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Authors: Olive, Kara Lynn
Advisors: Reuland, Jamie
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Fascicle manuscript
Missa Ma bouche rit
Missa Malheur me bat
Petrus Alamire
VienNB 11883
Watermark studies
Subjects: Music history
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines VienNB 11883, a manuscript of sacred Renaissance polyphony from the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries. Its makeup is unusual: it is a fascicle manuscript, composed of an assortment of individual fascicles likely meant for circulation that were then bound together later. Preserving a large body of unica and anonymous masses, VienNB 11883 contains a repertoire that might have otherwise been lost and has not often been addressed in musicological literature. This project questions prior approaches to the manuscript, catalogs the watermarks, and analyzes an anonymous mass as a representative case study. Chapter One takes stock of the manuscript as a whole, evaluating the features that make it function as a collection. It addresses certain consensus views about the manuscript, testing assumptions about how the fascicles were used before they were bound, and how they were brought together. I conclude that several current assessments of this manuscript are based on questionable assumptions, including the current belief that someone, possibly Petrus Alamire, collected the fascicles for use in a scriptorium. Chapter Two is an in-depth investigation of all the watermarks in VienNB 11883. The findings suggest a sizable increase of the number of paper types known to make up the manuscript—at least forty-one, rather than the previous view of eighteen. I conclude that the prevailing understanding of VienNB 11883, in which almost every fascicle shares a watermark with another fascicle in the manuscript, is incorrect; instead, I show that only a few of the fascicles definitely share watermarks. As a result, I suggest that this manuscript is better envisioned as a collection of assorted documents, unrelated until shown otherwise. Chapter Three is a stylistic analysis of the anonymous Missa Ma bouche rit, preserved in fascicle XXVII. It tests the hypothesis that the mass shares enough features in common with certain works by Josquin—Missa Malheur me bat and Missa Fortuna desperata in particular—to suggest his possible authorship. I conclude that although the mass is most likely not by Josquin, it displays a remarkable fusion of compositional techniques also used by the most prominent composers of the era.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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