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Teachers, booksellers and taxes: reinvestigating the life and activities of Johannes de Garlandia1

  • Pamela Whitcomb


Johannes de Garlandia is one of the most important theorists of measurable music during the thirteenth century, yet the study of his writings has always been frustrated by a problematic biographical situation. Not only is the history of manuscript transmission and attribution regarding Johannes de Garlandia's writings complicated, but both Johannes and de Garlandia were popular and common names in medieval Paris, where the theorist is thought to have lived.



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1 An earlier version of this paper was read at the Spring meeting of the Southwest chapter of the American Musicological Society in April 1996.

2 Yudkin, Jeremy, De Musica Mensurata: The Anonymous of St. Emmeram (Bloomington, 1990), 35, n. 70.

3 The manuscript prefaces the beginning of Johannes de Garlandia's positio with Sed quoniam defectuosa est, ideo positionem, quae Johannis de Garlandia est, subvectimus. The treatise begins with Habito, inquit Johannes, de cognitione planae musicae, and Jerome closes the treatise Haec positio Johannis dicti de Garlandia de musica mensurabili. See Cserba, Simon M., Hieronymus de Moravia O. P.: Tractatus de Musica (Regensburg, 1935), 194 and 229.

4 Latin edition with French translation in Reaney, Gilbert, Gilles, Andre and Maillard, Jean, eds., Philippi de Vitriaco: Ars nova (Rome, 1964), chs. 113. English translation in Leon Plantinga, Philippe de Vitry's Ars nova: A Translation, Journal of Music Theory, 5 (1961), 20423.

5 Latin edition in de Coussemaker, Edmond, ed., Scriptorum de musica medii aevi nova series (Paris, 1864; reprint Hildesheim, 1963), I: 15775.

6 Reimer, Erich, Johannes de Garlandia: De Mensurabili Musica (Wiesbaden, 1972), 12 and 17.

7 Waite, William, Johannes de Garlandia, Poet and Musician, Speculum, 35 (1960), 17995.

8 Reimer, , Johannes de Garlandia, 16; Rasch, Rudolf A., Johannes de Garlandia en de ontwikkeling van de voor-Franconische notatie (Brooklyn, NY: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1969), 92.

9 Coussemaker, Scriptorum, I: x.

10 Baltzer, Rebecca A., Johannes de Garlandia, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Sadie, Stanley (London, 1980), IX: 6624, see esp. 662.

11 Anderson, Gordon A., The Notation of the Bamberg and Las Huelgas Manuscripts, Musica Disciplina, 32 (1978), 1967, see esp. 456.

12 Yudkin, Jeremy, Notre Dame Theory: A Study of Terminology, Including a New Translation of the Music Treatise of Anonymous IV, Ph.D. diss., Stanford University (1982), 2328.

13 Huglo, Michel, Bibliographic des ditions et tudes relatives la thorie musicale du Moyen Age (19721987), Acta musicologica, 60 (1988), 22972, see esp. 257.

14 A statute of the Arts Faculty of the University of Paris dated 19 March 1255 codifies new curriculum standards. See Isaac, Jean, Le Peri hermeneias en Occident, de Boce saint Thomas d'Aauin. Histoire littraire d'un trait d'Aristote, Bibliothque thomiste 29 (Paris, 1953), 36, and the discussion of the music curriculum by Huglo, Michel, The Study of Ancient Sources of Music Theory in the Medieval Universities, in Music Theory and Its Sources: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. Barbera, Andre (Notre Dame, 1990), 15072.

15 Yudkin, Jeremy, The Influence of Aristotle on French University Music Texts, in Music Theory and Its Sources: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 17389, see esp. 1819.

16 Pinegar, Sandra, Textual and Conceptual Relationships Among Theoretical Writings on Measurable Music of the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Centuries, Ph.D. diss., Columbia University (1991), 102.

17 ibid., 99100. Her reference to Johannes de Burgundia comes from another portion of Jerome's Tractatus, the beginning of Franco of Cologne's treatise, where he says Hanc declarans subsequitur positio tertia, Johannis videlicet de Burgundia, ut ex ore ipsius audivimus, vel secondum vulgarem opinionem Franconis de Colonia, que talis est. Pinegar translates this as This declared, there follows the third proposition of Johannes - namely Johannes of Burgundy - since we have heard it from his mouth, but according to common opinion, such as it is, of Franco of Cologne. See ibid., 98, n. 124, and Cserba, Hieronymus de Moravia, 22930.

18 Pinegar, Textual and Conceptual Relationships, 10002. James McKinnon refers to Pinegar's revised biography of Johannes de Garlandia in his introductory remarks to the excerpt in English from De musica mensurabili in Strunk's Source Readings in Music History. II: The Early Christian Period and the Latin Middle Ages, ed. James McKinnon (New York, 1998), 113.

19 Many of the documents to be discussed below were examined by Rasch, but he considers them only as part of his argument that John of Garland the grammarian and poet was not also the music theorist. He is not concerned with these citations as evidence about the music theorist himself. See Rasch, Johannes de Garlandia, 1304.

20 Michalsson, Karl, Le Livre de la taille de Paris, I'an 1296, Romanica Gothoburgensia 7 (Gteborg, 1958), 229.

21 Michalsson, Karl, Le Livre de la taille de Paris, I'an 1297, Romanica Gothoburgensia 9 (Gteborg, 1962), 211.

22 The 1299 and 1300 tax records have not been edited or published. See Rouse, Mary A. and Rouse, Richard H., Authentic Witnesses: Approaches to Medieval Texts and Manuscripts (Notre Dame, 1991), 3323.

23 ibid., 259336.

24 ibid., 2603.

25 ibid., 2623.

26 Pollard, Graham, The Pecia System in the Medieval Universities, in Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts, and Libraries: Essays presented to N. R. Ker., ed. Parkes, Malcom B. and Watson, Andrew G. (London, 1978), 14561, see esp. 153.

27 Rouse, and Rouse, , Authentic Witnesses, 25972.

28 Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, ed. Denifle, Heinrich and Chatelain, Andre (Paris, 1889 1897), II: 180.

29 ibid., 192.

30 ibid., 273.

31 Glorieux, Palemon, Aux Origines de la Sorbone: II: Le Cartulaire (Paris, 1965), 540.

32 Destrez, Jean, Exemplaria universitaires des XHIe et XlVe sicles, with introduction by M. D. Chenu, Scriptorium, 7 (1953), 6880.

33 Pinegar, Textual and Conceptual Relationships, 2401.

34 ibid., 242. The inscription reads: Iste liber est pauperum magistrorum de Sorbonna ex legato Magistri Petri de Lemovicis quondam socii domus huius, in quo continetur musica fratris Jeronimi. Pretii XX. s(olidorum). Incathenabitur in capella. 64us inter quadruviales. By 1338, it had been moved to the larger of the two libraries of the Sorbonne. The inventory made in that year lists Musica fratris Jeronimi on the twentieth shelf (shelf V, since the shelves were marked with letters), and on the list of books dealing with the quadrivium it was given the shelfmark V.g. See Delisle, Leopold, Le Cabinet des Manuscrits de la Bibliothque Nationale (Paris, 1881), III: 77 and 90.

35 These individual oaths date from the years 131454. See Rouse and Rouse, Authentic Witnesses, 2767 and 323.

36 ibid., 267.

37 ibid., 323.

38 However, he may not have yet owned his shop in the period 128595, since he is not listed in the 1292 tax records. He still could have been involved in its production as a scribe or notator (for evidence of his skills in notation, see below) and perhaps apprentice in another shop (see Rouse and Rouse, Authentic Witnesses, 276, for evidence of other libraires who began their careers in this way). Pinegar's argument that Johannes de Garlandia was Jerome's source for the manuscript, but not its author, is strengthened by the existence of a librere of the same name. Certainly such a person would have begun to collect a substantial library of useful texts before opening his own shop.

39 Rouse and Rouse, Authentic Witnesses, 3089.

40 ibid., 282303; Rouse, Richard H. and Rouse, Mary A., The Commercial Production of Manuscript Books in Late-Thirteenth-Century and Early-Fourteenth-Century Paris, in Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence, ed. Brownrigg, Linda (Los Altos Hills, 1990), 10315.

41 Baltzer, , Johannes de Garlandia, The New Grove Dictionary, IX: 664.

42 Norwood, Patricia L. P., A Study of the Provenance and French Motets in Bamberg, Staatsbiblioteck, Lit. 115, Ph.D. diss., University of Texas at Austin (1979), 14382; eadem, Evidence Concerning the Provenance of the Bamberg Codex, Journal of Musicology, 8 (1990), 491504; eadem, Performance Manuscripts from the Thirteenth Century? College Music Society Symposium, 26 (1986), 926; Norwood also points out that the arrangement, layout and copying of the motets in the manuscript facilitates performance directly from the book.

43 Reckow, Fritz, Der Musiktraktat des Anonymus 4 (Wiesbaden, 1967), I: 978.

44 Translation from Yudkin, Jeremy, The Music Treatise of Anonymous IV: A New Translation (Hnssler-Verlag, 1985), 40; original Latin from Reckow, Der Musiktraktat, 46: et Iohannes dictus Primarius cum quibusdam aliis in maiori parte <notabant> usque in tempus magistri Franconis primi et alterius magistri Franconis de Colonia, qui inceperant in suis libris aliter pro parte notare. Qua de causa alias regulas proprias suis libris apropriatas tradiderunt.

45 Pro valore brevis sumuntur tres semibreves, vel quatuor, vel quinque, vel sex, vel septem, vel octo, vel novem, ad quas pertinet unius brevis proportio. Lefferts, Peter M., ReguleRobertus de Handlo and Summaljohannes Hanboys (Lincoln, Nebr., 1991), 11011.

46 Minimas et minoratas agnoscere oportet. Nam minor semibrevis tres minimas valet, brevis valettres minores, ergo brevis movem minimas valebit. Et formari debent ut semibreves minores, seper signum rotundum distinguntur. Lefferts, ibid.

47 Bent, Margaret, A Preliminary Assessment of the Independence of English Trecento Notations, in L'Ars Nova Haliana del Trecento IV: Atti de 3 Congresso internazionale (Certaldo, 1975), 6582.

48 Pinegar, , Textual and Conceptual Relationships, 1001.

49 Dyer, Joseph, Chant Theory and Philosophy in the Late Thirteenth Century, Cantus Planus: Papers Read at the Fourth Meeting, Pcs, Hungary, 38 September 1990 (Budapest, 1992), 99118, see esp. 107; Page, Christopher, The Owl and the Nightingale: Musical Life and Ideas in France 11001300 (Berkeley, 1989), 146.

50 Page, , The Owl and the Nightingale, 139.

51 Post ipsos et in tempore suo fuit quidam Iohannes supradictus, et continuavit modos omnium supradictorum usque ad tempus magistri Franconis Reckow, Der Musiktraktat, 50.

52 Michalsson, , Le Livre 1296, 2289.

53 idem., Le Livre 1297, 21011 and 4023.

1 An earlier version of this paper was read at the Spring meeting of the Southwest chapter of the American Musicological Society in April 1996.

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