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Music and Theory in Late Thirteenth-Century Paris: The Manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Fonds Lat. 11266

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020


The rarity of thirteenth-century manuscript sources containing representative examples from both musical and theoretical traditions is a notorious disadvantage to any study of the polyphony of the ars antiqua. Such a source is the earliest recension of Lambertus's Tractatus de musica, now housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris under the shelf number 11266, which transmits seven thirteenth-century double motets. However, one ought not simply to assume that the musical compositions illustrate the practice of the treatise, as both Coussemaker (1865, 169ff) and Ludwig (1910, 1/2, 590ff) did. Even since then, most critics have followed the assumptions of these two authors (Gennrich 1957, XLII; Anderson 1971, 39; Norwood 1978, 80; Baltzer 1980). An examination of the data on which these hypotheses are based may lead to a re-assessment of the relationship between music and theory in this manuscript and may suggest alternative interpretations.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Musical Association, 1981

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