A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (4) – Maý etc

A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (photographed by Robert Klugseder in the course of the cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek) features four untexted melodies with German incipits, which were announced in an earlier entry to this blog site:

  1. Pärlein vnd mit
  2. An czal dý etc
  3. Paradys ich han gesúcht
  4. Maý etc

The fourth and last melody on this page is also the longest. The tiny incipit may refer to any song which features the month of “May” somewhere in its first verse (such as a number of pieces in the Sterzinger Miszellaneen-Handschrift).

Fourth melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: "May etc", reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

Fourth melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: “May etc”, reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

Once more, the first phrase appears to be an untexted opening melisma to the song:

    Transcription of "Maý etc" with nearly consequent use of stroke notation.

Transcription of “Maý etc” with nearly consequent use of stroke notation.

The notation of “Maý etc” seems to be much more rhythmically organised than the other three melodies, especially in what I feel might by the “A-part”: The stroke notation can almost be transcribed as mensural notation for the first third of the melody. The notation of the remaining two-thirds might, however, not meant to be read as strictly mensural as this following attempt at a rhythmic edition suggests:

"Maý etc": Attempt at a rhythmised transcription of the stroke notation.

“Maý etc”: Attempt at a rhythmic transcription of the stroke notation.

Marc Lewon

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A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (3) – Paradys ich han gesúcht

A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (photographed by Robert Klugseder in the course of the cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek) features four untexted melodies with German incipits, which were announced in an earlier entry to this blog site:

  1. Pärlein vnd mit
  2. An czal dý etc
  3. Paradys ich han gesúcht
  4. Maý etc

The third melody on this page is—thanks to its characteristic C-tonality—again reminiscent of certain songs by the Monk of Salzburg and of German liederbuch “tenors”. And again, the first phrase is very typical for an untexted opening melisma (compare for instance “Scheyden du vil sendighe not” from the Rostocker Liederbuch). A concordance, however, is yet waiting to be discovered:

Third melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: "Paradys ich han gesúcht", reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

Third melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: “Paradys ich han gesúcht”, reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

Transcription of "Paradys ich han gesúcht", reminiscent of melodies by the Monk of Salzburg.

Transcription of “Paradys ich han gesúcht”, reminiscent of melodies by the Monk of Salzburg.

Marc Lewon

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A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (2) – An czal dý etc

A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (photographed by Robert Klugseder in the course of the cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek) features four untexted melodies with German incipits, which were announced in an earlier entry to this blog site:

  1. Pärlein vnd mit
  2. An czal dý etc
  3. Paradys ich han gesúcht
  4. Maý etc

The second melody on this page (“An czal dý etc”) belongs to a family of pieces in a certain mode, which is typical to a number of secular songs by the Monk of Salzburg: This is a very characteristic C-tonality (related to the Phrygian mode) which exhibits distinctive melodic formulae involving jumps and “broken chords” (so to speak). These features can be found in such Monk-songs as “Hab aller czweifel aynen nit” (W34), “Untarnslaf tut den sumer wol” (W3), “Wier der fünfzehent an der schar” (W19) and especially “Ich het czu hannt geloket mir” (W48) as well as “Ich han gewart all dicz iar” (W53) with which the song at hand even shares a number phrases. This mode can be traced back as far as the Jenaer Liederhandschrift (D-Ju El.f.101) where several Spruchsang melodies feature similar melodic structures. The first phrase is likely intended as an untexted opening melisma, since the aforementioned cognates display very similar textless opening phrases.

Second melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: "An czal dý etc", reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

Second melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: “An czal dý etc”, reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

I am certain that a concordance for this melody will be found in the nearer future:

Transcription of "An czal dý etc" - a melody in typical German C-tonality.

Transcription of “An czal dý etc” – a melody in typical German C-tonality.

Marc Lewon

 [2015-02-28] PS: The concordance has been found and is rather obvious: It is the piece known as “Czaldy waldy” from two Prague manuscripts (CZ-Pu XVII.F.9 & CZ-Pu XIV.D.23), only the first of which gives the title as an incipit. Many thanks go to Lenka Hlávková for pointing out this connection. See the blog post dedicated to this find: A New Concordance for “Czaldy waldy”.

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A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (1) – Pärlein vnd mit (Monk of Salzburg)

A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v (photographed by Robert Klugseder in the course of the cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek) features four untexted melodies with German incipits which were announced in an earlier entry to this blog site:

  1. Pärlein vnd mit
  2. An czal dý etc
  3. Paradys ich han gesúcht
  4. Maý etc

The second of these melodies (“An czal dý etc”) sounded so hauntingly familiar to me and like a number of secular pieces from the œuvre of the Monk of Salzburg that I looked for concordances there—only to find not the second but the first melody to be a new concordance to one of his pieces: “Pärlein vnd mit” turns out to be the melody of the monophonic song “Pey perlin vnd pey spangen” by the Monk of Salzburg which otherwise only survives in the Mondsee-Wiener Liederhandschrift (A-Wn Cod 2856, fol. 196v-197).

First melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: "Pärlein vnd mit" (= Monk of Salzburg: "Pey perlin vnd pey spangen"); reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

First melody on A-Wn cod 5455, fol. 180v: “Pärlein vnd mit” (= Monk of Salzburg: “Pey perlin vnd pey spangen”); reproduced with the kind permission of the ÖNB Vienna (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

The following transcription is my reading of the first melody of A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v:

Transcription of "Pärlein vnd mit": concordance to "Pey perlin vnd pey spangen" (Monk of Salzburg).

Transcription of “Pärlein vnd mit”: concordance to “Pey perlin vnd pey spangen” (Monk of Salzburg).

A synoptic edition of the two parallel transmissions reveals how close this new concordance is to the texted version in the Mondsee-Wiener Liederhandschrift:

    Synoptic edition of "Pey perlin vnd pey spangen" (A-Wn Cod 2856, fol. 196v-197) and "Pärlein vnd mit" (A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v) - Monk of Salzburg.

Synoptic edition of “Pey perlin vnd pey spangen” (A-Wn Cod 2856, fol. 196v-197) and “Pärlein vnd mit” (A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v) – Monk of Salzburg.

Apart from the third verse (= fourth musical phrase) and the notated upbeats in the Mondsee-Wiener Liederhandschrift, the melodies are almost identical. The textless opening melisma is a characteristic feature of these songs which (even though it cannot be proven without known texted concordances) seems to also apply for the other three melodies from this source.

Marc Lewon

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A-Wn Cod 5455, fol. 180v – German “Tenors” from Vienna University

[In the course of 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, Klugseder has discovered a startling number of hitherto unknown fragments at the Austrian National library and made these “Vienna Fragments” available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source and the catalogue entries go to the homepage of this project.]

Codex A-Wn Cod 5455 belonged to the artistic faculty of Vienna University and is dated to c.1385 (see catalogue) due to its contents and the signatures of several students from the late 14th to the early 15th century. It comprises university lecture material by Marsilius von Inghen (teacher at Paris University and first rector of Heidelberg University) and one Hugo de Reyss.

Fol. 180v of the manuscript features a single page with musical notation which is of some interest to our own project (“Musical Life of the Late Middle Ages in the Austrian Region”). This is one of the few examples of secular music which can be directly linked to university circles, and it fits the other known transmissions very well (e.g. the Eghenvelder Liedersammlung and the musical scribbles on the cover of A-Wn cod 5458—see the preceding blog entry): The textless lines with German incipits are reminiscent of sources with monophonic songs, such as the German lied “tenors” which can be found in the Strasbourg Codex CZ-Pu XI.E.9 (e.g. fol. 261v), Melk D-M cod 700 (pastedown of the back cover) and the only recently discovered notation on A-Wn Cod 5458 (front cover—for an in-depth analysis see this earlier post). The notation is typical for the transmission of late medieval German monophony and employs a mixture of purely melodic, unrhythmised “puncta” in the shape of semibreves and an element of stroke-notation for longer note values such as cadence notes (for similar notations see I-STEcap s.s. (Sterzinger Miszellaneen-Handschrift), A-Wn Cod 2856 (Mondsee-Wiener Liederhandschrift), A-Wn s.n. 3344, fol. 100vfol. 115r (Eghenvelder Liedersammlung—in order to access individual pages, exchange folio number in the link), A-Wn Cod 4696 (Lambacher Liederhandschrift), D-ROu phil. 100/2 (Rostocker Liederbuch), D-Bsb Mus.ms.40613, pp. 4445 (Lochamer Liederbuch), D-Mbs cgm 715, among others). Only the last melody (“Maý etc”) appears to employ a more consequent approach to stroke notation, offering an almost coherently rhythmised melody. Even though the source at hand is strictly speaking not a fragment, its state of preservation is not very good, for the ink has faded and the folio is clipped on one side.

The page transmits seven lines of musical notation on eight systems with four barely decipherable German incipits or titles which correspond to the notations of four separate melodies. My transcriptions of these incipits are as follows:

  1. Pärlein vnd mit (Monk of Salzburg)
  2. An czal dý etc
  3. Paradys ich han gesúcht
  4. Maý etc

A noteworthy aspect of these melodies is that they do not feature any repetitions of form parts (with the possible exception of the fourth one—”Maý etc”—which seems to feature some sort of AA’B structure, but which stands out in other respects as well). It may be that repetitions were intended but neither notated nor marked in this manuscript. A closer inspection, however, reveals that they seem to have been notated in full and that no repetitions were intended. Another interesting feature is that all four melodies seem to have been originally texted and would have started with a textless opening melisma. This fact cannot be proven until texted concordances have been found for all four pieces, however, their notational and structural characteristics point in this direction.

The second of these melodies (“An czal dý etc”) sounds so hauntingly familiar and like a number of secular pieces from the œuvre of the Monk of Salzburg that I looked for concordances there—only to find not the second but the first melody to be a new concordance to one of his pieces. [2015-02-28 addition: In fact it turned out to be a well-known tune. See the blog post: A New Concordance to “Czaldy waldy”.] The next four blog entries (see the linked incipits above) give transcriptions of these melodies and present a new concordance to a song by the Monk of Salzburg, namely “Pey perlin vnd pey spangen”. I am fairly positive that more concordances to the three [now: two] remaining melodies will be found in due time.

Marc Lewon

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A-Wn Cod 5458 – Medieval Musical Scribbles from Vienna University

A-Wn Cod 5458 contains a copy of the Questiones by Johannes Buridanus (ca. 1300–after 1358, teacher at Paris University) on Aristotle’s Books on Physics. The manuscript at hand is dated to c.1370 and placed at Vienna University, possibly the artistic faculty due to its contents. I was made aware of this source because it includes an ink drawing of personnel from Neidhart songs which were popular in Vienna at that time. (On of the next blog entries will deal with said drawing in more detail, putting it in the context of late medieval Neidhart reception in Vienna.)

When asking for a scan of the Neidhart sketches, Friedrich Simader from the department of manuscripts at Vienna University asked me if I knew that there was notation on the outside of the book’s cover. After asking for a photograph—a wish which was kindly granted—I can now present to you the musical scribbles on the binding of A-Wn Cod 5458:

Musical jottings on the outside of the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458 (photo by Friedrich Simader)

Musical jottings on the outside of the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458 (photo by Friedrich Simader, with kind permission of the ©ÖNB)

Even though the notation is damaged and “weathered” by the handling of the book, it becomes immediately apparent that this is no parchment from a former musical manuscript re-used after maculation. The cover seems to have been used rather as a sort of notebook for textual and musical scribbles. The musical notation, stylistically typical for the 15th century, was written in a casual, off-handed manner on freehand drawn staves—possibly even before the parchment was used for the binding (because the staves and one of the notated lines seem to go over the edges of the book), and probably at least partly after the book was bound (because most of the notation is clearly limited to the front side of the cover). The notation is thus not only literally but also contextually connected to the book to which it was bound and can therefore be associated with the artistic faculty of the university. These facts combined with the knowledge of a Neidhart ink drawing within the codex as well as a surviving song collection which can be linked to a student of Vienna University in the 1420’s (Liebhard Eghenvelder) strengthen the notion of the presence of a musical repertoire of secular songs circulating at the university. (These connections will also be examined more detailed in on of the next blog entries.)

The musical notations

Turning back to the musical jottings at hand, I believe to be able to discern three separate and overlapping notations of musical lines which also employ different note shapes. While none of them feature any sign of clefs or accidentals, two of them portray a rhythmical set-up which is not limited but strongly linked to German monophonic song of the 15th century: a phenomenon which I tend to refer to as “reference rhythm” and which seems to call for the syllabic underlay of a German text (for more detail on this principle, which is used as a musical representation of an alternating verse metre, see the blog entry “ein tagweiß“). The most striking of these is one line of bulky black mensural notation which makes use of semibreves, minims and a breve:

One line of bulky, black mensural notation on the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458.

One line of bulky, black mensural notation on the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458.

Since this is the only line of music which carries on beyond the edge of the book, it seems that it was the first of the three to be notated, possibly written on the parchment before it was used for the binding. Despite the smudgy notes, the sometimes hard to identify minim stems and the missing clef, I believe that the following attempt at a transcription, for which I assumed a c4-clef, can at least give a rough impression of the intended melody behind the jottings:

Suggestion for a transcription of the line with bulky mensural notation featuring "reference rhythm"; assumed clef: c4.

Suggestion for a transcription of the line with bulky mensural notation featuring “reference rhythm”; assumed clef: c4.

Even though there is no clear evidence to support it, I would like to suggest that the next layer of notation which was added to the parchment comprises the shortest melodic fragment of the source: It fills the available space below the line of bulky, black mensural notation, makes use of a new, separate system of 5 lines, stays well within the limits of the cover and consists of white semibreves:

One line of white or hollow semibreves, difficult to make out under the more prominent tertiary notation.

One line of white or hollow semibreves, difficult to make out under the more prominent tertiary notation.

It is apparent that these white semibreves do not carry rhythmical values but are merely used as puncta to notate a melodic line. When assuming a c4-clef the following tenor-like melody emerges:

White semibreves used as "puncta" to notate a melodic line.

White semibreves used as “puncta” to notate a melodic line.

The most substantial of the three notations appears to have been added last, since it was written “around” the line of bulky black notation and across the line of white notation. Like the white notation it stays clear of the book’s outer edges. It begins in a system which was added just above and so close to the line with bulky notation that the systems almost merge:

Third notation, using "reference rhythm".

Third notation, using “reference rhythm”.

The notation conveys an almost complete melody, albeit in a patchy, incoherent manner. It seems to be a sketch—some parts of it appearing as if the notator had to double back and try again, so that bits of the melody actually musically overlap. The note shapes are typical to semi-mensural notations of monophonic songs, and again the “reference rhythm” is the most striking rhythmical feature. The melodic structure is very reminiscent of repertoires similar to the monophonic œuvre of Oswald von Wolkenstein or the semi-mensurally notated Neidhart melodies in the Eghenvelder Liedersammlung from the same era—both of which also tend to employ “reference rhythm”. The following transcription, which yet again is based on the assumption of a c4-clef, includes a rough musical analysis of the melody’s form-parts:

The third layer of musical notation, featuring "reference rhythm".

The third layer of musical notation, featuring “reference rhythm”. Uri Smilansky suggested that this melody might have been intended as a canon. It works well for about one line of music, after that adjustments would have to be made. Since the surviving notation is rudimentary and has an in-built “grey-zone” I do not want to rule this possibility out, especially since canons and rounds in the Dorian mode were very popular with German composers of the era (see Monk of Salzburg and Oswald von Wolkenstein).

The repetition of musical line b might have been either a second attempt at that line by the notator or a musical repetition integral to the melody and thus intentional. The repeated notation of the cadence of line b (marked green in the transcription), however, suggests the former.

When considering the layout of the notation systems, it seems that the first three were drawn freehand and successively from top to bottom: The downward slant of the lines to the right is increasing with every line, suggesting that the writer had to accomodate to the curvature of the lines he drew immediately before. The fourth and last system was added with some space and is the most regular. The following illustration emphasizes the  systems and is colour-coded according to the layers of notation:

    The four notation systems on the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458: red system with first layer of bulky black notation, blue system with second layer of white semibreves, green & blue system with third layer of semi-mensural notation.

The four notation systems on the cover of A-Wn Cod 5458: red system with first layer of bulky black notation, blue system with second layer of white semibreves, green & blue systems with third layer of semi-mensural notation.

So far I could neither identify nor attribute any of the jottings, discussed above, but maybe a concordance or cognate will soon turn up. This source will most certainly be a candidate for “Marc’s Milk Carton“. The other, textual scribbles might also hold some interesting information. Up to now I was not able to give a safe reading for any of these heavily bleached out annotations.

Marc Lewon

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A-Wn Cod 13713: La-mi-la-sol

[In the course of 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, Klugseder has discovered a startling number of previously unknown fragments at the Austrian National library and made these “Vienna Fragments” available online in high-resolution images. All links to the source and the catalogue entries go to the homepage of this project. The image rights lie with Robert Klugseder who took the photos.]

Recently, Robert Klugseder had made us aware of a new, tiny fragment with musical notation from Purkersdorf, near Vienna. This “Purkersdorf Fragment” (A-Wn cod13713) features mensural music from c.1500: 4 fragmentary lines on its “front” and 5 fragmentary lines on its “back”. While the majority of the music on the back consists of fragments from a yet unidentified bassus voice (with the word “bassus” clearly written under the incipit) and a tabula compositoria (a scala decemlinealis with 4 clefs f-c’-g’-d”), the top two lines of music on the front shows fragments of cantus and tenor lines as well as a cantus firmus:

The two top lines of the Purkersdorf Fragment—end of A-part of "La-mi-la-sol" by Heinrich Isaac on A-Wn cod13713-1 (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

The two top lines of the Purkersdorf Fragment—part of the prima pars of “La-mi-la-sol” by Heinrich Isaac on A-Wn cod13713-1 (photo ©Robert Klugseder).

La-mi-la-sol (Heinrich Isaac)

The maxima notes of the cantus firmus can easily be identified as the second half (“la-sol-la-mi”) of the motif from the famous (“instrumental”) motet “la-mi-la-sol” by Heinrich Isaac. It is here followed by a rest, the longa “la” and a custos “mi” which would place the surviving c.f.-fragment in the middle of the tenor line of the motet’s prima pars. The end of the line directly above turns out to be the end of the cantus line of the same part. Since the tenor voice of the prima pars takes up only little space it would have ended in the middle of the next line, which is now lost. The cantus voice would have taken up about three more lines of music above the surviving line, which would make the surviving fragment the lower half of a page. Since the normal layout would call for the two missing contratenors to be placed on the facing page of an opening, the current “front” of the fragment would most likely have been the original verso side of a folio. This would also nicely fit with the placement of contratenor bassus voices on the “back”, which would have been placed on an original recto side.

The following transcription of the prima pars of Isaac’s “La-mi-la-sol” gives the surviving music of A-Wn cod13713-1 in red notation with the missing parts taken from the songbook of Fridolin Sicher (CH-SGs cod.sang.461, pp. 42-43).

A-part of Heinrich Isaac's "La-mi-la-sol" with surviving notation from A-Wn cod13713-1 (Purkersdorf Fragment) in red notation—remaining music taken from CH-SGs cod.sang.461, pp. 42-43 (Songbook of Fridolin Sicher).

Prima pars of Heinrich Isaac’s “La-mi-la-sol” with surviving notation from A-Wn cod13713-1 (Purkersdorf Fragment) in red notation—remaining music taken from CH-SGs cod.sang.461, pp. 42-43 (Songbook of Fridolin Sicher).

Marc Lewon

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