Burgundian Court Song in the Time of Binchois: The Anonymous Chansons of El Escorial, MS V.III.24

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Clarendon Press, 1990 - Medical - 157 pages
The Court of the Dukes of Burgundy saw the greatest flowering of the chanson during the first half of the fifteenth century. While maintaining medieval forms and functions, the chanson of this period acquired an eloquence and creative scope which are manifest in the works of the leadingcomposers, resulting in a genre which the author describes as the musical voice of Burgundian melancholy. Professor Kemp considers in this book the polyphonic chanson within the literary, aesthetic, and social context of court culture during the reign of Philip the Good. He explores its role in creating the atmosphere and sustaining the fantasy of that pseudo-courtoisie which coloured Philip'schivalric humanism. The author's particular study is of the anonymous songs collected in the manuscript Escorial, Biblioteca del monasterio MS V.III.24. Through analysis of the cadences, melodies, mensuration, textures, and rhythmic figures, he has been able to establish stylistic criteria for the ascription of thesesongs to the masters of the period, Dufay and Binchois. Over a dozen chansons are added to the catalogue of Binchois' acknowledged works, and the book is a significant contribution to the appreciation of his repertoire and style.

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About the author (1990)

Walter H. Kemp, Chairman, Department of Music, Dalhousie University.

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