Frobenius, Wolf : On the Dating of Franco's Ars cantus mensurabilis

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Frobenius, Wolf : On the Dating of Franco's Ars cantus mensurabilis
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  On the Dating of Franco’s Ars cantus mensurabilis *   by   WOLF FROBENIUS The current view on the dating and chronology of Lambertus and Franco appearsto be based on the following. According to Besseler the authors were active verymuch around the same time 1 ; Franco’s treatise was thought to date from around1250 or 1260 because of its connection with the stylistic development of the motet atParis (a connection which naturally could only help to establish a terminus postquem ). After H. Sowa published the Anonymous St Emmeram, 2 a treatise completedin 1279, it was generally agreed that Lambertus had written his own treatise not toolong before that year. Yet the date of Franco’s treatise was not revised accordingly(Reaney, who follows Besseler’s dating, even allows the possibility that Franco mighthave written his treatise as early as the 1240s 3 ). As a consequence, the idea thatFranco’s  Ars predates the treatise by Lambertus has become firmly established,without a careful review of their relationship to each other. – Yet there are severalindications which suggest that Franco’s treatise must be later than Lambertus, andprobably later even than the Anonymous St Emmeram.The first clue to the relative chronological positions of Franco and Lambertuscomes from a passage in which Franco criticizes “some people” ( quosdam ) fordividing up the brevis altera into three semibreves: Pro altera autem brevi minus quam quatuorsemibreves accipi non possunt . . . nec pluresquam sex . . . , eo quod altera brevis in seduas rectas includit. Per quod patetquorundam error qui quandoque tressemibreves pro altera brevi ponunt,aliquando vero dua (Cserba 238, 10–15). Yet it is not possible to admit fewer than foursemibreves in the place of an altera brevis  . . . nor more than six . . . , since the alterabrevis contains within itself two rectae .Which shows the error of some people whonotate sometimes three semibreves in placeof an altera brevis , and sometimes two. The doctrine censured by Franco was propagated by Lambertus, who may also haveinitiated it: Quarta differentia est ligatura duarumfigurarum, tam ascendendo quamdescendendo, retinens proprietatem nonpropriam, ut hic:  Rer ^re . . . Prima autem minorsemibrevis dicitur, secunda major vel econverso, quia ambe nisi solo temporemensurantur. Quod si aliquando proaltera brevi ponantur, tunc enim duotempora compleantur (CS I, 274a).The fourth distinction is the ligature of twonotes, ascending as well as descending, witha  proprietas that is not proper, as here  Rer ^re . . .Now the first semibreve is called minor andthe second major , or the other way round,since both semibreves measure only one tempus . So that if they are sometimesnotated in the place of a brevis altera , thenthey fill two tempora . * This essay was written in connection with my work on the  Handwörterbuch der musikalischenTerminologie of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz. 1 Article  Franco von Köln , MGG IV, 1955, col. 692, 695. 2    Ein anonymer glossierter Mensuraltraktat 1279 , Königsberger Studien zur Mw. IX, Kassel 1930. 3   The Question of Authorship in the Medieval Treatises on Music , MD XVIII, 1964, p. 13 f. 122123  2 Wolf Frobenius . . . quandocunque ternarie ligature seuconjuncture reperiuntur, ut hic:  234 RewDD D@F GreY ,omnes semibreves equales et indivisibilesproferuntur, nisi in tertio loco quarti modipro altera brevi reperiantur; nam sicutaltera brevis tenet affinitatem rectebrevis, sic etiam tales affinitatem inter setam in forma quam proprietate tenebunt(CS I, 275b).. . . whenever one finds three-note ligaturesor conjuncture , as here:  234 RewDD D@F GreY , they are allreckoned equal and indivisible semibreves,unless they are notated in the place of an altera brevis , on the third locus of the fourthmode; for just as the altera   brevis has akinship with the recta brevis , so shall suchnotes maintain the affinity between themboth in form and in propriety. This doctrine is so peculiar to Lambertus that Franco could only have beenreferring to him. Indeed the Anonymous St Emmeram, who attacks the samedoctrine in two passages of his own treatise (p. 52, 6–13; 63, 8–18), refersunequivocally to Lambertus.Further indications that Franco’s treatise is later than Lambertus can be foundin the treatise of the Anonymous St Emmeram. The latter depicts Lambertus as aradical revolutionary – he blames him, 4 above all, for having brought ruin on theestablished teachings (“destroying that prose work which has a precise sequence of modes in almost every single chapter”), for frequently bringing changes to theshapes of notes (“they often designate different kinds of notation for the figures”),and for labelling the recta longa as imperfecta (“and assert with prejudicialarguments that those figures which we say are perfect are imperfect”). 5 He evidentlydoes not know Franco’s  Ars [which could have been criticized for the same reasons].Indeed, all attacks in his treatise that could have been aimed just as well atFranco are targeted exclusively at Lambertus. When he criticizes he ligature eTw  (p. 42), for example, the Anonymous St Emmeram can only be referring toLambertus, not Franco (who also teaches these ligature forms), first, because hementions only the binaria that are so shaped, whereas Franco adds tails of this typeto all ascending ligatures sine proprietate , and second, because he criticizesLambertus almost in one breath for the lack of any clear distinction between perfectand imperfect ligatures, a reproach that could not have been levelled against Franco.If the Anonymous St Emmeram had known Franco’s treatise, it is difficult tothink of a plausible reason why he might have wanted to exempt him, especiallygiven that he does criticize other authors and notators besides Lambertus. 6 And, bf by this time, Franco’s teachings were already held to be above criticism, then manypoints made by Lambertus (like the concepts of  longa perfecta and imperfecta , forinstance) should have enjoyed immunity from criticism as well.Similarly, if the Anonymous St Emmeram had known about Franco’s solution tothe problem of the graphic distinction between plicated perfect and imperfectligatures (p. 57, ll. 14 ff.), then he would very probably have discussed it. [But suchis not the case.] And when the Anonymous St Emmeram writes: “Elsewhere, the treatise [ ars ]says: breuium et semibreuium idem est in ordinatione iudicium ” (Sowa, 52, 1–2), hecannot be quoting Franco here, even though the latter does use somewhat similarformulations in two places (Cserba 235, 5:  Et nota, hic [sc. in ordinatione figurarum 4 Ed. S OWA , p. 1. 5 The points on which the Anonymous St Emmeram criticizes Lambertus are itemized in H. S OWA ,p. XVI f. 6 For example, p. 16, ll. 35ff; 21, 4ff.; 45, 17ff; 48, 3ff; 66, 32ff; 93, 10ff.; 117, 15ff.  On the Dating of Franco’s  Ars cantus mensurabilis 3   ad invicem] idem esse judicium de brevibus et semibrevibus ; 237, 14–15:  Desemibrevibus autem et brevibus idem est judicium   in regulis prius dictis ). [There arethree reasons why the Anonymous St Emmeram must be quoting an author otherthan Franco.] First, by ars he specifically understands teachings in the tradition of Garlandia (from which Lambertus had allegedly strayed). Second, the rule inquestion does indeed belong to the ars predating Lambertus and Franco: itstipulates that semibreves must be performed in the modi per ultra mensuram byanalogy to the performance of breves. However, a rule according to which breves andsemibreves are to be treated analogously would have been of very limited use inconnection with Franco’s ordinatio figurarum ad invicem , and would lack all justification precisely at this first location (Cserba 235, 5). Third, Franco’sformulation refers to something altogether different from what the Anonymous StEmmeram had in mind, namely, that it is possible for several semibreves collectivelyto assume the place and function of a breve.Nor do we need to see Franco as the source for the following remark:  Itemnotabile est quod ubiconque est longitudo, ibi est perfectio in hac arte, et vbi non estlongitudo, ibi nec perfectio decet esse (p. 44, ll. 20–22). First, the Anonymous StEmmeram is not actually citing anybody here, but simply volunteers a remark of hisown ( item notabile est ); secondly, nearly every “complete” regular ligature has alonga as the final note. To make this observation, then, he could scarcely haveneeded Franco to make it first.The indications that the Anonymous St Emmeram wrote before Franco are notweakened by the knowledge of his apparent connections to Anonymus 4 (whomentions Franco in two places 7 ). For when the Anonymous St Emmeram criticizesthe theory of  ordines , 8 he is surely not referring to this English treatise, 9 which in allprobability was unknown on the Continent. The doctrine in question is set forth alsoin the revision of Garlandia’s treatise transmitted by Hieronymus. 10 It seems thatthe ordines theory was one of the extensions of Garlandia’s ars as it was taught inParis. 11 It is fair to conclude, in sum, that the Anonymous St Emmeram has noknowledge of any treatise written by Franco, and that he was writing, probably,before its appearance. For him it is Lambertus who has brought ruin on the ars ; it isonly in relation to Lambertus that he criticizes the concepts of   perfectio , longa perfecta and longa imperfecta .That it is not Franco but someone else (Lambertus) who had developed theseconcepts and the outlook they represent, is clear also from Franco’s treatise itself. Inhis preface, 12 Franco makes a distinction between the writings of the antiqui and novi : “For when we considered that there are many, both young and old, in theirtreatises on measurable music . . .” ( Quoniam cum videremus multos, tam novosquam antiquos, in artibus suis de mensurabili musica . . .). In his third chapter he 7 Ed. R ECKOW ,   BzAfMw IV, p. 46, ll. 23f., and p. 50, l. 29. 8 S OWA , 93, 10–21. 9 R ECKOW , 23, 13ff. 10 Just as it also shares the expression modus obliquus (for ultramensurabilis ) with Anonymus 4. 11 In view of this, the treatise of Anonymus 4, whose terminus post quem is 1272, and which hasbeen dated around 1275 on the basis of palaeographic evidence provided by its earliest survivingmanuscript (Fr. R ECKOW , BzAfMw V, p. 2), must have srcinated at a later date as well, within themargin of tolerance of the manuscript dating, and in any case after 1279. 12 C SERBA , 230f. 124125  4 Wolf Frobeniuseven speaks 13 expressly of a quarrel between antiqui and aliqui moderni , a quarrelthat he wishes to resolve: “ . . . for the sake of ending the controversy between theold and some of our own time” (  propter antiquorum et aliquorum modernorumcontroversiam compescendam ). 14 According to Franco, both the novi and the antiqui  had said much that was right, but they had also been wrong about many things,above all about “the accidental aspects of this discipline” ( accidentia ipsius scientie ).It was his intention to support and adopt what was correct, and to reject what wasin error; and if he himself were to introduce anything new, he intended “to uphold itand prove it with good reasons” ( bonis rationibus sustinere et probare ).The argument that Franco wished to settle had to do with the number of rhythmic modes:   15   Modi autem a diversis diversimodeenumerantur. Quidam enim ponunt VI, alii VII. Nos autem V tantum ponimus, quia adhos V omnes alii reducuntur.Primus enim procedit ex omnibus longis,et sub isto reponimus illum, qui est ex longaet brevi, duabus de causis: prima est, quiaisti duo in similibus pausationibus uniuntur;secunda est propter antiquorum etaliquorum modernorum controversiamcompescendam.The modes are however numbered andordered in different ways by different people.For there are some who posit six modes, andothers seven. Yet we posit only five, since allthe others are reducible to these.The first proceeds by longas only, andunder it we place the one that proceeds bylonga and brevis, and this for two reasons.Firstly, these two modes are united inhaving similar rests; and the second is forthe sake of ending the controvery betweenthe old and some of our own time. The central question at issue here was this: which is the true first mode – theone known thus far as the first (a modus rectus ) or the one known thus far as thefifth (  ex omnibus longis )? 16 Now since the fifth mode had always been viewed as a modus per ultra mensuram , that is, an irregular one, it could scarcely have beengranted the distinction of the real first mode, at least not before the new concept of the  perfectio rendered it perfectly regular – and among Franco’s contemporaries,only Lambertus propagated that concept. 17 The compromise proposed by Franco,namely that the old modes 1 and 5 be conflated into a single first mode, affirms theconcept of   perfectio and at the same time preserves the traditional ranking of themodes. With regard to the number of modes, a system of seven modes is not positively known to have beentaught anywhere. Franco may have meant the six-mode system expanded with the “English” variant of  13 C SERBA , 232, 20f. 14 Given the conventions of citation, aliqui moderni is probably to be understood as just one modernus ; in the same way, the Anonymous St Emmeram refers to L  AMBERTUS (whenever he does notmention him by name) as quidam (plural). See also the citations of M URIS , V  ITRY  and others in Jacquesde Liège.   15 C SERBA , 232, 15–21. 16 See also the revised version of Garlandia’s treatise, transmitted by H IERONYMUS : “Sed aliqui volunt, quod quintus noster modus sit primus omnium. Et bona est ratio, quia per istum modumpraecedit omnes nostros modos” (ed. E. R EIMER ,  Johannes de Garlandia: De mensurabili musica , Ph.D.diss, Freiburg 1969, typewritten, p. 168, 25–26; C SERBA , 195, 36–38). 17 The author of the revised version of Garlandia’s treatise,   who may already have known Franco’steachings (cf. R EIMER , p. 181ff.), seems to be referring also (or: only) to L  AMBERTUS , since he invokes thelatter’s rationale (which in F RANCO is no longer expressly provided): “Iste primus dicitur / et justepreponitur / aliis venturis; / nam ad hunc reducitur, / et in hunc resolvitur / quivis ex futuris” (CS I,279b).  On the Dating of Franco’s  Ars cantus mensurabilis 5   the third mode (LLB); 18 it remains uncertain whether the revised version of Garlandia’s treatise, citedby Anonymus 4, propagated a system of seven modes. 19 It seems also possible (and perhaps moreplausible, given that Franco alludes to the controvery surrounding the first mode), that “septem” inFranco’s text should be read as “novem,” in which case he would have meant the nine-mode system of Lambertus. Yet this question must remain open at present.  According to this reading of the evidence, then, the concepts of   perfectio , longa perfecta and imperfecta would have srcinated in Lambertus, and were subsequentlyadopted by Franco, who upheld them in response to his critics.What was newly invented by Franco, by the criteria offered in his Prohemium,was his ligature theory. True to his word, Franco did indeed take extraordinary careto “uphold [it] with good reasons,” and he used the modes to demonstrate theirusefulness (ch. X – just as Garlandia had done in his chapter de probationemodorum per figuras 20 ), and thereby “to prove” them. His concern in this regard maywell be a reflection of his disapproval of those who had erred maxime in accidentibusipsius scientie . Compared to this, the trouble he takes to underpin the concepts of  longa perfecta and  perfectio is comparatively slight: on this point he can evidentlytake the extensive argumentation of Lambertus for granted.The bonae rationes with which Franco supports his new ligature theory areadvanced mainly by clarifying the ligature modifications of  cum proprietate , sine proprietate , cum opposita proprietate , cum perfectione and sine perfectione as differentiae essentiales et specificae ipsis ligaturis . As differentiae essentiales thesedemand consistency of meaning, and this criterion is what justifies the innovationsmade by Franco. As differentiae specificae ipsis ligaturis they also support theclassification of the  figurae . There are two  genera of   figurae : simplices and ligaturae .Just as the  genus of the simplices is divided into three species ( longae , breves and semibreves ), so does the  genus of the ligaturae include several species . These arisefrom the differentiae specificae . Yet they have no designation of their own, and aredesignated instead by  genus ( ligatura ), and described with reference to the differentiae specificae ( cum proprietate et perfectione etc.) ( Species quoque consistuntsub genere; ipsis tamen speciebus non est nomen impositum, sed eas dictaedifferentiae et suum genus circumloquuntur 21 ). Although a comment on the speciesligaturarum was certainly not inappropriate at this point, Franco does seem to treatthem far more extensively than would have been necessary, especially given that onthis issue, he positioned himself squarely in the tradition of Garlandia. One cannotrule out, then, that Franco was actually responding to Lambertus, who hadclassified ligatures by the purely external criterion of numbers of notes (  plicae , binariae , ternariae , quaternariae , quinariae ), had presented each of the forms whichhe labeled differentiae in isolation, had understood by  proprietas only the tractus atthe beginning of a ligature, and had completely neglected (as the Anonymous St 18 Cf. the revised version of G  ARLANDIA ’s treatise transmitted by H IERONYMUS : “Aliqui adduntmodos alios, sed non est necessarium illos numerare, ut duae longae et brevis, quia per istos sexsufficientiam possumus habere” (ed. R EIMER , 167, 7; C SERBA , 195, 9–11), and Anonymus 4: “Iterato suntet alii modi, qui dicuntur modi inusitati, quasi irregulares, quamvis non sint, ut in partibus Angliae etalibi, cum dicunt longa longa brevis, longa longa brevis” (ed. R ECKOW , 23, 2–5). 19 See the previous remark. Their formulations suggest that we are dealing with more than amerely supplementary mode. 20 R EIMER , p. 99ff; CS I, 179ff. 21 C SERBA , 240, 18–20. 126127
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