Colloque “Le rayonnement des arts au Moyen âge. Réflexions autour du Ms. Aquitain, Paris, BnF Latin 1139”


Mardi 19 mars (BnF — Richelieu)

16h30 Accueil des participants
17h00-18h00 James Grier (University of Western Ontario)
The Music Scribe of Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS latin 1139: Melodic Variants and a Musical Personality

Produced around 1100, the earliest section of Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS latin (hereafter Pa) 1139, f. 32-118, stands out as the largest collection in the earliest layer of Aquitanian uersaria, that is, music manuscripts that preserve the Aquitanian repertory of lyric song commonly known as uersus. Only the earliest portions of Pa 3719 rival it in age. But these libelli comprise only a single gathering each and so are significantly smaller than Pa 1139 and transmit a correspondingly more limited repertory. Furthermore, in Pa 1139, rubrics introduce many pieces, along with decorated initials, and internal sections within pieces receive red initials. In comparison with its contemporaries, therefore, Pa 1139 presents a much more polished and formal appearance. Its owner clearly valued it as an important part of his music library.

The music scribe exhibited a clear command of the Aquitanian notation that, by the time he worked on Pa 1139, musicians had used for some 200 years. Comparison of his neumations with those of other Aquitanian scribes who copied the same pieces, both contemporary and later in the twelfth century, show that he cultivated musical idiosyncrasies that indicate aspects of his musical personality. His approach to embellishment, especially through the addition of appoggiature to cadences, reveals a distinctive approach to the melodic vocabulary of this repertory. His practice also indicates a subtle shift in the function of musical notation as it was employed for the uersus repertory, from preserving stable forms of liturgical melodies to recording distinctive versions of the melodies of this body of lyric song. Codex Pa 1139, therefore, comprises a personal document that presents the repertory and melodic versions of an Aquitanian musician from the turn of the twelfth century who was exploiting the genre of lyric song to express himself on sacred and secular subjects and the technology of musical notation to preserve his idiosyncratic versions of those songs.

18h00-18h30 Charlotte Denoël (Centre Jean Mabillon, Paris) Présentation des manuscrits aquitains de la BnF
18h30 Exposition des manuscrits en salle de lecture

(sur inscription dans la limite des places disponibles)

Mercredi 20 mars (IRHT — Paris)

Session 1 : Éditer Latin 1139

présidée par James Grier (University of Western Ontario)

9h-11h David Catalunya, Kelly Landerkin, Konstantin Voigt, Hanna Zühlke (Universität Würzburg)
Codex and Genre-Crosslinks: Towards a Complete Source Edition of the Oldest Corpus of Paris latin 1139

Corpus monodicum is currently preparing a complete “source edition” of the oldest section of the manuscript Paris, BnF, latin 1139. The proposed panel will discuss the methodological demands of this editorial project (codicology, paleography, philology, musical analysis) and explore the implications of this new editorial approach for the understanding of the different repertoires the manuscript transmits:

David Catalunya’s codicological study shows that the earliest section of Paris, BnF, latin 1139 was conceived as a unitary, well planned codex. Building on this observation, Kelly Landerkin and Konstantin Voigt showcase some of the crosslinks that occur between different musical and textual genres copied in different sections of the manuscript. The correspondences found between songs and sequences for example shed new light on the early history of Aquitanian polyphony, the similarities between songs and plays question the strict distinctions set up by modern genre concepts. Hanna Zühlke will deal with the later concordances of the songs from Paris, BnF, latin 1139, asking what the transmission profile of these pieces tells about the localization of the manuscript.

By the time of the conference, the edition will be completed, but not yet printed. Thus, the panel hopes to provoke an intense feedback, in order to integrate the expertise assembled at the conference into the first complete edition of this outstanding manuscript.

Session 2 : Les jeux liturgiques

présidée par Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge)

11h15-12h00 Michael L. Norton (James Madison University, Harrisonburg) 
The Problem of Genre and the ‘Dramas’ of Paris BnF latin 1139

In 1741, l’Abbé Jean Lebeuf first called attention to the “tragedies en rimes latines” found in Paris, BnF, latin 1139. His framing of these texts as dramas adhered over time, and after two centuries and more, these dramatic texts continue to be treated as theatrical works, and in particular, as liturgical dramas. While sanguine about the theatrical nature of these texts, scholars have not always agreed on what these texts actually represented. Lebeuf himself referred only the Ordo Prophetarum that concluded the complex of dramatic texts. The edition provided by Raynouard in 1817, on the other hand, treated the entire complex (Quem queritisSponsus, and Ordo Prophetarum in most contemporary renderings) as a singular “mystère des vierges sages et des vierges folles”, while excluding the text of the Ordo Prophetarum in the edition itself. And in their edition of 1839, Monmerqué and Michel provided the complete text of the dramatic complex under the title “Les vierges sages et les vierges folles.” Charles Magnin, though, saw this differently. In his Sorbonne lectures of 1834–1835, Magnin argued that there was not just the single mystery recognized by his peers, but rather three: two complete mysteries, one wholly in Latin (Quem queritis) and the second mixing Latin with vernacular (Sponsus) along with a third fragment totally in Latin (Ordo Prophetarum). In addition, he noted a dramatic office for the feast of Holy Innocents (Lamentatio Rachelis) earlier in the same manuscript. While Magnin’s division was accepted by most subsequent critics, Carol Symes recently challenged the orthodox view, arguing as had Magnin’s predecessors that the “plays” of Paris, BnF, latin 1139 should be regarded in the singular rather than in the plural.

The so-called dramas of Paris, BnF, latin 1139 are thus enigmatic on at least two levels. First, how many dramatic texts are actually preserved within the manuscript? One? Two? Or four? What do the placements of these texts within the manuscript suggest? What can we glean from their textual and melodic settings? How are these internally structured? And how do these textual and melodic structures relate to those of the texts that surround them? Second, are these dramatic texts actually drama (assuming we can agree on what the word “drama” entails)? Were these texts intended to be enacted? If so, how by whom? If these can be viewed as dramas, as theatrical works of some kind, can they legitimately be seen also as liturgical dramas? How do these texts compare with others also judged to be liturgical dramas? Drama or not, how might these texts have been used within (or around) the liturgy? If they were not used liturgically, what might their intent have been?

12h00-12h45 Nils Holger Petersen (University of Copenhagen)
A Possible New Understanding of the so-called Liturgical Dramas in BnF ms. latin 1139

The idea (and notion) of “liturgical drama” as a liturgical medieval theatrical genre was developed in medieval liturgical scholarship since the mid-nineteenth century. It has since undergone severe criticism by scholars including not least C. Clifford Flanigan in the 1970s and 1980s, a criticism further developed in more recent scholarship (see Michael Norton’s recent Liturgical Drama and the Reimagining of Medieval Theater, 2017). In this paper, I propose to discuss those ceremonies from Paris, BnF, latin 1139, which have been described as liturgical dramas, in a new light. Inspired by Michal Kobialka’s This Is My Body (1999), I have recently attempted to understand liturgical enactments of biblical narratives in the context of changing understandings of the notion of a sacrament during the twelfth century.

During the first half of this century, the notion of a sacrament was narrowed from Augustine’s broad sign-theoretical approach, especially through Hugh of St Victor’s ecclesiologically oriented De sacramentis christiane fidei (1130s) and Peter Lombard’s particularly influential mid-century Sententiae, which contained his enumeration of (only) seven New Testament sacraments. This process of theological elaboration left a space open for liturgical ceremonies, which had previously been seen as sacramental (by Hugh: as sacraments of exercise), to be sacred while no longer sacramental, sacred in a freer way, outside the theological focus of the ceremonies which carried the heaviest theological weight, the sacraments.

Rather than searching for an alternative genre-designation for “liturgical drama” ceremonies, the idea, much inspired by other recent scholarship, is to understand them individually, although they clearly also came to form traditions. In this paper, I shall set out to interpret the “liturgical dramas” of the Paris, BnF, latin 1139, not as attempts at theatrical representation, but as “free” sacraments in the “old” Augustinian understanding, with a focus on three ceremonies, the Quem queritis ceremony (f. 53r), the Sponsus (f. 53r–55v), and the Ordo prophetarum (f. 55v–58r). These ceremonies will be seen as diverse attempts to function as sacraments in the “old” understanding, as signs, pointers to divine (Christian) truths by (more or less) new uses of sensory means, visual as well as auditory, including poetry.

Session 3 : Le répertoire du manuscrit latin 1139 au-delà de l’Aquitaine

présidée par Thomas F. Kelly (Harvard University)

14h00-14h45 Manuel Pedro Ferreira (Universidade Nova, Lisbonne)
Transmission and “Mouvance”: Iberian Witnesses

This paper will illustrate the problematics of “mouvance”, or variance in appropriation, in the transmission of two core Aquitanian pieces present in Paris, BnF, latin 1139: the troped epistle Gaudeamus nova cum laetitia, copied into different sources in both Catalonia (of which Vic 106 will be retained) and Portugal (Missal de Mateus), and the polyphonic Benedicamus Domino Catholicorum concio, a mensural version of which is found in the well-known Las Huelgas codex.

14h45-15h30  Hana Vlhová-Wörner (Department of Music History, Prague)
Mass Ordinary Chants from Aquitaine in Prague: a Complicated History

The presence of some chants recorded in ms. Paris, BnF, latin 1139 (and some other sources from Aquitaine) in the repertory from 14th-century Prague is rather unexpected and needs some clarification. French-Bohemian cultural connections are today considered as mainly an outcome of 14th-century political development, with the installation (in 1306) of the French-oriented Luxembourg dynasty on the Czech throne. However, knowledge of genuine French repertory, both from the North and Aquitaine, dates already to the early 13th-century, when the Prague chapter purchased a 12th-century manuscript with a rich repertory of ordinary chants and tropes, the so-called troper of the Prague Dean Vítus (Prague, Archive of the Metropolitan Chapter at St Vitus, ms. Cim 4). In this way, the Prague chapter came into possession of one of the richest collections of late trope repertory still preserved, which also includes a number of items characteristic of the Aquitanian singing tradition. For some chants (such as Sanctus Qui deus es vere), the Prague troper is the only source outside of Aquitaine, and the trope Agnus Cuius in Egypto is today known only from Paris, BnF, latin 1139 and two Prague sources (the Prague troper and its 14th-century copy).

It is very likely that the prime interest of the Prague clergy in the manuscript was drawn not to its repertory, but to its (late Lothringian) staff notation, which was to replace the German neumatic notation in Prague by the mid-13th-century. Besides genuine Aquitanian chants, the troper includes several, today uniquely preserved, pieces with rich ornamental melodic lines, characteristic of chants from Aquitaine; they were, however, obviously never incorporated into the official Prague liturgy and remained only as inscriptions in manuscripts preserved in the chapter library.

Session 4 : Tropes et versus

présidée par Pascale Bourgain (Centre Jean Mabillon, Paris)

15h45-16h30 Francesco Carapezza (Università degli studi di Palermo)
Le trope vernaculaire du Tu autem entre liturgie et « cantus gestualis »

Dans cette contribution nous allons proposer une nouvelle édition – texte et mélodie – du trope du Tu autem en langue vulgaire (incipit : « Be deu hoimais finir nostra razos »), inséré à l’intérieur de la partie la plus ancienne du ms. Paris, BnF, latin 1139 (f. 44r) et étudié surtout par des musicologues, en visant ses aspects rhétoriques et formels et en essayant de faire le point, à partir des études de J. Chailley (1948, 1960, 1982), sur ses relations supposées avec les vies de saints et la poésie épique des siècles suivants. Une autre question qui se pose est celle de son inclusion dans une série de Benedicamus domino, à l’écart des autres pièces vernaculaires, qui pourrait fournir en principe des données vis-à-vis son statut générique et sa fonction liturgique.

16h30-17h45 Adriana Camprubí Vinyals (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Complex Metric and Melodic Developments in the Versus of Paris BnF latin 1139. A Reflection on Formal Experimentation

The versus we find in the Paris, BnF, latin 1139 manuscript provide a fantastic means for studying the metrical forms developed in Aquitania at the end of the eleventh century. The concept of the “New Song“ designates a new kind of structure in the versus which can be identified through its metrical and melodic structures.

This paper offers a systematic and exhaustive analysis of these internal structures in order to reveal how these compositions engage in formal experimentation. This, in turn, gives us an insight into the poetic ingenuity of eleventh-century composers. The notion of variability (and not irregularity) enables us to see how composition involved a range of conscious processes that can uncover the fixed patterns which marked the first steps towards the new poetic formulae that would define future medieval lyric.

The formal features of the nova cantica use new methods for versification and these emerge from a moment when individual expression was becoming more and more sought after. The versus become a kind of metrical and melodic laboratory, a gauge that shows us how the nova cantica came to be.

Concert : “Nova gaudia“, ensemble Peregrina(direction Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett)

20h église Saint-Séverin (2 rue des Prètres Saint-Séverin, 75005)

Entrée libre avec participation aux frais.

Jeudi 21 mars (fondation Calouste Gulbenkian — Paris)

Session 5 : La polyphonie dans le manuscrit latin 1139

présidée par Andreas Haug (Universität Würzburg)

9h-9h45 Catherine A. Bradley (University of Oslo)
Stirps Iesse florigeram in Context: Benedicamus Domino Polyphony in Aquitaine and The Origins of the Motet

This paper considers in detail one of the most significant and controversial compositions contained in Paris, BnF, latin 1139: the polyphonic Benedicamus versus in which the text Stirps Iesse florigeram is sung above a lower-voice quotation of a Benedicamus Domino plainchant melody, borrowed from the Responsory Stirps Iesse for the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. This composition has long attracted attention because it prefigures by more than one hundred years the characteristic typically considered to define the new thirteenth-century genre of the motet: the presentation of a syllabic upper-voice text above a plainchant tenor quotation. While scholars such as Ewald Jammers (1972) viewed Stirps Iesse florigeram as a motet avant la lettre, and Hans Tischler included a transcription of this piece at the beginning of his 1985 edition of The Earliest Motets (To ca. 1270), others—including Sarah Fuller—have emphasized significant conceptual and genetic differences between Stirps Iesse florigeram and later, genuine motets.

This paper seeks to re-engage with the complex generic, compositional, and notational circumstances of Stirps Iesse florigeram. I consider this unusual piece in the broader context of Aquitanian Benedicamus Domino compositions, examining in detail its single surviving concordance in Paris, BnF, latin 3549, as well as comparing it with another piece in this latter source, Benedicamus DominoHumane proles, the only other extant work in the Aquitanian repertoire that presents syllabic text above a pre-existing plainchant melody. Offering a re-consideration of the relationship of Stirps Iesse florigeram to thirteenth-century motets, this paper traces broader continuities and connections in polyphonic Benedicamus Domino traditions in apparently disparate contexts.

9h45-10h30 Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett (Bâle)
Organa leticie revisited (Paris, latin 1139, fol. 59v)

The long-discussed case of Organa leticie (1139b, f. 59v) posits various problems. The first one concerns the question what parts belong to this piece and the opinions differ greatly as far as the entries between f. 59v and 60v are concerned. While some researchers (Raillard, Handschin and Arlt) read it as a piece with two textual units – Organa and Dei benediction –, both the inventories of St. Martial manuscripts by Spanke and Fuller, followed by the unpublished text edition by Björkvall, list them as two separate pieces. Further, Barclay favouring the first option, considers the following Benedicamus Domino on f. 60v as belonging to that piece.

The second important question is whether this piece is monophonic or polyphonic. While Handschin, Spanke, Stäblein, Barclay and Thomann are in the favour of it being a two-part piece with unwritten lower voice, Fuller considers it a doubtful polyphonic work and Gillingham published it as a monophonic piece. The survey of suggested solutions of the published polyphonic renditions (Stäblein, Barclay, Thomann) makes the matter even more complicated. Three different sources for the hypothetical lower voice have been suggested (with full or partial transcriptions): Benedicamus flos filius (used with letter notation in the famous case of Stirps Jesse), its version Benedicamus benigno voto and the untroped Benedicamus, all three to be found on f. 60v, in closest proximity to Organa leticie. These transcriptions, however, do not offer a satisfactory solution neither for the musicologist nor for the performer.

In this presentation, I would like to argue anew that the piece belongs to early Aquitanian polyphonic Benedicamus-tropes based on unwritten flos filius melody, offering yet another solution that matches in satisfactory way the existing and the hypothetical voice. It emphasizes on the euphonic qualities of the text of both voices and respects the overall structure of the piece as well as the coherent dynamic development of the composition. This reconstruction is based both on the philological analysis and on the interiorized musical conventions of the singers specializing in this repertoire (including myself) that served as an epistemological tool in the decision-making process. This version will be presented in the aural form as an example from yet unreleased new recording the repertoire of ms. Paris, BnF, latin 1139 Nova gaudia by ensemble Peregrina (Glossa/Schola Cantorum Basiliensis edition, forthcoming in 2019).

Session 6 : Calame et pinceau

présidée par David Ganz

10h45-11h15 Laura Albiero (IRHT, Paris) et Maria Gurrado (IRHT, Paris)
Écrire à Saint-Martial : le cas des manuscrits liturgiques

Notre communication aura pour objet l’examen paléographique des écritures utilisées dans les manuscrits liturgiques de Saint-Martial de Limoges, et en particulier des diverses mains qui ont contribué à la copie des textes. Les livres liturgiques constituent non seulement un ensemble cohérent du point de vue de la préparation, de l’usage et de la destination des volumes, mais aussi un support extrêmement fiable pour la datation des sources, qui s’appuie sur des éléments liturgiques, paléographiques et décoratifs. Les résultats de cette enquête, limitée au XIe siècle, constitueront le point de départ d’une réflexion sur les pratiques de l’écrit et la tradition des scriptoria limousins.

11h15-12h00 Maria Alessandra Bilotta (Universidade Nova, Lisbonne)
Sur les routes de pèlerinage : l’illustration des manuscrits dans le contexte des réseaux monastiques du Midi de la France (XIIe-XIIIe siècles)

Interpréter le répertoire aquitain

14h30-15h30 Katarina Livljanić, Marc Mauillon et les étudiants du MIMA (Master d’interprétation des musiques anciennes, Université Paris-Sorbonne)
Présentation du travail sur le répertoire du manuscrit latin 1139
15h45-17h15 Table ronde organisée et animée par Guy Lobrichon (Université d’Avignon) Avec la participation de Sébastien Fray (Université de Saint-Étienne), Thomas F. Kelly (Harvard University), Alain Rauwel (CeSor/EHESS, Paris), Daniel Russo (Université de Bourgogne) et Éric Sparhubert (Université de Limoges, CRIHAM / CESCM)

Comité scientifique

  • Maria Alessandra Bilotta (IEM-FCSH/NOVA, Lisbonne)
  • Océane Boudeau (CESEM-FCSH/NOVA, Lisbonne ; EPHE/SAPRAT, Paris)
  • François Bougart (CNRS, IRHT, Paris)
  • Pascale Bourgain (Centre Jean Mabillon/École nationale des chartes, Paris)
  • Christelle Cazaux-Kowalski (FHNW / Musik Akademie Basel, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis)
  • Christelle Chaillou (CNRS, CESCM, Poitiers)
  • Marie-Noël Colette (EPHE/SAPRAT, Paris)
  • Gilbert Dahan (EPHE/LEM, Paris)
  • Charlotte Denoël (Centre Jean Mabillon/École nationale des chartes, Paris)
  • Manuel Pedro Ferreira (CESEM-FCSH/NOVA, Lisbonne)
  • Andreas Haug (Universität Würzburg)
  • Katarina Livljanić (Université Paris-Sorbonne, IReMus)
  • Guy Lobrichon (CIHAM UMR 5648 – Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse)
  • Christian Meyer (CNRS, CESR, Tours)
  • Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge)
  • Cécile Reynaud (EPHE/SAPRAT, Paris)
  • Anne-Zoé Rillon-Marne (UCO, Angers ; CESCM, Poitiers ; IReMus)

Institutions partenaires

  • LabEx Histoire et anthropologie des savoirs, des techniques et des croyances (HASTEC)
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT)
  • Calouste Gulbekian
  • Centre Jean Mabillon
  • FCSG
  • Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical (CESEM-FCSH/NOVA)
  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
  • Savoirs et Pratiques du Moyen Âge au XIXe siècle(Saprat/EPHE)
  • Institut de Recherche en Musicologie (IReMus)
  • Centre européen de recherche sur les communautés, congrégations et ordres religieux (CERCOR)
  • Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en histoire, histoire de l’art et musicologie (CRIHAM)
  • Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CESCM)
  • Université catholique de l’Ouest (UCO)

Informations pratiques

Le colloque aura lieu :

  • Mardi 19 mars à la Bibliothèque nationale de France (58, rue de Richelieu, 75002 Paris), salle de conférences. Sur inscription, nombre de places limité.
  • Mercredi 20 mars à l’Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (40, avenue d’Iéna, 75116 Paris), salle Jeanne Vielliard. Entrée libre.
  • Jeudi 21 mars à la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France (39, bd de La Tour-Maubourg, 75007 Paris). Entrée libre.


Informations et inscription pour le 19/03 :

Comité d’organisation

  • Océane Boudeau (CESEM-FCSH/NOVA, Lisbonne ; EPHE/SAPRAT, Paris)
  • Anne-Zoé Rillon-Marne (UCO, Angers ; CESCM, Poitiers ; IReMus)
  • Charlotte Denoël (Centre Jean Mabillon/École nationale des Chartes, Paris)
  • Cécile Reynaud (EPHE/SAPRAT, Paris)

Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2019, 12 mars). Colloque “Le rayonnement des arts au Moyen âge. Réflexions autour du Ms. Aquitain, Paris, BnF Latin 1139” Carnet de la recherche à la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Consulté le 17 juin 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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3 réponses

  1. Dalla Valle Barbara dit :


    Je suis étudiante au conservatoire Benedetto Marcello de Venise en Italie.
    Je suis entrain de préparer une thèse sur la naissance de la polyphonie à Saint Martiale de Limoges.
    Pour réaliser au mieux ma recherche je voudrais savoir si vous avez réalisé une récolte des éléments proposés au colloque de Mars sur «Le rayonnement des arts au Moyen Âge. Réflexions autour du manuscrit Aquitain, Paris, BNF latin 1139.»
    Je vous remercie d’avance pour votre aide et vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sincères salutations.

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