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«“SINGING TO ANOTHER TUNE”: CONTRAFACTURE AND ATTRIBUTION IN TROUBADOUR SONG DISSERTATION Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for ...»

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“SINGING TO ANOTHER TUNE”:

CONTRAFACTURE AND ATTRIBUTION IN TROUBADOUR SONG

DISSERTATION

Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the

Graduate School of The Ohio State University

By

Billee A. Bonse, M.A.

*****

The Ohio State University

Dissertation Committee:

Approved by Professor Charles M. Atkinson, Adviser Professor Graeme Boone Adviser Professor Margaret Switten School of Music Professor Karen Winstead Copyright by Billee A. Bonse ABSTRACT This study borrows the quotation in its title, “Singing to another tune,” from Las Leys d’amors (The Laws of Love), a poetic treatise compiled by Guilhem Molinier in the first half of the fourteenth century. Guilhem’s phrase pertains to a compositional technique known to modern scholars as contrafacture, in which the troubadour fashions new lyrics after the poetic structure of a preexistent song, thereby allowing his work to be sung to that earlier melody. The technique of contrafacture is documented not only by Guilhem and other contemporaneous theorists, but also by the troubadours themselves, who on a number of occasions acknowledge composing a poem “el so de,” or “to the tune of” another composer. Both theory and practice demonstrate that structural imitation came to be most closely associated with several specific genres—including the sirventes (moralizing piece), tenso (debate song), coblas (song of few strophes), and planh (lament)—whose poetic structures were commonly modeled after those of the canso, the dominant genre of troubadour composition.

Despite abundant structural indications of contrafacture within the troubadour repertoire, melodic traces of the practice are surprisingly scant. Confirmation of melodic borrowing depends upon the preservation of a model and its contrafactum with their concordant musical readings, yet the small proportion of surviving troubadour melodies ii (with only one in ten lyric texts transmitted with its tune) poses a significant impediment to melodic corroboration. Only three sirventes have been preserved with melodies that duplicate those of preexistent cansos. In the remaining instances in which a sirventes, tenso, or other imitative type is preserved with a melodic unicum, scholars of troubadour song have tended to maintain that, absent melodic corroboration, the tune must be presumed original rather than borrowed. In view of the sparseness of the musical record, however, one should give consideration to an alternate interpretation, namely that the tune preserved exclusively with a given troubadour’s sirventes and thereafter transmitted as his invention may actually have been borrowed from a preexistent canso whose melody is no longer extant in its original setting.

Isolating viable structural models for such suspected contrafacta allows the possibility of reascribing potentially borrowed melodies to their original composers. The study of contrafacture can thus lead us to question the received attributions of a number of tunes, thereby posing a challenge to the readily made assumption that the manuscript rubrics consistently pertain to both text and melody.

By examining several suspected cases of contrafacture within a web of relevant indices—e.g., generic norms, intertextual correlations, socio-historic context, rhetorical motivation, transmission, and melodic style—we shall gain greater insight into a compositional technique that indelibly marked the art of the troubadours.

–  –  –

I wish to thank first and foremost my adviser, Charles M. Atkinson for his keen insights, meticulous readings, and continual enthusiasm throughout the many stages of this study. I also extend my gratitude to Professors Graeme Boone and Karen Winstead for providing me with their constructive comments regarding both the style and content of my document. My most sincere thanks are due to Margaret L. Switten for her gracious willingness to participate as a member of my dissertation committee; her expertise has proven invaluable to me in the refinement of both my methodology and argumentation.

I would also like to thank the entire faculty and staff of the Department of Musicology for providing me with a supportive environment throughout my graduate career at The Ohio State University.

This dissertation would not have been possible without the generous financial support of several parties: The Société Générale, whose year-long fellowship allowed me to pursue valuable research in Paris; Jack and Zoe Johnstone, whose generous award has helped me to cover numerous travel and research expenses during the past year; and finally, the Graduate School of The Ohio State University, whose Presidential Fellowship has allowed me to dedicate the past year to the writing of my dissertation.

Finally, I offer my most heartfelt appreciation to my family and friends for their untiring encouragement throughout this process.

–  –  –

B. Thirteenth-century pieces designated as vers by their authors and their categorization in István Frank’s Répertoire métrique.................... 258 C. The evolution in the meaning of the term vers (circa 1100 – 1220).......... 260

–  –  –





2.1 The sixteen genres as ordered in De doctrina de compondre dictats and their incidence in the troubadour repertoire.................35

2.2 Revision from Leys A to Leys C in the internal ordering of the principal genres, reflecting their ultimate worth in the Jeux floraux....... 63

–  –  –

3.2 Illustration of the shared strophic structure of Bertran de Born’s Mon chan fenis ab dol et ab maltraire (PC 80.26) and Peire Cardenal’s Aissi com hom plainh son fill o son paire (PC 335.2)........ 83

4.1 Peire Cardenal, Un sirventes novel vueill comensar (PC 335.67)........105

–  –  –

5.1 Bertran de Born, Pois als baros enoia en lur pesa (PC 80.33)........... 128

5.2 Bertran de Born, Ai Lemozis, francha terra cortesa (PC 80.1).......... 129

5.3 Conon de Béthune, Mout me semont Amors ke je m’envoise (R 1837)....130

5.4 Jehan Erart, Nus chanters mais le mien cuer ne leeche (R 485)......... 147

5.5 Synoptic transcription of the three melodic variants set to Conon de Béthune’s Mout me semont Amors ke je m’envoise and Jehan Erart’s Nus chanters mais le mien cuer ne leeche............... 152

–  –  –

5.7 A phrase-by-phrase analysis of the melodic variant preserved with Jehan Erart’s Nus chanters mais mon cuer ne leeche............. 157

–  –  –

6.1 The text and melody of the first strophe of S’ie.us quier consseill, bell’ami’Alamanda (PC 242.69), transmitted under Giraut de Borneil’s rubric (Paris Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 22543, fol. 8r, detail).......................................... 168

–  –  –

For descriptions of the MSS and bibliographical information, see Alfred Pillet and Henry Carstens,eds., Bibliographie der Troubadours (Halle: Niemeyer, 1933), x-xxxv.

A Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, latini 5232 B Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 1592 C Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 856 D Modena, Biblioteca Nazionale Estense, Estero 45 (Alpha R.4.4), ff. 1-151 Dc Modena, Biblioteca Nazionale Estense, Estero 45 (Alpha R.4.4), ff. 243-60 E Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 1749 F Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigiani L.IV.106 G Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, R 71 superiore H Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, latini 3207 I Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 854 K Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 12473 N New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 819 N2 Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Phillipps 1910 Q Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 2909 R Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 22543 Sg Barcelona, Biblioteca de Cataluña, 146 T Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 15211 U Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 41.43 V Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 278 (fr. App. cod. XI) Ve.Ag Barcelona, Biblioteca de l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans W Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 844 [= Trouvère MS M] a Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 2814 d Modena, Biblioteca Nazionale Estense [Appendix to MS D, ff. 262-346] e Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barberiniani 3965 f Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 12472 Quotations in Giovanni Maria Barbieri [Published as Dell’origine della poesia κ rimata, ed. Girolamo Tiraboschi (Modena: Società Tipografica, 1790)]

–  –  –

For descriptions of the MSS and bibliographical information, see Alfred Jeanroy, Bibliographie sommaire des chansonniers français du moyen âge. 1918. Reprint, New York: Burt Franklin, 1971.

M Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 844 [= Troubadour MS W] T Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 12615 e Metz, Archives de la Moselle [fragment] U Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds français 20050

–  –  –

All translations of Old Occitan and Old Catalan texts are mine unless otherwise indicated. In my translations I have attempted to remain as faithful as possible to the original texts, even when this has meant preserving repetitions and subordinators that, while perhaps seemingly unnecessary in English, are nevertheless crucial to revealing the intense inner logic of the texts at hand. Moreover, aware that the very act of translation runs the risk of slighting the semantic complexity of the troubadours’ language, I have tried to remain sensitive to rendering the numerous multivalent terms of Old Occitan into their most valid English equivalents.

–  –  –

This study borrows the quotation in its title, “Singing to another tune,” from Las Leys d’amors (The Laws of Love), a poetic treatise compiled by Guilhem Molinier in the first half of the fourteenth century.1 Guilhem’s phrase pertains to a compositional technique known to modern scholars as contrafacture, in which the troubadour fashions new lyrics after the poetic structure of a preexistent song, thereby allowing his work to be sung to that earlier melody. The technique of contrafacture is documented not only by Guilhem and other contemporaneous theorists, but also by the troubadours themselves, who on a number of occasions acknowledge composing a poem “el so de,” or “to the tune of” another composer.2 Both theory and practice demonstrate that structural imitation came to be most closely associated with several specific genres—including the sirventes The expression in Old Occitan reads: “En autru so cantar.” Guilhem’s treatise has been edited and translated into French by Adolphe-F. Gatien-Arnoult, Las Flors del gay saber, estier dichas Las Leys d’amors, 3 vols., Monumens de la littérature romane, 1-3 (Toulouse: J.-B. Paya, 1841-43), 1:360.

Several instances of this expression will be identified in Chapter 6; two instances of the scribal usage of this same expression will also be discussed (see below within the present chapter as well as Chapter 3).

(moralizing piece), tenso (debate song), coblas (song of few strophes), and planh (lament)—whose poetic structures were commonly modeled after those of the canso, the dominant genre of troubadour composition.3 Despite abundant structural indications of contrafacture within the troubadour repertoire, melodic traces of the practice are surprisingly scant. Confirmation of melodic borrowing depends upon the preservation of both a model and its contrafactum with concordant musical readings, yet the small proportion of surviving troubadour melodies (with only one in ten lyric texts transmitted with its tune) poses a significant impediment to melodic corroboration. In fact, only three sirventes have been preserved with melodies that duplicate those of preexistent cansos (see below, Figure 1.1). In the remaining instances in which a sirventes, tenso, or other imitative type is preserved with a melodic unicum, scholars of troubadour song have tended to maintain that, absent melodic corroboration, the tune must be presumed original rather than borrowed. In view of the sparseness of the musical record, however, one should give equal consideration to an alternate interpretation, namely that the tune preserved exclusively with a given troubadour’s sirventes and thereafter transmitted as his invention may actually have been borrowed from a preexistent canso whose melody is no longer extant in its original setting.

Isolating viable textual models for suspected contrafacta opens up the possibility of reascribing potentially borrowed melodies to their original composers. The study of For the reader’s reference, frequently used terms in Old Occitan have been provided with definitions in the Glossary, found as Appendix A.

contrafacture can thus lead us to question the received attributions of a number of tunes, thereby posing a challenge to the readily made assumption that the manuscript rubrics were consistently intended to pertain to both text and melody.4 In this study we shall examine several suspected cases of contrafacture within a web of relevant indices—e.g., generic norms, intertextual correlations, socio-historic context, rhetorical motivation, transmission, and melodic style—thereby gaining significant insights into a compositional technique that indelibly marked the art of the troubadours.



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