My free copy reached me in the post yesterday, which alerted me to the fact that this new volume on Machaut’s earliest collected works manuscript has just been published. What I wasn’t prepared for is quite how beautiful the book is: not only is there a lovely colour cover with a tournament scene from the Remede de Fortune, but the other illustrations inside the book (and there are lots of them!) are in colour too. Not only that, but the paper is heavy, and the whole thing has the sort of appearance (as a book) that makes it a fitting commentary on MS C (Paris, fr.1586), a luxury manuscript from the mid-fourteenth century.
While I know the price will be prohibitive for many, at only 85 EUR, this is a bargain for such a richly illustrated volume. And, as you’ll see from the table of contents, there are some great essays in here by prominent Machaut scholars in various disciplines. I haven’t yet read all of them (but will!), but I did read Anne Stone’s when the book was in press (and heard her give it as an amazingly compelling paper in Novacella in the summer of 2017) and I think it’s a really keen piece of deduction and reading that will make medievalists think more more about the relationship between making literary works and making books.
The fifth song in the grands chants is unique to Douce 308 and is thus transmitted to us without any melody. However, its versification makes it possible to sing it to the tune of a song with a similar poetic structure.Continue reading Putting a tune to a tuneless song→