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Aversa parverse?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2008

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson
Affiliation:
King's College, London

Extract

PMM 4/2 contained a review by Susan Fast of Matthew Balensuela's new edition of the anonymous fourteenth-century treatise Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris. Both Balensuela and Fast were struck by the theorist's use of extracts from pieces by Nicholas de Aversa, about whom nothing more is known. The theorist quotes from compositions of others that we do know from surviving sources, including Landini's Donna die d'antor senta and some well-known motets, and in these cases he seems, as Balensuela points out, to be quoting from a rough memory of how the music goes rather than from a copy; his examples never correspond precisely to the music as we know it, yet similar passages in these pieces do illustrate the notational devices he is discussing. Consequently we may not expect to learn much about de Aversa from these (probable mis-)quotations.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1997

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References

1 Balensuela, Matthew (ed.), Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris, Greek and Latin Music Theory 10 (Lincoln, Nebr., 1994).Google Scholar

2 Ibid., 214–15.

3 Apel, Willi, ed., French Secular Compositions of the Fourteenth Century, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 53/1 (Hänssler, 1970), 139.Google ScholarGreene, Gordon, ed., French Secular Music, Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century, 19 (Monaco, 1982), 168.Google Scholar There is a fine recording by Gothic Voices on ‘The Garden of Zephirus’, Hyperion CDA66144, and it was the sound of this performance, with its particularly striking enunciation of ‘adverse’ at the mid-cadence, that alerted me to the connection.

4 The text, with translation by Stephen Haynes, is taken from Gothic Voices, ‘The Garden of Zephirus’.

5 Chicmaret, Vladimir, ed., Guillaume de Machaut: Poésies lyriques (Paris, 1909), 477, line 95.Google Scholar

6 Günther, Ursula, ‘Zitate in französischen Liedsätzen der Ars nova und Ars subtilior’, Musica disciplina, 26 (1972), 5368.Google Scholar

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