Cantilena and Antiphon: Music for Marian Services in Late Medieval England

Lefferts, Peter M.

One of the most important contributions to studies of medieval music in recent years was made by Ernest Sanders as editor of volume two of English Music for Mass and Offices (volume XVII in the series Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century). Sanders was particularly responsible for the editions of a large proportion of the surviving repertoire of polyphonic cantilenas, a major genre in terms of numbers of pieces and inherent musical value that heretofore has received little attention in the musicological literature, aside from Sanders's own contributions. The cantilena holds a place in the fourteeth-century English polyphonic repertoire roughly equivalent to that of the votive antiphon in the fifteenth century, though it is a much less familiar and less widely traveled genre. Stylistically, cantilenas form a complex category of works, but one that has nonetheless a clearly defined core.



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Columbia University
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February 3, 2015