Extant manuscripts are the principal medieval testimony to the art of monophonic song. Literary texts and archival materials, a few theoretical works, and numerous visual representations provide helpful perspective, but our path to the poets and singers lies through the efforts of scribes, and the myriad problems in interpreting what they tell us cast a long shadow over all research on monophonic song. The essays gathered here represent the principal themes and issues that have occupied scholars of late medieval monophonic songs over the last half century: their place in history and society, the role of women as composers and performers, poetic and musical structures, styles, and genres, relationships between poems and melodies, written and oral transmission, and performance practices. Studying how each of these themes is played out across repertoires, cultures, decades, and locations offers a rich and variegated panorama of the practice of song in late medieval Europe.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Aubrey is Professor of Music at the University of Iowa and an internationally- acclaimed scholar of medieval music and literature, with numerous publications on the music of France during the Middle Ages. Her articles and reviews appear in American and European journals of musicology, literature, and medieval studies, in conference proceedings of international musical and literary societies, and in other important volumes published in the US and Europe.