Hey, shepherd, stop your boastful song!

My article on a two-stanza pastourelle in Douce 308 has just appeared in Plainsong and Medieval Music. Here with added sound files!

The pastourelle subsection of the Douce 308 chansonnier section is one of the most fascinating parts of the manuscript and one I plan to return to in future work. One of the more curious items in the section is a two-stanza lyric that presents a dialogue between a knight and a shepherd in which the knight has overheard the shepherd singing a refrain and has understood this refrain as a sexual boasting. In the second stanza, the shepherd refutes this, claiming that far from a personal boast, he was just singing a little song. This two stanza song effectively ‘songifies’ two voices from a motet complex that has been widely discussed and performed and which may possibly originally have been two motets on the same tenor designed to be performed one after another as a sort of dialogue. All quite intriguing.

The article here is paywalled, but if you don’t have an institutional subscription, CUP allows free access to a read-only version of the pdf. The full reference for bibliographic citation is:

Leach, Elizabeth Eva (2019), ‘Adapting the Motet(s)? The case of Hé bergier in Oxford MS Douce 308′, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 28 (2), 133-47. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0961137119000032.

The article doesn’t have any sound files, but as a supplement to the article Joseph W. Mason and Lachlan Hughes recorded versions of the song/motet that they have kindly allowed me to upload here.

  1. A version of the two-stanza song in a not precisely measured rhythm, as if the motet melody derives from a non-mensurally notated song version, now lost.
  2. A version of the song sung as a motet with the motet repeated for the second stanza.


1 Comment

  1. Alison Stones says:

    Fascinating and I’d love to hear it all, Alison

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