Traces of performance in early fifteenth-century musical attributions

Lucia Marchi -

Abstract


The manuscript Chantilly, Bibliothèque du Château, ms. 564 presents some intriguing cases of unusually-placed attributions – either in one of the voices, or in the text residuum. Re-evaluating Allan Atlas’ hypothesis that double attributions could indicate a shared responsibility, I suggest that one of the preserved names indicates not the composer, but the performer of the pieces. Sources with traces of performances are known in later times – for example the Palestrina autograph (Rome, Archivio di San Giovanni in Laterano, cod. 59) in which the singers’ names are marked at the beginning of each voice. Thus, the Chantilly manuscript could give a unique glimpse at the performance of late fourteenth-century repertory, and the complex relationship between composers and performers. The codex contains the quintessential repertory of the so-called Ars subtilior, a style of rhythmic and melodic complexity normally associated with written culture. The possibility that its circulation could be associated with jongleurs sheds a different light on our understanding of this music.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13132/1826-9001/18.2015

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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