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Title: Genre, taxonomy and repertory in insular polyphony of the 'Long Thirteenth Century' (c.1150-c.1350)
Author: Williamson, Amy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 4019
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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Modern scholarship has often viewed insular medieval music unfavourably in comparison to continental and, specifically, Notre Dame composition. This is, in part, due to the fragmentary remains of the insular repertory and the lack of theoretical literature relevant to insular composition, which clearly contrasted with French practices, at times. These differences have been perceived pejoratively in scholarly study, often through a lack of understanding of contemporary aims and perceptions. This thesis therefore attempts to pinpoint the unique features of the insular style and repertory, to quantify their frequency in the extant sources and compositions, and to provide an overview of the entire extant insular polyphonic repertory from the “long thirteenth century”. It has often been observed that part of the uniquely insular approach to composition is a more fluid approach to and cultivation of genre. Whereas French composition focussed on the development of several specific genres, each with their own set of standard rules for composition that were rigidly adhered to, for the most part, insular composers seem to have preferred to experiment, mixing features of French genres, and techniques to create pieces that do not appear to conform to any one continental generic style. Furthermore, while compositions in French manuscripts are organised according to their genre, and the number of voices included, insular manuscripts appear not to follow this organisational style in a significant number of extant sources. This study therefore aims to explore and discuss insular composition in terms of genre, and to investigate and quantify how often insular manuscript sources appear to have been organised in a manner reflective of a more experimental approach to genre.
Supervisor: Everist, Mark ; Wahlgren-Smith, Lena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available