Nyikos (2013 Congress)

Elizabeth Nyikos
(Magdalen College, Oxford)
“The Abbey Museum Fragment:  A New Source of Fifteenth-Century English Polyphony”

Abstract of Paper at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, 2013)

Session on “Medieval Manuscripts in North American Collections”
Sponsored by King Alfred’s Notebook LLC and the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence
Organized by Scott Gwara (King Alfred’s Notebook LLC / University of South Carolina — Columbia)
2013 Congress

[First published on our first website on 22 May 2013]

New manuscript discoveries provide a welcome opportunity to add to the known repertoire and revisit previously-studied sources in the light of further information.  The discovery of a hitherto unknown manuscript from the Abbey Museum of Art and Archeology in Caboolture, Australia, is particularly significant because the new source is from same English Choirbook as two fragments of fifteenth-century polyphony held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  A fragmentary bifolio, Abbey Museum W01273 is the missing half of folio 14 of Case Western Spec. Coll. 3 Lge/ML431.D24.  Not only does the new source preserve the missing music of a polyphonic Credo and Sanctus but it also provides further clues to scribal concordances and the eventual use of the fragments as Madrigal partboook covers.  This paper both introduces the Abbey Museum source and reexamines the Case Western fragments in order to explore the origin, separation and subsequent history of the pages of this lost English Choirbook of the fifteenth century.

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