Secular music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries encompasses an extraordinarily wide range of works and practices: courtly love songs, music for civic festivities, instrumental music, entertainments provided by minstrels, the unwritten traditions of solo singing, and much else. This collection of essays addresses many of these practices, with a focus on polyphonic settings of vernacular texts, examining their historical and stylistic contexts, their transmission in written and printed sources, questions of performance, and composers’ approaches to text setting. Essays have been selected to reflect the wide range of topics that have occupied scholars in recent decades, and taken together, they point to the more general significance of secular music within a broad complex of cultural practices and institutions.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Sources and Transmission: The Vatican manuscript Urb. Lat. 1411: an undervalued source?, James Haar; Embellishment and urtext in the 15th-century song repertories, David Fallows; Pietrequin Bonnel and Ms. 2794 of the Biblioteca Riccardiana, Joshua Rifkin; Petrucci's Canti volumes: scope and repertory, David Fallows; Composition - copying: performance - recreation: the matrix of stemmatic problems for early music, Stanley Boorman; The salon as marketplace in the 1550s: patrons and collectors of Lasso's secular music, Donna G. Cardamone. Part II Genres: The constitution of the 15th-century German tenor lied: drafting the history of a musical genre, Martin Staehelin; Ockeghem and the motet-chanson in 15th-century France, Honey Meconi; Josquin's chansons as generic paradigms, Lawrence F. Bernstein; The frottola and the unwritten tradition, William F. Prizer; The early madrigal: a re-appraisal of its sources and its character, James Haar; Chanson and air, Kate van Orden; Lied and madrigal, 1580-1600, Ludwig Finscher. Part III Composers and Contexts: 'Trained and immersed in all musical delights': towards a new picture of Busnoys, David Fallows; Seigneur Leon's papal sword: Ferrara, Du Fay, and his songs of the 1440s, Sean Gallagher; Heinrich Isaac among the Florentines, Blake Wilson; Willaert and the canzone villanesca, Nino Pirrotta; Monteverdi, Marenzio, and Battista Guarini's 'cruda amarilli', Massimo Ossi. Part IV Performers and Performance Issues: The a capella heresy in Spain: an inquisition into the performance of the cancionero repertory, Tess Knighton; Psyche's Lament: some music for the Medici wedding in 1565, Howard Mayer Brown; From minstrel to courtier - the royal musique de chambre and courtly ideals in 16th-century France, Jeanice Brooks; Courtesans, muses, or musicians? Professional women musicians in 16th-century Italy, Anthony Newcomb. Part V Instrumental Music: The use of borrowed material in 16th-century instrumental music, John Ward; Innovation in instrumental music 1450-1510: the role of German performers within European culture, Keith Polk; Songs without words by Josquin and his contemporaries, Warwick Edwards. Part VI Music and Poetry: Ricercare and variations on O Rosa Bella, Nino Pirrotta; The composer as exegete: interpretations of Petrarchan syntax in the Venetian madrigal, Martha Feldman; Name index.
Sean Gallagher is Visiting Associate Professor of Musicology, Boston University, USA.