Manuscript sources for the thirteenth-century motet

Some sources of ars antiqua motets!

As with my earlier blogpost aggregating sources for vernacular song, this page is mainly designed as a handy short-cut, this time for first-year students at Oxford, taking my course on the thirteenth-century motet and wanting to have a look at some of the main original sources for the thirteenth-century motet. I’ve posted it as an open post in case it’s of use to students at other institutions, or to anyone interested in looking at beautiful motet manuscripts!

Students frequently ask me how to find the right place in the online digital surrogate for the particular motet they are looking for. The easiest way is to work from a modern edition, which will list the folio number and whose notes will often give a list of other sources that the motet is in (concordances) with the folio numbers in those cases too. A complete list is available in Ludwig’s Repertorium, but that’s not in every library. The first three listed here (together with the Madrid source, which I haven’t yet listed), are also indexed in Bryan Gillingham’s Indices to the Notre-Dame Facsimiles (Ottawa, 1994). Dates given are for supposed compilation of the sources, not the composition of the music contained in them, which is often much earlier.

F Florence, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Plut. 29.1. (1240s, probably Notre-Dame de Paris). NB: the images require a Java viewer and may not be visible on all browsers)MS description via DIAMM.

W1 Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Guelf.628 Helmst. (St Andrews, 1230s ). MS description via DIAMM.

W2 Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Guelf.1099 Helmst. (Mid 13thC, probably Paris). MS description via DIAMM.

Ba Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Lit.115 (formerly Ed.IV.6). (Between c.1275 and early 14thC, probably Paris). MS description via DIAMM.

Mo Montpellier, Bibliothèque Inter-Universitaire, Section Médecine, H196. (Late 13thC,  Paris). MS description via DIAMM. Fascicle 8 is poorly indexed on the Montpellier site, so if you’re after an image from that, try the links and listing on Karen Desmond’s research blog. If you have a DIAMM account (free to register!), you can access better images there.

StV  Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 15139 (‘St Victor‘). (1270-1300, Paris). MS description via DIAMM.

MuA Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, (gallo-rom.42), and fragments once in the private library of Johannes Wolf, Berlin. (Mid-13thC, but earlier than W2, probably Paris). MS description via DIAMM.

MuB Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Mus frag E III 230-23, which are binding strips that were flyleaves for D-Mbs 16443 (probably 14thC). MS Description via DIAMM.

Da Darmstadt, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, 3471 (‘Die Wimpfener Fragmente‘). (Beginning of 14thC, France).

Cl Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, (‘La Clayette’); (c.1260 or copy c.1300). MS description via DIAMM.

R “Chansonnier du Roi”, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 844 (this is troubadour MS W and also trouvère MS M).

N “Noailles”, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France fr. 12615 (this is trouvère MS T).

LoB London, British Library, Egerton 274 (this is trouvère MS F). Description via DIAMM

Ps Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 11266.  This source has music theory as well as notated music in it. Description via DIAMM.

A more complete list can be found on Dominique Gatté’s site, but you’ll need to register to view it (registration is, however, free!).

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Colton says:

    There’s always van der Werf’s catalogue, which I quite like in some ways and managed to get very cheap, but it’s too riddled with errors to use without checking every reference against a facsimile, which kind of misses the point – Ludwig is more accurate, but I don’t have that!

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