J'ai récemment trouvé une nouvelle source en notation proportionnelle du XIVème à la bibliothèque municipale d'Avranches.

Il s'agit du manuscrit 13 qui contient le "Commentaires sur les Psaumes" de Pierre Lombard, malheureusement je n'ai pas pu déterminer s'il s'agissait de pièce ou simplement d'un essai de notateur.

Avranches, bibliothèque municipale (F-AVR)

Ms 13, fol 1r

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  • I'm convinced this isn't two-part polyphony. The change to F-clef perhaps suggests so, but if you look closely, there are signs that we are dealing here with a Tenor from a chanson: there are two sets of double "barlines", one between the F3-clef and the preceding longa, and one directly after the ligature after the F3-clef. Also, the note apparently following the second ligature after the F3-clef is actually a minima preceded by two (hardly visible) minime rests. The double barlines withou a doubt represent repetition signs and their position makes the musical form congruent with a ballade. Note that it is hard to say how far the final ligature extends; it could be ending on F but also on C below. I have tried to make the picture a little clearer by processing it with Photoshop Elements:


  • I agree that it looks like it could be a single melodic line that descends--the clef change is to accommodate the descent. Is that a semibrevis caudata toward the end? And what is the funny little sign just to the left of the f clef? Could it be an Italian mensuration sign (quaternaria or something? I can't really see it) And has anyone deciphered the writing at the top that starts (I think) Iste liber est de. . .

    • Hi Anne, if you click my processed image, the funny little sign is actually a faded longa; the semibrevis caudata is actually a faded F2 clef.


    • Hi Jos! Thanks! I'd completely forgotten about this fragment and this conversation and I'm glad you brought it to my attention again. I see exactly what you mean about the longa. And to me the very last note looks like a C as you've suggested as an ossia. Has Myke Cuthbert put this through his magic concordance-finder?


  • How exciting!

    It is hard to tell what is going on. The prevalent fourths in this transcription make the reading a bit unlikely in a two part texture. Melodically, reading the whole line as a unit (rather than two voices) also works, resulting in a phrase with the range of just over an octave. It would certainly be useful to have a higher quality image in order to decipher some more of the lines. as it stands the question of menusration is not entirely clear... Uri

  • 9126757673?profile=originalDominique,

    Attached is a "quick and dirty" transcription of the music, which is a combination of actually transcribing the notation and trying to make contrapuntal sense of the music. The Cantus is clear and seems congruent, but the Tenor is very difficult to read, and even harder to make sense of. I don't think the scribe was just practicing his notational skills; he seems to have been copying out some piece, or trying to compose one. It would be nice to have a more clear image of the folio and also its verso. -- Alan


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