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Faculty of Music


Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach (University of Oxford)

Clerical Work: finding the motet a nobler home


Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach is both a music theorist and musicologist, with wide-ranging interests in everything from the minutiae of musical structures and manuscripts to the broadest cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts for music. Her principal focus has been on music and poetry of the fourteenth century, although she has also written about songs from both earlier and later periods. 


Clerical work: finding the motet find a nobler home
Oxford, Bodleian, MS Douce 308 is a large early fourteenth-century source containing a carefully planned selection of romances in prose and poetry, two tournament poems (one allegorical, one historical), and a huge body of lyric texts. The lyric section is ostensibly organized into eight genre subsections  -- grands chants, estampies, jeux-partis, pastourelles, balettes, sottes chansons, motets, and rondeaux -- all but the last two of which are signalled by rubrics in an internal index and/or initial miniatures at the start of each subsection. Despite the appearance in that list of a discrete motet subsection, motet texts permeate most other parts of the manuscript: there are references to motet texts through refrain citation in other lyric subsections and in two of the narrative works; in addition complete motet texts feature as the first stanzas of lyrics in the grands chants, pastourelles, and balettes subsections. This paper will explore significance of the motet to the makers and users of Douce 308 and, reciprocally, the significance of Douce 308 for the history of the motet.

Wednesday, 16 October, 2013 - 17:00 to 18:00
Event location: 
5.00pm, Recital Room, Faculty of Music