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Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music: Joseph Mason
November 16, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 5:00pm, repeating indefinitely
“Sweetly Divided”: Analytical propositions and problems for the thirteenth-century jeu-parti
Speaker: Joseph Mason (University of Oxford)
Convener: Margaret Bent
Abstract: In thirteenth-century French debate songs, known as jeux-partis, poets frequently dwell on the divided nature of their songs. The poetry of a jeu-parti is divided by a dilemma question, which is debated by two trouvères. Division can also be seen in the tonal structure of jeu-parti melodies. This paper presents the findings of a systematic survey of normative melodic practice in the jeu-parti. Drawing on Hepokoski and Darcy’s influential concept of norms and deformations (2006) and debates on tonal norms in fourteenth-century song, I suggest what the tonal norms of the jeu-parti might have been. I also consider the problems of applying the model of norms and deformations to a corpus whose melodies can be agonistically and, on occasion, violently divided.
The speaker’s presentation is followed by a full hour of discussion during which wine is served.