Abstract

Medieval scribes used decorated letters to mark the beginnings of songs, highlighting the incipits of texted voices and the vocal designations of others (“Tenor”). But some motets from fourteenth-century France begin with sung, untexted fanfares. This study examines several instances in the Machaut and Ivrea manuscripts where shortages of space, missing opening letters, and unorthodox layout decisions point to scribal confusion in the face of such beginnings. This evidence raises the possibility that untexted introductory sections may have traveled independently of their host compositions, and suggests new answers to the problems these “introitus” sections raise for modern editors and performers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2162-9552
Print ISSN
2162-9544
Pages
pp. 47-73
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-01
Open Access
No
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