Brussels 4147: Notes

1    A general synopsis of Tinctoris's life, albeit now in serious need of updating, is available as Woodley 1981. This, however, needs to be read alongside more recent studies, such as Sherr 1983 and 1994; D'Agostino 1999; and Atlas 1985. The standard edition of Tinctoris's treatises (aside from the present in-progress online edition) is still Seay 1975, together with Weinmann 1961, Strohm & Cullington 1996, and Panti 2004.

2    The most commonly consulted version of Coussemaker's edition is Coussemaker 1864–76, iv. 1–200; but for further on its publication history, see n. 57 below.

3    Perkins & Garey 1979.

4    Anglès 1941, i. 24; Pope & Kanazawa 1978: 550.

5    For colour images and details embedded in the present website, see here (new full window opens); also reproduced in colour on the cover of Early Music, 33/3 (August 2005).

6    Haffner 1997, esp. 315–9; also discussed in D'Agostino 1999: 357–60. The association of the Valencia codex with Cardinal Giovanni hinges principally on the apparent re-touching of the upper part of the Aragonese coat of arms, which Haffner believes originally showed the emblem of the cardinal's hat, held by the two floating putti, which has been subsequently erased, recoloured and covered by the present crown: see online facsimile linked in n. 5 above. It should be emphasized, however, that this has not yet been incontrovertibly established, and (as Haffner acknowledges) no outline of a cardinal's hat remains visible today, even under special lighting (Haffner 1997: 316).

7    Haffner estimates the date of the manuscript as around 1483 (Haffner 1997: 315).

8    The Neapolitan (Aragonese court) provenance of the manuscript was in fact established as long ago as 1960, in De Marinis 1960, i. 24, no. 211. I am intending to publish a separate study of this manuscript and the Valencia codex at a future date.

9    Fols. 1v–2. The most comprehensive and accessible study of Beatrice's life is still Berzeviczy 1911; also available in Italian translation as Berzeviczy 1931.

10   These textual details will be the subject of a separate study. On the dating of Tinctoris's departure from Naples, see, for example, Atlas 1985: 74. The circumstances of his departure are no less subject to guesswork than those of his arrival in the 1470s; it is not difficult, however, to see how the deteriorating fortunes of the Neapolitan Aragonese, in the larger context of Italian and French politics, could have influenced Tinctoris's move in this period.

11   'Le second manuscrit est dans la bibliothèque du Lycée musical de Bologne. Il y est entré avec les livres du Père Martini, qui l'avait transcrit de sa propre main, d'après un ancien manuscrit de la bibliothèque Laurentienne de Florence, et d'après un autre ancien manuscrit dont Martini ne donne pas la source. La copie de Bologne n'a ni le Diffinitorium, ni le traité des Effets de la musique. Dans les autres traités, il offre quelques variantes dont nous avons fait profiter notre édition.' (Coussemaker 1864–76, iv. p. iii). See below for further information on the eighteenth-century context of these sources.

12   For example, in Woodley 1988: 198.

13   Orléans, Archives départementales du Loiret, D 213 (Liber procuratorum I), fol. 62. Except in cases of physical incapacity, it was part of the duty of the procurator to enter the names of the matriculating students in his own hand, the only deviation from this practice occurring in the period between 1485 and 1508, when the students entered their names themselves (Woodley 1981: 228, citing Ridderikhoff & De Ridder-Symoens 1971, p. xxv).

14   See, for example, Atlas 1985: 69–71, and more recently Atlas 2001.  Although Du Bruecquet's activity as scribe is not in doubt, no definitive examples of his handwriting have yet surfaced. I am grateful to Pamela Starr for confirming that none of the Vatican documents concerning Du Bruecquet that she has inspected includes any instance of his writing or signature (correspondence of 27 June 2006).

15   Strohm 1985: 136–8, and 265 for further references.

16    See Pamela Starr's survey of Cordier's life, from the viewpoint of musical career management at this time, in Starr 2004. Although no complete biographical survey of Cordier has been published, other valuable material, in addition to that in Strohm 1985, appears in Walsh 1978; Welch 1993; D'Accone 1961; and Schmidt-Beste 2000. Despite the unlikelihood of Cordier's own involvement with Brussels 4147, or any other known activity as copyist, I am grateful to Pamela Starr (personal communication of 1 December 2006) for the observation that, as tenorista, some degree of particular responsibility for the copying of repertory may well have fallen on one in his position.

17   Atlas 1985: 43–4.

18   See Woodley, present online edition: links to Expositio manus, 'Prologus', lines 4–5; or Seay 1975, i. 31. Tinctoris refers to De Lotinis as one of the finest 'supremus' singers of the day in his De inventione et usu musice: see Weinmann 1961: 33.

19   Atlas 1985: 40. These names also surface with reference to possible hands in the compilation of Mellon and the Naples L'Homme armé mass manuscript (Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS VI. E. 40) in D'Agostino 1999: 337, along with a certain 'Johannes de Bruges' cited by Strohm – though without a primary source given – as scribe at the Neapolitan court between 1474 and 1486 (Strohm 1985: 137).

20   The original document was destroyed during World War II, and scholars are entirely reliant for their interpretation of the list on the text originally printed in Vander Straeten 1867–88, iv. 28–30. This text, however, is full of still unresolved problems, as Atlas has described (Atlas 1985: esp. 45–47 and 54–7).

21   Strohm 1985: 137.

22   Schnoebelen 1979: 4 (nos. 27 and 29) and 45 (no. 401).
23   Burney 1789, i. 711. Bologna 2573 was confiscated from San Salvatore by the French revolutionary forces in 1796, resulting in its temporary deposit in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris, whence it was returned to Bologna – this time to its present home in the University Library – on 28 October 1815. (Information kindly communicated by the Biblioteca Universitaria in Bologna, and by Catherine Massip of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.)

24   Brofsky 1979: 322; for a description of Martini's collection of manuscripts and manuscript copies 'for which he has had a faculty granted him by the Pope, and particular permission from others in power', see ibid., 317. Burney's manuscript journal of his tour through France and Italy in 1770 survives as British Library, MS Add. 35122, and contains more anecdotal information than made its way into the subsequent published version of The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771).

25   Burney 1789, esp. i. 711ff.

26   Ibid., 717.

27   Fétis 1860–80, viii. 229.

28   See, for instance, Gmeinwieser 2001.

29   See Cafiero 2001: 419, citing an obituary notice by Ferdinando di Luca; also Castaldi 1840: 236–7.

30   Examples given by Cafiero include, for instance, Florido Tomeoni, Méthode qui apprend la connoissance de l'harmonie et la pratique de l'accompagnement selon les principes de l'école de Naples (Paris: chez l'auteur, [1798]); id., Traité d'harmonie et d'accompagnement selon les principes de Durante et Leo, fondateurs de l'harmonie dans les conservatoires de Naples (Paris: chez l'auteur, [c. 1800]; and Honoré-François-Marie Langlé, Traité de la basse sous le chant, précédé de toutes les règles de la composition (Paris: Nadermann, [c. 1798]). See also Ellis 2005, esp. Chapter 4 'La musique française at the Crossroads', 119–46.

31   Choron & Fayolle 1810–11.

32   Ellis 2005: 182–6.

33   It is not known from whom Selvaggi himself had originally acquired the manuscript in Naples, though there is a remote possibility that his early philosophy teacher Antonio de Martiis may have been the previous owner: see Appendix, 6. Contents, at fol. 90. Fétis, writing in 1844 for the first edition of his Biographie universelle (viii. 367), and repeated in 1865 in the second edition (viii. 229), states specifically that Selvaggi had bought the manuscript in Italy, rather than having acquired it through gift or bequest. The pre-1794 ownership of the manuscript, though, is frustratingly undocumented: I am very grateful to Rosa Cafiero for confirming that, as far as she is able to ascertain, none of the extant letters of Selvaggi surviving in the Biblioteca della Società Napoletana di Storia Patria in Naples contains any reference to his acquisition of the manuscript (personal communication of 1 February 2007).

34    Le Moniteur universel, 75 (16 March 1813), 278.

35   Ibid.

36   Ibid.

37   Ibid.

38   This version, as printed in Le Moniteur universel, appears with the signatures of Choron (as rapporteur), Méhul and Gossec, but according to Katharine Ellis, citing what is presumably a more primary source from Agnès Goudail, 'Art, savoir et pouvoir. L'Académie des beaux-arts sous le Premier Empire. Présentation et édition critique des procès-verbaux (1811–1815)' (Ph.D. thesis, École Nationale des Chartes, 1995), i. 157–62, at 162, Grétry also appears as signatory to the report (Ellis 2005: 20). In a later discussion of the Tinctoris manuscript by the Académie royale de Belgique, to be discussed below, this report of the French Classe des Beaux-Arts is again referred to as the work of the triumvirate of Choron, Méhul and Gossec; it may be that Grétry was also a member of the Section de Musique, but was not called upon to give an opinion on the Tinctoris project.

39   Le Moniteur universel, 75 (16 March 1813), 278.    

40   Ellis 2005: 20.

41   Montgrédien 2001.

42   Fayolle's transcript may be that surviving unsigned as Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 9338, but it has not so far been possible to confirm this.

43   For a short synopsis of Perne's career and writings, which are clearly in need of a major study in their own right, see Montgrédien & Ellis 2001.

44   Indeed, the manuscript next again in number, MS II 4149, a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century Italian paper manuscript of just the Tinctoris Proportionale, also belonged to Perne (ex libris dated 24 May 1816, fol. 1). The earlier provenance of this source has not yet been satisfactorily researched.

45   See, however, n. 50 below.

46   See, for example, Baycroft 1999.

47   Fétis 1829. Fétis's piece was his response to a competition question posed in 1828 by the Institute of Science, Literature and Fine Arts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a repeat of the competition held two years previously which had been met with lacklustre response: for this and its wider context see especially Ellis 2005: 147–77, at 148. Fétis's mémoire was eventually awarded the silver medal in the 1828 competition, the gold medal going to Raphael Georg Kiesewetter: see ibid., 24.

48   Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS n. a. fr. 263 (undated).

49   Reported under the heading 'Monuments de l'histoire de la musique' in Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, 28/5 (3 February 1861), 35–6 and ibid., 28/7 (17 February 1861) 50–2, the report itself bearing the title 'Sur le manuscrit des traités de musique de Jean Tinctoris et sur la traduction française de ces ouvrages, par M. Fr. Fétis, Membre de l'Académie'. The original source of the report is given as from the 'bulletins de l'Académie royale de Belgique, 29e année, 2e série, tome X, no 12'.

50   Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, 28/5 (3 February 1861), 35. It seems, in fact, that Edmond vander Straeten was responsible for the actual copying (or recopying) of at least part of these texts presented to the Académie, along with the original manuscript. Regarding a (printed?) proof of the Latin texts which he had for inspection (presumably around 1875), but which he had insufficient time to correct before departing on a tour of Italy, Vander Straeten comments: 'Cette épreuve, qui a été collationnée soigneusement sur le manuscrit le plus complet et le plus authentique de Tinctoris, à savoir celui qui fait aujour-d'hui partie du Fond Fétis, à la Bibliothèque royale de Bruxelles, a servi depuis au IVe volume des Scriptores de De Coussemaker. Les Traités de musique de Jean Tinctoris, présentés par Fétis à l'Académie de Belgique ... ont étés copiés en grande partie par nous.' (Vander Straeten 1867–88, iv. 1–66, at 39). See also, however, n. 57 below.

51   Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, 28/7 (17 February 1861), 50, n. 2. See also ibid., 51, nn. 1–3 for reinforcement of this view.

52   Ibid., 51.

53   Ibid., 51–2.

54   Ibid.,  52.

55   Ibid.

56   Fétis 1860, viii. 230.

57   Coussemaker 1875. This edition was preceded, however, by the rarely acknowledged Coussemaker 1865–9. Coussemaker’s own, beautifully executed autograph copy of his Tinctoris texts (which incidentally demonstrate that a large proportion of the infelicities and errors of the published edition, especially in the mensural music examples, are due to typographical inexperience rather than editorial incompetence) survives as Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS 19.620. This manuscript is dated 1834—over forty years before the dedicated Lille edition—and records corrections to the texts added, presumably at Coussemaker’s invitation, by the Austrian musicologist Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773–1850) and the librarian of the Paris Conservatoire Auguste Botté de Toulmon (1797–1850). (See Bouckaert 2007, no. 130). The date of this manuscript suggests that Brussels 4147 was still in Fétis’s possession, following Perne’s death in 1832, when Coussemaker used it to help draw up his texts. More enigmatically, though, Coussemaker’s own manuscript seems to have been bought by the Bibliothèque Royale as early as 1847 for the sum of 150 Belgian francs (ibid.), so there are still some puzzles surrounding the precise textual processes and relationships leading up to the appearance of Coussemaker’s published edition. See also n. 50 above.

58   Derolez 1979: 227–34. Derolez, however, mistakenly associates the scribe with the Dutch island of Tholen (ibid., 230); I am grateful to Reinhard Strohm for pointing out this error at an early stage in my research on the Tinctoris sources.

59   Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, 28/5 (3 February 1861), 36. Choron's earlier report for the Institut Impérial de France notes the defective nature of the Brussels text here, but does not regard the lacuna as especially regrettable: 'Il convient d'observer que les derniers chapitres manquent au manuscrit; mais ils sont peu à regretter; ce dernier Traité étant de peu d'importance, et les titres de ces chapitres qui peuvent tenir lieu des chapitres eux-mêmes, se trouvant dans une table générale des matières, qui est en tête du manuscrit.' (Le Moniteur universel, 75 (16 March 1813), 278).

60   Trithemius 1495: fol. lxxiiiv; text reprinted in Woodley 1981: 247. Even though the book is without a printed date of publication, the entry relating to Tinctoris is explicitly dated 1495.

61   Vander Straeten 1867–88, iv. 1–66.
62   Ibid., 11–15.

63   Ibid., 9–10 and 13 respectively. In the first letter of 8 March, acknowledging the help of his colleague in the Brussels archives, Louis Galesloot, Vander Straeten claimed to have identified Tinctoris's diocese of origin as La Morinie ('morinensis dyocesis') on the basis of a Magister Johannes Tinctoris having matriculated at Louvain on 15 May 1471. The second letter of 17 March claimed to have narrowed down the actual place of origin to Poperinge by cross-reference to another matriculation record of a Jacobus Tinctoris 'morinensis diocesis', dated 25 February 1475, of whom Vander Straeten proclaims, with no substantiating evidence, 'Sans nul doute, voilà un frère de Jean Tinctoris' (Vander Straeten 1867–88: 13).

64   Coussemaker 1864–76, iv. p. v. Coussemaker, to his credit, is a little more circumspect in his association of the Poperinge Tinctoris with the theorist (ibid.). Vander Straeten may well have communicated his new information directly to Coussemaker, especially if the two men had already been in sufficiently close contact for a proof copy of Coussemaker's edition to be sent to Vander Straeten: cf. n. 50 above.

65   See, for instance, Woodley 1981: 223–4. Ironically, however, we should probably not entirely rule out the possibility that Tinctoris did indeed attend the University of Louvain for his first degree: there are at least two candidates of the correct name from the diocese of Cambrai (in which Braine-l'Alleud was situated) recorded as matriculating at slightly uncertain dates in the mid- to late-1440s, and whilst these dates are several years earlier than we might have expected (Tinctoris's date of birth being still unknown), they are certainly not out of the question. (See ibid., 219, which does not, however, consider this possibility.)

66   See, for example, Woodley 1981: 236–7.

67   Detilleux 1942: 95–6.

68   Other public sculptures by Samain can or could once be found in Brussels, such as Esclave repris par les chiens (1893: Quartier Louise), based on a scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin; Terre and Eau (1874, destroyed 1956: Boulevard Anspach, Halles Centrales); and contributions to the reconstructed façade of the Hôtel de ville.

69   Detilleux 1942: 73–4. Detilleux also bewailed the fact that the pedestal of the statue gave the simple inscription 'A Tinctoris. 1875', without indicating to the passer-by anything else relating to the musician's profession, date or historical significance (ibid., 96). This inscription is very faintly visible inscribed on the facet of the right-hand ogee arch of the pedestal in Plate 6.

70   I have been kindly informed by M. Georges Lecocq, of the Musée communal in Nivelles, that a brief video recording survives of the Nivelles fire, of which the final moments show the Tinctoris statue felled to the ground, with its head separated from the body. I am hoping to be able to embed a copy of this video within the present article at a future date. I should like to express my particular thanks to Georges Lecocq for providing me with digital copies of Plates 6, 7 and 8.

71   Information again kindly communicated by the Musée communal.