The Mancini Codex: A Manuscript Study

The Mancini Codex: A Manuscript Study

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It is the intention of this study to provide a close examination of one major musical source of the Trecento - the Mancini Codex. Three approaches have been taken, and this has required the organisation of the material into three volumes. In the first volume, essential manuscript details have been recorded and interpreted with a view to providing a general impression of the makeup of the manuscript and providing evidence leading to an opinion expressed concerning the probable dating and provenance of the source. Following this, the named works contained within the collection, are considered in general analytic terms as they contribute to the picture of the composer in question. (The anonymous works are not here considered, since the analysis, grouping and possible provision of composer attribution for these works comprises a separate study.) This is intended to provide a perspective for the works in transcription in Volume II, and in textual analysis in Volume III. At the conclusion of Volume I is presented the manuscript commentary, provided in this volume so that it can function as a useful reference tool for the reading of the transcriptions of Volume II and the texts of Volume III. Volume II itself, purports to be nothing more than tpe transcription of the works contained in the manuscript. Any editorial comment for these works has been incorporated into the manuscript commentary at the end of Volume I. The editorial procedure is described in the introduction to Volume II. The intention of Volume III is primarily to present the texts as they appear in the manuscript but prefatory to this is the presentation of brief formal essays concerning the text forms found in this collection. All too often the texts of the songs of this period - in the present study considered to be the essence of the works - have been ignored, or at best given only cursory attention. Admittedly, LiGotti, in his presentation of these texts, V made a consolidated attempt to redress this balance, but there are problems with his collection, which have made a re-edition,essential. As LiGotti states, his collection is a modernisation of the 9riginal and he has made attempts "per presentarli con una certa uniformita grafica" (LiGotti 1950 111). The present edition makes no attempt to modernise the texts but tries to present them as nearly as possible, exactly as they appear in the manuscript. A full editorial method is provided in the introduction of Volume III, but as will be seen, the texts as given here, provide few problems of understanding to the reader of modern Italian. A study of this nature uncovers more questions that it proposes answers for, and can perhaps hope to be nothing more than exploratory, in isolating those areas surrounding the manuscript itself which still require investi- gation arid understanding.