Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music - Dating polyphony, making history: the Douai fragment and its motet Ferre solet

Event speakers
Manon Louviot (Utrecht University)
12 November 2020 17:00

This seminar will be held on Zoom. To register, please use this form. Please make sure to register at least a week in advance of the seminar you wish to attend. For further information about the procedure for joining, please see the series termcard.

The late fourteenth-century Douai fragment is composed of four parchment folios and contains five polyphonic pieces copied in black full mensural notation. Among these pieces, only the three-voice motet Multipliciter amando has a concordance in the Chantilly manuscript (F-CH 564). The other four pieces, two incomplete motets, a three-voice Gloria, and a complete motet, were all previously unknown to modern scholars. The complete motet Ferre solet stands out in particular because its texts conceal the name of a hitherto unknown composer and a date of composition, transforming this modest fragment into a crucial witness for understanding fourteenth-century musical culture. After introducing the source and the distinctive aspects of each piece, I will therefore focus on Ferre solet by analysing how its unique textual features are intermingled with its musical composition to fulfil the religious function of the motet.

Discussants: Michael Scott Cuthbert (MIT) and Jared C. Hartt (Oberlin College and Conservatory)