A-LIb 529, Fragment 43

[The cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Musical Sources (9th-15th Century) in the Austrian National Library), conducted by Alexander Rausch and Robert Klugseder at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has made the Linz Fragments available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source including a preliminary inventory by Reinhard Strohm go to the homepage of this project. The image rights lie with Robert Klugseder who took the photos.]

Le serviteur

Reinhard Strohm’s preliminary inventory informs of a Le serviteur setting on Linz Fragment 43. Cantus and tenor of this setting are taken verbatim from the well-known Dufay chanson, albeit in an augmented state which is indicated by a proportion sign. Only the contratenor is new to this setting. Since the surviving three voice counterpoint does not require a supporting contratenor bassus it may well be that this actually is intended as a three voice setting. Apart from the mix-up in the labelling of tenor and contratenor, the fact that the altus voice is ultimately referred to as “contratenor” rather than “altus” could also point to a three voice setting without a bassus. I have not yet come across this version elsewhere, but it might already be known by a concordance.

"Le serviteur" on Linz Fragment 43 - cantus and tenor augmented with a new, fragmentary contratenor voice    "Le serviteur" on Linz Fragment 43 - cantus and tenor augmented with a new, fragmentary contratenor voice

“Le serviteur” on Linz Fragment 43 – cantus and tenor augmented with a new, fragmentary contratenor voice

Marc Lewon

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A-LIb 529, Fragment 39

[The cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Musical Sources (9th-15th Century) in the Austrian National Library), conducted by Alexander Rausch and Robert Klugseder at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has made the Linz Fragments available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source including a preliminary inventory by Reinhard Strohm go to the homepage of this project. The image rights lie with Robert Klugseder who took the photos.]

Christ ist erstanden

After having identified a “Christ ist erstanden” on Fragment 40 inspired by Strohm’s identification of the same cantus firmus on Fragment 39, I turned to the latter fragment to see how this version relates to the former. It turned out that I was not able to find any trace of “Christ ist erstanden” on Fragment 39 so that I strongly suspect some sort of mix-up here. It looks like I “re-found” Strohm’s identification from 1984, now on Fragment 40.

The textless piece on Fragment 39, however, still is an interesting composition with a tenor line which is generated by transposing the cantus down an octave and having it enter with a delay. The canon (“Tenor fugat per Sex tempora In diapason”) seems to imply that the tenor starts six breve units (1 tempus = 1 breve unit) after the cantus line, but when arranging the edition I found that an off-set by three breve units does the trick. I therefore assume that “tempus” refers to a beat (tactus) which apparently and unexpectedly had been lowered from the brevis to the semibrevis level in imperfectum diminutum by the writer of this source. I employed small print for the generated tenor line and omitted the ligature brackets, which are given in the (generating) cantus voice.

The transmission has a number of “Terzverschreibungen” which I hope to have identified correctly and which are all marked in the following edition.

Linz Fragment 39 - the tenor line is generated by the cantus line via a canon

Linz Fragment 39 – the tenor line is generated via the cantus line by a canon

Marc Lewon

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A-LIb 529, Fragment 40

[The cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Musical Sources (9th-15th Century) in the Austrian National Library), conducted by Alexander Rausch and Robert Klugseder at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has made the Linz Fragments available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source including a preliminary inventory by Reinhard Strohm go to the homepage of this project. The image rights lie with Robert Klugseder who took the photos.]

Christ ist erstanden(?)

Linz Fragment 40 is listed in the preliminary inventory among one of those pages, which contains yet unidentified, textless chansons. The following edition shows that the corrections that were added in the tenor line by the scribe are essential for the functioning of the composition—the places are marked here with asterisks. It is clear from the counterpoint that the composition was meant to be a four voice setting, the bassus having been cut off by the cropping of the page.

While I was editing and arranging the fragmented parts into a score the surviving counterpoint seemed very familiar and reminded me of a well-known melody. The final hint came with Reinhard Strohm’s identification of a “Christ ist erstanden” version on the other side of the same folio (Linz Fragment 39): It turns out that the surviving voices of the composition on Fragment 40 would (with some slight adjustments) support a slow-moving “Christ ist erstanden” melody in the top line. Such a cantus firmus would also link up nicely with the surviving parts of this voice. Since I could not find “Christ ist erstanden” on Fragment 39, I strongly suspect that Strohm’s identification of the piece from 1984 refers to what is now Fragment 40 with the c.f. in the cantus.

Fragment 40 - surviving notation (possibly a "Christ ist erstanden" version, c.f. in the cantus)

Fragment 40—surviving notation (possibly a “Christ ist erstanden” version with the c.f. in the cantus)

Marc Lewon

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.