Petre/Lugentium à 4!

Philippe de Vitry’s biggest motet, the 250-breve Petre/Lugentium, got even bigger when a tenor-contratenor voice pair for the motet came to light in a parchment fragment unglued from a binding. Here it is, courtesy of the Stadtbibliothek Aachen, where it lives:

Beis_E14_02r

A fragment of Philippe de Vitry’s motet Petre/Lugentium surviving in Aachen Beis E 14, fol.(2)r (photo courtesy of the Stadtbibliothek Aachen)

I first ran into this source c. 2013 in a 2001 publication by Joachim Lüdtke.[1] In an article just released online by Early Music (and which you can read for free by following this link—thanks OUP!) I evaluate its significance for our understanding of Vitry, especially of his motets Petre/Lugentium and Phi millies/O creator.

Petre/Lugentium was composed by Vitry in December 1342 in honor of Pierre Roger (1291–1352) in his first year as Pope Clement VI. It is an amazing motet with spectacular hockets, made only more spectacular now by the participation of two lower voices. To supplement the article I have made two new editions of it that incorporate the information that can be gleaned from this badly rubbed but ultimately legible fragment:

Continue reading

I am a “materia” girl

New publication: Anna Zayaruznaya, “Materia matters: Reconstructing Colla/Bona” in A Critical Companion to Medieval Motets, ed. Jared Hartt, 287–99. Boydell and Brewer, 2018.

This summer saw the publication by Boydell and Brewer of the very attractive Critical Companion to Medieval Motets edited by Jared Hartt. I was invited to contribute an analytical case study and after some deliberation (so many motets, so little time) I decided to write about Philippe de Vitry’s Colla iugo subdere/Bona condit cetera. This is one of Vitry’s most widely transmitted motets, surviving in at least ten sources and cited as an example in the ars vetus et nova treatise complex. Andrew Wathey briefly discussed the texts in 2005, revealing them to be chock full of little quotations, possibly pulled together from a florilegium. But Colla/Bona has not been the object of a dedicated analysis.

Continue reading

Read Panna’s new book for free!

Upper voice coverThis morning I got some surprising and very welcome news about my book Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars nova Motet, which was technically released last month by Routledge. Thanks to a partnership with ReadCube, the entire book is available online, without strings and without login. You can’t download it, but you can read it in full for the next 60 days by clicking here!

The representative from the press wrote: “Those you share the links with will be able to read the full book online and there are no restrictions on how many people you can send the link to” (emphasis original). So please help me spread the word!

I won’t say much about what the book is about—I think the title pretty much says it all. This is not interdisciplinary medieval studies work like my first, and it’s also much shorter than The Monstrous New Art. It presents a pretty straightforward thesis about how the outcomes of music analysis and interpretation can differ depending on the analyst’s point of departure. There is also much more music theory here than in my previous book:  the biggest takeaway on that front concerns the terms “color” and “talea,” which come out of the book meaning something a bit different from what we have tended to think.

I say that Upper-Voice Structures and Compositional Process in the Ars nova Motet was “technically published” because it hit a bit of a snag in production:

At least they got my last name right!

This issue is getting worked out and a new print run is in the works. But even once out it will be expensive, so I hope this ReadCube thing helps mitigate that somewhat. If you do read it, let me know what you think!

Much Ado about Variants

New article post: Anna Zayaruznaya, “Evidence of Reworkings in ars nova Motets,” Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis 38 (2014, published 2018): 155–75.

 

Conferences on wide-open themes often sound to me like a thing better in the imagining than in the doing (let’s have a conference on “the feline”! A session on the number 3?), but there’s no way this article would ever have come about if I hadn’t been invited to participate in a symposium on the theme of “Reworkings” (subtitle “Musical re-Elaboration and Cultural Context”) organized by Pedro Memelsdorff in November 2014 at the Schola Cantorum in Basel. Granted, “reworkings” is more specific than cats (if less cuddly), and I learned that an invitation like that is really a question in disguise. What can you say within your domain of expertise and interest about the topic of [conference theme]? I had never thought much about whether or to what extent the repertory I work on had been subject to reworkings. Which is not to say that there isn’t important work on added contratenors and triplum voices added to motets and songs. But there’s also a prevalent rhetoric about the “inessential” qualities of these added voices. As for motets surviving in various systems of notation, we tend to think of these not as reworked, but only renotated, leaving the “essential” elements of pitch, rhythm, and vertical sonority left untouched. That may or may not be right, but even so: motets are remarkably textually stable, mutatis mutandis.

Continue reading