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Peraino, Judith Ann

New Music, Notions of Genre, and the "Manuscrit du Roi" circa 1300

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1995
(jperaino@violet.berkeley.edu)

This dissertation considers thirty-seven unique monophonic pieces recorded in mensural notation by ten different scribes to the thirteenth-century chansonnier Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale fr.844. Ironically, what relates these added pieces to one another is their lack of relation to the genres, notation, and format of the original corpus, which includes both monophonic songs and polyphonic motets. The purpose of this dissertation is to gain an understanding of the musical impetus that lay behind the recording of these thirty-seven idiosyncratic examples of mensural monophony in an elaborate chansonnier, and to use that understanding to evaluate present-day ideas about thirteenth- and fourteenth-century notions of genre.

Chapter One examines present-day formulations of medieval lyrical genres and compares these with thirteenth- and fourteenth-century writings about genre. Chapters Two through Seven direct the discussion to the additions themselves. These chapters examine issues of handwriting, notation, and form, and propose a range of models and experiences that influenced the various scribes in their act of composition or recording. The additions document both the musical imagination and the musical experiences of the scribes who wrote them into the manuscript. The final chapter explores what these additions tell us about the various echelons of medieval musical culture.