music manuscript paris

Photo Credit: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 25566, fol. 35v (Reproduced from BnF Gallica)

MF CASR Lunch with Catherine Bradley

Scattered Songs in Scandinavia: Fragments from A Medieval Motet Manuscript​ in Stockholm


10.11.2020 - 11:30 to 12:00

Due to new COVID-19 restrictions, it will only be possible to attend this MF CASR lunch virtually.  Please grab your lunch, a cup of coffee, and join us on Zoom.

Preserved in the Riksarkivet in Stockholm are twelve pages of a music manuscript that was probably produced in Paris in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. This beautifully-decorated book contained some of the most complex type of songs available in this period: polyphonic or multi-voiced motet compositions, recoded using a very rare and cutting-edge technology of musical notation. How and why did this deluxe book of motets make its way from France to Sweden before the sixteenth century? Were there highly-skilled singers in Sweden who could have read this kind of notation and performed this intricate musical polyphony?