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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2018
Print publication year:
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Book description

The Conductus repertory is the body of monophonic and polyphonic non-liturgical Latin song that dominated European culture from the middle of the twelfth century to the beginning of the fourteenth. In this book, Mark Everist demonstrates how the poetry and music interact, explores how musical structures are created, and discusses the geographical and temporal reach of the genre, including its significance for performance today. The volume studies what medieval society thought of the Conductus, its function in medieval society - whether paraliturgical or in other contexts - and how it fitted into patristic and secular Latin cultures. The Conductus emerges as a genre of great poetic and musical sophistication that brought the skills of poets and musicians into alignment. This book provides an all-encompassing view of an important but unexplored repertory of medieval music, engaging with both poetry and music even-handedly to present new and up-to-date perspectives on the genre.


'There have been no book-length studies of the Conductus until Discovering Medieval Song, expertly written by the foremost authority on the genre, and on music of the so-called ars antiqua more generally. Covering everything from the Conductus’s complicated relationship to the liturgy, to its ties with contemporaneous genres such as the motet and organum, Discovering Medieval Song is both the first comprehensive study of the genre and a nuanced examination of thorny issues of performance and musico-poetic relationships. Its broad scope should not confuse readers - this is not merely a reportorial survey. Rather, the book offers new insights into performance, form, and the inter- and intratextual poetics of the Conductus, and includes new discoveries and information on sources and individual works. This will be the book to consult on the genre for many decades to come.'

Mary Channen Caldwell - University of Pennsylvania

'Discovering Medieval Song is a masterful achievement. Mark Everist has managed to tame an extremely unruly repertory of medieval song. Ranging far and wide throughout Europe, he brings together the hundreds of examples of the musical-poetic genre of the Conductus in a long-awaited monograph that is the first of its size and scope to tackle the subject. Painstakingly argued and brimming with new insights, this book will also likely be the last word on the topic for years to come.'

Thomas B. Payne - College of William and Mary, Virginia

‘… I can only underline the importance of this work which fills an obvious gap in the historiography of medieval music … This book offers more than a ‘Discovery’ of the conduit, as its title invites us to believe, but in reality offers a deep immersion in medieval creation.’

Anne-Zoé Rillon-Marne Source: Revue de musicologie

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