Organisers: Professor Margaret Bent and Dr Matthew Thompson
Time: Thursdays, 5pm*
Venue: Zoom. Please see attached document for details.
Week 2 (22 October) 4 p.m* (note earlier start time)
Richard Dudas (Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea) and Lawrence M. Earp (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Four early Ars nova motets: a new source
The seminar will address issues regarding the discovery of musical fragments in BnF NAF 934, fols. 79–80 (reported on https://www.diamm.ac.uk/search/?q=934; images on Gallica). Two three-voice and two four-voice motets survive, all of them unica. On the basis of notation and style, the repertory slightly postdates Fauvel. Each motet has a different form. The first utilizes a notational trick that prefigures Machaut’s M6. The second is the only isoperiodic motet, with an early, special use of red coloration in the lower voice pair. A third combines two chants, a freely rhythmized Kyrie tenor with an ostinato contratenor. The final motet is based on a Fauvel ballade.
Week 5 (12th November) 5 p.m.
Manon Louviot (Utrecht University)
Discussants: Michael Scott Cuthbert (MIT) and Jared C. Hartt (Oberlin College and Conservatory)
Dating polyphony, making history: the Douai fragment and its motet Ferre solet
The late fourteenth-century Douai fragment is composed of four parchment folios and contains five polyphonic pieces copied in black full mensural notation. Among these pieces, only the three-voice motet Multipliciter amando has a concordance in the Chantilly manuscript (F-CH 564). The other four pieces, two incomplete motets, a three-voice Gloria, and a complete motet, were all previously unknown to modern scholars. The complete motet Ferre solet stands out in particular because its texts conceal the name of a hitherto unknown composer and a date of composition, transforming this modest fragment into a crucial witness for understanding fourteenth-century musical culture. After introducing the source and the distinctive aspects of each piece, I will therefore focus on Ferre solet by analysing how its unique textual features are intermingled with its musical composition to fulfil the religious function of the motet.
Week 8 (3rd December) 5 p.m.
Jacob Mariani (University of Oxford)
Discussants:Marc Lewon (Schola Cantorum, Basel) and Michael Lowe (Wootton)
An unstopped string: new perspectives on the rise of the lira da braccio and its medieval predecessors
It is currently held that lira da braccio of the ‘High Renaissance’ took its morphology from the late medieval Italian fiddle (It. viella or viola), where classicising efforts and new performance practices further transformed the instrument into a vehicle for chordal accompaniment. However, the mechanisms and historical roots of this transformation are far from clear. Using updated photos of Italian iconography, this presentation reviews various narratives about the features and functions of bowed string instruments from 1300-1500. In doing so, it attempts to untangle the historical evidence from the needs and influences of the Early Music Movement and its modern reconstructions.
Advance notice of the dates and speakers for Hilary Term:
28 January 2021 Grantley McDonald (University of Oxford)
Emperor Frederick III as patron of music
18 February 2021 Charles Atkinson (Ohio State University / Universität Würzburg)
On modulation in Eastern and Western chant: techniques, texts, and rhetoric
4 March 2021
Cristina Alis Raurich (Schola Cantorum, Basel and Universität Würzburg)
Flos vernalis and Robertsbridge intabulation style: ornamentation, diminution and intabulation in the 14th century