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Reviews 149 stimulus, it is an outstanding addition to Malory studies. The book will serve a student audience extremely well and there are some essays that will make a real difference to the field. The editors should be heartily congratulated. It is also, fittingly, a beautifully presented printed book. Andrew Lynch Department of English University of Western Australia Aubrey, Elizabeth, The Music of the Troubadours, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 1996; cloth; pp. xxi, 326; 1 map, 99 musical examples; R.R.P. US$49.95. There is relatively little that we know for certain about the music of the troubadours. What w e know covers such points as when it was a living tradition (c. 1100 - c. 1270), where it was a living tradition (the Midi, i.e. the South of France) and what it was about (usually courtly love). W e possess the text for about 2,600 poems and have a basic idea of the melodies of about one in ten of these. Other areas, however, including antecedents, rhythm, accompaniment, transmission processes and performance practice, have consistently caused a great deal of debate. Early scholars in the field sought to understand and embrace the entire range of medieval monophonic secular song by employing a relatively positivistic approach. They often approached troubadour music in the same manner, and through the same investigations, as other monophonic repertories such as trouvere song or the Cantigas de Santa Maria. While there are links between these repertories, they are different and the same tools are not necessarily applicable. The tools the early twentieth-century musicologists applied (such as the modal rhythm of the Parisian motets and the liturgical modes of Gregorian chant) are n o w generally thought inappropriate to the troubadour repertory. Disagreements have been c o m m o n and furious. There is the story famous amongst musicologists of the duel not fought between Jean Beck and Pierre Aubry over the subject of rhythm in monophony. (Aubry shot himself while practising and died.) 150 Reviews Modern scholars have, perhaps understandably, adopted a more cautious approach, in the growing understanding that in fact we know very little about the repertory. Scholars such as Hendrik Van der Werf, Christopher Page, John Stevens and, more recently, Margaret Switten and Elizabeth Aubrey have written of this music in an increasingly prudent style, yet arguments no less passionate, if less fatal, have continued to rage concerning this area of medieval music. It is with feelings of relief, then, that I welcome the publication of EUzabeth Aubrey's The Music of the Troubadours. Here is a chance to bring together recent thought in an orderly fashion and to make of i t some sense. It is a crusade that m a y easily have failed dismally. Fortunately it does not. Aubrey's book is, as anyone w h o has read her work would expect, a thoughtful, organised and, above all, coherent delineation of recent scholarly thought on troubadour music. She has, she says, three goals: to place the music of the troubadours in its historical and theoretical context; to elucidate the respective contributions of composers, singers and scribes to the music as it survives; and to propose n e w ways of analysing the extant melodies, (p. xvi) The first aim is the real strength of the book and succeeds with a completeness that I have not elsewhere found. The second, both thoughtful and thought-provoking, is a continuation of Aubrey's other research. The third is useful in identifying important but l i t t l e researched areas. In Chapter One, Aubrey places the troubadours in their historical context, giving a brief history of the Midi in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries before moving on to discuss briefly the forty-two troubadours whose works survive with music. In so doing, she draws in the vidas (the often fanciful 'lives' of the troubadours contained in m a n y chansonniers) as well as recent study into their history. Chapter T w o tackles transmission, investigating the thorny area of oral transmission and subsequent notation into the chansonniers. Aubrey has published quite extensively in the area of transmission and Reviews 151 manuscripts. Here...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 149-152
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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