Paper Session
Nov 11, 2021 04:00 PM - 04:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211111T1600 20211111T1650 America/Chicago Medieval Song AMS 2021
Natural-Born Singers: Singing Birds, Frogs, and Humans in Troubadour Lyric Poetry
Individual Paper 04:00 PM - 04:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 22:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 22:50:00 UTC

In recent years, scholars such as Elizabeth Eva Leach have analyzed the significance of birdsong in medieval lyric poetry, offering insight into the contested boundary between the animal and the human in medieval philosophies. However, birds are not the only animals to appear in troubadour poetry-a menagerie of creatures populates the songs, whose sonic presence provides rich descriptions of vocal timbres that are then mapped onto human voices. Central to the presence of animal noise in lyric poetry is its portrayal as song or vocal production-songbirds are an obvious choice, but frogs sing and croak, and owls grumble. 

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I argue that the presence of singing/vocalizing birds and other animals in the songs comments on the composition and performance of melodies by human musicians, giving modern listeners and readers aural depictions of the act of song creation. I focus on two types of songs, drawing examples from the early twelfth-century troubadours Jaufre Rudel and Marcabru: the first type, which considers Jaufre's "Quan lo rius de la fontana," is concerned with birds, often nightingales, who are depicted as virtuoso singers, and the second examines singing and croaking frogs in Marcabru's "Bel m'es quan la rana chanta" and "Bel m'es quan fuelh'ufana." Due to the characterization of birds as expert vocalists in many poetic texts, songs that reference birds are consciously drawing attention to their own melodies, whereas comparing another singer's voice to that of a frog is often an insult.

These animals, and the sounds they make, are presented through the medium of the performer's voice, establishing a layered vocality where animal is filtered through human, and vice versa, highlighting issues surrounding the distinction between the human and the animal. Songbirds are just one model for human subjectivity in troubadour songs, and it is only through understanding the variety of beastly models in these songs that we can truly understand the ways in which the borders of the animal and the human are negotiated and renegotiated in lyric poetry.

Anne Levitsky
University Of Queensland
Notaries, Clerics, and Lay Communities: Tracing the Network of Composers in Fourteenth-Century Tournai
Individual Paper 04:00 PM - 04:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 22:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 22:50:00 UTC

The city of Tournai has long been recognized as an important musical center in the fourteenth century.  It was well-known as a training ground for musicians who would go on to work throughout France and the Low Countries, and the Cathedral was home to one of the earliest known polyphonic Mass Ordinary compilations of the period (the Tournai Mass).  Recent studies have shown that some of the lesser-known movements of the Tournai Mass are actually early canons that came out of an improvised tradition featuring compositional characteristics primarily associated with secular song, and that this Mass formed part of the devotions of the Confraternity of the Notaries at the Cathedral (Stoessel and Collins 2019; and Long 2021).  Although it was a place of august artistic achievement, most archives pertaining to the city of Tournai and its institutions were destroyed in WWII, leaving us very few documents outlining the names of musicians associated with its churches, monastic communities, and civic institutions. As a result, the artistic circle of poet-musicians working in the city has remained anonymous.  This paper examines recently uncovered documents held at the Tournai Cathedral Archives that shed new light on the network of musicians working in Tournai.  These sources, which consist of obituaries, wills, cartularies, and choir accounts from the Cathedral and its surrounding parishes, show us that the vestiges of new compositional practice cited above are the product of a constellation of musicians working at the Cathedral who collaborated with others in Tournai and elsewhere.  One of these in particular is Jehan Campion, whose associations with urban poetic societies (puys) in the area has been noted (Plumley 2013).  The Tournai documents show that Campion and musicians like him had multiple connections to laypeople in the city who were involved in the production of new music and poetry.  Ultimately, studying this compositional network allows us to view the Tournai Mass and other works in books held at the Cathedral in a new light, as examples of cross fertilization between repertories and traditions that were promoted by individuals of varied backgrounds.

Sarah Long
Michigan State University
The Origins of the Title of the Credo _Cardinalis_
Individual Paper 04:00 PM - 04:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 22:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 22:50:00 UTC

One feature of the cantus fractus Credos composed in the 14th century was the association of titles with the Credo melodies. These titles range from liturgical descriptions to names of people and places (e.g., "Regis," "Hispanis"). One of the most famous of these Credos appeared in the early 14th century and was later called "Cardinalis." Tadeusz Miazga's 1976 catalog of Credo melodies records it in 102 manuscripts between the 14th and 18th centuries; thirty-nine of those manuscripts are from before 1524. It was used as a cantus firmus for at least ten polyphonic settings in manuscripts and prints between 1430 and 1527, and survives in the modern Liber Usualis as Credo IV. 

Scholars have offered hypotheses on the origin of the name "Cardinalis," including the idea that it was sung on "cardinal" or principal feast days, or that it was written by a cardinal in the Roman curia. I argue that the origins of the title "Cardinalis" are in reference to its genesis as a two-voice composition. Ten manuscripts from the 14th and 15th centuries preserve two-voice versions of the Credo "Cardinalis," and each manuscript preserves a different second voice. Though the melody itself appears in the 14th century, the use of the title "Credo Cardinalis" is recorded only around 1480.  The earliest secure reference to the title is from Gaffurius' Practica Musicae (1480-3, rev. 1496); Petrucci used the title in the 1505 Fragmenta, and later 16th-century theoreticians continued the convention. 

The name is likely in reference to a note shape discussed by theorists called a "cardinalis." The "cardinalis" is attested to by 14th and 15th century theorists, including Anonymus X and XII, as a note shape or appendage to a note that changes its value, but these theorists do not consistently use the same description and definition of what the "cardinalis" is. The lack of specificity in its definition is perhaps due to its rarity and inconsistent use. This note shape, though not found in manuscripts containing the Credo Cardinalis, was apparently used to coordinate two voices.  

Harrison Russin
St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
University of Queensland
St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Michigan State University
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