MCE Editorial methods

The Critical apparatus lists all variants, readings or errors from the sources under consideration, subdivided into the following categories:

  • accidentals
  • clefs
  • coloration
  • designation of voices
  • key signatures
  • ligatures
  • mensuration and proportion signs
  • musical symbols
  • pitch and rhythm
  • rubrics and verbal directions
  • text underlay

All entries refer to the modern critical edition and are ordered according to measure number, voice, and source. A link to an image with a detail of the source is present only when necessary to clarify the comment.

Pitches are given according to the modern system whereby middle C is c' and the octave above and below c'' and c, respectively.

The variants in the Latin text are reported in the apparatus of the separate text edition (see below).

Editorial Principles

Voice names are standardized (Cantus, Altus, Tenor, and Bassus; abbreviated in the score); where sources attribute specific names, this is mentioned in the Critical apparatus. Modern clefs are used.

Rubrics (e.g. ‘loco Introitus’) are normalized and included in the score; further verbal directions (e.g. ‘Verte folium’) are normalized and reported in the Critical apparatus.

Original mensuration signs are maintained (but standardized among the different voices if necessary, with variants explained in the Critical apparatus); if missing, they are added without brackets and listed in the Critical apparatus. Notes have been maintained in their integer valor; the final notes are rendered as breves or longae, according to the sources, with the implication of indeterminate duration. Ternary sections obtained through color are rendered with triplets.

Barlines are set in each single system as in modern vocal scores, each measure corresponding to a breve. Occasionally, measures preceding ternary sections are shortened in order to have the ternary section start on the first beat of a new measure. Final measures usually correspond to a longa, but they may sometimes contain irregular values.

Ligatures are indicated by horizontal square brackets.

As the implemented version of Verovio currently does not allow to show dashed ties, editorial ties (added between notes of the same pitch to suggest that they be sung on a single syllable) are registered in the Critical Apparatus.

The use of color is marked by horizontal open brackets; variants are listed in the Critical apparatus.

Fermata signs are indicated whenever present in the sources. Missing signs in one or more voices are added without brackets and listed in the Critical apparatus.

Accidentals are valid until the end of the measure; all the accidentals present in the source are retained, even if they are superfluous in a modern transcription. Editorial accidentals for musica ficta are indicated in smaller font above the notes concerned; each ficta accidental is valid only for a single note.

The text underlaid to the notes follows the standardized version given in the separate edition of the text, to which the reader should refer for a list of variants and errors in the single sources (see the Principles for the Edition and Translation of Texts below).

The text underlay should be regarded more as a proposal than as a prescriptive solution. All editorial additions to the text are in italics; prominent differences in phrase settings between the edition and the sources are mentioned in the Critical apparatus. Words missing in one of the sources but present in another are listed in the Critical apparatus; in the case of single sources, missing words are simply inserted in the score in italics.

The punctuation follows the one given in the edition of the text (except for added commas before repetitions), even if a sentence remains suspended in one voice and continues in a different one (e.g. in the alternate Tenors of Compère’s Galeazescha, MCE03). Special situations are solved case by case.

For the syllable division, the criteria of the Solesmes chant books have been used as general reference (these criteria are explained in the article ‘Distinction des syllabes dans les mots latins’, Études Grégoriennes, 43 (2016), 177–84, and exemplified on the website

Principles for the Edition and Translation of Texts

In the critical editions the texts are corrected and normalized according to the standards of classical Latin, i.e. ae in place of e, but retaining initial and intervocalic v, e.g. veni and ave.  Abbreviations are resolved silently (e.g. the n in parens, the final m in balsamum, us in Christus). Double consonants have been normalized (e.g. electus for ellectus) and h restored in pulchra and similar words. Initial y has been changed to i (e.g. imber). Words joined together have been seprated without comment. The nomen sacrum xpi has been normalized to Christi.

The editions of the text have two distinct apparatus. The first apparatus, indicated as footnotes with Arabic numerals, notes all variants that can be considered as constituting a different or erroneous reading (e.g. virgo for ergo or relaretur for relaxetur). The second apparatus, with Roman numerals, comprises relevant orthographical variants. We do not note the typical phonetic phenomena of mediaeval Latin such as u for v and e for ae. On the other hand, we list more relevant phonetic phenomena that might provide hints about the scribes and their copying and writing practices. These comprehend the oscillation between t/d; g/c; t/c; the presence or absence of h and double for single consonantsand vice versa. Likewise the oscillation between e/i and i/y is indicated in the apparatus.

The omission or duplication of portions of text in the different voices is not indicated in the edition of the texts.

Punctuation has been introduced sparingly; there is none in the sources apart from a final full stop by some scribes. Initial letters are capitalized according to the sentence structure and in proper names of persons and places (e.g. ‘Christus’ and ‘Ierusalem’). Such words as ‘deus’, ‘dominus’, and ‘virgo’ are not. For texts in verse, the first word of every line is capitalized.

The English translations do not attempt to produce the verse structure or the original word order.

List of Abbreviations

C Cantus, or part(s) normally in soprano or mezzo soprano clef
A Altus, or part(s) normally in alto or tenor clef
T (T1, T2) Tenor (Tenor 1, Tenor 2), or part(s) normally in tenor or alto clef
B Bassus, or part(s) normally in bass or baritone clef
Br breve
c1, c2, f4, etc. designation for location of C and F clefs on the first, second, etc. lines of the staff
c.f. cantus firmus
c.p.f. cantus prius factus
f(f). folio(s)
Fu fusa
lig(s). ligature(s)
Lo longa
m(m). measure(s)
Mi minima
Mx maxima
no(s). number(s)
Sb semibreve
Sm semiminima

Abbreviations for reference works

Dreves, Guido Maria, Clemens Blume, and Henry Marriot Bannister (eds.), Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi, 55 vols (Leipzig: Reisland, 1886–1925).

Mone, Franz Joseph, Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters, 3 vols (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herbert, 1853–55). 

Manuscript sigla

I-Mfd 1
Milano, Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, Sez. Musicale, Librone 1 (olim MS 2269)

I-Mfd 2
Milano, Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, Sez. Musicale, Librone 2 (olim MS 2268)

I-Mfd 3
Milano, Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, Sez. Musicale, Librone 3 (olim MS 2267)

I-Mfd [4]
Milano, Archivio della Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, Cassette Ratti, n. VII, 34–43 (olim MS 2266)

B-Br 228
Bruxelles, KBR (Royal Library of Belgium), MS 228

B-Br IV.922
Bruxelles, KBR (Royal Library of Belgium), MS IV.922 (‘Occo Codex’)

CH-SGs 463
Sankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 463 (‘Tschudi Liederbuch’)

D-Mbs 3154
München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Mus. MS 3154 (‘Leopold Codex’ )

E-Bbc M 454
Barcelona, Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya/Biblioteca Central, Barcelona, M 454 (‘Cancionero musical de Barcelona’)

I-Fn B.R. 229
Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Banco Rari 229

I-Fn XIX.178
Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Magl. XIX.178

I-Sc K.I.2
Siena, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, K.I.2

PL-Wu 5892
Warszawa, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, Oddzial Zbiorów Muzycznych, RM 5892 (olim Mf. 2016; olim Mus. 58)

US-Wc M2.1.M6
Washington, Library of Congress, M2.1.M6 Case (‘Wolffheim Fragment’)