A Late Medieval Songbook and its Context: New Perspectives on the Chantilly Codex
(Bibliothèque du Château de Chantilly, Ms 564)
Edited by Yolanda Plumley and Anne Stone
Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, 2009
Collection Épitome musical
ISBN 978-2-503-51598-4, 366 pages, 190 x 290
Most of the essays collected in this volume had their origins in a conference entitled Nouveaux regards sur le manuscript 564 de Chantilly / New Perspectives on the Chantilly Codex held on 13-15 September 2001 in Tours, under the auspices of the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Université François Rabelais / Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique). The conference was the last in a series of meetings held that week marking the tenth anniversary of the musical research branch, Programme Ricarcar. The idea to hold the conference had emerged in 1999 as we ourselves embarked on a collaborative project on this most fascinating of music sources from the late Middle Ages. Our own extended scrutiny of the codex and its contents, which has culminated in the publication of a detailed study and the first colour reproduction of the manuscript, made us keenly aware of the significance of this source and its repertory to our understanding of the history of music before 1600. The Chantilly codex is beyond doubt one of the most important sources for late medieval secular polyphony.
The contributions to this volume reveal three overlapping areas of scholarly interest that governed our choice of organization. In the volume's first section, we present new interpretations of the music and lyric repertory transmitted in the codex; in the second, discussions of issues relating to the notation of the musical works, particularly those in Ars subtilior style; and in the third, essays that take on questions relating to provenance of the source and its contents, and that explore relationships between this fascinating codex and other music manuscripts from the period.