A new source of Quattrocento music discovered in Bolzano
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This article presents the discovery of a new fragment of polyphonic music now in the Benedictine monastery of Muri-Gries in Bolzano/Bozen (South Tyrol, Italy), and provides some preliminary musicological and codicological observations. The musical fragment consists of ten folios written in white mensural notation that were reused in the binding of anUrbarium (register of fief ownership) dated 1507, from the old parish church in Gries near Bolzano. The folios can be dated to the mid-15th century and belonged originally in various fascicles; together they contain 17 pieces of sacred polyphonic music. Most of the compositions are also transmitted in the famous Trent Codices and are attributable to English composers such as John Bedyngham and John Forest. The fragment is closely related to the Trent Codices in terms of script and watermarks too, and particularly to Tr93. It is noteworthy that the place where the fragment survived, the city of Bolzano, is the birthplace of Johannes Lupi, one of the main scribes of the Trent manuscripts. Therefore we cannot exclude the possibility that both the fragment and Tr93 may have been written in Bolzano.
First published online: April 1, 2015