Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

There has been extensive discussion about issues of rhythm, metre, and tempo in
the early Renaissance Iberian polyphonic song. Particularly, the usage of mensuration signs and the meaning of diminution have been the subject of distinct readings.
Authors such as Charles Jacobs and Manuel Morais have considered that the
notation of the songs in the Cancionero de Palacio show unsystematic use of the
tempus imperfectum and tempus imperfectum diminutum signs to indicate duple
metre, a supposed indication of a gradual simplification of the proportional
notation system occurring during the 16th century. However, music treatises by
Spanish theorists of the first half of that century, such as Francisco Tovar (1510) and
Juan Bermudo (1550), suggest that the choice of a diminutum sign had practical
implications on the tempo at which a piece was performed, which would mean
that the use of these signs was not interchangeable. In fact, the notation found in Portuguese cancioneiros shows a remarkable degree of consistency in the use of mensuration signs that conform to the latter interpretation. This is especially true of the Cancioneiro de Paris, and also something that Gil Miranda had briefly argued in the preface to his edition of the Cancioneiro de Elvas.
Thus, in this paper, I will analyse the use and meaning of mensuration signs in the
Portuguese cancioneiros and show evidence of their conscious application,
consistent with the testimonies of music theorists. This will also reveal how Iberian
scribes and composers of secular music would work around the proportional
system to indicate different ranges of tempo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages38-39
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500 - Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018

Conference

ConferenceThe Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500
CountryPortugal
CityCascais
Period27/06/1830/06/18

Fingerprint

Theorists
Song
Music
Tempus
Secular Music
Treatise
Conscious
Testimony
Notation
Diminution
Simplification
Composer
Cancionero
Polyphonic
Early Renaissance
Rhythm

Keywords

  • Mensuration
  • Portugal
  • Portuguese cancioneiros

Cite this

Raimundo, N. (2018). Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo. 38-39. Abstract from The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500, Cascais, Portugal.
Raimundo, Nuno . / Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo. Abstract from The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500, Cascais, Portugal.2 p.
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Raimundo, N 2018, 'Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo' The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500, Cascais, Portugal, 27/06/18 - 30/06/18, pp. 38-39.

Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo. / Raimundo, Nuno .

2018. 38-39 Abstract from The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500, Cascais, Portugal.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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Raimundo N. Mensuration signs in Portuguese cancioneiros and their implications on tempo. 2018. Abstract from The Anatomy of Polyphonic Music around 1500, Cascais, Portugal.