Bologna Q15 : the making and remaking of a musical manuscript : introductory study and facsimile edition
This manuscript is the largest international anthology of polyphonic music of the early 15th century. It was compiled in the Veneto, in Padua in the early 1420s (stage I) and Vicenza in the early 1430s (stages II-III), all copied by a single scribe between 1420 and 1435. The three illuminations are an unusual luxury for a musical manuscript at this period.
It was acquired by Padre Martini in 1757 and is one of the great treasures of his library in Bologna.About half of its 323 compositions are unique; some others are shared with and complemented by the slightly younger Veneto manuscripts Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria 2216 and Oxford, Canon. misc. 213. It is the most important source for the works of Zacara and Ciconia and for the early works of Guillaume Du Fay (with 78 works, nearly a quarter of the manuscript, many of them unica). About 50 composers are represented, including native Italians, and composers from the north who were sought after and made their careers in Italy. It is primarily a collection of mass movements (mostly Glorias and Credos, and a few cycles) and motets. Du Fay’s Missa Sancti Jacobi was assembled as a cycle only here, and can now be linked with the circle in which Q15 was compiled. The 109 motets include compositions in honour of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, the Venetian doges Steno, Mocenigo and Foscari, the prelates Stefano Carrara, Albano Michiel, Pietro Marcello, Francesco Malipiero, Francesco Zabarella, Antonio Correr, Giovanni Contarini; the Dominicans and Leonardo Dati; Pandolfo Malatesta da Pesaro, Cleofe Malatesta; Eugenius IV, Eugenius and the Emperor Sigismund. 19 French songs were added at the end of stage I, and 11 laude at stage III. Other late additions are the cycle of 24 hymns (including the earliest form of Du Fay’s cycle), 9 Magnificats and 3 sequences.
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