Mittelalter Geschichte 1100-1250; Aquitanien; Lied; historische Aufführungspraxis; Edition
Llewellyn Jeremy, nova cantica, in Everist Mark & Kelly Thomas Forrest (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
One of the most immediate challenges facing the Humanities after the poststructuralist debates of the last decades is to develop new methodologies for thinking and writing about form and structure and their relevance for broader issues of interpretation and aesthetics. The poetical and musical innovations which flourished in the Duchy of Aquitaine from the late eleventh century onwards present these challenges in a particularly acute form. These ‘new songs’ or ‘nova cantica’, which took their place alongside tropes, proses, and ritual plays, explored and exploited the new possibilities of rhymed, accentual verse, the subtle recalibration of the relationship between text and music, and new conceptions of polyphonic performance. Recent attempts by scholarship to edit these Aquitanian corpora have run into a variety of problems, not least because of the palaeographical challenges the manuscript witnesses throw up. Indeed, the written form of these songs and chants would appear to be a prime example of ‘vicarious performance’, requiring a reconstruction of performing conventions and a more differentiated understanding of aesthetic choices. Moreover, musicological studies have tended to distil certain aspects of the Aquitanian repertories off from others - e.g. genre classification, monophony versus polyphony - rather than regard questions of formal organisation and conventions across the whole of the manuscript versaria. The planned new edition of the Aquitanian repertories by the recently inaugurated Corpus Monodicum project, based at the University of Würzburg, provides a unique opportunity for an international and interdisciplinary investigation of these issues spanning musicology, literary studies, and historical performance practice. In reconstructing performing conventions in a systematic manner, the proposed project would develop epistemological tools for international colleagues charged with the philological task of editing these notoriously difficult repertories. The goal of the project is, therefore, twofold: a new edition whose readings are based on the historically-grounded dialectical relationship between writing and performance; and a better understanding of the performing conventions and aesthetics which underpinned this efflorescence of creative activity in medieval Aquitaine.