Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Les Albas Occitanes

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Les Albas Occitanes

Article excerpt

Les Albas occitanes, étude et édition par Christophe Chaguinian, transcription musicale et étude des mélodies par John Haines, Classiques français du Moyen Age 156 (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2008). 356 pp. ISBN 978-2-745 3-2. euro32.00. In this revised version of his 2003 doctoral thesis, Christophe Chaguinian reviews previous scholarship on the origins and development of the genre and concludes that it is essentially the presence of alba as a refrain word which unites a rather disparate group of nineteen pieces. A closely argued study of the taxonymy of the alba allows a reclassification into two main types: the 'alba de séparation' (ten pieces) and the heterogeneous 'alba formelle' which has as subcategories the 'alba erotique' (three) and the 'alba religieuse' (six). Much use is made of a formalist approach to analysis of the lyric, typified by Bee's notions of the characteristics of register ('courtly' versus 'traditional' and so on), but a more thorough bibliographical trawl and updating would have disclosed a number of recent studies, particularly by Italian scholars such as Lucia Lasserini and Maria-Luisa Meneghetti, which would not only have enriched the discussion but also lent improved support to several of Chaguinian's arguments, and might well have encouraged a different perspective on some editorial issues. …

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