Correr 336, Part 4: A New Compendium of Late Medieval Music Theory

Linda Page Cummins - University of Alabama


The manuscript Venice, Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Correr 336, part 4, is devoted principally to a compilation of Latin music theory texts dealing with hexachords (including coniunctae) and mutation, intervals, and modal theory, all presented without attribution. The compiler claims to have made the collection for his own use and that of pupils; thus it represents the interests of a musician who was also a teacher and who chose material that he considered practical, organized in a way he intended to be useful. Though oddly placed initials and captions, the lack of attributions, and apparent repetition of topics initially present a chaotic appearance, unraveling the visual clues reveals two main sections: Ars cantandi is a comprehensive survey of the art of plainchant; Manus is at once a review and an exhortation to pupils to commit the information presented to memory. Identification of and comparison with the compiler’s sources (including the bulk of the Berkeley manuscript’s first treatise, and the Divina auxiliante gratia, drawn from the Lucidarium of Marchetto of Padua) has made it possible to determine what portions of pre-existing material the compiler included, what he omitted, what he changed, and how he imposed a design on his borrowed material that, far from contradicting itself, presents differences between early and later practice, between theory and its practical application.


compilation; coniunctae; modal theory; Berkeley Treatise; Marchetto of Padua

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Registrazione presso la Cancelleria del Tribunale di Pavia n. 552 del 14 luglio 2000 – ISSN elettronico 1826-9001 | Università degli Studi di Pavia Dipartimento di Musicologia | Pavia University Press

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