I read with special interest the article by John Haines published several years ago in Plainsong and Medieval Music on the death of Pierre Aubry (‘The ‘‘modal theory”, fencing, and the death of Aubry’, 6 , 143–50). While I thank him for clearing up the rumours of a duel with Jean Beck resulting in Aubry's death, I must admit to disappointment in having to abandon the idea that Aubry and Beck fought a duel over a musicological disagreement. Haines's conclusion that the fencing accident that resulted in Aubry's death was a ‘suicide in disguise’ is, however, untenable, whatever Aubry's state of mind at the time might have been. The fact that this theory has been repeated as fact (‘Généalogies musicologiques’, Acta Musicologica, 73 , 24) prompts the present communication.
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