Medieval music brought back to life

From Medieval music brought back to life.

Music from a medieval manuscript that has not been heard since the 15th century has been brought back to life, thanks to researchers at The University of Nottingham.

The project, involving collaboration with academics in Germany, has resulted in the production of a modern colour facsimile of one of the largest, oldest and most important collections of vocal music to survive from late-medieval Europe, as well as a CD recording of some of the music it contains. The St Emmeram Codex is a handwritten anthology of 255 compositions of mostly polyphonic music ( music for more than one voice ), both sacred and secular. The manuscript belonged to the Benedictine monastery of St Emmeram in Regensburg, Germany, but since the early 19th century has been kept under lock and key in the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

The three-year research project, ‘The Music Anthology of Herman Pötzlinger’, was supported by a £256,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council ( UK ). The work was carried out by Professor Peter Wright and Senior Research Fellow Ian Rumbold from the University of Nottingham’s Department of Music, and involved collaboration with academic colleagues in Munich and Regensburg.

The codex was put together by a priest, Hermann Pötzlinger ( died 1469 ), and a number of assistants during the late 1430s and early 1440s. It reveals a strong Central European interest in the acquisition of music from Italy, France, the Dutch and Flemish low countries and England. Many of the pieces were written in Pötzlinger’s own hand, and they include a large number of works by the Franco-Flemish composer Guillaume Du Fay, one of the best known composers of the early Renaissance in Europe. Most of the compositions are [continue].

One thought on “Medieval music brought back to life

  1. Two of my lifelong loves: history and music. It would be a CD to enjoy. The notes on Potzlinger’s life were interesting. If it weren’t for his interest, much of that music would have been lost. Too bad it was kept in the Library, sequestered away, but that may have preserved it for today when it can be treated properly (manuscripts preserved) and recorded digitally for us music lovers.

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