Machaut (Prelims) lecture 5

This podlecture gives an introduction to my method of analysing 14thC counterpoint and, in passing, gives some detail on the forms of the rondeau.

Podlecture 5: Machaut’s Music

REMINDER: Links to reading via ORLO for Oxford UGs!

For an overview of my analytical method, see:
• Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Counterpoint and Analysis in Fourteenth-Century Song.” Journal of Music Theory 44, no. 1 (2000): 45-79

For analysis of B18, see:
• Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Form, Counterpoint, and Meaning in a Fourteenth-Century French Courtly Song.” In Analytical and Cross-Cultural Studies in World Music, edited by Michael Tenzer and John Roeder. 56-97. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

For analysis of B12, see:
• Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Singing More about Singing Less: Machaut’s Pour ce que tous (B12).” In Machaut’s Music: New Interpretations, edited by Elizabeth Eva Leach. 111-24. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2003.
• Stone, Anne. “Music Writing and Poetic Voice in Machaut: Some Remarks on B12 and R14.” In Machaut’s Music: New Interpretations, edited by Elizabeth Eva Leach. 125-38. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2003.

For analysis of R5, see:
• ‘The Dart of Love’ at

For four-part pieces, see:
• Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Machaut’s Balades with Four Voices.” Plainsong and Medieval Music 10, no. 2 (2001): 47-79.

More ‘symbolic’ readings (based analytically)
• Eisenberg, Michael. “The Mirror of the Text: Reflections in Ma fin est mon commencement.” In Canons and Canonic Techniques, 14th-16th Centuries: Theory, Practice, and Reception History, edited by Katelijne Schiltz and Bonnie J. Blackburn. Leuven Studies in Musicology: Analysis in Context, 83-110. Leuven: Peeters, 2007.
• Zayaruznaya, Anna. “‘She has a Wheel that Turns…’: Crossed and Contradictory Voices in Machaut’s Motets.” Early Music History 28 (2009): 185-240.
• Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “Death of a Lover and the Birth of the Polyphonic Balade: Machaut’s Notated Balades 1-5.” Journal of Musicology 19, no. 3 (2002): 461-502.

Check that you can describe (and spot from MS layout) the forms of ballade, rondeau, and virelai. Choose a random page in an online Machaut MS and see if you can work out what it is. Check in Earp 1995 to see if you’re right.


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