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Binchois's text.

To publish a collected edition is to create a monument to an individual, by means of which his entire output becomes viewed as a totality, even a summation. Clearly, the most useful effect of such a summation is to offer, through standardization of editorial procedure, the possibility of a more rounded assessment of that individual's work than is possible from a piecemeal approach. But it also shapes our perception in other ways: the heavy tomes of the collected edition become icons to past creators who have come to be viewed as great. They are thus a key element in the cultural processes which have moulded our image of the central corpus of past works, or, in a word, of the 'canon'.

To focus such attention on an individual, however, is not without its dangers if past works are also to be understood as artefacts informed and shaped by the distinct cultures into which they were born. Hence the editor of a collected edition bears a responsibility not only to the author: he should also give some sense of how that author's works were engendered, disseminated and used in his own time. And if the works have a broader life which both enfolds and extends beyond their composer, the inner life of the readings themselves embodies far more than just authorial inspiration. To speak of the 'work' with regard to the music of Binchois's time is, in truth, to speak of a collaborative process beginning with the composer but also embracing scribes and performers. Scribes, so often characterized by modern scholarship as corrupters of the Urtext, should more accurately be viewed as the legitimate interlocutors through whose agency the work of composers habitually reached its users; and the decisions which fell to performers in the fifteenth century were both much more fundamental and more varied than we are accustomed to making today.(1) Our case here, then, is for an approach to editing based on an appreciation and contextualizing of works rather as culturally conditioned artefacts than as unmediated inspirations. It is this larger view of text, with both its internal and its external ramifications, which binds together the various parts of this study.


That some 35 years have separated the publication of a complete edition of Binchois's songs from one of his sacred music says much about the relative weight which scholarship has accorded these two areas of his output.(2) Yet it has been difficult to make a fair relative assessment of these two repertories: although most of the sacred music has been available in various editions for more than half a century and a complete transcription formed part of a doctoral dissertation now 31 years old,(3) the lack of a uniform edition has seriously retarded assessment of Binchois's activity in this sphere. Rudolf Bockholdt drew attention to the importance of the Mass music more than 30 years ago, and David Fallows's article in The New Grove set the sacred music in a rounder perspective of his work as a whole than had hitherto been attempted.(4) Yet the general view of the composer remains that of a writer of songs.

This picture is thus similar to that painted until a few years ago of one of the major figures of the next generation, Antoine Busnois.(5) Busnois's sacred works, though long acknowledged as important, have recently been revealed as much more historically significant than could hitherto have been imagined. Such a reassessment is even more vitally needed in the case of Binchois, as Philip Kaye's edition emphatically demonstrates. The size alone of this weighty volume compared with that of the slender one encompassing Wolfgang Rehm's edition of the songs confirms what embarrassingly short shrift has been accorded to such a large corpus of music by a composer recognized as one of the most important musical figures of the early fifteenth century. Increasing familiarity with its contents only deepens the embarrassment: there is music here, particularly among the Mass settings, of a quality which, at least to modern ears, is striking.

We owe a significant debt to Philip Kaye for his industry and care in assembling this large collection and thus opening up one of the great neglected territories of late medieval music. If our comments are critical, this is to no small extent a response to the importance of this music, an importance which the publication of the edition itself has done so much to reveal. But such a repertory demands an edition of the most exacting standards. This must derive from carefully conceived editorial premisses reflecting a maximum sensitivity both to the contemporary significance and to the historical location of the music itself and, more specifically, of its surviving readings. Clearly it would be unreasonable to expect any edition to include a comprehensive stylistic and contextual study of so large a corpus of music with so limited a tradition of secondary literature: this is a task for future scholarship now that the music is easily accessible. But the perfunctory introduction and sketchy critical notes offered here are surely insufficient for a volume of this size and importance. Kaye remarks in his introduction (p. vii) that 'the Mass pairs and individual Mass movements together show Binchois as an adventurous composer of ingenious means, well able to construct larger-scale pieces far removed from the secular world of the rondeau and ballade'. Yet he says nothing about what these means are, or about how Binchois's Mass music relates either to other Mass music of the period or to his other sacred works. This is a pity, for herein lies the twofold crux which explains why Binchois's sacred music has languished in obscurity for so long. To unravel this is to begin the processes of placing this repertory in its proper contexts and of uncovering its particular significance.

First, those who have paid any attention to Binchois's sacred music in the past have usually been struck by the large proportion of simple service music, an impression formed partly, as Kaye remarks, as a result of the emphasis placed on such music by Jeanne Marix.(6) And second, as Bockholdt observed in 1960,(7) interest in the Ordinary settings has suffered because of their lack of complete cycles. There is no doubt that there is an unambiguous distinction to be drawn between Binchois's compositions for the Mass, plus motets and other works, on the one hand, and those for the Office (mainly Vespers) on the other. While the former frequently demonstrate considerable musical sophistication, the latter are generally much more prosaic. This reflects a distinction of general relevance for the sacred music of this period: Vespers polyphony was not perceived as a forum for high invention, a fact attested to by the longevity of much of it in the manuscripts, while works in other genres which were more complex - and presumably more vulnerable to fashion - tended to lose their currency much more quickly. This basic distinction of genre, of vital importance to an understanding of how Binchois's works relate to his working environment, would have been clear immediately had Kaye's edition been ordered by liturgical category and not - as is actually the case for all but the Mass music and the Magnificats - alphabetically.(8) Here is a salutary reminder of the way in which the very uniformity of presentation affording a complete perspective on an author's output can at the same time paradoxically obscure vital differences between distinct areas of activity.

The preoccupation of modern scholarship with the emergence and evolution of the cyclic Mass is attested to by the various attempts that have been made to detect cycles scattered across the surviving corpus of single movements and pairs by Binchois.(9) But in truth, none of these proposed cycles manages to convince even within the ill-defined criteria of cyclic 'unity' encompassed by examples of the 1420s and '30s supported by contemporary groupings. Binchois's Mass movements are too closely bound up with the various text forms - and frequently also the chant forms - of the Ordinary to be conducive to the types of overarching repetitions which have generally been the focus of writers searching for evidence of 'unifying' procedures. This is not to say that shared material is not a feature of Binchois's Mass movements and pairs: rather, the types of material shared and their application differ from those which have tended to concern modern commentators. Although Binchois's Mass writing fails to fit snugly into the teleology conventionally mapped out for the Mass cycle, a number of his single movements and pairs nonetheless embody widespread local repetitions of rhythmic, melodic and contrapuntal material. If a thorough investigation of such procedures was beyond the scope of a critical edition, some awareness of and brief comment on them surely were not: they are integral to the idiom within which Binchois was working and, perhaps more important, display a stylistic tendency which may ultimately be seen to be of considerable significance for the spread of cyclic procedures.

Yet if such procedures strike the modern ear as expressions of musical 'unity', this does not necessarily help us to infer how they may reflect Binchois's compositional processes, much less to rationalize what they may have meant in his own working environment.(10) Such enquiries would clearly demand an exploration of contemporary epistemology and cultural practice of a scope which would go far beyond that of a critical edition. But if these questions cannot easily be answered, they could perhaps have been raised, and in some specific cases reasonable scenarios could have been advanced to explain the particular forms in which individual works have come down to us, without creating an inappropriate imbalance between critical commentary and edition.

A case in point concerns the Gloria-Credo pair numbered 1(a) and (b) and the Credo 'aversi', No. 19. Kaye, following Bockholdt, comments that the pairing, in three sources, of Gloria 1(a) and Credo 19 is erroneous, and prefers the stylistically much clearer coupling of movements 1(a) and (b) - principally by common mensural and textural layout - found only in Cambrai, Bibliotheque Municipale, MS 6. However, as Liane Curtis has observed, transmission patterns suggest that this more obvious pairing was in fact the result of a later revision, and that the earlier pairing was indeed between Gloria 1(a) and Credo 19. Curtis surmises that Credo 1(b) was a later work composed by Binchois specifically for Cambrai Cathedral to correspond more closely to Gloria 1(a).(11) Certainly the three movements show strong stylistic similarities, reinforcing the impression made by their shared use of the unusual low-clef combination C4-F4-F4 that their composition was linked in some way.(12)

The situation is further complicated by the existence of Credo 19 in two different versions. Three readings (in Bologna Q15, Oxford 213 and Cambrai 11)(13) conclude with a huge Amen which extends the work to enormous length; indeed, but for the three-voice Te Deum and the psalm 'In exitu Israel', both set to very long texts and cast in Binchois's most workaday mould, the Credo in this recension is his longest work in any medium. Only the version in Trent, Museo Provinciale d'Arte, Castello del Buon Consiglio, MS 92 has a more conventionally proportioned Amen, which lacks the final 27 bars of Kaye's transcription. There can be little doubt that the Trent 92 version was the earlier one: first, it ends, perfectly plausibly, on an F cadence with a caesura in all parts; and second, it is succeeded in the longer version by a canon of an extension otherwise unknown in Binchois's output and based on a sequential figure which is absent from the rest of a piece whose motivic content is otherwise highly consistent. The extended Amen could therefore constitute a later adaptation by the composer of a movement already completed in a different guise. However, it could as easily have been added at some stage in the Credo's transmission by a scribe, and the most obvious figure in such a scenario, on the basis of his demonstrably similar reworkings of other pieces, must be the scribe of Bologna Q15.(14) On the evidence of this scribe's activity elsewhere, even the more integrated material which succeeds the canonic passage would not have been beyond him.

These are just two of the various cases of adaptation and mixing-and-matching which litter Binchois's sacred output. In some cases, such divergences can offer insights into the compositional processes which resulted in the variant forms of the works concerned, or can at least reveal the sequence in which the different versions appeared. Such cases include the two versions of the 'Asperges me'(15) and the two pieces, Sanctus 6(a) and Credo 18, which have partial concordances in two English works neither of which, incidentally, is discussed or listed by Kaye.(16) These latter concordances, of course, are parts of the variegated puzzle of Binchois's relationship with England and English practices. While both Parris and Fallows have pointed out the close stylistic connections between the Binchois Sanctus, its paired Agnus and the Kyrie 'Feriale', No. 13, Fallows has further posited a family relationship between all three movements and the three movements of the ferial cycle in Egerton 3307.(17) Whatever the parallels between these two groupings, however, they do not extend to liturgy: while the Egerton grouping seems rooted in the ferial chants of Sarum, the Binchois movements are closer to their counterparts from the Use of Notre Dame of Paris.(18) The latter is clearly to be expected given the well-documented adherence of the Burgundian court to the Paris liturgy.(19) Indeed, we might reasonably expect Binchois's sacred output to reveal a widespread adherence to the Use observed by his long-time lords and masters. Unfortunately, though, the situation is not that simple: although some paraphrased cantus firmi do in fact, like those just discussed, appear close to Paris, others, such as that in Sanctus 8, seem closer to Sarum, while others more closely resemble the Roman Use. Still others, such as the Sanctus - Agnus pair No. 7, are based on melodies for which no counterparts have yet been found. But this serves only to illustrate how little we still know about Binchois's chant sources and the range of liturgies within which he worked.(20)

The absence of the types of perspective outlined above is symptomatic of a general shortcoming in Kaye's edition: its virtual avoidance of the hermeneutical questions which are essential if the music is to be reimbued with some sense of the culture which brought it into being and which hence, in turn, could help to bring it more vividly to life for a modern public. The same tendency reveals itself in the policy towards the two motets, 'Domitor Hectoris' and 'Nove cantum melodie'. While the translation of the text of the former contains inaccuracies, that of the second is seriously garbled and incomplete. Nor is there any attempt at textual exegesis in either case. This is a pity, for the 'Domitor Hectoris' text in particular is wrought with great elegance and offers a fascinating insight into the literary and theological thought of Binchois's working milieu. Its significance extends beyond this, moreover, by adding colour to the larger canvas of the Burgundian court's self-image as the inheritor, and even mystical re-creator, of a classical heritage viewed through a Christian prism. Both texts are newly translated and placed in context below.

In a similar vein, as the only isorhythmic (in fact, virtually pan-isorhythmic) motet in Binchois's output, it would have been valuable for users of the edition to have been given some brief indication of how 'Nove cantum melodie' relates to works in the same genre by Binchois's more celebrated motet-writing contemporaries. The work entirely lacks the self-conscious technical ostentation of contemporary works in the same genre by Dufay and others, being cast in an altogether more sombre and euphonious idiom. Like the similarly modest 'Domitor Hectoris', it clearly raises the question of how styles used for the now largely lost early fifteenth-century motet tradition in the North, and more particularly in the Burgundian chapel, differed from those applied in the courts of Italy, for which, through the historical accident of survival, most surviving motets of the period were composed.


It is a measure of the growing maturity of the early-music movement that performers are increasingly confident about altering the details of the editions on which they base their performances. Many users of Kaye's edition will particularly feel the need for changes to his musica ficta. A somewhat misconceived interpretation of Margaret Bent's article 'Musica Recta and Musica Ficta' (Musica disciplina, xxvi (1972), 73-100) has led him to eschew sharps (ficta notes) where possible in cadential progressions in favour of flats (recta notes). The consequence of this is that cadences on A, or on D when the tenor has a flat signature, are made Phrygian, frequently resulting in bizarre tonal shifts. However, Kaye is not always consistent in this approach, as in Kyrie 11, bars 70-71 and 78-79, where two similar cadences on A are given two different treatments, the first with a B[flat] in the tenor and the second with a G[sharp] (and F[sharp]) in the superius. An analogous instance of two identical cadences on D at bars 40-41 and 45-46 of Sanctus 20 receives similarly divergent treatment, even though in the first of the pair Kaye's source gives a manuscript G[sharp] in the contratenor, forcing the superius into an unavoidable C[sharp]. However ostensibly logical Kaye's basic principle may appear within the rationale of the Guidonian hand, it is belied by the countless editorial sharps in both musical and theoretical sources of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The historical root of this apparent anomaly lies in the standard clausulae of discant theory and in the primacy within these exempla of the falling tone in the tenor. The subsemitonum principle developed in the fourteenth century was a later adornment of this fundamental tenor move, the source of whose primacy is the medieval view of the superiority of the whole tone over the semitone: while the first was associated with perfection, firmness, clarity and masculinity, the second was seen as the embodiment of imperfection, weakness, indecision and effeminacy.(21)

Having expressed such concern over this aspect of ficta, however, Kaye is often apparently unperturbed by melodic tritones (see, among many examples, those at bars 139, 220 and 269 of Credo 19).(22) Even more surprising after this concern with one aspect of medieval theory is his indifference to other fundamental aspects of mensural notation. This is apparent in the lack of the prefatory staves and incipits which could succinctly have given so much information about the original appearance of the sources. This absence of incipits also conceals the editorial nature of the added fauxbourdon parts in Nos. 34, 41, 47 and 48, whose canonical derivation would have been obvious from their lack of original notation and which here, with the additional absence of any typographical distinction between notated and unnotated parts, is hidden. The obscurity is compounded by the fact that Kaye nowhere explains to users of the volume what fauxbourdon is or how its notation differs from that of all the other works in the volume. Editorial indications of ranges would also have been a help to the many performers who will be eager to make use of the edition.

A more specific lack of information obscures the structures of a number of works. In Kyrie 14, which follows the pattern KCKK, repeat indications should have been added, following the common procedure in movements of this format, to the following effect: KI x 3, C x 3, KII x 2, KIII.(23) A similar problem afflicts the edition of Kyrie 12, whose structure follows the format KKCC. Here Kaye gives direct repeat signs for KI and CI while the paraphrased chant (from Roman Mass IX) and consequent polyphonic structure unambiguously dictate ABA formats for both sections in the pattern KI/KII/KI and CI/CII/CI; and while he rightly remarks that the final Kyrie section is missing in the two sources, his suggestion that the invocations of the first Kyrie could be repeated is wrong for the same reason: the chant for this section differs entirely from that for the first two.(24)

A similar case concerns the two versions of the setting of the Ordinary antiphon 'Asperges me'. A clearly defined liturgical sequence embraces the five sections of the 'Asperges', which correspond to the four parts of the Binchois setting plus an (indicated) final repeat of the first section.(25) The correct liturgical sequence should be: antiphon ('Asperges me'; in O), psalm verse ('Miserere mei Deus'), antiphon (in ??), doxology ('Gloria patri'), antiphon (repeat of the first section). Only one source actually follows this sequence, however, and, ironically, this is the Trent 92 reading which bizarrely and incompatibly combines the superius of the first version with the tenor and contratenor of the second. Unfortunately, though, Kaye does notuntangle the different orderings found in the other sources: in his editions of both versions, the psalm verse, which liturgically should come second, is placed at the end, and while for the first version at least he gives the ?? along with the O mensuration sign for the first section above the staves, he nowhere indicates where, or even if, the repeat should occur, merely observing in his critical commentary that the dual sign 'suggests a repeat'. Even the second sign (??) is omitted in the edition of the second version, in spite of the fact that, as Kaye notes in his commentary, this is given in Bologna Q15, by some way this version's earliest source. Of course, a confused ordering of the sections of the 'Asperges' would scarcely have presented a problem to performers for whom, as in Binchois's time, such things were second nature. But given Kaye's stated concern with the 'original' forms of the works he is editing, it is surprising that he neglects to remedy misorderings in his sources even while readily conflating their readings.

While adding text where possible to his largely textless lower voices, Kaye has sensibly refrained from the large-scale breaking of ligatures and long notes where such strategies would be the only ones available to accommodate wordy texts. In such instances he has prudently omitted underlay, advocating instead wordless vocalization. He has detailed the extent of texting given in the manuscripts in his critical commentary but not, unfortunately, in the editions themselves, where italics could have supplied the necessary information. This is a pity, for it would have been a help for performers - who will adapt underlay to suit their voices and sense of accentuation - to be able to see at a glance the extent of fifteenth-century precedence for Kaye's solutions.

Perhaps more alarming than any of the above concerns, though, are such anachronisms as the unselfconscious assertion that 'virtually all Binchois's sacred music is written in either 3/4 or 2/4' (p. ix). This direct equation of fifteenth-century mensuration- and modern time-signatures presumably explains Kaye's doggedness in barring everything in regular groups of two or three tempora, even when this flies in the face of musical accentuation. A classic instance is the first duo passage of Credo 18, where Kaye insists throughout on three tempora per bar, even though this forces two cadences, including the last, on to the second beat of the bar. This, incidentally, is one of the passages which this Credo shares with parts of the Ritson carol 'Pray for us thou prince of peace', a concordance discovered by Robert Mitchell and one of a number of recently identified sources not taken into account in Kaye's edition.(26) John Stevens's edition of this carol for Musica Britannica (iv. 95) provides a good demonstration of how in cases like this irregular bar-lines can be introduced to much better musical effect.

Finally, experienced scholars and performers will tend to see such editions as a basis which they can adapt and alter in various ways. Kaye's meticulous listing of variants will allow anyone to reconstruct any one of the copies he has melted down into his amalgam. It must be said, however, that those with access to the relevant microfilms will be more likely to work directly from the originals than from Kaye's critically undifferentiated apparatus criticus. This body of information could have been much less bewildering if it had been divided up into different types.(27)


In arriving at his readings, Kaye has collated all the sources available to him, switching freely between them in each case of divergence according to what he considers to be the superior reading. Of course, this method has enjoyed a wide currency in the editing of medieval music. The remarks which follow, therefore, are concerned primarily with the practice itself, and only secondarily with Kaye's use of it. Kaye justifies his preference for this procedure over that of 'best text' by commenting that 'It is all too easy to make an arbitrary decision' which gives 'one particular source an historical significance it does not merit'. While he does not explain his view of 'historical significance' in a case such as this, his next sentence gives us some sense of what he understands by it: 'there is no guarantee that any one of the extant versions is actually the original authoritative one'.

What is presumably meant by an 'original' and 'authoritative' text is one written by, or at least embodying the 'intentions' of, the author. But notwithstanding the growing if still tiny body of even putative authorial holographs from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the concept of 'authority' in this narrow sense is to a large degree meaningless when dealing with the musical texts of this era.(28) To speak of a dichotomy between compositional 'intention' and scribal 'corruption' or 'whim' is to misapprehend the nature of the texts of these works not just as they have come down to us but as they were used and understood by their contemporaries. In this connection, it should be remembered that fifteenth-century composers could also be scribes, whether of their own works (Busnois) or of a broader repertory (Tinctoris, Obrecht); and even when they were not noted composers themselves, they could be capable of grammatical and articulate musical adaptation (the scribe of Bologna Q15) or at least be men of musical erudition (Johannes Wiser). In other words, the distinction between 'composer' and 'scribe' was not nearly so clear-cut as modern practice might lead us to suppose, and certainly does not correspond to the dichotomy between, say, 'artist' and 'artisan'. As we have seen, scribal adaptation probably accounts for some of the different versions in which Binchois's own works have come down to us. Rather than attempting to drive an artificial wedge between 'inventors' (composers) and 'corrupters' (scribes), we should recognize, instead, that these two roles are in reality continuous and indivisible functions of the genesis of fifteenth-century works.

The notion of the work of the author/composer as autonomous creation unmediated by outside influence is, of course, a Romantic one which has come increasingly under attack from literary critics in recent years as editors not just of medieval texts but also of modern and, indeed, of Romantic authors have become more and more aware that artistic creation is necessarily and always mediated by outside influences.(29) By commenting that readings 'may be corrupt . . . for example through scribal manipulation', Kaye is applying a pejorative value-judgement to what in fact was the accepted and legitimate path by way of which music reached its consumers, just as publication is for the writers and composers of today. Clearly no one would advocate the uncritical acceptance of any copy of a fifteenth-century work to the extent of failing to correct manuscript errors (though there is plenty of room for dispute - particularly in areas such as dissonance treatment where norms had yet to be codified - over the extent of the definition of 'error' in this music). But before attempting to reconstruct the 'original' form of a fifteenth-century work we should uncover and examine the assumptions that underpin such an enterprise: first, and most obviously, that such a goal is to a significant degree realizable (it seldom is); but second, and more important, that it is the most appropriate way to interpret the surviving traces of fifteenth-century pieces and to present them for use in our own times. Our proposal here is for a perspective in which such traces are viewed not as accretions or strata to be cleared away in the search for the real 'work', but as themselves direct expressions of fifteenth-century musical practice. Seen in this light, each contemporary copy becomes a legitimate 'version' of the work concerned. Such a version, in the words of the literary scholar Hans Zeller, 'consists not of its elements but of the relationships between them';(30) in other words, each reading may be seen to have a historical integrity which is more than the sum of its parts.

None of this, of course, is in any sense to deny the value of attempts to identify and interpret scribal adaptations per se. This activity can contribute much to our understanding of the processes of change undergone by pieces during shifts in time and location and can in turn help us to understand the particular forms of works which have survived in only one copy.(31) Sometimes, as in the case of the two versions of Binchois's 'Asperges me' mentioned above, it may be possible to infer from two versions of a work which came first and how and why the revision was made. On a larger canvas, attempts to reconstruct earlier forms of works which survive only in distant transmissions can help to counteract the potentially misleading impression of international uniformity deriving from a small cluster of sources which, through the historical accident of survival, are unrepresentatively localized. In the case of the 1420s and '30s, for example, our view is unavoidably refracted to a large extent through the perceptions of the scribes of the large Veneto manuscripts which so dominate the surviving corpus of sources from that period.(32) Perhaps the most obvious example for the period in question involves the many cases in which English works have undergone identifiable transmutation - both notational and structural - in Continental copies.(33)

Clearly the different source traditions of different works allow for varying degrees of reconstruction of their earlier forms, and it is incumbent on an editor to infer from transmission patterns whatever he or she can of those forms. Such forms then become further 'versions', or at least partial versions, to be added to the patterns of transmission and adaptation mapped out by the actual surviving versions. The crux comes, though, in considering in what directions this heuristic should be orientated. The traditional model, to see each version of a work as a signpost on a retrogressive road to the Urtext, has generally been seen as much more than just one among a range of possible editorial options; rather, it has usually been assumed to be the only valid aim. Indeed, its objectives have appeared so 'natural' in the context of modern evaluations of 'composer' and 'work' that they have tacitly been endowed with universal validity, at least for Western art music. Yet far from being natural or 'pre-critical', this formulation in fact results from a confluence of ideas which are culturally highly specific. Since their convergence into axiomatic status around 1800, however, the hegemony of the 'work concept' within the Western classical tradition has been so total that it has become difficult to imagine a musical landscape without it.(34)

A serious consequence of exposing the cultural specificity of this perspective is to bring into question an editorial modus operandi which had hitherto been largely accepted as a given. As Rob Wegman remarks in a recent highly perceptive series of comments on this and related issues:

Herein lies a potent counter-argument to the oft-repeated claim that editing and textual-criticism are quintessentially positivistic activities, concerned only with establishing objective facts, and avoiding the responsibility of critical interpretation. Modern editions are in fact so deeply involved in interpretation that it is fair to call them ideological products. However, this will not be obvious if one accepts their particular ideology as self-evident truth (for instance, by insisting on their objectivity).

He also comments that this model 'can be made to serve some deeply problematic assumptions about the way musical cultures operate'. It 'cannot do justice, for instance, to historical periods in which not the fixity of tests but their interpretive potential was central, where interpretative authority resided in performance traditions not the composer, and where the distinctions between authorial and scribal revisions or recompositions were consequently irrelevant'.(35) Most controversially, of course, such realizations throw up conflicts with the very notion of the collected edition and the composer-centricity that presupposes it, at least in so far as we insist on concentrating the sole authority for fifteenth-century works in the person of the composer.

Thus besides being in most instances unattainable to any significant degree, the idea of the Urtext is in any case founded on epistemological premisses which derive from an unrealistic conception of the genesis and usage of musical artefacts in the fifteenth century.(36) Its concomitant, further, is to evaluate different versions of a work according to a sliding scale which makes a direct equation between increasingly early forms and increasing value, thus discarding later forms as mere obfuscations of the sought-for 'original'. If, by contrast, each version is viewed not just as a philological tool but as a historical document in its own right, the analysis of the different copies of a work can lift us beyond the realm of philology into the arena of cultural practice, bringing versions into relief and allowing us to assess both these copies and the conditions which gave them their own specific morphology. To pursue this method for each version in the cases of widely disseminated works would be to reveal the range of possible uses a single work could encompass. This could allow us to make valuable inferences concerning the nature and range of musical usage and, more specifically, the particular ways in which fifteenth-century perceptions of musical production may have differed from our modern concept of the musical 'work'.(37)

But the written text is in any case only part of the continuum of functions which together make up the 'authority' of a fifteenth-century work. Such texts by their nature required completion in every parameter by performers steeped and schooled in the very different performing conventions of the time. Only when this had been achieved was the 'composition' complete. Our tendency to view works as objects having an existence separate from that of their performances and scores has led us to draw a line between composition, seen as an act of creation by one individual, and performance, conceived primarily as the reproduction of the composer's 'intentions'. But convenient though it may be to divide musical activity into discrete phases of 'creativity' and 'activity', in reality there is always an overlap between them; further, the extent and profile of that overlap is intimately bound up with the particular musical culture in which a piece of music is conceived. Whereas the highly prescriptive nature of modern scores has minimized the 'creative' aspect of the performer's role, the conventions of fifteenth-century musical practice demanded of the performer a whole network of decisions which within the context of Western art music of the last 200 or so years would be seen as 'compositional'. Since the traditions within which these conventions operated have been lost, their functions now have to be reconstructed by the editor.(38) But such solutions, however well informed, are only ever the choices of one modern mind, and the editor should make it clear that other modern minds are equally free to reach their own conclusions.(39) Finally, issues of authority in the creation of fifteenth-century music clearly have implications which extend far beyond editorial policy; however, it is here where they find their primary and clearest purchase (not least in terms of their powerful effect on subsequent scholarship) and here, consequently, where they should most appropriately be first debated.


Binchois's 'Domitor Hectoris' is a three-voice motet from the Aosta manuscript (Biblioteca del Seminario Maggiore, A.I.D19, ff. [166.sup.v]-167), which is its unique source. The motet has a versified text with a regular pattern of six-syllable lines, bound together by a slightly irregular rhyme-scheme:(40)
              Domitor Hectoris,
              Paride domitus,
              Phrygiae* Telephum             *MS: frigie
              lancea pertulit
5             cruribus* intimum:             *MS: cunbus

              la esus emeruit*               *MS: emercuit
              donec resecuit
              hasta vulnusculum;
              laesi refloruit
10            ligno corpusculum.

              Prothoparens, ligni
              sauciatus* esu,                *MS: sanctiatus
              languescebat; ilium
              reparavit lignum,
15            solidavit arbor.

              Ave lignum crucis,
              libra summi ducis,
              vita, salus, via,
              iugis regni lucis
20            pande reis dia.*               *MS: dya

The subduer of Hector [i.e., Achilles], himself subdued by Paris, struck Telephus of Troy with his spear (lancea), piercing him deeply in the leg (pertulit cruribus intimum): the wounded man served out his time [i.e., remained in this state] until the [same] spear (hasta) reopened the wound, and the body of the wounded man was restored by [i.e., through contact with] the wood (lignum [= 'spear shaft', hence 'weapon']). The First Parent [i.e., Adam], wounded through having eaten of the Tree (lignum [= 'tree']), grew weak and fell into decline; the wood revived him, the Tree made him whole (reparavit lignum, solidavit arbor). Hail, wood of the Cross, the balance [which bore] our great master, [hail] our life, our salvation and our way! Spread before us sinners the divine radiance of the kingdom of perennial light.

The poem was first edited in 1948 by Guillaume de Van when he published his study of the Aosta manuscript, although he did not print a translation.(41) He plausibly suggested - though without explaining why - the emendation of cunbus to cruribus (1. 5) and of sanctiatus to sauciatus (1. 12). The past participle sauciatus is standard usage, even if the adjectival form saucius is perhaps more frequent. It seems probable that the scribal corruption to sanctiatus would have occurred by contamination from the common medieval vocabulary of holiness (sanctus, sanctificatus etc.).(42) Nevertheless, the restored reading sauciatus has a clear, straightforward sense which is germane to the interpretation of the poem. If it is taken in its usual sense of 'wounded; hurt', lines 11-13 read: 'wounded through having eaten of the tree' (i.e., the Tree of Knowledge).(43) And from here we can begin to see how this passage points us towards the linguistic key to the whole poem. On a purely literary level, the text exploits the various meanings of the word lignum that were current in the Middle Ages and would have occurred most readily to a medieval mind. Lignum, whose primary meaning is 'wood' (the material), is used to mean both 'spear' (lignum = 'rod; shaft'; hence 'spear shaft' as a synecdoche for the whole weapon) and 'tree' - a generic category embracing several more specific instances, among which we can identify: (i) the Tree of Life/Knowledge in the Garden of Eden;(44) (ii) the tree from which the Cross was made; and (iii) the Tree of Redemption, as a metonym for the Cross itself.(45) The play of meaning between these different significations of the one word lignum supplies the thread of the theological argument and informs its literary expression with a beautiful economy of statement. It is an intellectual conceit which is as elegantly wrought as it is profound in intention.

Let us examine the second half of the poem first (ll. 11-20). Man - that is, Adam, the primogenitor (Protoparens) of the human race - fell from grace because he ate from the Tree of Knowledge. He then languished, wounded in body and soul, in a state of sin, from which he was redeemed only through the Cross on which Christ died. The closeness of the conceptual relationship between cross (crux) and tree (arbor), and more specifically the interchangeability of both with the common term lignum, represents a linguistic means of underlining the symbolic parallelism between the Tree of Knowledge (symbol of the Fall) and the Cross of Christ (symbol of redemption). The common link binding them together is of course the idea of the tree and what it yields: fruit (which Adam and Eve ate) and wood (from which the Cross was made). The enactment of the redemptive plan by means of the Crucifixion transforms the idea of the tree into the symbol of the Tree of Life, through which sin and death first entered the world and by means of which they were finally overcome.

Such parallelism was a technique practised in the method of biblical exegesis that sought to stitch together the Old and New Testaments by showing how the prophecies of the Old had been fulfilled in the New, and by tracing elaborate patterns of cross-referencing among the sayings, symbols and events contained in each. The two books could then be seen to correspond in detail once these links had been revealed. Expounding the Bible in this way so as to demonstrate its unity as a document of God's engagement with the world was not only a 'learned' pursuit practised by scholars and theologians but was also one of the standard techniques employed in sermons and in the visual arts, so we may assume that the making of such connections was a mode of thought accessible and familiar to a wide range of non-clerical people. The poem of Binchois's motet embodies, in a concise and intricate verbal form, such a network of correspondences. Its very terseness draws attention to the close association in the medieval mind between the Fall and the Redemption: from the theological point of view, they were seen as integral and complementary elements of God's providential scheme. The adoration of the Cross (of which this motet is, verbally and musically, a direct expression) embodies this conceptual association of the theologians in a shared spiritual-liturgical practice, and invests the wood of the Cross with a mystical significance: indeed, the physical material (wood) becomes in effect a mystical substance, whose transformations (tree, cross, crucifix . . .) symbolize the various states or phases of the story of mankind's redeeming.(46)

Let us now look at the first half of the text (ll. 1-10). To a modern mind, the most immediately striking thing about this poem is the fact that it brings in figures from Homeric legend. Certainly, this is not for the mere pleasure of erudition and literary reference.(47) What the writer has done is to add a further layer, or dimension, to the parallelism outlined above between the Old and New Testaments. The Christian preoccupation with showing how the providential design latent in the Old Testament is worked out and fulfilled in the New is widened in scope to embrace pagan antiquity. The incident between Achilles and Telephus to which reference is made in the poem occurs not in the Iliad but in other parts of the so-called Epic Cycle, a group of verse-narratives in Greek most of which are now lost, and which were in any case unavailable in the Latin West. However, in the absence of the original texts, many of the facts and events of the Epic Cycle were known from other sources - retellings in prose, rather like heroic story-books; retellings in verse, cast in the form of the Old French romance; and works of compilation such as mythological dictionaries or compendia. It is from works of this sort that the author of Binchois's poem would have derived his knowledge of the wounding and healing of Telephus. When we look at these sources, however, we find that the particulars of the narrative were often rather different.

For example, the detail that Telephus was wounded in the leg (cruribus in line 5 of Binchois's text) appears in the Chronicle of the Trojan War by Dictys of Crete.(48) On the other hand, Dictys has Telephus healed not by the spear but by the medical arts of Achilles (who was said to have learnt his medical skills from Chiron the Centaur), so that to find the source for this motif we have to search elsewhere. According to Pauly-Wissowa,(49) the idea that the wound was healed not through the medical skill of the inflictor but by the touch of his weapon probably originated with Euripides' lost tragedy Telephos, performed in 483 BC. But our fifteenth-century author would certainly have picked up this detail from a mythological compendium, perhaps the Fabulae of Hyginus, which transmits some of the chief points of Euripides' version.(50) Hyginus does not refer to the wound being in the leg, however, so we would have to assume hypothetically that our author knew both sources or, more likely, some other single source which combined details from both versions. In fact, the most probable explanation is that he used one of the medieval reworkings (in Latin or French), or else one of the prose compilations made during the course of the fifteenth century partly in response to the interest shown by the Burgundian court in 'romance' versions of ancient stories, although refashioning of this kind had been commonly practised from the mid twelfth century onwards.(51) The nine inventories of the ducal library drawn up during the course of the century date from the period 1404-1504,(52) and among these, that of 1420 lists one manuscript containing a large-scale history of Troy, while that of 1467 lists as many as seventeen containing Trojan material.(53)

The practice of anthologizing was a common one in the Middle Ages, and one of the classical authors subjected to this treatment was Ovid, who, along with Virgil and Horace, was perhaps the most widely read of the ancient poets. Knowledge of Ovid was widespread fairly early on in the medieval revival of literacy and scholarship, although it is unclear to what extent the writers of this period read complete sections of the Ovidian poems, as opposed to taking ready-made excerpts from works of compilation of the florilegium or compendium type.(54) Many of Ovid's medieval readers saw in him an encyclopaedist, a scientific and philosophical thinker who had clothed the systema mundi in allegorical garb and had put forward his ideas in the guise of a symbolic narrative. This tradition of exegesis was practised and taught in many centres of learning during the High Middle Ages, but in the fourteenth century it produced a monumental work designed to expound the whole of Ovid's Metamorphoses for a Christian audience with 'allegorizing' habits of thought. This was the Ovide moralise (or Ovidius moralizatus) of the Benedictine Pierre Bersuire (d. 1362), one of the most widely copied texts of its era.(55) The Ovide moralise is important to us here because the Metamorphoses contain two brief references to the wounding and healing of Telephus.(56) They occur only as transient comments, however, so that anyone intending to expound them would have had to consult more detailed sources (such as those described above) in order to be able to give a more complete picture of the episode itself before going on to explain its allegorical significance.(57) However, the specific point at issue in 'Domitor Hectoris' - the parallel between the wounding and healing of Telephus and the theological complex of the Fall and Redemption - appears in none of these 'standard' sources. We should perhaps conclude that Binchois's text was indeed 'original' in the sense of being nonstandard; but we ought also to recognize that the prevalence of moralizing interpretation and its characteristic modes of exegesis were an intrinsic part of medieval thinking.

These complicated points of detail are necessary in order to show just how much care and elaboration might go into the writing of texts of this kind. But the fact that an author might show care, ingenuity and an eye for detail does not mean that we should necessarily regard the resulting text as being especially erudite, still less esoteric. Indeed, the whole point of bringing in all this evidence is to show not how recondite but how relatively common and straightforward were the thought processes involved in this kind of explanation. Such patterns of thought may appear difficult and abstruse to us because they are remote from our world and our way of thinking, but they would have been familiar to an educated person of the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, even to someone who was simply acquainted with hymn texts or the liturgy.(58) They may be complex in the sense that they entail subtle ramifications and shifts of conceptual or historical register, but this does not mean that they would have been in any way obscure in the context of medieval thought. Our difficulty is, surely, that the medieval frame of reference and the component texts comprised within it are not sufficiently close to us; hence we lack the degree of familiarity with all these elements that allows complex mental operations of recognition and connection to occur rapidly if not spontaneously.

The whole process of textual 'osmosis' or 'interference' - of motifs, images and specific formulations of words - which operates within literate cultures has been referred to as 'intertextuality' in the vocabulary of modern criticism. But what interpretative significance could such a text be made to bear, beyond the working-out of a merely literary pattern with its network of references? A convincing answer will require an involved argument that is disproportionate to the simplicity of the poem itself. But attempting to reconstruct the original context for a work such as this is a difficult business, and there is no short cut if we are to avoid approximate or impressionistic solutions. Ideas which for us have to be painstakingly recovered, drawn out and pieced together from elusive 'archaeological' traces, were for the people of the time part of their stock of shared culture and experience - the common spiritual landscape they inhabited, the religious attitudes they held in common.

By aligning an event from the pagan world with the Jewish-Christian idea of redemption,(59) the text of 'Domitor Hectoris' forms what we shall call a complex exemplar. The tradition of the exemplum is typical, in different ways, of both ancient and medieval culture.(60) It is a genre in which episodes or events are recorded and passed down in narrative form because they are held to embody universal truths about human nature, as well as exemplary patterns of behaviour and response. The use of narrative has the advantage of immediacy, while the highly selective presentation of the material is designed to focus attention on those few elements which best convey its universality, which bring its moral into sharpest relief, or which most adequately embody its spiritual truth. In Binchois's poem, it is the symbolic play of meaning which suggests and communicates this truth - the way in which the archetypes (of the wood and the spear) are used to link the different events across the wide expanse dividing them. This symbolic assimilation of particulars to universals creates a pattern which transcends historical time and geographical space.

This is a scheme that can properly be called universal. It grows directly out of the need felt by medieval religion for a belief in a providential design that embraced the whole of human history. The high-mindedness and complexity of such an interpretation, based on the detailed working-out of the theological belief that divine providence was universal and omniscient, is nonetheless belied by the modesty of Binchois's text. Such cumbersome explanations seem at odds with the tautness and simplicity of its literary expression; it is devoid of amplification and achieves its spaciousness through concision. But this is precisely the force of the exemplar, that it compresses a complex of ideas into a pithy text. It conveys a series of subtle and elusive points by subsuming them into a set of linked symbolic images, by suggesting rather than stating their many possible ramifications.

Let us examine, briefly, some of the ramifications of the spear motif. The principle that he who hurts, heals (of which the curative use of the weapon is only one particular instance) is well known in anthropology;(61) but it acquired a special significance in the context of medieval contemplation of the mystery of the Redemption. Mankind's journeying through sin and death to resurrection is a transformative and unified process. The redeemer accomplishes his task (the healing) by embracing - that is, by submitting to, before finally overcoming - the very source of evil (the weapon). The crucifying of Christ and his rising again were not only commemorated but also re-enacted in the Eucharist. And the mystical cast of mind which produced the doctrine of transubstantiation probably also gave rise to the powerfully symbolic stories that were woven around the physical objects associated with Christ's suffering and death. Intent meditation on the physical details of the instruments of the Passion had the ability to bring before the inner eye of the believer a graphic representation of the events of Good Friday. This was the domain of private devotional observance. Ritual observance, on the other hand, and the liturgical practices associated with it, gave a more formal, outward existence to the spiritual content of these inward disciplines, though even in their ceremonial guise they still retained an unashamedly symbolic character.(62) The spear was one of the physical objects which, as a symbol, acquired a subtle and ramified network of spiritual meanings within this general religious perspective. Moreover, the Holy Lance had been one of the Holy Roman Emperor's most treasured and potent symbols since at least the time of Charles IV in the mid fourteenth century, so that its religious symbolism was interwoven - to some degree even conflated - with the mythic self-image of the rulers of Western Christendom who saw their God-given role as defending the faith and fighting to establish a universal Christian hegemony.(63) In this way it is possible for us to envisage how the fusion might have occurred between two seemingly disparate cultural developments: first, the political aspirations and dynastic mythography of a ruling gens; and second, a tradition of increasingly elaborate sacred ritual, shot through with symbolic-syncretic themes and enshrined in both liturgical and devotional practice.

The mystic vision that informed the use of imagery in these spiritual and ceremonial practices also found expression in secular literature. One of the most striking examples of this is without doubt the series of Old French romances on the Grail legend. The earliest of these romances to have survived is the Conte del Graal, a late twelfth-century work by Chretien de Troyes. There is a huge body of critical literature dealing with the paradoxical nature of Chretien's poem, caught as it is between Celtic myth and Christian allegory. Jean Frappier sees the origins of the story and the marvels it contains in the Breton-Arthurian tradition, whence they were transformed and assimilated - not without a degree of poetic obscurity or ambiguity quite appropriate to the mystery and sublimity of the subject matter - to a tradition of Christian imagery.(64) This development began with Chretien himself (or perhaps with his now lost models), and continued throughout the thirteenth century in a series of further reworkings. A process of increasing, though by no means uniform, adaptation to a strong mystic vision of the nature of Christian ritual imagery can be observed over this period.

One of the most powerful symbols in these Grail poems is that of the spear, or, more exactly, the miraculous bleeding lance which is brought into Parsifal's presence in the hall of the Castle of the Grail. In Chretien's version, the symbolic allusion to the centurion's lance - the so-called spear of Longinus - that pierced Christ's side during the Crucifixion is barely hinted at.(65) But his text, which he left unfinished at his death, was then worked on and added to by later writers, and in several of the Continuations written in the early decades of the thirteenth century the connection is explicitly made.(66)

The Middle High German version of the story by Wolfram von Eschenbach (which later served as Wagner's main source for Parsifal) likewise does not tie up the imagery in a close symbolic network.(67) It is true that in Wolfram's version Anfortas's wound was inflicted and alleviated - though not healed outright - by the lance, which in this way had perhaps come to embody both the idea of sin and evil, and, potentially, its cure.(68) There is, however, no suggestion that it should be explicitly identified with the spear of Longinus. This identification occurred, also in the early thirteenth century, in one of the Continuations of Chretien's poem, where the Fisher King explains to Gawain that 'this is the very lance by which the Son of God was wounded in the side; it has bled in this way ever since, and will not cease bleeding until the Day of Judgement'. The assimilation of both the Grail and the lance to mystical Christian traditions was pursued also in Robert de Boron's Roman de l'Estoire dou Graal (also known as the Joseph d'Arimathie),(69) the prose version of the Perceval, the Queste del Saint Graal (Cistercian in character, and probably written under the influence of the mysticism of St Bernard) and the Perlesvaus (perhaps Cluniac in inspiration).(70) At least three manuscripts containing material based on the Arthur, Lancelot and Grail legends are listed in the 1420 inventory of the library of Philip the Good.(71)

We do not want to overstate the case, however. The powerful visionary development of the Passion motifs that we find in the Grail romances are barely hinted at in Binchois's poem. There is only the implicit parallel based on the one central idea - namely, that wounding and healing are somehow linked (this link being embodied in the symbol of the lance). The ancient magical belief in such a linkage obviously acquired a new resonance, a special intellectual depth and complexity, when it was transformed through contact with Christian theology and its very particular understanding of the concept of redemption. There is an inherent tension between the belief in a redemptive power with the potential to embrace the whole of the created order, and the recognition that the pre-Christian phase of human history had been closed, and superseded, by the coming of Christ. The difficulty was how to reconcile the pagan world, which had not had the benefit of Christ's teaching, with the idea of universal redemption.

The vision - at the same time both mythic and mystic - which draws together these different phases of historical time in one complex symbolic image can, we think, properly be called archetypal. Such an image will tend, in its very nature, towards conciseness rather than elaboration. It will then reveal its true complexity only if its different strands are drawn out and developed. It may be that the very terseness of the poem of Binchois's motet, as well as its extreme rhythmic simplicity, are in fact a powerful means of directing the attention through its transparent surface to the richness of its latent ideas. In any case, the directness and clarity of its diction make it particularly effective for musical setting. The poem's originality lies in combining the closely woven web of mystical ideas surrounding the Cross and the Redemption with other motifs of pagan origin, chiefly from 'Homeric' traditions with perhaps a hint of 'Celtic' mythology (though viewed, of course, in a Christianized perspective). Since the Grail stories themselves formed an important part of the stock of narrative material housed in the ducal library, and Homeric myth was undergoing a considerable revival in fifteenth-century Burgundy, we may plausibly view the 'Domitor Hectoris' poem as a characteristic product of its time and place. To interpret it as an exemplum argues neither for nor against its having been composed for any specific occasion. By its very nature, a psychology or an ethics or a theology of exemplarity works with universals, and its application to particulars can be effected in any number of different ways or contexts.


By contrast, the verbal texts of the four-voice 'Nove cantum melodie', Binchois's only surviving isorhythmic composition, have come down to us in a very corrupt form, and their exact meaning is extremely hard to determine. This motet, too, exists in only one source (Modena, Biblioteca Estense, MS a X.1.11 (olim Lat. 471 (= ModB), ff. [70.sup.v]-72), but with its verbal component in such a poor state that a good version of the words cannot be reconstituted with confidence (although many passages seem clear enough). It is impossible to restore anything more than an approximation to the original text. All that can be done for the work as a whole is to show what type of subject matter it deals with and how the ideas it contains may best be interpreted, and then to provide a plausible version of its form of words.(72)

This large-scale composition is a ceremonial motet for the baptism in Brussels on 18 January 1431 of Antoine, son of Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal. Each of the two upper voice parts has its own independent set of words. The text of the quadruplum in the second part of the motet lists the names of Binchois's fellow singers in the Burgundian court chapel as in 1431.(73) Since all but the first few notes of the music of the quadruplum in the first part of the motet is missing, however, the only known section of its text (from the table of incipits at the beginning of the manuscript) comprises the opening words 'Nove cantum melodie' ('A song of a new [type of?] melody'). This phrase may or may not have a detailed, rather than generic, meaning. It could be merely a rhetorical commonplace similar to conventional formulations in the Psalms of the kind 'I will sing a new song to the Lord'. Or it may refer more specifically to some new approach to melodic writing and/or linear combination that is in some way perceived as innovatory and/or noteworthy - possibly a reference to the combining of a learned isorhythmic structure (one which includes both a notational canon for the tenor and upper parts which are also largely isorhythmic) with a way of writing for the top two voices that is straightforward and direct, characterized by a high degree of consonance and a relatively low incidence of floridity or cantus fractus. Certainly, the relative lack of melodic floridity and the euphony of the overall sound, with frequent imperfect consonances and full 'triadic' sonorities, appear to give this motet a particular character that distinguishes it stylistically from other isorhythmic compositions of its time. Thus its idiom is far removed from the extrovert, virtuoso manner of such works as Dufay's 'Ecclesiae militantis', 'O sancte Sebastiane' or 'Apostolo glorioso'.

Even where the verbal text is not garbled it remains ungainly and often tortuous. Nonetheless, despite its lack of literary sophistication, it has features that need to be explained before a meaningful translation - even a partial or conjectural one - can be offered. The motetus part carries words which refer directly to the birth of an heir to the duchy of Burgundy,(74) and certain sections of text in the upper voices seem to be an invocation to the child's two saintly namesakes, Anthony of Padua and Anthony Abbot (also known as Anthony of Vienne). The official ceremonial baptism took place the day after the feast of Anthony Abbot (17 January),(75) whereas Anthony of Padua's feast falls on 13 June, so the child's specific name-day linked him more closely to the former. Elsewhere, the motetus text seems to be addressed directly to the city of Padua, but this is combined with a second topic - namely, pestilence and the ways of keeping it at bay, whether by divine intervention (miracles) or ritual practice (?fumigations, talismans). Fighting the plague was of course the speciality of St Anthony of Vienne, and he was a patron saint of the house of Burgundy. It appears inconceivable that the writer of a text such as this for an official occasion should have confused or conflated the two Anthonys. It seems on the face of it much more likely that they were both addressed as protectors of the new-born child by virtue of their 'kinship' through the shared name.(76)
The words of the triplum begin as follows:

Tanti gaude germinis alumna,*                         * MS: alumpna
ullis bona et magis servans membra,*                   * MS: menbra
urbs Padua; quae spirant - ut ambra
valde bona, thus, balsamum, pigmentumque thymbra* -    * MS: timbra
illa thetis fulgentibus gemmis
et ob riso aci et hijs [?]

Rejoice, daughter of so great a race, [who] more than others are benevolent and protective of your people (magis servans membra), [O] city of Padua. The things which they breathe - such as amber, balsam, incense, medicinal unguent(77) and aromatic thyme - are those things which [?] . . . among these resplendent treasures [?].

As well as being an invocation to the city of Padua, this is, we suggest, a versified prayer for protection against the plague which refers to some of the ways in which disease may be resisted or warded off (apparently by the use of fumigations and inhalations). It is a petitionary poem designed to be intensified through the power of music. It is addressed to God not directly but through the intermediary of the two saints, acting as protectors and advocates of the ducal family and their dependants. The triplum goes on to describe the way in which those afflicted with illness seek to be cured miraculously, through prayer and pilgrimage:
Confinibus propitiis* colunt                       * MS: propicius
corde fuso quam valent,
experientibus haec obsessis
variis languoribus
et maculis.
De remotis
profecti frequentant* et reducens                 * MS: frequantant
quod petunt salutis remedium
semper consequuntur.

Quid ultra iam etiam* moramur?                      * MS: jam eciam
Quid plura ne modulamur?
Non est nostrae facultatis
nostris exprimere notis
quae facit hic usque signa
sanctus Dei laude digna.
Quis ne ferat magnalia?
Quis aquarum amirabilia?*                  * MS: amirabilia aquorum
Narratione deficiunt voces;
plane vestes(?) urbes
sunt praedicta* contemplantes                        * MS: predicte
haec* aperte.                                             * MS: hoc

In propitious places(78) they worship with a free heart, as strongly as they are able (corde fuso quam valent),(79) being burdened and assailed (experientibus . . . obsessis) by different kinds of disease or illness. From far-off places they arrive in great numbers, and, taking back what they seek, they always obtain the remedy of health.(80) Why, then, do we still hold back? Why do we not sing in even greater measure?(81) It is not within our power to express in our [musical] notes those things which the Holy One of God has been doing here, even to the extent of [giving us] signs worthy of praise (usque signa . . . laude digna). Who indeed shall make report of these wonderful things, or describe the miraculous properties of the [baptismal?] waters? [Our] voices fall silent in the telling [of it]. It is plain [to see] that [our] cities are [now] witnessing (contemplantes) those events which were clearly predicted.

This seems to be a discussion of the treatment of disease, effected in part by a source of water with curative powers (either the specific power of a 'miraculous' source, or the regenerative power symbolically conveyed through the rite of baptism, or both), and in part by the intervention of the Holy Saint (sanctus Dei; i.e., divine agency, attested to by miraculous signs). This providential action of God invites praise, but the topos of humility discourages it ('it is not within our power . . . our voices fall silent'). The poet, and the singers of the motet, consider themselves unworthy to express their admiration at such astonishing events.(82)

Yet in the second and third parts of the motet, the quadruplum bears the following text:
       Canit camena
       Templeuve amoena*                     * MS: templueue amenam
       Binchois agente,
       quos imitatur
5      et modulatur,
       Bouchain a parte,

       Bellengues, Fabri,
       Floridi, Labri,
       Carboneri. J.(83)
10     de Fonte, Ruby.*                                  * MS: rubi
       Tibi Anthoni
       plaudunt sinceri

       Boydin, Hainbaut,
       de Terre, Petaut,
15     de Folioque.
       Symon, Mathei,
       Nichasi, Petre,
       ferte vos aeque.

       O minoris
20     decus Hesperiae*                               * MS: esperie
       et maioris,
       leva nostrum statum miseriae:
       O lux, O laus

       Anthoni sacrorum confessorum,
25     audi cantum benigne tuorum.
       Nostros serva ducemque ducissam,
       O sua spes,
       producens hos ad caelestem doxam.

The Muse sings delightful things (amoena) by the action of Templeuve [and] Binchois, [through] whom she poetizes and sings,(84) with the participation (a parte) of Bouchain, Richard de Bellengues, Fabri, Floridi, Labri, and Jean Carbonnier, Pierre Fontaine, and Guillaume Ruby. The following also give you, O Anthony, sincere and admiring praise: Nicolas Boedin, Helbin Hainbault, de Terre, Estienne Petault, and Philippe de Foliot: [And you], Symon le Breton, Mathieu de Brascles, Nicaise Dupuis and Petrus Maillart, make your equal contribution.(85) O well-beloved adornment of the greater and lesser Hesperiae,(86) alleviate our condition of present misery: O [Anthony], light and glory (laus) of the Holy Confessors,(87) hear benignly the song of your people, guard and preserve our duke and duchess, O their every hope, carrying them forward to heavenly praise and glory.

Why, in this passage, are Binchois's fellow chapel singers listed by name? What part do they play in the appeal to St Anthony for protection, an appeal which is made on behalf not of the infant alone but of the whole house of Burgundy? The idea worked out here, we suggest, is as follows. Viewed emblematically, the Muse (camena) was the personified source of artistic inspiration and so could be thought to 'inspire' the members of the ducal chapel in their various duties and functions, including Templeuve in his senior capacity as cantor and premier chapelain, and Binchois in his dual role as singer-composer. In this way she might be said to 'speak through them' ([per] quos imitatur et modulatur) or, rather, through the music they created. Yet this music was in every sense the result of a collaborative effort: while the composer was the originator of the musical 'text', it could be realized in sound only with the participation of his singers. His position was as primus inter pares, taking an active part in the practical realization of his own compositional designs, not that of an autonomous creator who stood beyond the forum of everyday musical activity and service. His creative activity enabled the collective activity of the chapel, and the significance of his religious and ceremonial works resided to a considerable extent in the way in which they embodied the aims and aspirations of the court,(88) rather than in any personal or professional ambitions he might have had.

In serving the needs of the chapel, then, the composer's task was to provide works written with due regard for their appropriateness to both function and usage. The primary justification for any sacred composition was liturgical in the broadest sense: its first purpose was to be enacted as an integral element of a 'representative' or 'commemorative' religious action, whether this was part of the 'regular' liturgy or not. What we would think of as the aesthetic or technical aspects of a work were less important in themselves than in the way in which they combined to enrich the particular ceremonial tradition or form of ritual observance for which that work had been made and of which it formed part. Considered in this light, the material resources invested in religious foundations were intended to support not a static monument but a working environment, one in which a living tradition of observance could continue to unfold through its daily, weekly and yearly cycles.

The full 'text' of a piece of sacred music was therefore not simply that of a precisely detailed technical or aesthetic design, preserved in unchanging notational form as a discrete autonomous object. Still less was it an entity in its own right, endowed with an aesthetic unity that conferred on it a self-substantiating and self-sufficient identity. Rather, such a composition existed as a 'performance text' in which 'protagonists' and 'audience' maintained the - mostly unspoken - agreements implied in their participation in the tradition and their acceptance of it. The continuance of the tradition was assured by the continuing validity of this set of agreements, in which different kinds of authority converged and co-operated. What we now view as the musical 'work' then stood at the confluence of a number of cultural assumptions and interests, to the extent that we might see 'final authority' for the whole enterprise as residing not so much in a set of regulations or in the competence of any individual as in the nature, extent and structure of the tacit agreements and shared values accepted by the progatonists.(89) However, such acceptance was clearly not a self-conscious decision to 'adhere to' or 'maintain' a religious and institutional tradition which they had inherited - a tradition in whose workings they were closely implicated - but was manifested simply in an attitude of continuing involvement, support and development.

Indeed, there is no reason whatsoever to suggest that they could consciously have opted to distance themselves from it: the point is simply that the fabric and working practice of an institution were founded on implicitly shared assumptions concerning both its ethos and its functional structure. In this connection we should recognize that the aims and values of political thought and institutional practice were grounded ultimately in the acknowledgement of a universal-hierarchical order, and that it would no more have occurred to anyone to question the underlying tenets of such practice than to question the fundamentals of the hierarchy. The detailed workings of liturgy or ceremonial might be reshaped or enlarged, and new local needs or objectives identified, such as the consecration of important events (as in 'Nove cantum melodie'), the institution of new feasts and upgrading of existing ones, or the setting up of new foundations for services with specific intentions (perhaps a patron saint, a devotional or votive cult, a confraternity, or a chivalric association such as the Order of the Golden Fleece).(90) But the broader defining aims of ritual and ceremonial observance were fundamentally stable, and, so far as the individual's contribution to institutional practice was concerned, he would have expected his role and talent to have been fulfilled as an enabling force within this continuum of functions.(91)

The intrinsic nature of the work, then, was focused and conditioned by extrinsic factors resulting from its situation within a lived tradition of religious observance, and the work fulfilled its aim in being voiced by the chapel choir as an act of mediation between the community (on whose behalf they sang) and the divine realm.(92) The viva voce realization of a musical setting brought about the 'enactment' of the sacred text and thereby enhanced its efficacy; the work's contours and horizons arose directly out of its being located within a working environment whose very reason for existing consisted in the creation of such ritual or ceremonial acts. Moreover, the notated musical text had, first and foremost, a pragmatic function as a sort of blueprint: the compositional designs produced by the composer possessed a detailed structure but were not self-sufficient and had to be realized afresh in each successive performance. As a result, every realization would differ in its particulars, since many of the decisions taken by fifteenth-century singers were what we would think of as 'composerly', that is, 'substantive' as well as 'interpretative' or 'expressive'.(93) Even if the notated image of the work survived in a version close to the one the composer himself had worked from in the first instance, the way in which it was 'read' and 'realized' by a different set of singers would surely have been markedly different. It is in this sense that we should envisage the fifteenth-century musical work as being defined not by an established, autonomous text but by its possession of what Wegman has called 'interpretive potential' (see p. 575, above). Looked at in this way, 'justification' for the work resided not in the composer's creation and authorial control of a fixed text, but in the whole process of production by which a work was appropriately fashioned or chosen as being suitable (in the case of works revived or imported from elsewhere) and then brought to performance in the given venue by a particular ensemble for a specific purpose. It was in the meshing of composition-performance traditions (the locus of interpretative legitimation) with ritual-ceremonial traditions (the locus of cultural and religious legitimation) that 'final' authority for the work was grounded.

Again, there is no suggestion that those responsible for the endowment and administration of musical foundations consciously decided such questions of authority, or that they were even aware of all of them (although the maintenance of the liturgy and its financial infrastructure was one of the most precisely controlled activities of the pre-Reformation period).(94) Rather, it is the continuum of functions and the importance accorded to historical precedent as enshrined in the particular institutional tradition that coalesced to provide an 'authoritative context' for the musical activities it supported. This argues for a notion of authority that is composite, even pluralistic, and not fixed but flexible, closely geared to the particular needs of the institution in maintaining its varied network of ceremonial actions in both their inward- and their outward-looking aspects.

In the case of Binchois's motet, then, the primary purpose of the work was that it should become the musical embodiment of a ritual action requesting protection and favour from St Anthony for the duchy of Burgundy - not only the ducal family itself and its heir apparent (whose baptism was the occasion for the composition) but also the duke in his capacity as the exponent and figure-head of good government. For as temporal ruler of the state he was the representative and custodian on earth of the divine order and the universal hierarchy that derived from it. He ruled under God as an overlord to whom he owed allegiance, an allegiance which was expressed through his upholding of Justice and the Faith in the institutions of the court, especially in its provision for functional religious observance instituted for this purpose. The saints, too, were thought of as active interlocutors and advocates within this field of operation, who might be appealed to on that basis (as happens in 'Nove cantum melodie'). The resources and organization of the ducal chapel therefore served the particular needs of the court as a nodal point at which the divine and terrestrial worlds interacted with special intensity.

This is why the roster of singers is given in the text, and why their skill is invoked as an irreplaceable contribution in the chain not only of musical production but also of ritual invocation. It was through the whole group of working chapel musicians that the compositional design was realized and 'activated', and through this activation that the effectual - affective power of sounding music was harnessed to the cycle of invocatory prayer. The professional body of the salaried chaplain - musicians was the vehicle by which this function was carried out. Their identity - both collective and individual - is therefore woven into the textual fabric of Binchois's composition. It is true that the renown of gifted individuals became a significant factor in fifteenth-century culture that was given new impetus by the Humanist revival of rhetorical and historiographical traditions (which to some degree had already existed prior to the renascence of learning and letters). The mistake, however, is to assume that those whose work attracted fame and renown were necessarily thought of, first, as having transcended the environment that had nurtured them, and second, as having aspired to keep proprietorial control of the artefacts which had helped to earn them their reputation. As we have seen, the fact of authorship carried no implication of authoritative self-sufficiency.

In any case - and this is perhaps the crux of the argument - the chief focus of renown and emulation would surely have been located more at the level of the institution than at that of the individual. If, for example, we detect on the part of Continental patrons a desire to emulate the English polyphonic chapels which they could have heard at the Councils of Constance or Basle, during the regency of Thomas, Duke of Clarence, at the wedding of Henry V and Catherine de Valois in 1420, or at the coronation of Henry VI as King of France in 1431, then we may be reasonably sure that it was the splendour of the institution as a whole - above all, the richness and dignity of its ceremonial, of which music was a central part, but a part nonetheless - that excited their admiration and desire. The gifted individual was an ornament of a magnificent institution, not the other way around: he helped to intensify and radiate its splendour, rather than using it as a legitimation for his own activity and prestige. The life and achievement of the institution - in terms of the activities it supported and the artefacts it engendered - can perhaps most convincingly be interpreted in the light of what it stood for within the framework of the political and religious ideas of its time, as an edifice symbolic of a divinely instituted order, derived from the linked heavenly - earthly hierarchies of the Neoplatonic tradition as transmitted through pseudo-Dionysius, Boethius and others.

Different cultural practices - although they each possessed their own specificity and their own materials and methods - were all related at some level to the 'functionality' of the institution as it operated within this political - philosophical framework, but in a sense of 'functional' that is devoid of the modern implication of mere pragmatism. On the contrary, the idea of 'function' in the arena of political and religious action in the Middle Ages should surely be taken to imply not an inferior type of expediency but a form of practical activity that acknowledged the structure of the created order and sought to maintain a harmonious relationship between its lower and higher spheres. Music did not serve an ulterior purpose in such a way as to compromise or reduce its intrinsic nature and complexity; rather, the idea of a 'higher' functionality was implicit in its very structure and workings. Such a functionality was fully dissolved within the fabric of music in all its 'states' as a cosmic, social, psychological and sounding reality (that is, as musica mundana, humana and instrumentalis). Indeed, it is precisely the nature of music, within the Pythagorean-Boethian tradition espoused by the Middle Ages, that it effects a continuous linkage - symbolized by the idea of sympathetic resonance - between these seemingly discrete areas. And because of this, music may be seen to have had a crucial role in linking the polity, via the ritual observances practised in working institutions, to the harmony of the divine order. It is arguably within the framework of such functionalities that the effects described by Tinctoris in the Complexus effectuum musices may best be interpreted.

This, then, shows us something of the institutional and philosophical ethos that governed and informed the use of polyphonic music. Throughout the greater part of the fifteenth century, musicians (like most master craftsmen apart from a few men of letters) still generally exercised their art in the furtherance of political and religious aims, under the aegis of a patron and channelled through an institution, even while the Humanist poets and chancellor - orators were already becoming self-consciously aware of their virtus, lama and claritas. The historiographical approach and criteria of the modern age are rooted in a desire to understand the inventive mind and the creative process. Their standpoint is directed, first, towards establishing an understanding of patterns of creativity and musical production as they have changed over time, focusing to a large extent on the achievements of 'great' individuals with 'major' talents; and second, towards establishing an organized corpus of autonomous musical works, together with the methods and materials necessary to understand and respond to them. Indeed, this canon has to a large extent been organized by individual composers, or else by national and regional schools - two schemes both of which remove the musician from his natural habitat and working environment.

As we have observed, the allegiance and affiliation of working musicians in the fifteenth century was centred on institutions, in whose cultural and performing traditions the musical repertory - of whatever provenance - was embedded, and through which the circulation of musical 'texts' was also largely accomplished. In the case of 'Nove cantum melodie', the members of the chapel institution were named as honourable partners in the ritual and ceremonial actions for which the motet was written. But the occasion of the baptism, important as it was in itself, had political resonances far beyond the dynastic significance of the arrival of the male heir. Alter the death of John the Fearless in 1419, the 1420s had been a crucial period for Philip the Good in his expansion and consolidation of the duchy, both territorially and institutionally. Between 1428 and 1430, many provinces and cities in the Low Countries (among them Hainault, Brabant, Limburg and Louvain) became Burgundian territories, and the political significance of holding the ceremony in Brussels must be understood in this light. In 1430-31 there was also a constellation of events which may be seen to have crowned the fruitful developments of the first decade or so of Philip's rule: the marriage to Isabella, the founding of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and the birth of Antoine. The ceremony represented not merely the baptism of a son and heir to the recently married duke and duchess (Philip had been married twice before) but the 're-baptism' of the whole political and institutional fabric of the ducal court machine, including the musical establishment. It is this very specific localization of the musicians cited in the text that sets Binchois's motet somewhat apart from the fourteenth-century tradition of musician-motets, which generally present a much broader historical survey of eminent musical figures, even if the central themes - the marriage of theory and learning with practical expertise, and the dignity of music's role in serving God on behalf of the wider community (people, Church and State) - are common to all.(95)

To conclude our discussion of 'Domitor Hectoris' and 'Nove cantum melodie', we have seen that their verbal texts relate closely to the interests and inner workings of the Burgundian court. In fact, their subject matter and textual focus are the direct outcome of themes and preoccupations whose intention and range of significance can be fully appreciated only as characteristic products of that milieu. In this sense, both motets may be said to be specific to the context for which they were first written. Yet the fact remains that our knowledge of these two compositions comes not from Burgundian manuscripts at all but from a 'south German' and a north Italian source. The source for 'Domitor Hectoris' is a composite manuscript of the later 1430s and '40s (the section containing the motet was apparently copied in the Basle-Strasbourg area c. 1435-43), while that for 'Nove cantum melodie' was copied at Ferrara in the mid fifteenth century (late 1440s).(96) This raises an awkward set of questions. What was the rationale behind the copying of such culturally specific works for other cultural centres which could hardly be expected to have shared - or perhaps even to have understood - the internal preoccupations of the court of Philip the Good? In what context should we envisage performances of these compositions outside the Burgundian milieu, and, if such performances did take place, how might we imagine their new audiences responding to them? In other words, how were the new users motivated in their selection, appropriation, adaptation and reception of precisely these motets? At first sight it seems reasonable to assume - given the high number of attributions in both manuscripts, and especially ModB - that the reputation of the composer was indeed a significant factor in assembling the repertory for each source. But on reflection we may be inclined to accept, rather, that the individual's work was highly valued primarily because it was, in an emblematic sense, representative of the institution which he illumined with his art. In other words, the motivation for copying Binchois's work was that he was the luminary figure who adorned what was then the luminary court of continental Europe, that of the duchy of Burgundy under Philip the Good.

In the case of ModB, Lewis Lockwood has suggested a number of plausible ways in which the various repertories it contains might have found their way to Ferrara. As far as the Binchois pieces are concerned, he has pointed out that Burgundy sent a delegation to the Council of Ferrara in 1438. On the other hand, in the case of Aosta (a working chapel manuscript which was used successively by a number of court institutions) it has been suggested that it is closely related to the Council of Basle and to the repertory that was circulated in and around the Conciliar chapel.(97) Reinhard Strohm has recently posited an origin for the core of the manuscript at the court of Duke Frederick IV of Tyrol,(98) and it is in any case likely, at the very least, that it had connections to the Habsburg lands. However, beyond these hypotheses about the compilation and circulation of these sources, we can have little idea what may have prompted Binchois or the chapel administration to put the works into circulation, or the new recipients to take them up.

In the end, like all subsequent users of a work, we will make our own 'reading' of it, and this reading will inevitably follow, to a considerable extent, our own musical priorities and needs. But if we value the attempt to get close to the cultures of past epochs which we judge to have attained something intrinsically valuable, or to have achieved a certain mastery of their artistic aims and methods (and the very existence of monumental editions implies that such an attempt is thought to be worth considerable effort and expense), then we should surely try to discover, and appropriate, something of their artistic priorities, their values and epistemology, as a way of broadening our own ways of experiencing music and of transcending the limitations of our own habitual and conditioned responses. And although these observations have already taken up a great deal of space, they do lead to a broader point. Clearly, one cannot include such a quantity of complex interpretative matter in a musical edition whose aim is simply to provide the basic tools and raw materials for interpretation. Yet the provision of enough primary information to allow scholars or performers to gain access to the imaginative world of a vocal composition surely has a place in any edition that aims to present its material critically or contextually or both. Good, fluent translations are the first requirement in guiding the user towards a possible reading of the text. But a succinct commentary may often be necessary, in which the commentator will not only examine the verbal text for whatever information can be found as to the composition's occasion and provenance, but also try to bring out something of its ethos, its hidden life so to speak, and to give the reader some indications for further study.


Linking together the various parts of this study is a view of music as culturally-informed practice, and of compositions as pieces within a larger continuum of genesis, transmission and usage. Crucial to this is a critique of the concept of the musical 'work' as an unmediated and self-sufficient monument and, by extension, of the composer as an autonomous creator whose unblemished 'ideal' is viewed as the proper object of the quest for the Urtext. In the first place, the 'work concept' - with all its baggage of discreteness, self-sufficiency, identity and coherence, and concomitant notions of creation, individuation, composer-centricity and genius - is an ideal rooted in a time and culture far removed from Binchois's own. But in the second, the reality of the creation of musical works - and indeed of all cultural artefacts - means that such 'hermetic' conditions are chimerical at any time. In the real world of cultural practice a musical construct, alloyed even as it is born, continues to accrue admixtures and cross-fertilizations at every stage of its genesis and transmission. Our perspective, therefore, is to view the various recensions of fifteenth-century works not as successive aberrations or corruptions of a composer's discrete conceptions but instead as historically mediated versions in the hands of variously motivated users, as snapshots of the ongoing symbiosis between cultural artefact and cultural practice. It might be argued that modern editions are simply extensions of this interactive process, and that the adaptation of works born in different cultural surroundings to modern editorial preoccupations is simply another proof that the durability of works of art depends on their adaptability to changing cultural mores.(99) But the main point is not that one method is 'right' and the other 'wrong'; it is simply that in choosing to adapt old works to new priorities we should recognize and acknowledge that we are doing just that, rather than simply assuming that our modern methods have universal validity.

This is not to deny the contemporary status of the composer - at least so far as celebrated figures were concerned - although here again we should attempt to understand that status in the very particular terms in which it operated in the cultural reality of late medieval Europe. If the ritual of a late medieval court functioned on an internal level to distil and give a sense of coherence to its progress and self-image, the particular forms it took also reflected a more externalizing impetus to produce adornments of the magnificence through which a court gave emblematic display to its political status. It is reasonable to assume that wider perception of such magnificence could also at least partly have motivated the diffusion of an associated composer's compositions outside his working milieu. In other words, the prestige of works by a particular composer was refracted through the greater prestige of his employer and the consequent desire to emulate, or at least acquire the trappings of, the ritual of a more powerful court. This supposition carries particular force with regard to such works as the two Binchois motets, whose primary functions, as evidenced in their verbal texts, bind them to highly specific contexts within the functioning of the Burgundian court, which, at the time of their composition, was the most powerful political entity in Western Europe. But to recognize the value - or at least the contemporary status - of the products of a given composer is not, from a fifteenth-century standpoint, to see it as inviolable or iconic. Neither are there grounds, in most cases, for believing that the composer would himself have expected or even desired such proprietorial control.(100) Although manuscript loss has meant that works surviving in copies which can be associated with their places of origin are unrepresentatively few, and although a tiny handful of reasonably plausible identifications of composers' autographs have been made, it is clear that the standard method of dissemination was through scribes, who modified their exemplars in accordance with local needs and fashions. The modern notion of authorial control or ownership, like its attendant objectified view of the musical 'work', is alien to the ethos of the fifteenth century.

This hermeneutically grounded concept of variant readings, if distilled into an edition, would have major methodological implications. Foremost among these would inevitably be an emphasis on the principle of selection rather than that of conflation. This would in practice lead in most cases to the selection of one text as the basis for the edition. While such a principle would not, of course, preclude reference to other copies in cases of demonstrable error, the integrity of a given recension would otherwise be respected. In cases of significantly divergent copies, there may well be a need for separate editions in the manner of the variorum.(101) More generally, though, there is a need for a method of presenting variants which gives a more immediate sense of the profiles of individual copies than can be gained from undifferentiated lists. In the majority of cases, divergences between readings could more instructively be revealed by a 'parallel text' method, whereby a chosen 'primary' text might be laid out on one page of an opening, with variants (keyed according to the source(s) concerned) appearing on empty staves on the other, positioned so as to correspond, spatially and visually, to the relevant place on the facing page.(102) Alternatively, different versions could be laid out in extenso one above the other,(103) or on facing pages. Such methods would have the advantage of maintaining a high degree of integrity for the various readings while at the same time showing at a glance patterns of similarity and divergence between them. Scholars would thus have tools readily to hand for assessing the significance of such patterns for transmission and the extent of shared practices, while performers would have the opportunity to reconstruct, with a minimum of inconvenience, recensions different from that of the base text.

While any modern exegesis, translation or transcription inevitably lifts the work concerned out of its cultural context, our argument is for an approach to texts which is as sympathetic as possible to the cultural usages of which they are symptomatic, or, in other words, for a closer convergence in editing procedures between historical and philological method. In attempting to recover underlying realities, while remaining as true as possible to the letter of the text, any historical or philological task, no matter how materially small, will have conceptual resonances and consequences for our understanding of the relationship between the lived experience of a working tradition and the documents which, like so many archaeological traces, it leaves behind.(104)

This study concerns The Sacred Music of Gilles Binchois, ed. Philip Kaye (Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1992 [1993], [pounds]90. ISBN 0-19-353056-2).

1 For a clear and succinct recent discussion of these issues, see Margaret Bent, 'Editing Early Music: the Dilemma of Translation', Early Music, xxii (1994), 373-92.

2 The songs are edited in Die Chansons von Gilles Binchois (1400-1460), ed. Wolfgang Rehm ('Musikalische Denkmaler', ii), Mainz, 1957.

3 Arthur Parris, The Sacred Works of Gilles Binchois (unpublished dissertation), Bryn Mawr College, 1965.

4 Rudolf Bockholdt, Die fruhen Messenkompositionen von Guillaume Dufay ('Munchner Veroffentlichungen zur Musikgeschichte', v), Tutzing, 1960; David Fallows, 'Binchois, Gilles de Bins dit', The New Grove, ii. 709-22.

5 This in spite of the strong advocacy of Busnois's motets by Edgar H. Sparks as long ago as 1953; see 'The Motets of Antoine Busnois', Journal of the American Musicological Society, vi (1953), 216-26.

6 See Les Musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne au XVe siecle, ed. Jeanne Marix, Paris, 1937.

7 Die fruhen Messenkompositionen von Guillaume Dufay, pp. 184-5.

8 Clear demarcation would also have been useful for doubtful works and contrafacta. The Gloria (No. 15), which is found only in Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, MS Q15 is, as Kaye remarks, untypical of Binchois's style. Since, as Brian Trowell and Rudolf Bockholdt both pointed out, it makes up a clear pair with a Credo ascribed variously to 'Anglicus' and 'Bodoil', it should more sensibly - as in Fallows's work-list for The New Grove (ii. 720) - have been included among the doubtful works; see Brian Trowell, Music under the Later Plantagenets (unpublished dissertation), University of Cambridge, 1960, p. 14, and Bockholdt, Die fruhen Messenkompositionen von Guillaume Dufay, pp. 188-9. A similar division should, at the very least, also have been used to clarify the status of the three song contrafacta buried within the alphabetical sequence which envelops everything but the Mass music and the Magnificats. But consideration of these readings might more appropriately have been left for a new edition of the songs, where, unlike here, critical commentary may compare their readings with those of their concordances with their original texts.

9 The movements numbered by Kaye as 9, 1(a), 19 and 5(a) and (b) were linked together by Laurence Feininger as a Missa 'De angelis' in 'Documenta polyphoniae liturgicae sanctae ecclesiae romanae', ser. I, No. 5, Rome, 1949. (Note also the combination of Gloria 1(a) with Credo 19 rather than 1(b), an issue discussed on pages 568-9, below.) Parris gave qualified support for Feininger's grouping and added two more supposed cycles of his own, a Missa 'Orbis factor' linking Kaye Nos. 10, 3(a) and (b), and 7(a) and (b), and a Missa ferialis in which three movements grouped as a possible partial cycle by Fallows (see p. 570, below) are combined with the Gloria-Credo pair 2(a) and (b).

10 Andrew Kirkman is currently preparing a larger study in which such issues will be explored in the context of an examination of structural procedures in some Mass movements and pairs by Binchois.

11 Music Manuscripts and their Production in Fifteenth-Century Cambrai (unpublished dissertation), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1991, pp. 118-25. See also Curtis's own review of Kaye's edition in Notes, li (1993-4), 404-6.

12 Only two other settings of the usual Mass Ordinary movements share this cleffing, the Sanctus and Agnus, Nos. 5(a) and (b), which were linked to Nos. 1(a) and 19 in Feininger's putative cycle De angelis. The only other sacred works with the same clefs are the hymn 'Beata nobis gaudia' (No. 33) and the two versions of the 'Asperges me' (Nos. 29, 30).

13 Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, MS Q15; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. misc. MS 213; Cambrai, Bibliotheque Municipale, MS 11.

14 This scribe's penchant for adapting and restructuring pieces is well known thanks to the painstaking reconstructive work of Margaret Bent; see 'A Contemporary Perception of Early Fifteenth-Century Style: Bologna Q15 as a Document of Scribal Editorial Initiative', Musica disciplina, xii (1987), 183-201.

15 These are in reality two versions of the same piece, rather than, as Kaye says, two different settings. Careful comparison reveals that the second version in Kaye's edition must have been derived from the first. The intriguing process whereby this adaptation was made, and the clear rationale behind it, will be fully explained in a forthcoming study by Andrew Kirkman.

16 The close similarities between the Sanctus-Agnus pair (No. 6) and the same movements of the Missa ferialis on folios [17.sup.v]-[19.sup.r] of London, British Library, MS Egerton 3307, an English manuscript apparently copied in the 1430s and '40s, were first noted by Manfred Bukofzer in 1950; see his Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music, New York, 1950, p. 142. As noted above (n. 9), Fallows and Parris have also drawn other movements into the grouping, and it is undoubtedly true that Kyrie 13 and the Egerton Kyrie bear a more than passing resemblance. The main similarities, however, involve the respective Sanctus and Agnus openings, with the strongest links binding the former. Of still greater interest is the concordance, discovered by Robert Mitchell, between Credo 18 and the Ritson (British Library, Add. MS 5665) carol 'Pray for us thou prince of peace', with which it shares some 45 bars of music; see Robert J. Mitchell, The Paleography and Repertory of Trent Codices 89 and 91, together with Analyses and Editions of Six Mass Cycles by Franco-Flemish Composers from Trent Codex 89 (unpublished dissertation), University of Exeter, 1989, p. 223. The carol is on folios [37.sup.v]-[38.sup.r] and is published in Mediaeval Carols, ed. John Stevens ('Musica Britannica', iv), 2nd, rev. edn., London, 1958, p. 95. (These adaptations will also be addressed in detail in a forthcoming study by Andrew Kirkman.)

17 See The New Grove, ii. 712.

18 See, for example, the noted Paris Missal in London, British Library, Add. MS 16905, ff. [357.sup.v]-[358.sup.r]. Incipits for the entire Paris Kyriale are given in Craig Wright, Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame of Paris, 500-1550, Cambridge, 1989, pp. 82-89.

19 See M. Jennifer Bloxam, A Survey of Late Medieval Service Books from the Low Countries: Implications for Sacred Polyphony, 1460-1520 (unpublished dissertation), Yale University, 1987, pp. 67-88. We are grateful to Barbara Haggh for drawing our attention to this study, and to Professor Bloxam for kindly sending us the relevant parts of her dissertation. Bloxam illustrates this point via the reliance of the Binchois hymns 'Beata nobis gaudia', 'Quem terra ponthus aethera' and 'Gloria laus et honor' on the corresponding chants in Paris, which in all three cases differ significantly from all other known melodies set to the same texts (ibid., pp. 76-79). While the Ordinary chants of the Paris liturgy are, by contrast, much more widespread, they were, as elsewhere, subject to local variation, a point raised by Craig Wright. Wright comments on a number of variations from practice elsewhere, including, as an interesting case in point, a unique deviation at the beginning of the ferial Agnus from the corresponding notes in that chant as it is found in other known Uses. Not surprisingly, this deviation corresponds precisely to the incipits provided with the Binchois ferial Agnus (No. 6(b) in Kaye) in its Trent 92 copy. (This is on folio [102.sup.r]; incipits are lacking in the only other copy, in Aosta, Biblioteca del Seminario Maggiore, A.I.D19 (the 'Aosta Codex'), folio [160.sup.r].) Barbara Haggh has recently offered a picture of the specific ways in which the liturgy of the Burgundian court may have differed from that of Notre Dame of Paris, and has detailed all the works by Binchois which are derived from, or at least compatible with, the Paris Use; see 'Binchois's Sacred Music and the Rituals of the Court of Burgundy', paper read at the First International Conference on Gilles de Bins, dit Binchois, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 31 October 1995, and forthcoming, in revised form, in Binchois Studies, ed. Andrew Kirkman & Dennis Slavin, Oxford.

20 Among the various potential complications are the peregrinations of the court around ducal territories and its consequent religious observance in many centres not bound by the Use of Paris. This must have involved the chapel - and perhaps also some works composed for it - in chants from other Uses. Similar considerations would also have come into play were Binchois and other ducal singers called upon to compose music for the different Uses of the churches in which they held prebends; see Bloxam, A Survey of Late Medieval Service Books from the Low Countries, pp. 73-75.

21 For a discussion, see Carl Dahlhaus, Studies on the Origin of Harmonic Tonality, trans. Robert O. Gjerdingen, Princeton, 1990, pp. 73-74, 335. It may well be that this perceived property was connected with the physical nature of the semitone and the extreme complexity of the proportion through which it was expressible; see ibid., pp. 86-87.

22 The latter instance results from a clearly erroneous e[double prime] found only in Oxford 213; the correct note, as in Bologna Q15 and Cambrai 11, is d[double prime], which not only avoids the tritone but also brings this first statement of the descending canonic sequence into line with the following four.

23 Given that the tenor, part of which also forms the tenor of 'Nove cantum melodie', is as yet unidentified, an alternatim option involving chant is not really feasible here.

24 Kaye, presumably following Parris (The Sacred Works of Gilles Binchois, ii. 118), inexplicably entitles this work 'de dominica', a misreading of the abbreviated heading 'de dna' ('de domina') in Trent 87. The correct reading is in any case clarified by the title 'de beata maria' in the work's other source, Aosta, Biblioteca del Seminario Maggiore, MS A.1.D19.

25 The ?? given here along with the O mensuration seems a clear instance of the sign being used (in the manner demonstrated by Margaret Bent) not to indicate a change of mensuration for the repeat but, rather, simply to show that a repeat should be made; see 'The Early Use of ??', Early Music, xxiv (1996), 199-225.

26 Others are listed in David Fallows's review in Early Music, xxi (1993), 284. On Mitchell's discovery, see note 16, above.

27 See, for example, David Fallows's commentary to his recent revision of Besseler's edition ('Corpus mensurabilis musicae', i/6) of Dufay's songs (American Institute of Musicology, 1994), in which musical variants are divided into the following categories: clefs; mensuration signs, coronas, key-signatures; accidentals or accidental variants; ligature variants; music errors; music variants. Fallows's editorial principles are outlined on pages 11-12.

28 Its relevance for cultural artefacts generally has of course been widely contested, particularly in literary criticism, for more than four decades. The classic statement in this polemic was W. K. Wimsatt and M. C. Beardsley's article 'The Intentional Fallacy', first published in 1954 (repr. in Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics: from Plato to Wittgenstein, ed. Frank A. Tillman & Steven M. Cahn, New York, Evanston & London, 1969, pp. 657-69). Wimsatt and Beardsley's case was that 'the design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art' (p. 657). For them (p. 659), 'the poem is not the critic's own and not the author's (it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the world beyond his power to intend about it or control it). The poem belongs to the public.'

29 The following remarks by the textual critic and editor of Byron Jerome J. McGann are as germane to the editing of medieval music as to that of nineteenth-century literature: '"Final authority" for literary works rests neither with the author nor with his affiliated institution; it resides in the actual structure of the agreements which these two cooperating authorities reach in specific cases' (A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism, Charlottesville & London, 1983, p. 54); 'an author's work possesses autonomy only when it remains an unheard melody' (ibid., p. 52). However demonstrable and commonsensical such observations may be in practice, the idea that the production of a work of art is the autonomous activity of one individual maintains a powerful hold not only on public perception but also on many theoretical perspectives. This is perhaps most clearly highlighted in the realm of analytic philosophy, where the notion of the total authority of the composer has frequently been accorded a priori or 'pre-critical' status. For Jerrold Levinson, for example, it has ontological significance as one of the fundamental conditions for the existence of a musical work ('What a Musical Work Is', Journal of Philosophy, lxxvii (1980), 5-28). As summarized by Lydia Goehr, Levinson takes the view that 'Much of the "status, significance and value" we attach to musical works is bound up with our belief that works are necessarily the products of a particular person's compositional activity. This belief is "one of the most firmly entrenched of our beliefs concerning art"'. Just how totally Levinson is in thrall to the Romantic, Beethovenian model of the artist fashioning his works through his struggle with the very forces of nature is revealed by his comment that art 'is a God-like activity in which the artist brings into being what did not exist beforehand much as a demiurge forms a world out of inchoate matter . . . There is a special glow that envelops composers, as well as other artists, because we think of them as true creators' (see Lydia Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works, Oxford, 1992, p. 46).

30 'A New Approach to the Critical Constitution of Literary Texts', Studies in Bibliography, xxviii (1975), 240, quoted in McGann, A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism, p. 61.

31 As Margaret Bent has put it: 'we may be dependent on the same document both for unique knowledge of a particular piece of music and, at the same time, for knowledge of its contemporary reception' ('A Contemporary Perception of Early Fifteenth-Century Style', p. 183).

32 Bologna Q15, copied c. 1420-33; Oxford 213, copied c. 1422-36; Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS 2216, copied in the years around 1440.

33 See, most recently, Andrew Kirkman, 'The Transmission of English Mass Cycles in the Mid to Late Fifteenth Century: a Case Study in Context', Music & Letters, lxxv (1994), 180-99.

34 As Lydia Goehr observes, this is typical of regulative cultural concepts generally: 'From a practical point of view, it is usually during [the time when it has crystallized] that the concept sinks into opacity; its existence is taken so much for granted that we find it difficult to think of the practice without it. To adapt Hegel's teaching: what increasingly becomes familiar to us increasingly becomes unknown to us just because of our feeling of familiarity' (The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works, p. 109).

35 'Miserere supplicanti Dufay: the Creation and Transmission of Guillaume Dufay's Missa Ave regina celorum', Journal of Musicology, xiii (1995), 18-54, at p. 52.

36 This is not to deny that there are cases in which we can reconstruct important aspects of works as their composers fashioned them: Wegman's demonstration, in the article cited in the previous note, of the results of such an investigation into Dufay's Missa 'Ave regina celorum' is a valuable case in point. But the point here is that this is neither the only worthwhile line of investigation nor one that is in most cases likely to yield convincing results. Further, the most important question is not whether such reconstruction is feasible in a particular case but how one chooses to evaluate and use it. To insist on it as the only worthwhile editorial goal would be not only to disregard modes of musical production, transmission and practice most typical of the fifteenth century but enormously to impoverish the range of knowledge that we may glean from their surviving traces. Perhaps more worrying still, as Wegman notes (loc. cit.), 'To edit a "definitive original," in such cases, is to project an interpretation onto those periods which may well prejudice subsequent historical research based on the edition'.

37 One important question we have left out of this equation is, of course, that of the prevalence or otherwise in the fifteenth century of aural transmission. An important component of our concept of the 'work' is clearly its tangibility and fixity as literature. If, as David Fallows has recently suggested, 'we are dealing with an era in which aural transmission was as important as written' ('Embellishment and Urtext in the Fifteenth-Century Song Repertories', Basler Jahrbuch fur historische Musikpraxis, xiv (1990), 59-85, at p. 73), then clearly a vast range of further, and largely unreconstructable, variables enter the picture. Perhaps the most obvious of these, that of ornamentation, is discussed in note 38, below.

38 Even beyond the aspects of performance which are susceptible to notation, embellishment and ornamentation may have added still another stage to the progress of the musical work into sound. Quite apart from the cases in which more or less florid versions of individual fifteenth-century works have survived, embellishment is to be expected from the nature of the training musicians at the time received. As Fallows has noted, 'That singers did often embellish may be seen as a consequence of a tradition in which they were trained, and which was part of their day-to-day practice, namely improvising counterpoints against a tenor' ('Embellishment and Urtext in the Fifteenth-Century Song Repertories', p. 84). However, Fallows concludes that the song sources do not support the addition of embellishments to the written notes of the composed repertory, preferring to characterize deviation from the written notes in practice as 'articulation'. Whatever we choose to call modifications in practice to the surface detail of what is written, though, it is clear that such modifications must have occurred, a conclusion supported by the many such variants, particularly at cadences, in the sources. Fallows further characterizes embellishment as something more properly belonging in the arena of aural transmission which, as noted in note 37, above, he concludes is as important as written transmission in this period. He asks 'how far the fifteenth-century song repertory has a fixed text, and how far it must be thought subject to the freedoms that accompany the notion of an aural culture. Obviously, if it is really a mainly aural repertory without established texts, that could imply that the performer has a certain implicit invitation (or even an obligation) to decorate at will' (ibid., p. 74). On this basis, he sees the wide divergences between the readings of some songs as evidence of a higher degree of aural transmission in such cases than for those songs which survive in more uniform copies. However, the view which seeks to equate written transmission with musical stability and aural transmission with fluidity may well be anachronistic: as Fallows himself observes (p. 73) and as Margaret Bent has ably demonstrated, musical practice in the fifteenth century demanded different and much more highly developed patterns of memory than is the case today. There is therefore no firm basis for concluding what, if any, differences of embellishment would have been likely between a work held in the head and one held in the hands.

39 As Margaret Bent has expressed the situation recently, 'A modern edition may be said to represent a set of performance options selected from those available, whereas the original notation is material awaiting realization in performance' ('Editing Early Music', p. 385).

40 Neither the layout on the page nor the punctuation is that of the original source, where the words are simply strung out beneath the staves of the superius part. Layout and punctuation have both been editorially devised to reflect a 'reconstituted' state of the poem (as embodied in the given translation). Their purpose is to demonstrate to the modern reader the poem's probable organization as regards sound (line-lengths, rhyme) and sense (grammatical articulation, enjambment), thereby clarifying to the eye its metrical and rhythmic structure. In the course of editing the text, certain manuscript readings were emended and certain features of orthography standardized. The problem of orthography is difficult to solve, and is in any case subject to changes of fashion. We have favoured ae rather than e, Phrygiae rather than frigie, and dia rather than dya only because this seems to make for more fluent reading: ease of reading promotes swiftness of understanding and response. In the matter of emendations, close account needs to be taken of the text's discoverable meaning in order to produce a legitimate and workable version of its form of words. The making of philological choices will of necessity involve interpretative judgements about the sense of the text. The discipline of philology can never be entirely divorced from the act of interpretation, nor is the study of transmission wholly separable from that of reception. The 'scientific' strand of critical method and the 'imaginative' strand of re-creative reading cannot be loosened, still less divided, from each other.

41 'A Recently Discovered Source of Early Fifteenth Century Polyphonic Music', Musica disciplina, ii (1948), 5-74, at p. 58.

42 The manuscript reading sanctiatus is a seemingly non-existent form of which there is no trace either in Du Cange's Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis, ed. Pierre Carpenter & G. A. Louis Henschel, Paris, 1845, or in Albert Blaise, Dictionnaire latin-francais des auteurs chretiens, ed. H. Chirat, Strasbourg, 1954.

43 Rather than the nonsensical version given in Kaye's edition: 'renowned for the shaping of wood'. Sanctiatus is not an attested form; nor is there any justification for translating esus with the idea of 'shaping' rather than with its normal meaning of 'eating; taking of food'.

44 Cf. Gen. 2: 9: Produxitque Dominus Deus de humo omne lignum pulchrum visu, et ad vescendum suave; lignum etiam vitae in medio paradisi, lignumque scientiae boni et mali ('And the Lord God brought forth from the earth every [kind of] tree that is pleasant to the sight and delicious to eat; and also the Tree of Life which is in the centre of Paradise, and the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil'). If these two Trees - the lignum vitae and the lignum scientiae boni et mali - are separate entities, rather than two complementary facets of a symbolic whole, then the grammatical structure of this sentence nonetheless suggests the extreme closeness of the link between them, if not the exact nature of that link. In any case, the symbolic conflation of all the 'Trees' (Tree of Knowledge/Life, Tree of the Cross) is not a biblical tradition but is the product of early medieval thought and imagination, as exemplified by, say, Venantius.

45 Lignum also commonly means 'crucifix' (the religious artefact) as well as the Cross itself. The case of lignum provides a good example of how a 'constellation' or 'proliferation' of meanings might occur around a simple, everyday word. For the full range of meanings, see Thesaurus linguae latinae, vii/2, Leipzig, 1979, cols. 1385-9; Du Cange, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis, ed. Carpenter & Henschel, iv. 115-16; Blaise, Dictionnaire latin-francais des auteurs chretiens, ed. Chirat, p. 496.

46 There are many medieval poems which have their raison d'etre in the mystic adoration of the instruments or relics of the Passion. But one remark made by a modern commentator seems especially appropriate here. Helen Waddell, introducing her translation of Venantius Fortunatus' great processional, 'Vexilla regis prodeunt', described it as 'a mystic's Dream of the Rood'; but in her interpretation, this northern image of the Rood 'is not, as the Latins took it, the symbol and the sign: to Fortunatus, it is still the tree as it grew in the forests, foredoomed to its terrible destiny. It is the dream of men who later made their cathedral aisles in the pattern of forest rides, in whose mythology - the mind of the race, not of the individual - was the other sacred tree, Ig-Drasil, where Woden hung for nine days and nine nights that he might solve the riddle of the world' (More Latin Lyrics, London, 1980, p. 120). There is no obvious relation between sixth-century Poitiers, for which Venantius' hymn was composed, and fifteenth-century Burgundy, where Binchois's text first saw the light. But the 'Vexilla regis' was ubiquitous during the greater part of the Middle Ages, and if we want to recover the context and meaning of such poems as these we have to see them not simply as a repertory of philological information and linguistic usages but as functional artefacts which responded to a need and were received as part of a living tradition of religious expression. Helen Waddell makes the point that however allegorical and 'transcendent' certain processes of medieval thought may appear to us to have been, there was almost always a concrete substratum of direct experience on which such abstraction rested, and from which it drew sustenance. And in particular she pinpoints the collective memory, or resonance, of pagan myth with which the symbolism of Christian poetry was imbued. (For Venantius' poems, see Venanti Honori Clementiani Fortunati carminum epistularum expositionum libri undecim, ed. F. Leo ('Monumenta Germaniae historica, Auctori antiquissimi', iv/1), Berlin, 1881; 2nd edn., 1961. The poems on the Holy Cross are on pages 27-35.)

47 Intellectual delight taken in appropriating the motifs of the classical authors was common enough at many points in history from the Carolingian revival of the arts in the ninth and tenth centuries, through the twelfth- and thirteenth-century Renaissance of the cathedral schools and universities, to the 'classicizing friars' of England in the 1300s (see, for example, Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance, ed. Peter Godman, London, 1985; Edward Kennard Rand, 'The Classics in the 13th Century', Speculum, iv (1926), 249-69; Beryl Smalley, English Friars and Antiquity in the Fourteenth Century, Oxford, 1960). As Christopher Page has said recently, in a rather different context, 'we need not only a twelfth-century Renaissance, but a thirteenth- and a fourteenth-century one as well' (Discarding Images, Oxford, 1993, p. 200).

48 Ephemeris belli Troiani, in Dictys Cretensis Ephemerides belli Troiani libri sex, ed. F. Meister, Leipzig, 1872. We have not used the English translation in The Trojan War: the Chronicles of Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian, ed. R. M. Frazer, Bloomington & London, 1966. The relevant passage in Dictys reads: 'Telephus . . . cum obstinate Ulixem inter vineas, quae in loco adiunctae erant, insequeretur, praepeditus trunco vitis ruit. Id ubi Achilles procul animadvertit telum iaculatus femur sinistrum regi transfigit' (ed. Meister, p. 19); 'Telephus, when he resolutely pursued Ulysses among the vines which happened to be growing in that particular area, fell to the ground when he knocked against one of the vine-trunks. When Achilles saw this from afar, he threw a javelin (telum iaculatus) which pierced the king's left thigh.' For a brief note on Dares and Dictys, see Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask, New York, 1953, p. 50 n. 42. For a more general discussion of Dares and Dictys and their afterlife in the Middle Ages via the romances of Benoit and Guido, see Gilbert Highet, The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature, Oxford, 1949, pp. 50-55.

49 s.v. 'Telephos', Paulys Real-Encyclopadie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, ser. 2, ix (Stuttgart, 1934), col. 367.

50 C. Julii Hygini . . . fabularum liber. Basle, 1535 (repr. New York & London, 1976); Eng. trans. as The Myths of Hyginus, trans. M. A. Grant, Lawrence, Kentucky, 1960. Fabula No. 101 gives the story of Telephus' healing: 'Telephus . . . ab Achille in pugna Chironis hasta percussus dicitur. Ex quo vulnere cum in dies tetro cruciatu angeretur, petit sortem ab Apolline, quod esset remedium, responsum est ei neminem mederi posse nisi eandem hastam qua vulneratus est' (1535 edn., p. 32); 'Telephus is said to have been struck in combat by Achilles with Chiron's spear [i.e., the spear given to Achilles by Chiron]. When for [many] days he was sorely pressed by harsh torment from that wound (tetro cruciatu angeretur), he questioned [the oracle of] Apollo as to the possible remedy. The answer came that no-one could heal him except that very spear by which he had been wounded' (trans. Grant, p. 89, and cf. pp. 73, 77).

51 Benoit de Sainte-Maure's verse romance Le Roman de Troie of c. 1160-65 was based on Dares and Dictys but used Ovid and Hyginus as well; for a summary, see Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Joseph R. Strayer, New York, 1982-9, xii. 219-21. Benoit's version was well known and widely copied, and was re-used many times. A version in Latin prose by Guido delle Colonne appeared towards the end of the thirteenth century, and served as the basis for many subsequent vernacular retellings in prose and verse; see Guido delle Colonne, Historia destructionis Troiae, ed. N. E. Griffin, Cambridge, Mass., 1936; Eng. trans. by M. E. Meek, Bloomington & London, 1974. Guido's version remained authoritative throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but it does not greatly help us to understand our motet poem, since Telephus' part in the story does not include the episode or motifs in question. Nevertheless, this scenario does make it clear how widespread the general subject matter was.

52 Georges Doutrepont, Inventaire de la librairie de Philippe le Bon (1420), Brussels, 1906; idem, La litterature francaise a la cour des ducs de Bourgogne ('Bibliotheque du XVe siecle', viii), Paris, 1909, pp. xxxiii-xlix ('Les Inventaires des librairies des ducs de Bourgogne'), liv-lxviii (general bibliography).

53 Ibid., pp. 171 & 133 respectively; and see Alphonse Bayot, La Legende de Troie a la cour de Bourgogne ('Melanges', i), Bruges, 1928. The 1420 inventory reads: 'Item, ung autre livre nomme l'ISTOIRE DE TROYES, escript en parchemin, de lettre ronde, a II colonnes, historie de blanc et de noir, et enlumine d'asur et de vermeillon' (Doutrepont, Inventaire, pp. 65-66). It is not clear from the entry which particular version of the Trojan material is contained in this manuscript. On the relationship between the mythical-allegorical interpretation of the Histoire de Troyes and Philip the Good's political and religious objectives in mounting a crusade against the Turkish occupation of the Holy Land, see Marie Tanner, The Last Descendant of Aeneas: the Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor, New Haven & London, 1992, p. 288 n. 20.

54 Simone Viarre, La survie d'Ovide dans la litterature scientifique des [XII.sup.e] et [XIII.sup.e] siecles, Poitiers, 1966; Edward Kennard Rand, Ovid and his Influence, Oxford, 1925; Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, pp. 48-54 ('Curriculum Authors').

55 See 'Ovide moralise: poeme du commencement du quatorzieme siecle, publie d'apres tous les manuscrits connus' and 'Ovide moralise en prose', ed. Cornelis de Boer ('Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen te Amsterdam: afdeeling letterkunde', new ser., xv, xxi, xxx, xxxvii, xliii, lxi), Amsterdam, 1915, 1920, 1931-2, 1936, 1938, 1954; Joseph Engels, Etude sur l' 'Ovide moralise', Groningen, 1945; idem, 'L'Edition critique de l' Ovidius Moralizatus de Bersuire', Vivarium, ix (1971), 19-24. In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the text, and its derivatives, were often attributed to the fourteenth-century Welsh Dominican Thomas (de) Walleys (or Walleis, Valeys etc.).

56 Ovid, Metamorphoses, xii. 112: [cum] . . . opusque meae his sensit Telephus hastae ('as also when Telephus twice felt the power of my spear'); xiii. 171-2: ego Telephon hasta / pugnantem domui victum orantemque refeci ('It was I who with my spear defeated the warring Telephus and then healed him, defeated and begging [for help]').

57 For example, see Georgius Sabinus' moralized commentary on Ovid first published at Wittenberg in 1555 and reissued in many subsequent printings - P. Ouidii Metamorphosis, sev fabvlae poeticae: earvmque interpretatio Ethica, Physica et Historica Georgii Sabini, Frankfurt, 1589 (repr. New York & London, 1976), 407 (on Metam. xii. 112): 'Telephus Achillis hasta vulneratus & sanatus est, vt Ovidius alibi testatur his versibus: Vulnus Achilles quae quondam fecerat hosti, / Vulneris auxilium Pelius hasta tulit. Sabinus comments: 'so it is that Achilles glories in his spear, because Telephus twice felt its strength. Pliny [Historia naturalis, xxxiv. 45] writes that Achilles had been instructed by Chiron that he could heal Telephus' wound by shaking his weapon [to dislodge rust and cause it to fall on the injury]; for it is in the nature of iron to be curative (stypticam), and for this purpose it should be brought into contact with the plaster dressing of his wounds that were to be rubbed' (Hanc ob causam ita gloriatur hic Achilles de sua hasta, quod eam Telephus bis senserit. Plinius scribit Achillem a Chirone doctum, curasse Telephi vulnus per decussionem ferri; naturam enim ferri stypticam esse - ideoque eius limaturam emplastris plagarum adhiberi). Compare Raphael Regius, P. Ouidii Nasonis metamorphoseos libri moralizati cum pulcherrimis fabularum principalium figuris, Lyons, 1518 (repr. New York & London, 1976), f. [CLV.sup.r].

58 To take only the most obvious examples from among the many available, the 'Crux fidelis' section from the Veneration of the Cross in the Good Friday liturgy is in fact a cut-and-paste version of Venantius' original sixth-century 'Pange lingua', partly reworded and reordered with the 'Crux fidelis' strophe extracted and used as a refrain. Venantius' poem describes the Cross as a tree unique and noble above all others (inter omnes arbor una nobilis) that is incomparable 'in foliage, flower and seed' (fronde, flore, germine), and which 'bears a sweet burden' (dulce pondus sustinet). Even more specifically, it makes explicit the mystic theological underpinning of the Tree-Cross/Fruit-Christ symbolism: the Tree provides the fruit which, through the offence of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God in eating it (de parentis protoplasti fraude), precipitated Man into death (quando pomi noxialis morte morsu conruit); but the Creator in his compassion (condolens) then marked out the same Tree that it should wipe out the condemnation attaching to the Tree as a result of the Fall (factor . . . ipse lignum tunc notavit, damna ligni ut solveret). Then, in the liturgy of Corpus Christi, we find in the antiphon to Psalm 1 a reference to God having made possible, through his own death, 'the tasting of a fruit bringing redemption' (fructum salutiferum gustandum dedit Dominus mortis suae tempore). It is noteworthy, too, that when Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi in 1264 he is said to have asked Thomas Aquinas to write four poems - three hymns plus the grand sequence 'Lauda Sion salvatorem' - to be used in the liturgy. For one of the hymns Aquinas took as his first line Venantius' famous 'head motif', 'Pange lingua gloriosi'. This borrowing, on the part of so eminent a writer, shows how widely known and how highly valued Venantius' poem was.

59 The wounding of Telephus by Achilles' spear, and his subsequent healing with the same weapon, is adduced as a pagan parallel to the Judaic-Christian conception of mankind's fall and rescue. Man is healed through the agency of the wood of the Cross, which, in its guise as the Tree on which Christ redressed the balance (libra) of mankind's sin, is seen as a revival, or rejuvenation, of the ancient Tree of Knowledge, which is thereby redeemed and converted, as it were, into a veritable Tree of Life. The complementarity of the two phases of Man's redemption is symbolized by the mystical unity of the wood of the two trees (Tree of Life/Knowledge, Tree of the Cross). But in addition, the action involving Achilles and Telephus is seen as an allegorical or emblematic precursor of the Christian model of sin healed by the redemptive action of Christ. So the parallelism embraces not only the Jewish and Christian covenants but also those events of pagan antiquity which appear to foreshadow the new order.

60 See, for instance, J. T. Welter, L'Exemplum dans la litterature religieuse et didactique du moyen age, Paris & Toulouse, 1927 (repr. Geneva, 1973); Roy A. Wisbey, 'Living in the Presence of the Past: Exemplary Perspectives in Gottfried's Tristan', Gottfried von Strassburg and the Medieval Tristan Legend, ed. Adrian Stevens & Roy Wisbey, London, 1990, pp. 257-76; Jacques Le Goff, 'Le Temps de l'Exemplum: [XIII.sup.e] siecle', Le Temps chretien de latin de l'antiquite au moyen age: actes du colloque international du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris, 9-12 March 1981), Paris, 1984, pp. 553-6.

61 See The Myths of Hyginus, trans. Grant, pp. 10, 73, 77, 89.

62 For example, the feasts of the Finding (3 May) and Exaltation (14 September) of the Holy Cross (see Willi Apel, Gregorian Chant, new edn., Bloomington & London, 1990, pp. 60, 72), and the part of the Good Friday observances called the Veneration of the Cross. The Finding and Exaltation are both probably Greek in origin, but the Exaltation was already in use in the West by the seventh century. By contrast, the feast of Corpus Christi, which is informed by a deeply mystical cast of mind, was first established only in 1264 (see Miri Rubin, Corpus Christi: the Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture, Cambridge, 1991). For the significance of Corpus Christi to the self-image of Habsburg and Burgundian rulers, see Tanner, The Last Descendant of Aeneas, Chap. 11 ('The Hapsburg Cult of the Eucharist'), esp. pp. 208, 214-15.

63 See Barbara Haggh, 'The Archives of the Order of the Golden Fleece and Music', Journal of the Royal Musical Association, cxx (1995), 1-43, at pp. 31-32. On the mythic self-image of the Habsburg rulers, see Tanner, The Last Descendant of Aeneas, passim, and, for the connections of that image with particular aspects of Christian ritual symbolism, Chap. 10 ('Fidecrucem: the Hapsburg Veneration of the Cross'), pp. 183-206, and Chap. 11 ('The Hapsburg Cult of the Eucharist'), pp. 207-22.

64 Jean Frappier, Chretien de Troyes et le mythe du Graal, rev. edn., Paris 1972, Chap. 8 ('Les Origines du mythe et le symbolisme des objets merveilleux dans le Conte du Graal'), pp. 163-212. This book is a clearly laid out but subtly articulated introduction to the whole question. See also Frappier's Autour du Graal (Geneva, 1977), a collection of articles written over a span of more than twenty years.

65 For the similarity between the way Chretien describes the lance and the usual medieval descriptions of the spear of Longinus, see Guy Vial, Le Conte du Graal: sens et unite. La Premiere Continuation, Geneva, 1987, p. 83 (& n. 92). See also Frappier, Autour du Graal, pp. 21, 23, 357-8. For a summary of the question of the lance, see idem, Chretien de Troyes et le mythe du Graal, pp. 170-74, 209-10.

66 Those belonging to the branch of the tradition attributed to pseudo-Wace (Vial, Le Conte du Graal, esp. MS L; see pp. 210, 217-19); cf. Frappier, Autour du Graal, pp. 39-46 ('Les Continuateurs de Chretien de Troyes: Roger de Boron; Pseudo-Wauchier').

67 Ibid., pp. 34-39.

68 Ibid., p. 357.

69 Ibid., pp. 39-44.

70 Ibid., pp. 44-61.

71 See Doutrepont, Inventaire de la librairie de Philippe le Bon (1420), Nos. 68, 203, 204 (pp. 30-31, 136-8), and also No. 227 (p. 153). In 1467 the ducal library also contained a Grand Saint-Graal or Joseph d'Arimathie in addition to the Holy Grail and Round Table manuscripts already in its possession prior to 1420; see Doutrepont, La litterature francaise a la cour des ducs de Bourgogne. pp. 6 ff.

72 Lewis Lockwood (Music in Renaissance Ferrara 1400-1505: the Creation of a Musical Centre in the Fifteenth Century, Oxford, 1984) notes in connection with ModB that 'although the musical material [of the source] is of good quality, the Latin texts of many motets are corrupt and at times senseless, showing that the scribe did not know Latin well enough to know where he was going wrong' (p. 61), even if the layout of music and words does show evidence of 'careful text fitting' (p. 63).

73 See Jeanne Marix, Histoire de la musique et des musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne sous le regne de Philippe le Bon (1420-1467), Strasbourg, 1939 (repr. Baden-Baden, 1974). The list of singers as it appears in the motet is printed and briefly discussed on pages 175-6; the forms of their names should be compared with the variants given in Marix's index. More up-to-date biographical information on many of the singers can be found in Barbara Haggh, Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels 1350-1500 (unpublished dissertation), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988, as noted below. Haggh (pp. 447-8) also notes the occasion for which the motet was written.

74 'Of what great merit is this mother as she zealously gives birth to her first-born son, how virtuous may she be who, when she bore Anthoine, thereby gave joy and happiness to all Burgundians. Without this great mystery of childbirth they [the Burgundians] would have remained gloomy and dejected, but this event has brought them comfort' (Enixa meritis primogenitum cum parit quantae sit illa [MS: ille] virtutis Antonium quae [MS: qua] peperit, gaudia patens cunctis quis Burgondis haec beavit. Hoc ante puerperium grande quidem misterium maesti forent et atri [MS: atria] sed sivit factum solacium). To judge from the distorted word order and traces of spondaic and dactylic patterning, this text looks as though it may have been written in hexameters but then deformed.

75 The child was born on 30 September 1430 and would no doubt have been baptized in private more or less immediately, but the official public ceremony took place the following January at the church of St-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels; see Marix, Histoire de la musique et des musiciens de la cour de Bourgogne, pp. 28-29, 162.

76 Given that the motet survives in a Ferrarese source, it is just conceivable that the text might have been altered to refer to the Paduan saint (on the grounds that he might possibly be considered a 'local' figure, but cf. Lockwood, Music in Renaissance Ferrara, pp. 61-62). However, a strong objection to this possibility is that all the other specifically Burgundian references have remained entirely unaltered and would not have been very meaningful in Ferrara. Two other points are perhaps significant here. First, there is a Binchois antiphon - also transmitted in ModB (f. [51.sup.v]) - with the following text: Vox de celo ad Anthonium facta est: Quoniam viriliter dimicasti. ecce ego tecum sum, et faciam te in toto orbe nominari ('Since you have struggled manfully, behold, I am with you, and I shall ensure that you are renowned throughout the world'). This text was a famous dictum that was quoted in the portrait of St Anthony given in Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend, whence it is found in rhymed offices in honour of St Anthony (we are indebted to Jeremy Noble for this information); furthermore, the idea of striving 'manfully' would be an appropriate strength to wish for the male heir of a princely house, and it seems plausible to suggest that this antiphon may have been used at some point during the baptism ceremony to request for the infant the manly virtues of courage, constancy and renown. Second, J. Michael Allsen has pointed out ('Binchois' "Nove cantum melodie" and the Contenance angloise', paper read at the First International Conference on Gilles de Bins, dit Binchois, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 31 October 1995) that the same name had been that of an illustrious, recently deceased member of the Burgundian ruling gens. Anthony, Duke of Brabant.

77 One could arguably omit pigmentumque as a presumed addition, on grounds of syllable count (4 + 6 syllables per line); an alternative solution might be to omit valde bona. (The post-classical sense of pigmentum as 'the juice of plants', or medicinal substances derived from such juices, is the one intended here.) Also for reasons of syllable count, et in the second line of the extract should either be omitted or elided with bona.

78 confinibus propitiis = 'in propitious places', perhaps 'at propitious times' (confinis or confine in the sense of 'temporal limit' or 'temporal conjunction'); another possible reading might be [his] confinibus propitium colunt = 'they worship the Merciful One in these places'; Kaye's propinquis (from propinquus = 'neighbouring'; propinqua = 'neighbouring regions', 'nearby areas' etc.) has only three rather than four syllables (the present reconstruction supposes a 10:7:10:7:4:4:10:10:6 syllabic structure, that is, the 7:7:7:6 pattern common in sequences interspersed with lines of four and ten syllables, the whole scheme bound by a slightly 'loose' or 'irregular' use of rhyme).

79 corde fuso may be rendered as 'with a free, untrammelled heart', or 'with a flowing, expansive inner feeling' (i.e., of devotion).

80 salutis remedium, which might more convincingly be interpreted as a reference to the 'remedy of salvation', in which case we might assume either that the entire focus of the text has to do specifically with baptism and its place in the whole programme of sacramental rites by which Man is liberated from sin, or else that the poem embodies a parallel between medicinal cure of the body and sacramental cure of the soul.

81 plura = 'more things, in greater quantity'.

82 signa = signs in the biblical (esp. NT) sense of 'auspicious, numinous happenings', that is, events which, being miraculous, are manifestations of divine power at work.

83 As in modern French, the pronunciation of the single letter 'j' would accord with the 'i' rhymes used in this section of text.

84 [per] quos imitatur et modulatur, 'through whom her verbal and musical utterance is channelled', that is, the invention, expression and performance of a text through music. The use of the verb imitor/-ari relates to the classical doctrine of imitation as the foundation of artistic representation; modulor/-ari here means 'to sing'.

85 For Richard de Bellengues, see Haggh, Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels, pp. 544-6; Tom R. Ward, 'Cardot [Richard de Bellengues]', The New Grove, iii. 777. 'Fabri' was a common family name in the Low Countries (Haggh, Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels, pp. 588-9). 'Floridi' is probably Nicolas Floris (ibid., p. 590). Kaye unaccountably translates rubi as 'red' ('red Anthony'!), whereas it is, of course, the name of the chapel singer Guillaume Ruby. The singer 'de Terre' may well be Jean de la Tour (= de Turre in Latin). For Petault, see ibid., p. 644; for Foliot (= Philippe de la Folie/de Folia), see ibid., p. 590; for Symon le Breton, see ibid., p. 559, and David Fallows, 'Simon le Breton', The New Grove, xvii. 323; for Mathias de Brakele, see Haggh, Music, Liturgy, and Ceremony in Brussels, p. 558; for Maillart, see ibid., p. 626.

86 Hesperiae = 'the western lands', usually referring either to Italy or, as here, to the Iberian peninsula. The 'greater' and 'lesser' of the Hesperiae are Spain and Portugal respectively (Anthony of Padua was, of course, born in Lisbon).

87 This reference makes it clear that the text is addressed primarily to Anthony of Padua, who was classified as a 'Confessor and Doctor of the Church', whereas Anthony of Vienne was simply an 'Abbot'. The saint is called on to alleviate the various illnesses and disorders - mental, bodily, spiritual, institutional and social - that assail the people and the duchy.

88 We should not forget that behind the composite idea of the 'court' lies a complex social and ideological structure in which political, administrative, ceremonial, religious and artistic functions coexisted and interpenetrated.

89 The interested parties and players in this game were, most obviously, the political overlord and all those under him whose task was to perpetuate the administrative and ceremonial functions on which his position rested, that is to say, the ruling gens of the duchy, their feudal vassals or chivalric associates, the higher ranks of the clergy, the court and chapel functionaries (including the musical staff) and so on.

90 See William F. Prizer, 'Music and Ceremonial in the Low Countries: Philip the Fair and the Order of the Golden Fleece', Early Music History, v (1985), 113-53; Haggh, 'The Archives of the Order of the Golden Fleece and Music'.

91 The reason behind the writing of E. M. W. Tillyard's The Elizabethan World Picture (London, 1943) was the need to make explicit the whole political - cosmological background of thought and ideas which was implicit in Shakespeare's histories. In the case of fifteenth-century Burgundy, we may say that the allegiance of the individual to the institution he served was part and parcel of his role in enhancing the institution's ability to embody its proper purposes and virtues, commensurate with its active position within the universal hierarchy. So far as 'fame' and 'renown' were concerned, it was the radiation of the court's reputation as a centre of 'exemplary practice' that was primary. The role of the gifted individual was to help create that exemplary status, which could then be disseminated as an influential 'force for good' (i.e., a 'virtue' in the strong sense of the word).

92 In the context of religious observance and mediation any artefact necessarily had a two-way focus. While inhabiting the sublunary world where things were by nature unstable and transient, it was also directed towards the divine region where things were eternal and immutable. Since part of the purpose of the musical work was to mediate between these two worlds, its 'fittingness' had to embrace something in each of them, partaking both of the intellectual perfection of incorporeal number, with its unchanging clarity and definition, and of the expressive flow of terrestrial music, which, though having a nature subject to growth and decay, nonetheless had the power to change and affect human dispositions on earth. In the Complexus effectuum musices, Tinctoris lists many therapeutic effects of music which are designed to alter the soul's intrinsic state and so prepare it to receive divine grace (for which music is thus enabling). In addition, music 'is pleasing to God' (Deum delectat), 'makes souls blessed' (animas beatificat), 'redoubles the joys of the blessed' (gaudia beatorum amplificat) and 'enhances the praise of God' (laudes Dei decorat); see Johannes Tinctoris, Opera theoretica, ed. Albert Seay ('Corpus scriptorum de musica', xxii), American Institute of Musicology, 1975, ii. 165-6.

93 See Bent, 'Editing Early Music', pp. 384-92.

94 Any 'performance text' possesses its own particular infrastructure of tacit agreements and conventions, in addition to any prescriptive legislations that may apply to it. This is another way of saying that a clearly articulated and codified system founded and built up on explicit principles is a quite different thing from a cultural practice which has evolved gradually and is governed by implicit agreements that are often largely invisible, even - or perhaps especially - to those most closely involved. Indeed, the most commonly held assumptions in respect of any cultural practice, in whatever field of activity, are precisely those which appear, from within the culture in question, to be self-evident and axiomatic, to be in a sense 'pre-critical' (i.e., not subject to scrutiny). For a modern critique of the strong 'work-centric/composer-centric' bias of the last 200 years, see Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works, esp. Chap. 4 ('The Central Claim') and Chap. 7 ('Musical Production without the Work-Concept'). As we have already noted (see p. 575, above), the important point to remember is that these 'invisible' or axiomatic assumptions will not and cannot be the same for the fifteenth century as for the twentieth.

95 Most of these musician-motets appear to date from the second half of the fourteenth century, so by this reckoning Binchois's composition would be the latest of the 'group', which comprises works of both English and French origin including 'Sub Arturo plebs'. 'Apollinis eclipsatur', 'Alma polis religio' and 'Musicalis sciencia'; see Motets of French Provenance, ed. Frank Ll. Harrison ('Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century', v), Monaco, 1968. These motets were clearly in some sense a kind of overt professional statement, a 'programmatic' rhetorical defence of shared professional interests. In them we can overhear the active members of a musical tradition seeking to validate themselves by reference to a wider cultural framework, whether religious (music in the service of Church and State), national (England versus France in 'Sub Arturo plebs'), or historical (the 'genealogy' of music from Orpheus, Pythagoras and Jubal, through Boethius, Gregory, Guido and Johannes de Muris, down to Machaut, Vitry and the contemporary scene).

96 See the Census Catalogue of Manuscript Sources of Polyphonic Music 1400-1550, American Institute of Musicology, 1979-88, i. 6-7 & ii. 172-3 respectively.

97 Marian Cobin, 'The Compilation of the Aosta Manuscript: a Working Hypothesis', Dufay Quincentenary Conference, ed. Allan W. Atlas, New York. 1976, pp. 76-101; Reinhard Strohm, 'Native and Foreign Polyphony in Late Medieval Austria', Musica disciplina, xxxviii (1984), 205-30, at pp. 219-20; idem, The Rise of European Music, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 137, 251-4.

98 'European Cathedral Music and the Trent Codices' (forthcoming).

99 This view chimes in with Gadamer's views (Truth and Method) on the meaning of works of art, as encapsulated by Lydia Goehr: 'One might consider Gadamer's suggestion that the meaning of an artwork is to be found not "in" the artwork, but in its interpretative experience(s). Interpretation involves a "fusion of horizons" - a fusion of a present with a past world-view to which the artwork gives us access. This fusion is mediated through the continuity of a tradition. On this account, an artwork takes on meaning through radically historicized and continuously revisable interpretation' (The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works, p. 53). Yet in the case of the music of Binchois, as in many similar cases, the very notion of a 'continuing' tradition must be discarded, given the vast divide - both chronological and cultural - between the era in which the works were used and our modern revival of them.

100 As Goehr has put it: 'Reintroducing early music into the modern repertoire as "timeless masterpieces" gave to early composers what they never had in their lifetime - precise notations, multiple performances, and eternal fame' (ibid., p. 247). Rob Wegman has made a similar point: 'in the emphasis on "the composer's original" one can detect a profoundly unhistorical mode of thinking. It shows that the editor's aim is in fact to undo the course of history . . . The "original version" is thus recovered from the maelstrom of history and given another chance to speak for itself - this time to an age more inclined to regard it as authoritative and autonomous. Far from avoiding anachronism, then, the critical editor gives fifteenth-century composers the reception they never received in history - and may not, in fact, have solicited' ('Miserere supplicanti Dufay', p. 52). Similarly, 'Dufay himself was probably much less concerned about the authoritative status of his autograph (and consequently about the terms on which his music was to be received) than the editorial project presupposes' (ibid., p. 53).

101 As, for example, in the case of the separate editions of the two readings of the Missa 'Soyez aprantiz' in Trent, Museo Nazionale, MS 90 (Trent 90) and Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS San Pietro B80 by Rudolf Flotzinger in Trienter Codices, vii ('Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich', cxx), Graz & Vienna, 1970, pp. 47-61 & 95-108 respectively.

102 Such a solution is elegantly demonstrated by Liesel Carrington in her Ph.D. dissertation forthcoming at the University of Nottingham. We are grateful to Ms Carrington for permission to discuss her method here.

103 One edition showing something of this method is that of Binchois's song 'Deuil angoisseux' in Sechs Trienter Codices II. Auswahl, ed. Guido Adler & Oswald Koller ('Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich', xxii, Jg. xi/1), repr. Graz, 1959, pp. 242-4, in which the various alternative contratenors of the song are entered one above the other.

104 As a final cautionary note, even if the material differences between the readings of a given work may sometimes be minimal, this should not blind us to the vast conceptual differences between the use and evaluation of musical works in the fifteenth century and today. The same point was made by Margaret Bent in relation to the dichotomy between fifteenth-century and modern perceptions of semitonal pitch adjustment. The very different training of today's singers means that they require far more indicated accidentals than their fifteenth-century forebears: 'This indicates a major conceptual difference between the two systems. Our mistake is to read either their notation or ours without awareness of the magnitude of that difference, even if the differences that force its recognition are infrequent or small' ('Editing Early Music', p. 389).
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Title Annotation:Gilles Binchois
Author:Kirkman, Andrew; Weller, Philip
Publication:Music & Letters
Date:Nov 1, 1996
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