-41. (doi:10.1093/ml/gcw008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While it is known that Parisian organum and related genres were being cultivated in the last quarter of the twelfth century, no manuscript collection dating before the 1230s has yet been discovered. The surviving Notre-Dame sources do not predate the decade 1230–40 at the earliest. The manuscript Troyes, Médiathèque du Grand Troyes 1471 alters this picture. The binding flyleaves of this source transmit the texts of eight conducti and two Benedicamus Domino, which were set to receive two-part music that was never entered. Despite the absence of written notation, these fragments offer the opportunity to address the implications of polyphonic book production in the generation preceding the great Notre-Dame manuscripts. Codicological and historical evidence suggests a Parisian origin and a possible date of 1210–20 for a source probably comparable to such manuscripts as F and W1. Such an early date makes these flyleaves the earliest surviving witness to the production of books of Parisian polyphonic music, and challenges the general assumption that no thirteenth-century manuscripts of Notre-Dame polyphony were produced before the second quarter of the thirteenth century. It also raises questions relating to the notation, chronology, and transmission of the repertory in the early thirteenth century.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 July 2015
Published date: February 2016
Organisations: Music

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Local EPrints ID: 400421
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400421
ISSN: 0027-4224
PURE UUID: 1bea4ffd-c722-4872-ba22-b7562d4bb627

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Date deposited: 16 Sep 2016 09:26
Last modified: 09 Jan 2018 17:52

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