5. PadC: Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria MS 658

The small fragment, PadC comprises two single folios of secular compositions which were formerly pasted down to the inside covers of MS 658. The folios have been loosened from their covers to reveal music previously concealed, though not without leaving a reversed impression of their contents on the wood of the inside cover.120 The two folios contain a total of four secular compositions, one per side. One composition, Jacopo da Bologna’s O cieco mondo, is preserved in its entirety. The two compositions on the second folio, Or sus vous dormés and Apolinis ecclipsatur, are missing their beginnings and endings, respectively. The final composition, found on the recto of folio A, is the ritornello Si e piena la terra from Jacopo da Bologna’s Ogelletto Silvagio whose terzetti probably were not present in the original form of the manuscript. These compositions show a more conservative taste and more of an interest in the music of older composers than do the compositions of the other Paduan fragments. Since this manuscript was also copied at nearly the same time as the other fragments, it expands our view of the range of music which formed the musical culture of early fifteenth-century Padua.

Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria MS 658 is bound in what appears to be its original leather binding with the image of a cross with faired ends tooled into the front cover. The main corpus is written in an elegant hand on evenly sized parchment pages with large, fairly-consistent margins. The beauty of the lettering, size of the margins, and decoration of some pages combine to suggest that the manuscript was more than simply utilitarian. The manuscript is not, however, extravagant, simply more expensively made than average. The parchment measures 20.2 cm wide by 28.0 cm high. Staves are 1.8 cm across six lines. Folio A was certainly trimmed on its outside to make it fit the size of the remainder of the manuscript

The manuscript as it is now has two front fly leaves, though only the pastedown is ruled or has music. The second, unfoliated fly leaf, which I have designated f. a, contains only the words "Iste liber," or "this book" on its recto side. This is probably a reference to the note added to the bottom of the verso of folio A: "Iste liber est monachorum congregationis sancte." This note specifies that the book is from the monastery library. On the verso of f. a, the words "Di[single illegible letter]as põd / Sequitur In diademate monachorum" appear indicating some other work (Dicas pond?) follows the main treatise. The text of the main corpus, Diadema monachorum, or "The crown of the monks," is an exemplar on the monastic life.121

Both music flyleaves were sewn into the binding of the manuscript. Folios A and a reveal approximately 1 cm of the other side of their bifolio between the end of gathering 1 (f. 10V) and the beginning of gathering 2 (f. 11).122 Both strips of parchment following gathering 1 are blank and thus reveal nothing about what was originally on the lost folios. The same lack of writing is true for the 2 cm of the other half of f. B which appears after the penultimate gathering between ff. 79 and 80.

A question about the purpose of flyleaves is raised by the placement of f. A. The cover paste-down does not follow Gregory’s Law; a flesh side of a folio is exposed to the hair side of the next. The other flyleaves obey the rule.123 This violation might be the result of a careless scribe, a desire to have the more beautiful initial capitals of O cieco mondo visible to the reader, or even a care for preserving the more full of the two sides of the folio. If the second or third explanation is true, then flyleaves might have had slightly more value than just protection for inside folios.

Each of the two folios contains six-line staves of music written in black mensural notation. Folios A, AV, and B have eight staves each while folio BV adds a ninth staff partly by extending into the lower margin and, beginning with the sixth staff, partly by compressing the space between staves. Since two operations were required to make room for this staff, its addition was most likely intentional. Because staves were often ruled across a single bifolio, the presence of the extra staff on folio BV but not on f. A suggests more strongly that these two folios were never part of a single bifolio.

My reconstruction of the original gathering structure is as follows:

The fragment was probably copied by a single scribe. On all the folios, the clefs slant slightly downwards and lean against the inside of the two vertical lines connecting the beginning of the staves. The recto and verso of f. B were certainly copied by the same scribe since both share a distinctive, extremely concave custos. The custos on f. AV match those of folios B and BV. The short composition on f. A, Si e piena la terra, has no need for custos so this page cannot be compared. The text of the whole fragment is somewhat heavier than that of most manuscripts of this time. The text features rounded edges on letters such as "n" and "a" and a "d" with a forward curving stem. Like the clefs, the semibreves and minims have a slight slope to the lower right.

Questions about apparent differences in spacing between notes can be resolved by taking into account the effects of text alignment on the different pieces. Folio BV has more space between notes than f. BR because Apolinis ecclipsatur has a primarily syllabic text setting while the tenor and contratenor of Or sus vous dormés are untexted. The neumatic (few notes per syllable) setting of Si e piena la terra falls somewhere between these two extremes. When melismatic (many notes per syllable) sections of Apolinis ecclipsatur and Si e piena la terra, such as their beginnings, are examined, their similarity in spacing size to the untexted f. BR becomes apparent.

The first folio of the manuscript contains two works by the early-trecento composer Jacopo da Bologna (see chapter 2). Both pieces are madrigals or fragments of madrigals with terzetti in octonaria and ritornelli which switch to duodenaria ( to ). The switching of meter at the ritornello, particularly from .o. to .d. is very common in madrigals. This could be one folio in a section devoted to the works of Jacopo da Bologna; however, from only two pieces, it is difficult to discover trends. The title of the second piece does not follow that of the first alphabetically so this can probably be ruled out as an organizational factor. The two pieces also have different numbers of voices (2 vs. 3), so it is not clear, even if this were a section on Jacopo’s works, that pieces were being grouped by number of voices.

If PadC were produced in the first decade of the fifteenth-century, as manuscripts with similar characteristics have been dated, there is a separation of 60-70 years from Jacopo’s flourishing. For comparison, this is as large a gap as the time from Robert Schumann’s early symphonies until the premiere of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. The change in styles over 70 years was just as pronounced in the fourteenth century. With the exception of two sections in the tenor of O cieco mondo, the Jacopo compositions are written such that they can be notated in strict Marchettian Italian notation. There are no syncopations across the tempus and even the oblique-stemmed semibreve (equivalent to a dotted-quarter note in modern transcription) is not used. Within a tempus, however, Jacopo shows much rhythmic variety. In Si e piena la terra, he weaves normal, duple minims against the simultaneous use of triplet minims in other voices. He writes these rhythms often a close intervals alternating in similar and contrary motion (cf. mm. 5 and 8) creating a complex network of short dissonant and consonant sonorities. In O cieco mondo, much of the rhythmic interest comes in the ritornello, where phrases of and in the tenor are contrasted with fluid lines of minims in the cantus.

7. [Ogelletto Silvagio] Si e piena la terra (Jacopo da Bologna)

The recto of folio A contains music for three voices each of which requires only a single staff. The music contains the ritornello for the caccia-madrigal Ogelletto Silvagio by Jacopo da Bologna.124 With Aler m’en veus of PadB, Si e piena la terra is one of two compositions in the studied Paduan fragments to be placed alone on a page with much free space (five staves). Again, there is an unanswerable question of why the remainder of the page was not filled.

It is unlikely that the terzetti of Ogelletto Silvagio were ever to be found on the preceding page. Each voice of a ritornello normally follows the terzetti of that voice; having all three ritornello voices follow each other would be highly anomalous. The incipit on the tenor voice, "Tenor si é piena," also points to the ritornello being considered an independent composition.

Si e piena la terra, with the independent ritornello Per chio te in PadA from the madrigal O cieco mondo (see below), hints at a Paduan tradition of the performance of ritornelli separate of the rest of the madrigal. The structure of GB-Ob 229 makes it impossible that the terzetti of O cieco mondo could have been near Per chio te. How these pieces, both only 12 breves long, would have been used in performance cannot be answered. Several repetitions of the pieces may have been performed, but there is only one line of text. There do not seem to be enough of these independent ritornelli to suggest a performance practice involving the singing of many ritornelli consecutively. They could have been used as intermezzi between compositions, though the placement within PadA of Per chio te between a Benedicamus and a Sanctus should raise some eyebrows at this theory.

There is enough variation between the ritornello of O cieco mondo in PadC, Pan., Pit., Reina, Sq., and Fa (I-FZc 117) and the ritornello in PadA to suggest that it might be a substitute ritornello: either the standard or the PadA ritornello could be performed with O cieco mondo. However, the few variants between Si e piena la terra and sources for Ogelletto silvagio do not support such a hypothesis here.

Stylistically, the composition relies on a motion between normal and triplet minims, often juxtaposed in different voices (see above). Measure 3 might be said to introduce a slight hocket, though the contrary motion of the voices implies that they should be thought of as independent lines. The composition is in duodenaria and notated in Italian notation with puncti divisiones but without divisio letters. Semibreves caudate are used in the tenor to indicate via artis notes worth 2/3 of a breve as well as semibreves maiores worth 1/3 of a breve. Two such semibreves are used in the penultimate tempus in the tenor to create a temporary senaria imperfecta feel. The top two voices are reversed, that is, the second voice is the first and the first is the second, in all concordant versions except Sq.; this may be because the voice which begins the terzetti is lower in the ritornello than the second voice.

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8. O cieco mondo (Jacopo da Bologna)

The second madrigal by Jacopo da Bologna in PadC, O cieco mondo is written for two voices. The two sections of the madrigal use the two Italian divisiones for which there is no French equivalent: octonaria for the terzetti and duodenaria for the ritornello. Puncti divisionis are used without divisio letters (the tradition of switching divisiones at the ritornello was perhaps so well known that no indication was necessary). The only violations of Marchettian notational principles are found in the tenor voice in mm. 17-18, 37-38, and 54-55 and in the cantus in mm. 59 -62. The tenor uses a minor semibreve to syncopate maior semibreve caudata across the tempus, while the cantus syncopates breves by means of a maior semibreve. Italian notation in octonaria and duodenaria does not distinguish between maior and minor semibreve rests. Thus when a maior rest would be appropriate in a tempus which has minor semibreves, two minor rests must be used. This is indicated in the transcription by the use of two separate eighth rests, rather than a single quarter rest.

The terzetti of the madrigal consists of three phrases which overlap in such a way as to create one long phrase cadencing just before the ritornello. At the ends of the smaller phrases (mm. 16 and 35) the cantus rests while the tenor continues with the syncopations across the breve mentioned above. Perhaps these sections were set off as solos to demonstrate syncopations which, though mild by early fifteenth-century Italian standards, may have been somewhat more exotic in the time just after the mid-fourteenth century.

In the notation of the tenor of the ritornello, the scribe seems to be implying groupings of notes which create a temporary or feel. He indicates this by using much less space than normal between notes in maior/minor and minor/minim pairs. In the transcription, these notes are beamed together.126

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9. [Or sus vous dormés] c’est pour vous dame (anonymous)

Folio C presents the second page of the three-voiced, anonymous French composition Or sus vous dormés. The fragment preserves the complete tenor and contratenor, with the final 10.5 measures of the cantus, beginning with "c’est pour vous dame." The lower two voices are untexted, and the sustained notes in the contratenor suggest performance by a wind or bowed string instrument, while the figuration in the tenor in mm. 57-67 (found also in the cantus of the concordances) suggests performance by a wind instrument. It is interesting that although five sources of this composition are known to exist (or have existed), no manuscript preserves the name of this composer.

Anne Hallmark mentions the use of French mensural signatures and coloration in this composition in PadC; this seems to have been a mistake.127 The composition is in French notation, interpreted as a mixture of tempus perfectum and tempus imperfectum with maior prolation. Puncti are used to indicate perfection and alteration.

Between the fourth and fifth staves is written "Denite perimu ," though it is difficult to determine exactly what is written. The phrase can possibly read as "denique et perinnuet" which might suggest "and again [a composition by] Perrinet." Perrinet was a French composer of a three-part Kyrie and a two-part Credo, found in PadA, attributed to Perneth.128

After the sixth staff someone, perhaps the same hand as above or the scribe of the page using a finer pen, has written ".p.s.p.n.xxiij:----|:--" It is unclear what the 23 is referring to, although the reference to sleep in the first line and "he makes me lie down" near the beginning of Psalm 23 might suggest a tenuous connection there.

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10. Apolinis ecclipsatur (anonymous)

A fragment of the top voice of the isorhythmic motet Apolinis ecclipsatur is given on f. CV. The fragment presents most of the music of one voice, ending at "vox quorum." The composition survives in concordances in a three-voice and a five-voice version. Since the five-voice version (found in F-Sm 222) has another voice equally as rhythmically active as the top voice, it is most likely that the version originally preserved in PadC was for three voices: in order for the remaining four voices to fit their music up until "vox quorum" the second page would have to have almost three times as many symbols per line as the first page, which is not possible even for untexted voices. The three voice version however, would fit quite nicely on two pages, giving an alignment of voices similar to that of Or sus vous dormés (though with a shorter tenor voice).129 The motet is written in French notation without puncti divisiones or mensuration symbols. Judging by the concordant sources in which it is transmitted and the function of the other voices in those sources, the work is certainly of French origin.

The text of Apolinis ecclipsatur refers to many composers and theorists. Philip de Vitry ("Phylippus de uitriaco") is one of those mentioned among the college of musicians in the text, though his contemporary, Guillaume de Machaut is not. Anne Hallmark remarks that references to serious music and theorists in Apolinis ecclipsatur and in the third terzetto of Ogelletto Silvagio are unsurprising considering Padua’s tradition as a center of music theory.130 However, since the terzetti of Ogelletto Silvagio are not present in PadC, one cannot take it for granted that the references to Phillip de Vitry (Filipoti) and Marchetto there were known to the Paduan musicians.

It is likely that the motet either influenced or was influenced by the ceremonial motet Comes Flandrie, flos victoris, composed for the church of St. Donatian in Bruges.131 The pieces are linked by similarities in text. Apolinis’s reference to "Petrus de Brugis" is probably a reference to the composer and singer Petrus Vinderhout at St. Donatian from 1381-82 who Strohm suggests may also have been the composer of Comes Flandrie. The text of Apolinis ecclipsatur mentions Egardus who was also in Bruges during the 1380s. These are some of the many contacts with the Low Countries to be found in the Paduan fragments.

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