Researching song manuscripts of the Devotio Moderna
From antiquarian to historical methods?
HERA project meeting Cambridge, 29/30 August 2016
The musicological research concerned with the Devotio moderna essentially is linked to the wider field of research on medieval song from the 15th and 16th centuries. Both areas deal with the same materials, that is: late medieval song manuscripts. And they are united by a methodological link: the research of late medieval song consists mostly of single-manuscript studies, whose number still is growing steadily. Only since 2013 four new late medieval song-manuscripts have been studied in detail , and numerous others before. A great deal of information about each of these manuscripts has been collected and published. However, all this information has not been evaluated yet on a meta-level. The single-manuscript studies are linked together only by an increasing apparatus of concordances, supported more recently in particular by the new digital possibilities. Some of these studies try to put questions that exceed the scope of a study concerned with a single songbook, but the starting point always is a particular manuscript and the methodology belonging to this focus.