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96ARTHURIANA ardis BUTTERFIELD, Poetry and Music in Medieval France: From fean Renart to Guilhume de Machaut. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. xx, 375. isbn: 0-521-62219-0. $70. Poetry andMusic in Medieval France wi\\ interest both literary and musical scholars who relish the late Middle Ages. Ardis Butterfield studies vernacular French song from the first written examples, originating in the thirteenth century. She focuses on a large body ofworks which combine narratives and songs. With emphasis on the nature of the sophisticated artistic background of Arras, she presents a broad spectrum of genres from literary and musical fields, including romances, satires, love poems, dance-songs, refrains, and motets. The book is notable for sound scholarship, beginning with precise definition of terms and extending to copious notes, illustrations, glossary, and bibliography. Also important in this volume is an annotated catalogue of the 'manuscript sources of song in narrative and didactic texts ofthe thirteenth and fourteenth centuries from Jean Renart to Guillaume de Machaut.' Part I, entitled Text and Performance, is a discussion ofsong and written record in the early thirteenth century, the sources of song, including chansonniers, narratives, and dance-songs, and the performance of song in Jean Renart's Rose. The second part discusses the boundaries ofgenre, with emphasis on the refrain, refrains in context, and contrafacta from secular to sacred in Gautier de Coinci and later thirteenth-century writing. In Part III Butterfield emphasizes such concepts as 'the location ofculture,' 'courtly,' and 'popular' as they apply to the thirteenth century. In this section she comments at length on Arras and the puys, as well as the cultural contexts of Adam de la Halle. Modes of inscription, songs in writing, evidence from manuscripts, chante/fable (Aucassin et Nicolette), and writing music and poetry {Le Roman de Fauvel in Paris BN ft. 146) are chief subjects of Part IV Part V contains an exploration of the lyric and the narrative, the two Roses (Machaut and the thirteenth century), rewriting song (chanson, motet, salut, and dit), and citation and authorship from the thirteenth to the early fourteenth century. The final section (Part VI) begins with a comparison ofa rondeau ofAdam de la Halle with a rondeau of Guillaume de Machaut to illustrate how the melismas of Machaut significantly alter the musical effect. It is interesting to note that the author uses contemporary CD recordings to illustrate her point—the Adam rondeau lasts one minute and twenty seconds on the CD, while the textually similar but musically quite different Machaut requires five minutes and twenty seconds to sing. The author rightfully contends that a study ofsyllabic and melismatic differences oflate medieval songs must include consideration of the refrain and its treatment by the two composers involved, in this case Adam and Machaut. A thorough knowledge ofthe creative accomplishments ofAdam and Machaut leads to an understanding ofthe evolution ofthe concept offormesfixes. In a short Epilogue Butterfield views her efforts in this book as an attempt to trace the narrative as it influences the writing down ofsong not only in the thirteenth century, but also into the fourteenth. REVIEWS97 She states that just as the narrative shapes the way a song is presented it offers important considerations ofcontext as it relates to social form. Some of Butterfield's comments on Machaut in Part V are illustrative of the thoroughness of her approach. First, she points out the reputation for originality which Machaut has for his inventive treatment of the relationship between music and poetry. Then she delves into the nature of the relationship and precisely why Machaut deserves the reputaion which he enjoys, calling attention to his technical mastery of both poetry and music, as well as his ability to combine the two. This leads to a discussion of the two Roses (that of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun on the one hand and Jean Renart on the other). She concludes that Machaut's works interlink citation and authorship as he never loses his adherence to the process of citation, which is also intrinsic to the Rose of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. In this section of the book, she makes a detailed...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1539
Print ISSN
1078-6279
Pages
pp. 96-97
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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