Making and Using the Edition

In these pages, we wanted to take the time to discuss issues of making and using our edition of Machaut’s music, highlighting some interesting questions, and giving further information as to what is out there but couldn’t be included in the printed version.

We arranged the discussion-topics according to general themes, but designed them also for individual use. Each topic presents one or more mini case-studies, which include specially edited scores presenting versions different from those in our printed edition and which are illustrated by newly commissioned sound-files demonstrating the audible effect of these different possibilities. We hope they will prove useful background information for anyone interested in Machaut: performers and researchers, amateurs and professionals. 

It is generally accepted that no one translation can ever be exhaustive, and that the transition between languages involves both the loss of some information and the acquiring of notions absent in the original. These issues of translation apply not just to language but also to how we deal with cultural information, artifacts and other forms of expression. This is particularly pertinent when considering cultures with very different attitudes towards both writing things down and following written instructions. Modern and medieval musical cultures are just such a pairing. In the discussion below, we illustrate some of the challenges and explain our choices. Moreover, we aim to illustrate some of the questions faced by readers and performers engaging with any modern edition of medieval music by demonstrating how members of our group tackled them. We have divided topics according to the notion of the work, to the acts of reading and writing, and to wider cultural context.



***********************STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!************************

The Complete Poetry and Music of Guillaume de Machaut Volume 1 is out now!!!!

Volume 1: The Debate Poems is now available in print.

You can also enjoy the entire volume online via the Middle English Texts Website.

Edited and translated by R. Barton Palmer, with art historical commentary by Domenic Leo, and musical commentary by Uri Smilansky, the volume contains  Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, and Le Lay de Plour.




The Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript

Full colour facsimile with introductory study by Lawrence Earp, Domenic Leo and Carla Shapreau. Preface by Christopher de Hamel

"It is a vast manuscript of royal luxury, 390 leaves of parchment, 314 mm. by 220 mm., illustrated with 118 enchanting miniatures by a workshop of court illuminators led by the Master of the Bible of Jean de Sy.They include pictures of gothic chivalry and romance, with mythology and natural history. Music is included on 235 pages of the manuscript, with almost the entire corpus of the ballades, lais and motets of Machaut, as well as his great polyphonic setting of the Mass, the four-part Messe de Nostre-Dame.The manuscript has never before been photographed in its entirety or reproduced in colour."

"Vol. 1 introductory study (225 pages colour/mono), vol. 2 facsimile (789 full colour pages) on 150gsm matt art paper. Full size reproduction, hard bound in buckram, presented in hard slipcover."

Available now from DIAMM Publications.

The Art of Grafted Song: Citation and Allusion in the Age of Machaut by Yolanda Plumley

Available now from Oxford University Press

"Presents the first detailed exploration of citational practices in the song-writing tradition of fourteenth-century France. The first monograph-length study on the Ars nova chanson with new evidence about the emergence of the new polyphonic chanson. Provides new evidence about the circle of poets and composers who engaged with Machaut and created a new style of poetry and song. Explores little studied collections of lyrics and songs of the period and provides fresh insights and perspectives on Machaut's works."