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Le Magnus Liber de Notre Dame de Paris, vol. V: Les Clausules á Deux Voix du Manuscrit de Florence, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Pluteus 29.1, Fascicule V., Edited by Rebecca A. Baltzer. Monaco: Oiseau-Lyre, 1995. 1 + 393 pp. ISBN 2 87855 005 6.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2008


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1 Sanders, E. H., ‘Consonance and Rhythm in the Organum of the 12th and 13th Centuries’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 33 (1980), 269–74, 285–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar (The last ligature in the W2 version of the excerpt from O1 in Ex. 1 erroneously extends one note too far.) The author of the discantus positio vulgaris specifically points out that ligatures containing more than four notes are not really subject to any rules, but are performed ad libitum; see Cserba, S. M., ed., Hieronymus de Moravia O.P., Tractatus de Musica, Freiburger Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 2 (Regensburg, 1935), 190.Google Scholar

2 , Sanders, ‘The Medieval Motet’. Gattungen der Musik in Einzeldarstellungen: Gedenkschrift Leo Schrade (Bern and Munich, 1973), 527.Google Scholar

3 In my review of the first volume of this publication series in NOTES, 52 (1995), 623–9, I have detailed (pp. 624a–625a) my objections to the application of the term magnus liber to the entire polyphonic cantus-firmus repertory (other than motets) of Notre Dame.

4 Rebecca Baltzer, a sharp-eyed observer, in the volume under review cites no. 148 with its lack of a final cadence as an ‘especially clear example of a clausula designed for substitution … [as] it is meant to lead directly to the next word of the organum … ‘’; p. xl, n. 4. There is no sure answer, however, to the question why the non-discant setting of the four notes associated with the next word was apparently left untouched.

5 , Sanders, ‘Correspondence’, Music & Letters, 47 (1966), 189;Google Scholaridem, Review of Jürg Stenzl, Die vierzig Clausulae der Handschrift Paris Bibliothèque Nationale Latin 15139 (Saint Victor-Clausulae) (Bern and Stuttgart, 1970) in Die Musikforschung, 27 (1974), 373a.

6 See , Sanders, ‘The Medieval Motet’, 508–9.Google Scholar Johannes de Garlandia cites, in sine-littera notation, a passage from the moterus voice of a motet, for which no clausula has survived; cf. Reimer, Erich, ed., Johannes de Garlandia: De mensurabili musica, 2 vols., Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 10–11 (Wiesbaden, 1972), vol. 10, 41.Google Scholar It may have been on one of the pages (fols. 185–200) missing from F. And as late as 1279, at a time when convenience and custom must have taken the place of necessity, the so-called St Emmeram Anonymous still writes that this sort of polyphony per figuram compositam et nonquam per simplicem cognoscitur et etiam compilatur (is comprehended [recognized] and even conceived and written by means of the ligature and never by means of the single note symbol); see Yudkin, J., De Musica Mensurata: The Anonymous of St. Emmeram (Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1990), 182.Google Scholar Baltzer's assertion that ‘around the end of the first decade of the thirteenth century … in all likelihood the new genre of the motet was attracting composers to the creation of discant cum littera directly, without the creation first of a sine littera model’ (p. xliii a) thus appears to contravene the notational conditions of the time. Incidentally, I have never regarded clausulae as ‘preludes to motets’ (p. xl, n. 7) and consider that use unlikely, though, of course, not impossible.

7 For an example of the reverse situation see note 6 above. This issue has been addressed by Smith, Norman E. in his ‘The Earliest Motets: Music and Words’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 114 (1989), 141–63, especially 144–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar For the many cases where a composition exists in both versions, he does not doubt the traditional view of clausulae as models for motets, in contrast to Wolf Frobenius's untenable attempt in his Zum genetischen Verhältnis zwischen Notre-Dame Klauseln und ihren [sic] Motetten’, Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 44 (1987), 139,CrossRefGoogle Scholar to reverse the genetic relationship between clausula and motet; see note 44 of my forthcoming ‘The Notation of Notre-Dame Organa Tripla and Quadrupla’.

8 Unfortunately the non-concordant W1 clausulae are not included (this very large tome would have had to accommodate another thirty-five to forty pages), since the publication of all clausulae contained in that source is reserved for a later volume. The ideal procedure is represented by Baltzer's massive, authoritative and insightful dissertation (‘Notation, Rhythm, and Style in the Two-Voice Notre Dame Clausula’, 2 vols., Boston University, 1974), in which she transcribed all versions of all discant portions of organa dupla and of all extant clausulae (with all concordances of any given piece grouped together), in addition to offering copious and enlightening commentary. As she put it in its Introduction (p. 15), ‘it seemed most desirable to have the whole repertory available in one place …’ That sort of encompassing procedure is of course hardly possible except in a dissertation and even there it is a major achievement.

9 P. xxxix a. Cf. Besseler, H., ‘Ars Antiqua’, MCC I (19491951), col. 682;Google Scholar also Bukofzer, M. F., ‘Discantus’, MCG III (1954), col. 563.Google Scholar

10 Reckow, F., Der Musiktraktat des Anonymus 4, 2 vols., Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 4–5 (Wiesbaden, 1967), vol. 4, 23–4.Google Scholar

11 Sanders, ‘Style and Technique in Datable Polyphonic Notre-Dame Conductus’, Cordon Athol Anderson (1929–1981) In Memoriam, Musicological Studies 39/2 (1984), 510.

12 Baltzer twice mentions no. 192 as a possible, though tentative and singular, specimen of fourthmode rhythm (p. xlii b, n. 24, and p. xlv b). But it fails to exhibit the proper modal phrase endings, thus only confirming that the fourth mode is a phantom. As the so-called Dietricus wrote, ‘quartus modus … non est in usu’; cf. , Sanders, ‘The Earliest Phases of Measured Polyphony’, Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past, ed. Hatch, C. and Bernstein, D. W. (Chicago, 1993), 56, n. 39.Google Scholar

13 Idem, ‘Consonance and Rhythm’, 274–5; ‘The Earliest Phases’, 47–50. Garlandia's term modus rectus (as against the modus non rectus of organal polyphony) seems to be applicable to Notre-Dame discant polyphony prior to modal differentiation; see Reimer, Garlandia, vol. 10, 88 and 89.

14 See Sanders, ‘The Earliest Phases’, 43. Strictly speaking, therefore, the dupla of the clausulae listed by Baltzer as examples of sixth mode (p. xlii a, n. 21) still exhibit the notation of more or less continuous breve motion – what in accordance with Garlandia's thinking would be called (premodal) modus rectus or, in his adaptation to the modal system, irregular sixth mode.

15 Handschin, J., ‘Zur Frage der Conductus-Rhythmik’, Ada Musicologica, 24 (1952), 114–15 and 130.Google Scholar

16 The derivation of the second mode from the third (Sanders, ‘Style and Technique’, 512) does not seem tenable.

17 See , Sanders, ‘Duple Rhythm and Alternate Third Mode in the Thirteenth Century’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 15 (1962), 285–6.Google Scholar

18 Its long, rigid and inappropriate imposition on the repertories of secular song and conductus is an astonishing story in the history of musicology; cf. Sanders, ‘Conductus and Modal Rhythm’, 439–69.

19 Mozart's arrangement of Handel's Messiah followed its premiere after some forty years.

20 Its fifth note is excessive (scribal error; cf. the W1 concordance), a circumstance that eliminates the necessity of third mode.

21 In her dissertation Baltzer had stated more liberally that No. 266 was one piece – another being no. 284 – that ‘could be subjected to modal reduction without causing any serious problems’ (p. 400). In this connection no. 92 should also be mentioned as a case in which the ligature constellations favour motion in breves.

22 Baltzer's transcriptions of these two cases differ from one another ‘in keeping with the overall motions of each clausula (p. 315b). As a rule, however, these common coinages are rhythmically unaffected by the clausulae they wrap up, though they may constitute an essential part of the structure.

23 For the most common of these cliches see , Sanders, ‘Sine littera and cum littera in Medieval Polyphony’, Music and Civilization: Essays in Honor of Paul Henry Lang, ed. Strainchamps, E., Maniates, M. R. and Hatch, C. (New York, 1984), 219.Google Scholar This approach conflicts with that of Edward H. Roesner (see his General Preface, pp. xxxvi b and xxxvii a) and of Rebecca Baltzer. It is not meant, however, to exclude some degree of latitude in the performance of such passages that do not appear to display recognizable modus rectus.

24 That sort of variability is a descendant of similar, more pervasive practices in the Aquitanian repertory; see Ibid., 228, ex. 12, and the extensive discussion in Karp's, T.The Polyphony of Saint Martial and Santiago de Compostela, 2 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1992), especially chapter 6.Google Scholar

25 See the review cited in note 3 above, pp. 627–8, as well as Chapter 3 of the work cited in note 24 above. I regret my previous failure to cite Professor Karp's exhaustively detailed study.

26 The interpretation of plications involving larger intervals, which are not common, can be problematic; Anonymous IV (Reckow, Der Musiktraktat, IV, 56) reports that some singers had trouble with the proper intervallic reading of plicae. A page of examples for the performance of plicae appears on fol. 53v of manuscript London, British Library, Royal 12 C VI; though late, it is helpful.

27 Apel, W., Die Notation der Polyphonen Musik (Leipzig, 1970), 248 and 252.Google Scholar The alternative and presumably later way of writing a binaria ascendens plicata was to turn the upper note with its plication to the right, thus eliminating the need for the double note; see, for instance, the end of no. 412 and its concordance in F, fol. 132.

28 Actually seven phrase endings coincide, six do not.

29 Baltzer, ‘Notation, Rhythm and Style’, I, 132–3.

30 The third phrase in both clausulae should have the same rhythm as the first two. There are, in fact, four more clausulae in the F collection (nos. 30, 48, 189, 191) with the same tenor pattern and the same phrase layout as nos. 87 and 241. (They are discussed by Baltzer, Ibid., 200–6.) No circumstance seems to compel absolutely the evening of their phrases by means of long final notes and long rests.

31 Der Discantus-Satz im Magnus liber und seiner Nachfolge (Vienna etc., 1969), 45, 52, 53, and 55, n. 45. His (and Friedrich Ludwig's) division of no. 59 into two pieces (see this volume's Critical Commentary, p. 324b) is puzzling. The reason for it is that the piece with its tenor labelled Ge (the second syllable of Surge) in the manuscript, actually continues with a setting of the chant melody for the next words (et illuminare). But the dausula is like a pair of Siamese twins, since the continuity of the counterpoint makes separation impossible. The curtailment of one note from the tenor presumably accounts for the omission of the two cited words acknowledged by Flotzinger (p. 46). On the other hand, one is entitled to wonder whether the capital letter at the beginning of no. 281 is a scribal mistake, since the plication at the end of no. 280 would seem to indicate one continuous multisyllabic clausula (like nos. 178–84; 133 etc.).