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The song and the page: experiments with form and layout in manuscripts of medieval Latin song


The non-liturgical songs of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England were recorded, for the most part, not in dedicated song books, but on occasional pages in manuscript miscellanies. Away from the context of fully musical books, there were no fixed procedures for the layout of music, and scribes devised new approaches to layout as they worked. This article considers three Latin songs from such sources and explores the evidence for experimentation, both in scribal technique and in musical procedures, that may have contributed to their specific manuscript presentations.

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Plainsong & Medieval Music
  • ISSN: 0961-1371
  • EISSN: 1474-0087
  • URL: /core/journals/plainsong-and-medieval-music
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