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The manuscript sources of Divina auxiliante gratia.

Habent sua fata libelli.

--Maurus, De litteris, syllabis et metris

Traditional textual scholarship regarded manuscript witnesses as degenerate copies of the text the author intended; the critic's task was to eliminate the dross and recover the original. In his Essai de poetique medievale, however, Paul Zumthor saw the variation among manuscript copies of the "same" text as an essential characteristic of medieval writing; (1) as Bernard Cerquiglini put it in his Eloge de la variante, the task of the medieval scribe was not to copy but to rewrite. (2) Present-day textual scholarship, accordingly, sees surviving witnesses not as deficient copies but as versions of a text valid in their own right, whose meaning is determined not only by the words that make them up but by the company in which they are placed and the manner in which they are presented; as Andrew Taylor notes in Textual Situations, the "meaning" of a text is not fixed but evolves diachronically. (3) Though a lost original may be said to have a destiny, in fact that destiny consists of multiple threads. Each copy of a text acquires a destiny bound to the physical document that contains it and subject to reinterpretation by later generations, based not only on its original creation but also on the conditions under which it has survived.

Traditional historiography of music theory placed such value on the lost original that it not only devalued variants, but also typically ignored those compendia that are dependent almost exclusively on sources recognized as significant, most particularly when these bear attribution to a named author. The fame of the parent work that originally assured their creation and preservation would today assure their virtual anonymity.

Divina auxiliante gratia (hereafter Divina) is a fifteenth-century music theory compendium whose content is drawn exclusively from the Lucidarium of Marchetto of Padua, a seminal work on plainchant theory by the leading music theorist of the Italian Trecento. Traditional views would dismiss Divina as a mere stepchild of its distinguished parent, likely undeserving of an edition of its own. Should it be deemed to merit one, the convention of tradition would certainly relegate its variant readings to the bottom of the page. Yet a study of its six surviving sources clearly shows that in the fifteenth century, Divina could literally stand in for its famous parent, was indeed considered a viable substitute, and was generally given a privileged position and enhanced decoration in its host manuscripts. Moreover, two redactors treated the text with exceptional liberty; their treatments (discussed below) are noteworthy, but cannot easily be accommodated in a conventional edition.

Divina's six manuscript sources confirm the distinction of Marchetto's reputation; in addition, they further corroborate the importance and necessity of the plainchant theory during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance--importance and necessity that, though long recognized, have often been obscured by scholarly fascination with the concurrent development of polyphony. These sources also provide important evidence that compendia often have intentional design and purpose (though both may appear haphazard at first glance), as do the manuscripts that house them; and that a text's physical position in a manuscript and the size and decoration of its initials not only reflect the redactors' plans but also reveal a sense of the importance of particular works.

Biographical Excursus

Marchetto of Padua and his French contemporary Johannes de Muris were the preeminent music theorists of the fourteenth century. Both were influential for centuries, and the manuscript traditions of their works are entwined; the manuscripts considered here are typical in that respect. As I will make abundant reference to both in this essay, I will sketch their careers and influence at the outset, (4) beginning with Johannes, since the brief biography of Marchetto directly returns the discussion to Divina.

Johannes de Muris

Johannes de Muris was a mathematician and an astronomer as well as a music theorist. Known dates in his life extend from 1310, when he was implicated, along with his father, in the murder of a cleric; through the 1320s, when he was at the Sorbonne; to 1345, the year of his text on calendar reform, written in Avignon for the pope. His Notitia artis musice (1321) is the earliest treatise on the French theory of fourteenth-century rhythmic notation; he developed the theory further in the Compendium musice practice. The Ars practica mensurabilis cantus (formerly known as Libellus cantus mensurabilis), ascribed to him in more than fifty manuscripts, is the earliest complete statement of the theory, which became the foundation of the system of rhythmic notation that prevailed until around 1600. The Ars contrapuncti secundum magistrum Johannem de Muris (after 1340) is the most widely disseminated medieval treatise on counterpoint, with fourteen surviving sources. (5)

Marchetto of Padua

Marchetto of Padua was cantor at the cathedral of Padua during the first decade of the fourteenth century; recent research has placed him at the Naples court of Robert of Anjou and among the retinue of the royal couple when they departed for Avignon on May 18, 1318. (6) In the Pomerium in arte musice mensurate (between 1317 and 1319), dedicated to Robert, Marchetto set out the principles of an indigenous Italian system of rhythmic notation that differed in essential respects from Johannes's system and that flourished in Italy for a hundred years before its displacement by the more versatile French system. In the Lucidarium in arte musice plane, written shortly before the Pomerium, he proposed a division of the whole tone into fifths that contradicted the strictures of the prevailing "Pythagorean" tuning system of his time, removing an obstacle that could have blocked the eventual development of the present-day system of equal temperament. In this work he also developed a theory of chromatic progressions (those in which a melody proceeds directly from, say, C-natural to C-sharp), adapting earlier melodic theories to the musical realities of his day, and expounded a theory of modes in plainchant (predecessors of present-day major and minor keys) based on pentachord and tetrachord species (arrays respectively of five and of four consecutive pitches); his doctrine of modes became the basis of later such theories applicable to both plainchant and polyphony. (7)

In the Lucidarium and the Pomerium Marchetto spoke in a high scholastic mode, but he eventually fashioned a shorter treatment of rhythmic notation, the Brevis compilatio, which presents his theory of rhythmic notation without its scholastic vesture. (8) The anonymous Divina came to perform the same function for Marchetto's theory of mode.

Divina auxiliante gratia: Background and Extant Sources


The destiny of Marchetto's Lucidarium has thus far not involved oblivion or anonymity. Only one of its eighteen surviving witnesses fails to name its author, and there are records of its having been read in every century since the fourteenth. But in the cut-and-paste world of the medieval text, that destiny did involve being broken into bits and pieces that were separated from the whole and scattered, with or without attribution, through countless other writings. (9) While traces of Marchetto's idiosyncratic doctrines are ubiquitous in Italian manuscripts of the fifteenth century, in two instances compendia drawn from the Lucidarium's modal theory established their own manuscript traditions, became texts in their own right, and acquired their own destinies: the shorter Sciendum est quod antiquitus survives in three sources, the more expansive Divina in six, as mentioned above, one of which came to light only in the present decade. (10)

The Six Sources of Divina: Similarities

The six extant sources of Divina auxiliante gratia are:

Bergamo, Biblioteca Civica "Angelo Mai," MAB 21; Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ashburnham 1119; Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Pluteus 29.48; Pisa, Biblioteca Universitaria, 606; Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, B.83; Venice, Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Correr 336, part 4.

Though in many respects the six versions of Divina are quite different, there are significant similarities.

1. Dating and origin: All are in fifteenth-century (or possibly very early sixteenth-century) Italian manuscripts (as witnessed by dates, watermarks, orthography, texts included). All now reside in libraries in Italy. As relatively few Italian fourteenth-century manuscripts of music theory are extant, the fact that all surviving copies of Divina are from the fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries does not preclude its having been compiled in the fourteenth century. In the sixteenth century, Marchetto's modal theory was absorbed into that of other major theorists whose works were propagated principally through prints rather than manuscripts.

2. Contents of the manuscripts containing Divina: All copies of Divina appear in manuscripts devoted either exclusively or primarily to music theory; and Divina keeps good company: four of the manuscripts include the Ars practica mensurabilis cantus ascribed to Johannes de Muris; five include the Ars contrapuncti, likewise ascribed to him; two include Book I of the Berkeley Compendium, notable as the earliest (1375) extensive treatment of accidentals (sharps and flats) outside the standard medieval array, which included only B-flats in addition to the "white" notes. (11)

3. Contents of the Divina text: In all versions, Divina includes the core of Marchetto's doctrine of mode along with its preliminary treatment of intervals. The longer versions include as well an expanded treatment of modal theory, a discussion of musical punctuation, and material concerning elementary notation.

4. Attribution: With one exception (discussed below), the Divina text begins with a preface that reads:
   Diuina auxiliante gratia breuem tractatum compilare intendo
   de arte musicali plana, et hoc primo ad eruditionem mei,
   secundo ad proficuum adiscentium, tamen pro maiori parte
   ex libris boetij ac excellentissimi doctoris musice, videlicet
   Magistri marcheti paduani, extractum.

   With the aid of divine grace I intend to compile a short
   treatise on the art of plainchant, first for my own edification
   and second for the benefit of pupils. [It is] extracted for the
   most part from the books of Boethius and the most excellent
   teacher of music Master Marchetto the Paduan. (12)

The compiler thus intervenes between Marchetto and his text and forces Marchetto to share credit with--perhaps be validated by--Boethius; in fact, there is nothing from Boethius in Divina. Despite the admission that the text is a compilation and that credit must be shared, in all manuscripts but one (Venice 336) it is clear that Divina functions as a primary representative of Marchetto's work. His authority, in reality, goes uncontested.

5. Placement of the text in the manuscript and appearance of initials: In manuscripts from this time, the importance of a treatise is often indicated by its being placed at the beginning of a gathering or the top of a recto, and by the size and decoration of its initial. In all six sources, Divina is given a large decorated initial (often the largest in the manuscript) or has space left for one; in three, it is honored through placement at the beginning of a gathering, and in two others, at the top of a recto.

Individual Sources: Physical Condition, Contents Summary, Divina's Treatment

Turning now to the elements that distinguish one presentation of Divina from another in its sources, I will discuss the individual manuscripts and Divina's place in them, moving in progression from those which originally most respected the integrity of the text (or whose redactors intended to do so) to those which took the greatest liberties with it.

Pisa, Biblioteca Universitaria, 606, 189 pp. (Divina, part 1, pp. 111-125), paper, 263 x 180 mm, Northeast Italy, 1429

Pisa 606, copied in 1429, is one of only two Divina sources that bear a date. All published descriptions, beginning with Adrian de La Fage's, (13) treat the codex as two separate manuscripts bound together; recently Giuliano Di Bacco demonstrated that the two parts must have originally belonged to a single document that was later split in two and whose parts were then reassembled in the wrong order. The papers of both parts bear the same watermark; their writing blocks are identical in dimensions and lining, and (except for the item Nota quod novem) they were copied by the same hand. Moreover, if the present order of the sections were reversed to restore the manuscript's original layout, the largest (and most imposing) initial would come at the beginning of the manuscript, and what would become the last section would show the progressive decline in quality of execution often encountered toward the ends of manuscripts. Once the two parts are properly ordered, indeed, Pisa 606 emerges as a magnificent anthology representing, and distinguishing, French and Italian theoretical traditions: the first part is devoted to the French tradition--especially as represented by the work of Johannes de Muris--and the second to the Italian, represented by Marchetto of Padua.

Contents summary: (14)

Original first part: Johannes de Muris and the French tradition
   Musica [speculativa] magistri Johannis de Muris;
   Ars practica mensurabilis cantus [secundum Johannem de Muris];
   Tractatus figurarum; (15)
   Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris;
   Liber de proportionibus musice Johannis de Ciconiis; (16)
   Contrapunctus secundum magistrum Johannem de Garlandia; (17)
   Quoniam de canendi scientia; (18)
   "Jusquinus," Nota quod novem sunt consonantie.

Original second part: Marchetto and the Italian tradition
   Lucidarium Marcheti de Padua in musica plana;
   Pomerium musice mensurabili Marcheti de Padua;
   Rubrice breves magistri Marcheti de Padua; (19)
   Extractus Marcheti de Padua de tonis (= Divina auxiliante
   Regule de tonis secundum illorum de Francia;
   Exempla regularum Johannis de Muris. (20)

The manuscript was beautifully prepared and executed in a neat, clear hand with few errors. Of all the manuscripts, this one most respects all its individual treatises as entities: each begins at the top of a fresh page; each begins with an initial or with space left for one (see fig. 1); most are clearly identified in a caption or a colophon (sometimes both). Evidently this document was intended not just to collect the texts it transmits, but to monumentalize them. As Di Bacco points out, the redactor seems to have made an effort to represent the main authors as broadly as possible; this is one of the few sources in which Johannes de Muris's unreservedly theoretical Musica speculativa rubs shoulders with the eminently practical Ars practica mensurabilis cantus, and the only source that contains Divina along with its parent Lucidarium. (Marchetto's Brevis compilatio, notably absent, had a very narrow dissemination; perhaps it was unavailable, or even unknown, to the redactor.)

The text of Divina is good but is truncated, closing near the bottom of a recto much earlier in the text than any other source and without a colophon; given the redactor's penchant for inclusion, it is likely that he was copying from a defective source. Aside from an excerpt on ligatures drawn from the Brevis compilatio in Rome B.83, only Pisa 606 contains works ascribed to Marchetto other than Divina.

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ashburnham 1119, 80 fols. (Divina, 33r-46r), paper, 194-198 x 139-140 mm, Italy, fifteenth century

The redactor of Florence 1119 also seems to have had a clear design in mind, as a summary of the contents shows (here plotted against the manuscript's three constituent libelli).

Contents summary: (21)

Libellus 1

Opusculum de arte musica; small treatises on music fundamentals.

Libellus 2

Divina auxiliante gratia; treatise on ratios and intervals; five small treatises on counterpoint.

Libellus 3

Ars practica mensurabilis cantus secundum Johannem de Muris; six small treatises on counterpoint.

The manuscript was carefully prepared. The first treatise in each libellus is provided with an initial; both Divina, opening libellus 2, and the Ars practica mensurabilis cantus, opening libellus 3, have large initials within the writing block; Divinas is the most ornate (see fig. 2). No space was left for the first initial (on the first verso, not the first recto, of the manuscript), so that, unlike the other initials, it had to be placed in the margin. This makes the first libellus appear to be something of an afterthought; and, indeed, the writing block of the first libellus differs from that of the remainder of the manuscript in both dimensions and lining. So this redactor, like that of Pisa 606, appears to have intended, through the works that open the second and third libelli, to highlight plainchant theory and the notation of rhythm, Italian theory and French, Marchetto of Padua and Johannes de Muris, Divina auxiliante gratia and the Ars practica mensurabilis cantus. He then filled space remaining in the two libelli with smaller treatises addressing other aspects of music theory. The Opusculum covers fundamentals of music theory, as do the small treatises that follow it in the first libellus. If the addition of the first libellus was indeed an afterthought, it may have been prompted by a wish to provide elementary material to better prepare for the more advanced material covered in Divina.

Florence 1119 is one of three manuscripts that contain the full text of Divina. Comparison with the other manuscripts shows that the compiler intervened only minimally in the text, with occasional insertions that further explain or sum up a previous topic in language borrowed primarily from sections of the Lucidarium not found in other copies of Divina. Thus it appears that this version of Divina was compiled or copied by someone who wished to preserve Marchetto's ideas and who knew the Lucidarium well enough to turn to it when he felt the need for further clarity. The Opusculum supports that hypothesis, as it borrows frequently from the Lucidarium, often citing chapter and paragraph.

On the whole, Florence 1119 has one of the most accurate texts of Divina. Unfortunately, it has suffered because the ink, especially in the musical examples, has eaten the paper, making the notation nearly illegible and also obliterating words in the text on the reverse side (see fig. 2).

Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, B.83, composite, music section 81 fols. (Divina, 18r-29v), paper, 136-140 x 101-105 mm, Italy, fifteenth century

The redactor of Rome B.83 evidently intended to collect a variety of texts on plainchant, counterpoint, ratios, and rhythmic notation, including some by major figures from the early fourteenth through the early fifteenth centuries. In addition to Johannes de Muris and Marchetto, he includes Philippe de Vitry, Johannes Ciconia (both composers as well as theorists), and Nicolaus of Capua, whose Compendium musicale, did it not break off on a verso after about the first tenth of its text as found in another manuscript, would have been its longest single item by far. But Rome B.83 was neither carefully prepared nor carefully written and--excepting the mere fact of its preservation--its destiny has not involved much better treatment. It now suffers not only from missing folios but also from a radical restoration, in the course of which leaves were arbitrarily joined to make bifolios in such a way that it is now impossible to determine the original structure. From La Fage's description, it is clear that the leaves are not in the same order as they were when he saw it in the middle of the nineteenth century. (22) Almost every text in the manuscript is fragmentary, and a number of ascriptions, some evidently written by modern librarians, are incorrect.

Initials were never copied into the manuscript, but blocks of space, all of approximately the same size, were left for them at the beginnings of treatises--at least, of those treatises whose beginnings remain intact (see fig. 3). Thus it is impossible to know whether any treatises would have been given preference by more elaborately decorated initials. Of the eight treatise openings that survive, six begin at the top of rectos. Many are preceded by the doxology "Jhesus Maria" and close with phrases such as "Hec dicta sufficiant [Let what has been said suffice]." Thus we can see that the scribe respected the integrity of his texts, even though the gathering structure cannot be determined and we lack visual clues to establish a hierarchy of importance. Yet despite its present state, it is possible to discern vestiges of an organizational plan.

Contents summary: (23)

Section 1: Counterpoint and ratios

Ars contrapunctus Magistri Philippi de Vitriaco; notes referring to Franco of Cologne and Johannes de Bulgundia (sic); Nova musica and De proportionibus of Johannes Ciconia (fragments only); Ars contrapunctus secundum Johannem de Muris (fragments).

Section 2: Plainchant theory and rhythmic notation (Marchetto and Muris)

Divina auxiliante gratia; Brevis compilatio (fragment ascribed to Marchetto); Ars practica mensurabilis cantus secundum Johannem de Muris.

Section 3: Plainchant theory, with material on counterpoint and ratios

Anonymous text on fundamentals, plainchant theory, counterpoint; Marchetto, Lucidarium, excerpts (here unascribed); Nicolaus de Capua, Compendium musicale (incomplete); miscellaneous verses on music theory; Sciendum est quod contrapunctus est fundamentum discanti (counterpoint treatise elsewhere ascribed to Philipoctus de Caserta); texts on ratios here ascribed to Johannes de Muris; fragments on plainchant and counterpoint.

Section 1 contains texts on counterpoint and ratios by major French theorists. Only the first bears an ascription, to Philippe de Vitry; the following two treatises, by Johannes Ciconia and Johannes de Muris, are incomplete at their beginnings and so lack the titles that appear in other sources.

Section 2 is devoted to Divina (with full credit to Marchetto) and to the Ars practica mensurabilis cantus, explicitly ascribed to Johannes de Muris. These two major works are separated by an excerpt from Marchetto's abbreviated treatment of rhythmic notation, the Brevis compilatio, also with an ascription. Thus, as in Florence 1119, Marchetto and Muris are juxtaposed through representative Italian and French texts on plainchant and rhythmic notation respectively, reflecting on a smaller scale the larger design of Pisa 606.

Section 3 offers texts on a variety of subjects and includes a set of unascribed excerpts from Marchetto's Lucidarium and the opening of the Compendium musicale of Nicolaus of Capua.

Marchetto is well represented here: of the eighty-one surviving folios, seventeen contain material by him, both ascribed and unascribed. The manuscript contains both the beginning and the end of Divina, and it is likely that it would contain the full text were it not missing a number of folios; aside from these, the text includes most of the material found in Florence 1119 and shares many variants with it--though not Florence 1119's few brief interpolations mentioned above. Clearly, Divina was chosen as the prime representative of Marchetto's plainchant theory, just as the Brevis compilatio was for his theory of rhythmic notation.

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Pluteus 29.48, 120 fols. (Divina, 93r-97v), paper, 225 x 165 mm, Tuscany, ca. 1475

Florence 29.48 still retains the chain that fastened it to the table in the old library. It is in excellent condition, and though not as extravagantly provided with initials as Pisa 606, it was carefully and exquisitely prepared in a clear hand, though with many mistakes. Padre Giovanni Battista Martini made a copy (now in the Civico Museo, Bologna) of parts of the manuscript that served as an exemplar for both Martin Gerbert and Edmond de Coussemaker. (24)

Even though the scribe left ample margins, he did not always take a new line to begin a treatise (sometimes leaving room only for some smaller initial in the middle of a line to mark a new work), much less leave blank space in order to begin a text at the top of a page. Only the three treatises that begin the libelli into which the material is organized are positioned at the top of a page: the treatise that currently opens the manuscript, De musica intervallosa, unascribed here but attributed to the fifteenth-century English theorist John Hothby; the Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris on folio 83r, considered by Di Bacco (on the basis of fascicle numbering and size of initial, among other factors) to be the original opening fascicle; and Divina on folio 93r.

The contents of Florence 29.48 are the most varied of any manuscript under consideration here. Like many medieval manuscripts, it groups treatises into categories that are clearly defined at the beginnings but sometimes fray toward the end, including works that do not always fit comfortably with their neighbors. Divinas importance (and that of other two that begin libelli) is indicated not simply by physical position but by being chosen to begin new topics, as the following outline of the manuscript shows. The material included covers a wide date range.

Contents summary: (25)

Libellus 1

John Hothby, De musica intervallosa (here unascribed); various musical topics; Johannes Tinctoris, Proportionale musices; treatises by and ascribed to Guido of Arezzo (early eleventh century); notes on various theoretical topics; Isidore of Seville, discussion of music from Etymologiae (ca. 600); Aurelian of Reome, Musica disciplina (late ninth century); Regule de contrapuncto; Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris.

Libellus 2: texts on counterpoint

Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris; Ars contrapuncti secundum Philippum de Vitriaco; Post octavam quintam; Ars contrapuncti secundum magistrum Zachariam; notes on intervals and counterpoint.

Libellus 3

Divina auxiliante gratia; texts on various musical topics (some ascribed to Hothby).

The first libellus opens with Hothby's De musica intervallosa and the Proportionale musices of Johannes Tinctoris; the English Carmelite Hothby had a distinguished career as cantor and teacher in Lucca, and Tinctoris is generally considered the preeminent music theorist of the fifteenth century. These are followed by treatises of venerable age, among them the Micrologus and three shorter treatises by Guido of Arezzo (early eleventh century); the anonymous Dialogus de musica (ca. 1000) formerly attributed to Odo of Cluny but in this manuscript, as in many others, ascribed to Guido; Aurelian of Reome's Musica disciplina (late ninth century); and the discussion of music from Isidore's Etymologiae.

Guido developed the ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la system of teaching singing and was the first to describe the staff; he is considered the most influential music theorist of the Middle Ages, and his works survive in more than eighty sources. The Dialogus de musica was the first treatise to use Latin letters for the notes of the scale in the manner still common today and was one of the sources from which Guido drew. Aurelian's Musica disciplina was a monument of the Carolingian revival, but by the fifteenth century its content would have been of only antiquarian interest. Isidore's so-called Sententiae de musica circulated separately from the rest of the Etymologiae in many music theory manuscripts. The first libellus closes with an anonymous counterpoint treatise and the extraordinarily interesting Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris, a reworking of Muris's Ars practica argued through legal precepts. (26)

The second libellus includes five treatises on counterpoint, three of which are dignified with authors' names. The first, by Johannes de Muris, appears in five of the six Divina manuscripts; the second, by Philippe de Vitry, in Rome B.83 as well. Post octavam quintam is (after the Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris) the second most widely disseminated medieval counterpoint treatise, appearing in eight manuscripts. The libellus closes with a collection of notes on contrapuntal practice.

In the third libellus, Divina introduces plainchant theory and is followed first by other material on that topic and then by a series of alternating treatises on counterpoint and rhythmic notation. In addition to its privileged location at the beginning of a libellus in Florence 29.48, Divina is further dignified through the acquisition of an exordium that not only serves as an introduction but treats letters and hexachords (arrangements of the syllables ut-re-mi-fa- sol-la) and thus gives information prerequisite to an understanding of Divina. Following the exordium, the Divina text proper merits space for an initial at the beginning of a line (see fig. 4). This is one of two versions that omit Divina's musical examples, either through scribal intent or deficiency of the exemplar. Other treatises in the manuscript include examples; in Divina the scribe neither wrote them nor left room for them, though he copied the words "ut hic patet [as is evident here]" any number of times. Bergamo 21, whose text often varies with Florence 29.48, is missing the examples as well; the two may derive from a common source that also lacks examples. The discussions of clefs and registers of the voice that close Divina in most of its sources are lacking here.

Bergamo, Biblioteca Civica "Angelo Mai," MAB 21, 102 fols. (Divina, 67r-86v), paper, 210-215 x 155-160 mm, Bergamo, 1487

Unlike the other manuscripts considered in this essay, Bergamo 21 does tell us something of its origins:
   Hoc opusculum scriptum et notatum fuit per fratrem
   alexandrum de assolarijs de albino ordinis carmelitarum
   obseruancie in conuentu nostro bergomi ... sub anno
   M.cccc.lxxxvij. die prima mensis decembris. [fol. 100r]

   This little work was written and notated by Brother
   Alexander de Assolariis of Albino, of the Carmelites of the
   Observance, in our convent at Bergamo in the year 1487, on
   the first day of the month of December.

Thus Alexander de Assolariis (whose given name honors a patron saint of Bergamo and whose family name is still common in the area) presents himself as a native of Albino (a nearby village) and a member of a Bergamasque order of Carmelite monks. The contents are primarily music theory treatises of the sort that would support the musical and liturgical activities of such a community, plus a few musical compositions that might have been part of their repertory. As we will see below, some of its contents have distinctly Lombard connections. The manuscript now resides in the Bergamo public library, only two blocks from the convent in which it was written (whose structure still stands, crumbling, its main portal now blocked by the extension of a neighboring building). Few music theory manuscripts are as redolent of the time and place of their origin as this one.

The handwriting of Bergamo 21 is neat if somewhat crude; the spelling is erratic, the grammar faulty. Though the manuscript is not lavishly made, it does include fanciful images--an initial depicting naked twins playing trumpets from the bells of which issue garlands; a colorful if uncharacteristically chubby "Guidonian" hand (a representation of the notes of the medieval scale and their syllables, ubiquitous in medieval and early modern music theory manuscripts); and on folio 19v, left blank at the end of the first treatise, sketches of what appear to be rooftops and human figures (perhaps in ecclesiastical robes); the head of one figure has been traced in ink that appears to be the same as the ink of the text.

Contents summary: (27)

Libellus 1

Franchino Gafurio, Practica musice, Book I (early draft); treatise on division of the monochord (= Guido, Micrologus, chapter 3).

Libellus 2

Ad habendum noticiam artis musice (= Berkeley Compendium, Book I); treatise on consonances and dissonances; Circha contrapunctum (similar to a treatment by Carmelite John Hothby); De ratione contrapuncti (a compendium of nine treatises on counterpoint and rhythmic notation organized into three chapters; the first is the Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris); De coniunctione moteti (texts on counterpoint and rhythmic notation); Johannes de Muris, Ars practica mensurabilis cantus (a later hand has indicated, incorrectly, that Johannes was a member of the Carmelite order); treatise on ratios; treatise on rhythmic notation ascribed to Magister Ricardus ordinis Carmelitarum; Cartula de cantu plano ascribed to Stefanus de Laudosio (= Lodi).

Libellus 3

Sermo Sancti Bernardi abbatis de modo psalendi; notes on ratios; tables of intervals and hexachords; treatise on music fundamentals; table of note values; table relating musical scale to planets, muses, etc.; diagram of monochord division.

Libellus 4

Divina auxiliante gratia (with interpolations and additions; incomplete at end); texts on plainchant; musical compositions; exercises in singing, solmization, mutation; mnemonic verses pertaining to plainchant performance.

The treatise that opens the manuscript is an early draft of Book I of Franchino Gafurio's Practica musice, arguably the treatise of greatest influence on the musical thought of the sixteenth century; (28) its content is dependent in large part on Marchetto's Lucidarium, which Gafurio had copied in 1473. The draft of Gafurio's Book I was copied into Bergamo 21 nine years before the entire treatise was printed in 1496; Clement Miller recognized the importance of the Bergamo version as a key to the development of Gafurio's thought. (29) Gafurio was a native of Lodi, a Lombard village about forty kilometers south of Bergamo, and the treatise may owe its presence in this manuscript to his employment at the cathedral of Bergamo, though he was there for no more than eight months, beginning in May 1483. (30)

Divina is one of only three treatises that begin gatherings (Gafurio's Practica musice would almost certainly be a fourth if its opening were not missing). The scribe was fond of using large but plain initials to mark both the beginnings of treatises and subheadings within them, often making little distinction in size between the two, but as Di Bacco notes, he does use a combination of size and decoration to single out four (to which, again, Gafurio's Practica musice must be added): Ad habendum noticiam (a simply decorated initial, and beginning a libellus; on plainchant); De ratione contrapuncti (a larger initial, but without decoration; on simple counterpoint); Quedam cartula de cantu plano (featuring the most ornate initial, with the trumpet-playing twins mentioned above), ascribed to Stephanus de Laudosio, presumably, like Gafurio, a native of Lodi; and Divina (whose initial is almost twice as large as any other, but with one simple flower for decoration, and beginning a libellus; see fig. 5). These highlight the principal interests of the scribe, a practicing monastic musician for whom musica plana and counterpoint would be essential.

Bergamo 21's Divina is the most unusual version of its text. During the first twenty-three chapters of this version of Divina, the compiler coordinates Marchetto's modal doctrine point by point with another doctrine he says is that of Guido of Arezzo, labeling most of the chapters "secundum Marchettum" and "secundum Guidonem" in alternation. In fact, very little of the interpolated material can be found in treatises attributed to Guido, but much of it is identified by Jan Herlinger as excerpts from the Dialogus de musica, often ascribed to Guido in the Middle Ages, as in the version of Florence 29.48. (31)

The tag "secundum Guidonem" may have signaled for the Bergamo 21 redactor simply a theory of mode more conventional than Marchetto's, and he here sets up a dialogue between old and new: modal theory based on final and range on the one hand ("Guido"), or on species of pentachord and tetrachord on the other (Marchetto). After this dialogue he interpolates six chapters, four of which include material concordant with that of other Lombard theorists (Johannes Olomons, who maintained a singing school at Castiglione Olona, and Bonaventura da Brescia). Finally he tacks on additional chapters at the end of the Divina material, in one of which he represents Guido's pioneering description of the staff as a phenomenon characteristic of "our Lombard clerics." How long these additional chapters might have gone on we do not know, as the Bergamo 21 version's thirty-eighth chapter (Divina itself had sixteen) breaks off in the middle of a sentence at the end of a gathering.

Alexander introduces himself in the colophon only as the manuscript's textual and musical scribe. But he seems to have assumed a proprietarial role in the manuscript's contents: in Ad habendum noticiam (the Bergamo 21 redaction of what has come to be known as the First Book of the Berkeley Compendium), after dismissing other theorists' views on the number of coniunctae (accidentals other than the two B-flats that were the only ones in the traditional medieval scale), he replaces the other Berkeley sources' "ego tamen (or sed ego) dico [but I say]" with "ego autem Frater A. dico [but I, Brother A., say]." As the text of Divina is particularly idiosyncratic, it is tempting to see Alexander as its redactor and, indeed, as the redactor of the entire manuscript.

Venice, Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Correr 336, part 4, 32 fols. (Divina, 434r-444r), (32) paper, 215-216 x 156-158 mm, Northwest Italy, late fifteenth-early sixteenth century

The bifolios of Venice 336, part 4, were originally numbered 1 to 8 and 9 to 16; thus we know that the pages that open this collection were intended as the opening of a work, but about the role of that work in a larger plan no more can be said. Venice 336, part 4, is currently the last of four manuscripts bound together in a composite volume. The first two do not concern music; (33) the third is a handwritten copy, dated 1502, of the 1496 print of Gafurio's Practica musice.' (34) The table of contents of the composite volume does not mention the fourth and final component; overshadowed by its much larger neighbors, it was long overlooked. (35)

The content of Venice 336, part 4, is concerned primarily with plainchant and music fundamentals. (36) It was copied in medium-brown ink in a not particularly refined cursive humanistic hand. The crudeness of the handwriting; the sometimes fanciful but rarely carefully drawn paragraphi in red ink; the notation of musical examples where what should be diamond-shaped notes are drawn as triangles with tails; a crowded writing block; initials that appear misplaced; a confusing array of captions in both brown and red ink, sometimes centered but more often placed in margins or at the ends of lines or squeezed between them, captions in red sometimes duplicating those in brown; and a repetitious sequence of topics that initially seem haphazard--all these give the first impression of a carelessly produced document, an impression far from correct. Identifying the sources from which the compiler borrowed and unraveling the visual clues, particularly initials and capitals, reveal a thoughtful and purposeful design. (37)

Divina offers the most obvious clues to this unraveling. Just as in the other versions, it is singled out with a large initial--the largest in the manuscript and the only one written in red ink and within space left for it in the writing block. This copy includes Divina's chapter titles, which are present in four of the five other versions of the text (all but Florence 29.48); they are written in the brown ink, given adequate space and often centered, and appear to have been part of the first layer of copying. (The only two red captions found in the Venice 336 Divina were inserted in space left below examples and do not appear in the other versions of that text.) Initials that mark subdivisions of the Divina text--much smaller than that at the opening of Divina but as large as or larger than any elsewhere in the manuscript--are also in brown, placed within the writing block, and often decorated with red; this also fits the pattern of other Divina copies. Thus it would appear that the Venice 336 scribe copied the Divina text from an exemplar not very different in layout from other known sources.

The two centered brown captions signal the two-part, large-scale structure of the compendium: Ars cantandi opens the manuscript (fol. 425); Manus follows (from fol. 444v). Ars cantandi is a comprehensive survey of the art of plainchant; the three enlarged initials mark the beginnings of its three main treatises from which material is borrowed: basic material on plainchant concordant with Vallicelliana C.105 (38) (marked by the enlarged N of Nota quod sunt tres modi cantandi); more complex issues from Book I of the fourteenth-century Berkeley Compendium (marked by the enlarged S of Sciendum quod mutatio); and the fifteenth-century Divina (with its large red initial).

The caption of Manus refers to the "Guidonian" hand on which the notes of the scale and their syllables were often inscribed; here it serves as an emblem for elementary music theory. After an exhortation to students to learn terms, "since the beginning of all knowledge is to know terms, as the Philosopher (Aristotle) says in the first book of the Posterior Analytics," (39) the compiler reviews the material from Ars cantandi, repeating some passages literally, directing the reader back to information "above," (40) and once referring to examples "notated on folio 5," (41) where such examples do in fact appear. He presents information in formats conducive to memorization, including mnemonic verses, (42) and urges students, "Let all these be committed to memory." (43)

Contents summary with concordances: (44)

Ars cantandi

Nota quod sunt tres modi cantandi (~Vallicelliana C.105, 119r-123v); De mutationibus, Mutatio sic diffinitur (= Ars musice plane optima et perfecta, Lucca, Biblioteca Statale, MS 359, 107r-108r); Sciendum quod mutatio (= Berkeley Compendium 1.2-8); De litteris musicalibus, etc. (letters, hexachords, mutations, intervals); Divina auxiliante gratia; Dico quidquid rite sonuerit (= Martianus Cappela, De nuptiis, fragment). Manus Cupiens de rationibus cantus tractare (letters, syllables, hexachords, mutations; intervals, modes).

Once the larger plan is obvious, it becomes clear that the compiler has made the material of music theory accessible by ordering topics so that each proceeds from the simple to the more complex, by omitting beginnings and endings and inserting short connectors to make smoother and more logical transitions from one topic or treatise to another, and by dividing his material into two units: knowledge (Ars cantandi), and the practical methods of absorbing that knowledge (Manus). As both Malcolm Parkes and A. J. Minnis have shown, much of the contribution of compilers in the later Middle Ages consisted of imposing order on the material they copied, often by dividing a large work into sections, providing new headings, making tables of contents, even reorganizing material, all to make the information more accessible to the reader. (45) The Venice 336 compiler, working with multiple sources, performed this same function.

Interestingly, the compiler maintained the integrity of his borrowed components except at their beginnings and endings, where he obscured primary identifiers such as opening sentences and attributions by abridgement or omission. The Venice 336 compiler seems to have felt little need of auctoritas, whether real or invented. In fact, the Venice 336 text lacks any appeal to authority other than God and Aristotle. Of the three major texts he chose, only Divina includes an authorial attribution in its other sources. (46) The Venice 336 compiler needed only the deliberate omission of the Divina attribution to create a text that lacks any attribution at all. He did this by truncating Divina's preface (see the original preface in the subsection "The Six Sources of Divina: Similarities" above) to read simply "Divina auxiliante gratia, etc." Though he relocated to the opening of Manus the words that "etc." replaces (and it is this relocation that proves that his exemplar of Divina included the full preface), he never named Boethius or Marchetto, as the original preface does. Thus in this work Divina, along with all the other source texts, is literally swallowed, absorbed into the larger plan.

Here is the opening of Manus, the compiler's reworking of the remainder of Divina's preface (see the original preface in the subsection "The Six Sources of Divina: Similarities" above).
   Cupiens de rationibus cantus tractare, primo ad
   erudicionem mei, secundo ad profectum adissencium, non
   meis sed aliorum dictis quasi expleto flores decerpens, (47)
   domino inspirante hoc breue opusculum compilauj: [fol.

   Desiring to treat of the rules of song, first for my own
   edification, second for the profit of pupils, not in my own
   words, but almost completely in those of others--plucking
   flowers--with the Lord providing inspiration, I compiled this
   short little work.

The compiler relocated and refocused Divina's opening and in the process afforded us insights into his own view of his work. First, he revealed what is surely his primary purpose: "for the profit of pupils." Echoing St. Bonaventure's definition of a compiler, he claimed to have compiled "not in my own words but in those of others"; and he gave this definition quite literally in the words of another--the Divina compiler. (48) His "others" are not authorities; they are completely anonymous. Marchetto, originally forced to share credit with Boethius in the original preface, has now been reduced to the status of "other." And then the compiler issued one caveat: "not in my own words, but almost completely in those of others"--claiming a bit of credit for himself.

The Venice 336 compiler also described his working method; he chose his sources as though (using a common metaphor) "plucking flowers," but it is clear that he did not create this bouquet willy-nilly. It is a meticulously crafted document made of carefully chosen flowers that the compiler clipped, separated, and rearranged to create a bouquet whose design is logical, practical, and beautiful.


Traditional textual scholarship regarded manuscript witnesses as degenerate versions of a lost archetype; similarly, traditional historiography of music theory could dismiss Divina as a mere stepchild of its distinguished parent. Late-medieval readers, however, saw it differently--as a concise, more practical version. Stripped of the Lucidarium's scholastic apparatus, it was still capable of standing in for the longer treatise, as it does in five of its six sources. For that matter, the Lucidarium itself is complete, or nearly so, in only eighteen sources, so that the five additional Divina sources increase the array of manuscripts transmitting Marchetto's modal doctrine by almost one-third. (49)

Divina's practical approach to Marchetto's modal theory certainly lies behind its inclusion in Venice 336, whose purpose is indisputably didactic, and also in Bergamo 21, where the compiler could use both the concision of its content and its clearly marked chapters to set up his comparison of older modal theory with Marchetto's innovations. Divina's presence particularly in the five manuscripts oriented toward musical practice (excepting only Florence 29.48) further substantiates fifteenth-century musicians' concern for modal theory in particular and plainchant in general. The large initial that adorns (or was meant to adorn) Divina's opening in all six manuscripts may pay homage to Marchetto, but its positioning, marking major divisions in the organization of their topics, also speaks to the continued importance of the theories it presents.

Marchetto's pairing with Johannes de Muris shaped Divina's destiny as surely as did its practicality, assuring its admission into the anthology Pisa 606 and also influencing its position in those manuscript collections (the two Florence manuscripts and Rome B.83) whose purposes--other than collecting--are less obvious. The distinction of the two theorists in the music theory of their respective countries almost certainly played a role in giving to Divina, as its almost constant traveling companions, Johannes's Ars practica mensurabilis cantus and the Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris.

Historians succeed the musicians who copied and first read these texts, and scholars' interests ramify over time. In the eighteenth century, Martini had a copy made of Florence 29.48, the copy used by Gerbert (1784) and Coussemaker (1869); their publications and those of La Fage (1864) brought particular works to the attention of later scholars. One of the treatises Coussemaker published (Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannes de Muris) caught the attention, more than a century later, of Di Bacco (2001), who published a detailed study of its manuscript transmission. Without knowing Divina from five of his sources, Di Bacco would not have been able to identify Venice 336 as one further source. Thus the company in which Divina was placed reveals its past and continues to determine its fortunes.

Those fortunes, however, have not always been enhanced by that company: it was the presence of a copy of Gafurio's Practica musice in the composite Venice 336 that helped obscure the presence there of the relatively tiny compendium that includes Divina. Ironically, though, the presence of a preliminary draft of the Practica musice in Bergamo 21 led to publication of the entire manuscript on a commercial CD-ROM, which has made the text of Divina available to a wide audience. (50) And it may have been the famous array of theorists mentioned by name in Rome B.83 (Philippe de Vitry, Franco of Cologne, Marchetto, Boethius, Johannes de Muris, Nicolaus of Capua) that prompted the overzealous restoration that has obliterated all traces of its original structure.

From "extracted from the books of ... the most excellent teacher of music Master Marchetto the Paduan" to "in the words of others"; from inclusion in a volume clearly meant to present the most important treatises of Italian and French fourteenth-century music theory to a bit of anonymous information; from the hand or direction of a collector to that of the practical musician; from pristine, intact, and filigreed to ragged and torn; from library shelf to microfilm to commercial CD-ROM, and more recently to my own digital photos--Divina auxiliante gratia has followed a rich, if patchwork, destiny. That destiny tells us much about the ways in which music theory was and continues to be transmitted, used, and regarded; and it reiterates for us both the reality of the ravages of time and the miracle of preservation. It also necessitates a rethinking of the edition--not only the edition of Divina, but editions of medieval texts in general.

Traditional textual scholarship, in its efforts to capture the text of an archetype, has sacrificed details of its witnesses, imprisoning them at the foot of the page, to paraphrase Cerquiglini. (51) But the grandeur of Pisa 606 is invisible there, the exordium of Florence 29.48 uncomfortable as a footnote. My own working collation in six parallel columns would also be condemned by Cerquiglini as an ineffective solution (52)--and it is--for my fragmentation by multiplication, with its subsequent blank spaces where other versions have interpolations, is every bit as misleading as the physical fragmentation of Rome B.83 or the compiler's fragmentation of Divina in Bergamo 21. And so the question hangs. How are we to construct a critical edition while respecting the individual identities and the richer views the Divina variants offer? This is a question that twenty-first-century editors have yet to address adequately, even as we move toward more online editions, and it haunts me--until I realize that ultimately, in whatever form my edition eventually takes, I become just another in this line of compilers, producing another version of Divina that suits my purposes and addresses my audience--yet another variant as I, in turn, rewrite.






University of Alabama


I would like to thank a number of individuals and institutions for support in the preparation of this essay. Giuliano Di Bacco's book De Muris e gli altri: Sulla tradizione di un trattato trecentesco di contrappunnto (Lucca, Italy: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2001) provides penetrating studies of the fourteen known sources of the Ars contrapuncti secundum Johannem de Muris, including five of the manuscripts of Divina auxiliante gratia; Giuliano also alerted me to the existence of the sixth source of Divina before it was announced in Christian Meyer et al., The Theory of Music: Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500--Addenda, Corrigenda, Descriptive Catalogue, Repertoire international des sources musicales B III6 (Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2003). Jan Herlinger (with whom I am collaborating on an edition of Divina) and Matthew Balensuela offered many helpful suggestions. Research for the project was funded in part by a grant from the University of Alabama Research Advisory Committee. I received generous assistance and permission to publish figures from librarians at the Biblioteca Civica "Angelo Mai," Bergamo; the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence; the Biblioteca del Museo Correr, Venice; the Biblioteca Universitaria, Pisa; and the Biblioteca Vallicelliana, Rome.


Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris. Edited and translated by C. Matthew Balensuela. Greek and Latin Music Theory 10. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.

Ars practica mensurabilis cantus secundum lohannem de Muris: Die Recensio maior des sogenannten "Libellus practice cantus mensurabilis." Edited by Christian Berktold. Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Veroffentlichungen der Musikhistorischen Kommission 14. Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999.

Berger, Anna Maria Busse. Medieval Music and the Art of Memory. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

The Berkeley Manuscript: University of California Music Library, MS. 744 (olim Phillipps 4450): A New Critical Text and Translation. Edited and translated by Oliver B. Ellsworth. Greek and Latin Music Theory 2. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

Blackburn, Bonnie J. "Gaffurius, Franchinus." In Grove Music Online at Oxford Music Online. music/10477 (accessed August 21, 2009).

Cerquiglini, Bernard. In Praise of the Variant: A Critical History of Philology. Translated by Betsy Wing. Baltimore, MD, and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. Originally published as Eloge de la variante: Histoire critique de la philologie. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1989.

Coussemaker, Edmond de. Scriptorum de musica nova series a gerbertina altera. 4 vols., Paris: Durand et Pedone-Lauriel, 1864-1876.

Cummins, Linda Page. "Correr 336, Part 4: A New Source for Late Medieval Music Theory." Philomusica Online 5/1 (2005-2006). http://riviste.

Di Bacco, Giuliano. De Muris e gli altri: Sulla tradizione di un trattato trecentesco di contrappunto. Lucca, Italy: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2001.

Fischer, Pieter, ed. The Theory of Music. Vol. 2, Italy. Repertoire international des sources musicales B III2. Munich: Henle Verlag, 1968.

Gallo, F. Alberto. "Marchetus in Padua un die 'franco-venetische' Musik des fruhen Trecento. Archiv fur Musikwissenschaft 31 (1974): 42-56.

Gerbert, Martin. Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra potissimum. 3 vols. St. Blaise, 1784.

Herlinger, Jan. "Marchetto's Influence: The Manuscript Evidence." In Music Theory and lts Sources: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, edited by Andre Barbera. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990. 235-258.

--. "Reflections of Guido d'Arezzo (?) in an Unpublished Treatise of the Fifteenth Century." Paper delivered at the International Congress on Guido d'Arezzo on the Occasion of the Thousandth Anniversary of his Birth, Arezzo, December 2000.

Johannes de Muris. Musica (speculativa). Edited by Susan Fast. Musicological Studies 61. Ottawa, Canada: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1994.

--. Notitia artis musicae, et Compendium musicae practiae; Petrus de Sancto Dionysio: Tractatus de musica. Edited by Ulrich Michels. Corpus Scriptorum de Musica 17. N.p.: American Institute of Musicology, 1972.

Judd, Cristle Collins. Reading Renaissance Music Theory: Hearing with the Eyes. Cambridge Studies in Music Theory and Analysis 14. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

La Fage, Adrian de. Essais de diphtherographie musicale. Paris: Legouix, 1864.

Lochner, Fabian. "Un Eveque musicien au Xme siecle: Radbod d'Utrecht (f917)." Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 38 (1988): 3-35.

Marchetto of Padua. The "Lucidarium" of Marchetto of Padua: A Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary. Edited by Jan W. Herlinger. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1985.

--. Marcheti de Padua Pomerium. Edited by Giuseppe Vecchi. Corpus Scriptorum de Musica 6. Rome: American Institute of Musicology, 1961.

Meyer, Christian, et al. The Theory of Music: Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500-Addenda, Corrigenda, Descriptive Catalogue. Repertoire international des sources musicales B III6. Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2003.

Michels, Ulrich. Die Musiktraktate des Johannes de Muris. Beihefte zum Archiv fur Musikwissenschaft 8. Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1970.

Miller, Clement. "Early Gaffuriana: New Answers to Old Questions." Musical Quarterly 56 (1970): 367-388.

--. "Gaffurius's Practica Musicae: Origin and Contents." Musica Disciplina 22 (1968): 105-128.

Minnis, A. J. Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages. London: Scolar Press, 1984.

Monterosso, Raffaello. "Un compendio inedito del Lucidarium di Marchetto da Padova." Studi medievali, 3rd series, 7 (1966): 914-931.

Parkes, Malcolm. "The Influence of the Concepts of Ordinatio and Compilatio on the Development of the Book." In Medieval Learning and Literature, edited by J. J. G. Alexander and M. T. Gibson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976. 115-141.

Powers, Harold S., and Frans Wiering. "Mode." In Grove Music Online at Oxford Music Online. music/43718.

Rusconi, Angelo. "Un manoscritto carmelitano di teoria musicale (Bergamo, Biblioteca civica 'Angelo Mai,' MAB 21). Rivista internazionale di musica sacra 20 (1999): 255-300.

Sadie, Stanley, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Executive editor John Tyrell. 2nd edition. 29 vols. London: Macmillan, 2001; also Grove Music Online at Oxford Music Online. subscriber/article/grove/music/17738.

Taylor, Andrew. Textual Situations: Three Medieval Manuscripts and Their Readers. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Vecchi, Guiseppe. "Su la composizione del Pomerium di Marchetto da Padova e la Brevis compilatio." Quadrivium 1 (1956): 153-205.

Vivarelli, Carla. "'Di una pretesa scuola napoletana': Sowing the Seeds of the Ars nova at the Court of Robert of Anjou." Journal of Musicology 24 (2007): 272-296.

Williams, David Russell, and Balensuela, C. Matthew. Music Theory from Boethius to Zarlino. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2007.

Zumthor, Paul. Toward a Medieval Poetics. Translated by Philip Bennet. Minneapolis and Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. Originally published as Essai de poetique medievale. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1972.


(1.) Paul Zumthor, Toward a Medieval Poetics, trans. Philip Bennet (Minneapolis and Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), 41-49, esp. 46. Originally published as Essai de poetique medievale (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1972).

(2.) Bernard Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant: A Critical History of Philology, trans. Betsy Wing (Baltimore, MD, and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 33-45. Originally published as Eloge de la variante: Histoire critique de la philologie (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1989).

(3.) Andrew Taylor, Textual Situations: Three Medieval Manuscripts and Their Readers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), 13.

(4.) For extensive discussions of writers and works, see Stanley Sadie, ed., The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, executive ed. John Tyrell, 2nd ed., 29 vols. (London: Macmillan, 2001); also Grove Music Online, at Oxford Music Online, music/17738 (accessed August 21, 2009). General introductions can be found in David Russell Williams and C. Matthew Balensuela, eds., Music Theory from Boethius to Zarlino (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2007).

(5.) Editions of the Notitia and the Compendium musicale: Johannis de Muris, Notitia artis musicae, et Compendium musicae practicae; Petrus de Sancto Dionysio: Tractatus de musica, ed. Ulrich Michels, Corpus Scriptorum de Musica 17 (n.p.: American Institute of Musicology, 1972); the Notitia appears in part in Martin Gerbert, Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra potissimum, 3 vols. (St. Blaise, 1784), vol. 3, 312-315 (Book 1) and 292-301 (Book 2); the Compendium musicale appears in Gerbert, Scriptores ecclesiastici, vol. 3, 301-306. Editions of Musica speculativa: Gerbert, Scriptores ecclesiastici, vol. 3, 249-283; and Johannes de Muris, Musica (speculativa), ed. Susan Fast, Musicological Studies 61 (Ottawa, Canada: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1994). Editions of the Ars practica: Edmund de Coussemaker, ed., Scriptorum de musica medii aevi nova series a gerbertina altera, 4 vols. (Paris: Durand et Pedone-Lauriel, 1864-1876), vol. 3 (1869), 46-58; a critical edition is Ars practica mensurabilis cantus secundum lohannem de Muris: Die Recensio maior des sogenannten "Libellus practice cantus mensurabilis," ed. Christian Berktold, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Veroffentlichungen der Musikhistorischen Kommission 14 (Munich, Germany: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1999). Editions of Ars contrapuncti: Coussemaker, Scriptorum, vol. 3, 59-68; and Giuliano Di Bacco, De Muris e gli altri: Sulla tradizione di un trattato trecentesco di contrappunto (Lucca, Italy: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2001). On Johannes's musical treatises, see Ulrich Michels, Die Musiktraktate des Johannes de Muris, Beihefte zum Archiv fur Musikwissenschaft 8 (Wiesbaden, Germany: Steiner, 1970).

(6.) F. Alberto Gallo, "Marchetus in Padua und die 'franco-venetische' Musik des fruhen Trecento," Archiv fur Musikwissenschaft 31 (1974): 42-56; Carla Vivarelli, "'Di una pretesa scuola napoletana': Sowing the Seeds of the Ars nova at the Court of Robert of Anjou," Journal of Musicology 24 (2007): 272-296.

(7.) The best introduction to the theory of mode in medieval and early modern music is Harold S. Powers and Frans Wiering, "Mode," in Grove Music Online at Oxford Music Online, grove/music/43718 (accessed August 21, 2009).

(8.) The Lucidarium and the Pomerium appear in Gerbert, Scriptores ecclesiastici, vol. 3, 65-121 and 121-188 respectively; The Brevis compilatio appears in Coussemaker, Scriptorum, vol. 3, 1-12. More recent critical editions are: Giuseppe Vecchi, "Su la composizione del Pomerium di Marchetto da Padova e la Brevis compilatio," Quadrivium 1 (1956): 153-205; Marcheti de Padua Pomerium, ed. Giuseppe Vecchi, Corpus Scriptorum de Musica 6 (Rome: American Institute of Musicology, 1961); Marchetto of Padua, The "Lucidarium" of Marchetto of Padua: A Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary, ed. Jan W. Herlinger (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1985).

(9.) On the dissemination of the Lucidarium, complete and in excerpts and fragments, see Jan Herlinger, "Marchetto's Influence: The Manuscript Evidence," in Music Theory and Its Sources: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. Andre Barbera (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990), 235-258.

(10.) For Sciendum est quod antiquitus, see Raffaello Monterosso, "Un compendio inedito del Lucidarium di Marchetto da Padova," Studi medievali, 3rd series, 7 (1966): 914-931, edited on the basis of Pavia, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS Aldini 361; the compendium is also transmitted in Pavia, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS Aldini 450 and in Seville, Biblioteca Capitular y Colombina, MS 5.2.25.

(11.) The Berkeley Manuscript: University of California Music Library, MS. 744 (olim Phillipps 4450): A New Critical Text and Translation, ed. and trans. Oliver B. Ellsworth, Greek and Latin Music Theory 2 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984).

(12.) All translations are the author's.

(13.) Adrian de La Fage, Essais de diphtherographie musicale (Paris: Legouix, 1864), 385-389.

(14.) Di Bacco, De Muris 162-173. Complete contents lists for Pisa 606 are available in id., 165-168; Pieter Fischer, ed., The Theory of Music, vol. 2, Italy, Repertoire international des sources musicales (RISM) B III2 (Munich: Henle Verlag, 1968), 81-84; with additions and corrections in Christian Meyer et al., eds., The Theory of Music: Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c. 1500-Addenda, Corrigenda, Descriptive Catalogue, RISM B III6 (Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2003), 562-563.

(15.) The Tractatus figurarum is a treatise on French rhythmic notation ascribed alternately to Philippus de Caserta or Phillipotus Andrea, both late-fourteenth- century theorists.

(16.) The Paduan canon (and cantor, composer, and theorist) Johannes Ciconia was born in Liege; thus his Liber de proportionibus is placed here with other theorists in the French orbit.

(17.) Johannes de Garlandia was associated with the University of Paris in the late thirteenth century; the treatise is elsewhere ascribed to Philippe de Vitry, a French contemporary of Johannes de Muris.

(18.) Quoniam de canendi scientia is part of a treatise once associated with the twelfth-century "school" of St. Martial in Limoges.

(19.) Though the Rubrice breves is ascribed to Marchetto in its sources, it does not accord with his teaching in the Pomerium; the ascription is now considered spurious.

(20.) The captions of the last two items indicate that they are not from the Italian orbit. A redactor's design often breaks down near the end of a manuscript, which becomes a catchall for whatever items might fill available space.

(21.) Complete contents lists for Florence 1119 are available in Di Bacco, De Muris, 122-127; and RISM B III2, 47-49; additions and corrections appear in RISM B III6, 481-483.

(22.) When La Fage saw the manuscript, the folio now numbered 64 followed that now numbered 70, so that the present 70v and 64r-v constitute the item he numbered IX and described as "Vers latins sur des sujets devots et musicaux, en trois pages"; La Fage, Essais, 248.

(23.) Complete contents lists for Rome B.83 are available in Di Bacco, De Muris, 181-185; and RISM B III2, 89-91; additions and corrections appear in RISM B III6, 602.

(24.) Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784) was an influential theorist, organist, and teacher (of Mozart, inter alios) who accumulated a large collection of music and writings on music. His own works include the unfinished Storia della musica (Bologna, 1761-1781).

(25.) Complete contents lists for Florence 29.48 are available in Di Bacco, De Muris, 104-111; and RISM B III2, 36-43; with additions and corrections in RISM B III6, 483-484.

(26.) Ars cantus mensurabilis mensurata per modos iuris, ed. C. Matthew Balensuela, Greek and Latin Music Theory 10 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994); earlier edition in Coussemaker, Scriptorum, vol. 3, 379-398.

(27.) For detailed studies of the manuscript, including complete lists of the contents, see Di Bacco, De Muris, 41-58; RISM B III6, 434-448; and Angelo Rusconi, "Un manoscritto carmelitano di teoria musicale (Bergamo, Biblioteca civica 'Angelo Mai,' MAB 21)," Rivista internazionale di musica sacra 20 (1999): 255- 300.

(28.) Cristle Collins Judd, Reading Renaissance Music Theory: Hearing with the Eyes, Cambridge Studies in Music Theory and Analysis 14 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 19-22.

(29.) Clement Miller, "Gaffurius's Practica Musicae: Origin and Contents," Musica Disciplina 22 (1968): 105-128; Clement Miller, "Early Gaffuriana: New Answers to Old Questions," Musical Quarterly 56 (1970): 367-388.

(30.) Bonnie J. Blackburn, "Gaffurius, Franchinus," in Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online, music/10477 (accessed August 21, 2009).

(31.) Jan Herlinger, "Reflections of Guido d'Arezzo (?) in an Unpublished Treatise of the Fifteenth Century," paper delivered at the International Congress on Guido d'Arezzo on the Occasion of the Thousandth Anniversary of His Birth, Arezzo, December 2000.

(32.) Foliation runs continuously through the four manuscripts bound together as Venice 336, accounting for Divina's appearing on fols. 434r-444r of a 32-folio manuscript.

(33.) According to a table of contents on the second front flyleaf, the first manuscript contains the Tractatus de admirandis et secretioribus philosophise arcanis by Giovanni Mariano Buri, and the second, the Opera spirituale of Bartolomeo Mozzi da Saravalle, dedicated to Clement XI.

(34.) It is a witness to the dissemination of printed books through manuscript copies. On the Practica musice and its importance, see Judd, Reading Renaissance Music Theory: Hearing with the Eyes, Cambridge Studies in Music Theory and Analysis 14 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

(35.) The first description appeared in 2003 in RISM B III6, 627-630.

(36.) A collection of Psalm and Magnificat tones (fols. 448-456), copied in a more careful book hand using darker ink, seems to be the work of a different scribe and is not considered part of the compendium.

(37.) A detailed study of this source can be found in Linda Page Cummins, "Correr 336, Part 4: A New Source for Late Medieval Music Theory," Philomusica Online 5/1 (2005-2006), article/view/05-01-SG03/56 (accessed February 27, 2010).

(38.) Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, MS C.105 is a tiny fifteenth-century manuscript containing short treatises on music (fols. 119-157) in a collection consisting mainly of religious writings.

(39.) "Et quia principium alicuius scientie est scire terminos, ut ait philosophus in primo posteriorum"; fol. 444v.

(40.) "Responsum est antea in predicta carta"; fol. 444v.

(41.) "Exempla dictarum mutationum sunt antea scripta et notata: scilicet in carta quinta et sucessiue notata respice"; fol. 446r.

(42.) On mnemonic verses in music theory treatises, see Anna Maria Busse Berger, Medieval Music and the Art of Memory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).

(43.) "Que omnia ista reducantur ad tui memoriam"; fol. 446r.

(44.) Complete contents lists for Venice 336 are available in Cummins, "Correr 336," Appendix; and RISM B III6, 627-630.

(45.) Malcolm Parkes, "The Influence of the Concepts of Ordinatio and Compilatio on the Development of the Book," in Medieval Learning and Literature, ed. J. J. G. Alexander and M. T. Gibson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 115-141; A. J. Minnis, Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages (London: Scolar Press, 1984).

(46.) The material concordant with Vallicelliana C.105 lacks attributions in that source, and the author (or compiler) of the Berkeley Compendium is not identified until long after the passage borrowed in Venice.

(47.) Cf., e.g., "quasi quosdam ex prato flores carperes [as if you were plucking flowers out of a meadow]," in Fabian Lochner, "Un Eveque musicien au Xme siecle: Radbod d'Utrecht (f917)," Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (1988): 15; but for ex prato the Venice compiler has expleto very clearly.

(48.) Bonaventure on the ways of making books (St. Bonaventure, ln sententias Petri Lombardi i.111): "Someone ... writes the materials of others, adding, but nothing of his own, and this person is said to be the compiler." (Minnis, Medieval Theory, 94).

(49.) As stated above, only Pisa 606 contains both the Lucidarium and Divina. For a list of Lucidarium sources, see Herlinger, Lucidarium, 21-22; Herlinger, "Marchetto's Influence," 255.

(50.) Available from Glasor di Silvio Gallo e Tullia Valsecchi, v. Maglio del Rame, 13, 24127 Bergamo, Italy.

(51.) Cerquiglini, In Praise of the Variant, 47.

(52.) Ibid., 78.
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Author:Cummins, Linda Page
Publication:The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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