In 1507, the Augsburg printer Erhard Oeglin received an unusual commission from a literary sodality associated with the poet and humanist Conrad Celtis (1459–1508).1 This book, Melopoiae sive harmoniae tetracenticae (‘The art of singing verse, or four-voice settings’), a combination of prose, verse, music, woodcut images, decorative typography and instructional text, embodied Celtis’s intention to revive classical lyric verse, particularly that of Horace, one of his major influences.2 An important element of this revival was the fusion of lyric poetry and music, in conscious imitation of ancient practice. While medieval vernacular verse was generally based on patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables, or on a certain number of syllables in each line, classical Greek and Latin quantitative verse was created from strict schemes of long and short syllables, ranging from the august hexameters of epic to the complex and lively metres of lyric and drama.
The settings of Horace in the Melopoiae were written by the Tyrolean humanist and musician Peter Treibenreif, known in Latin as Petrus Tritonius.3 His setting for the Sapphic strophe (‘Iam satis terris’, Horace, Odes I, 2) may serve as representative of the entire collection (Ex. 1).
As this example shows, Tritonius’ settings reflect impulses both ancient and modern. Renaissance humanists believed that ancient poets sang their poems, pronouncing them according to the natural rhythms of the verse. In his attempt to imitate ancient song, Tritonius subordinated musical rhythm to verse metre. This approach distinguished his settings from medieval melodies for poems by Horace and Boethius, which did not reflect a strict equivalence of rhythm and metre.4 However, Tritonius departed from the classical ideal by harmonising his melodies (placed in the tenor) for four voices, using a harmonic language current around 1500, possibly employing the techniques for improvising simple polyphony codified by authors such as Guilielmus Monachus.5 Unlike most polyphonic music of this time, these settings are homorhythmic – that is, all four voices have the same rhythm throughout. Furthermore, they eschew all dissonance, a primary means for driving polyphonic music forward, through the creation of tension and its subsequent release. The result is music of a grave and static beauty with considerable power to impress through its solemnity.
Celtis probably had some skill and training in music. In a poem published in his Amores (1502), he wrote: ‘It has always been my highest delight to partner my words to the lyre.’6 Unfortunately we do not know whether Celtis invented his own way of joining verse and music, learned this practice from one of his teachers, such as the musically gifted humanist Rudolf Agricola, or acquired this skill while visiting Italy in 1487, after he left Leipzig. A poem by Theodericus Ulsenius, printed in the Melopoiae and again in revised form in Celtis’ Odes (1513), suggests that Celtis – whom he describes as Agricola’s successor in the effort to bring the Muses of Italy over the Alps – sometimes performed his poems with musical accompaniment: ‘When he touches the strings more sweetly than Apollo himself, I wish that I could listen with all my senses: he weaves such a varied and graceful melody into one, and plays the strings with swift hand.’7 Unless Celtis and Ulsenius were using the images of the lyre and song as a classicising locution for the act of writing poetry, we can probably conclude that Celtis knew how to accompany his own singing to the sound of a stringed instrument, a practice well documented in the fifteenth century to perform both vernacular and Latin poetry.8 Celtis also appreciated musical ability in others; for example, he celebrated the singer Anna Nuserin, who was associated with the court of Maximilian I.9
Most of what we know about the origins of Melopoiae is derived from an account by Simon Minervius, based on the reminiscences of Tritonius and published as a preface to Ludwig Senfl’s Varia carminum genera (1534). Minervius relates that while Celtis taught a course on Horace at the University of Ingolstadt in 1497, he encouraged Tritonius, then his student, to compose musical settings of Horace’s lyric verse. These were then sung by all the students during the lectures. Despite Celtis’ own musical abilities, he evidently believed that those of Tritonius were superior, otherwise he presumably would have written the settings himself. Tritonius also regretted that he had found no one to improve on his efforts. Many years later, Minervius thus encouraged the distinguished composer Senfl to reharmonise Tritonius’ melodies, which were duly published in 1534.10
Several details about Minervius’ story remain unclear: were the settings published in 1507 identical to those Tritonius wrote in 1497? Were Tritonius’ original settings monophonic, or were they conceived polyphonically from the beginning?11 And how widespread was Celtis’s technique of using music to teach verse before the Melopoiae was published? The publication of the Melopoiae in 1507 has generally been considered the Year Zero of this unusual juncture of music and poetry.12 Consequently, there has been little attempt to investigate the possibility that Tritonius’ settings – or similar settings constructed according to the same principles – circulated before the Melopoiae was published.13
Previously unnoticed student marginalia in copies of the second edition of Celtis’s manual on versification, printed in the mid-1490s, fill in some of these gaps, supplying evidence for the ongoing popularity of metrical singing between Celtis’s lectures on Horace and the publication of Melopoiae a decade later. Furthermore, annotations in surviving copies of another manual of versification, written in 1496 by Celtis’s former student Laurentius Corvinus (1465–1527), show even richer evidence for the singing of poems by Horace and Corvinus before the publication of Melopoiae, particularly at the University of Leipzig.
2 Melopoiae: An Imperial and Antique Program for Singing Verse
The singing of classical verse was a polyvalent act. It could serve a pedagogical purpose by employing music as a mnemonic device.14 It could also signal a commitment to the revival of ancient culture, especially in a learned or courtly environment, thus providing a marker of social distinction. When the Melopoiae was published, Celtis was head of the Poets’ College at the University of Vienna, which he had founded at the command of Maximilian I Habsburg in 1497. During the final decade of his life, Celtis wrote and published works that furthered his mission of propagating classical studies while promoting Maximilian’s image as patron of learning and culture. Just as musical settings of Boethius’ Consolation were cultivated at the courts of King Athelstan of England and Emperor Henry III, Celtis’s attempts to adapt ancient musical practice to modern circumstances – the Melopoiae and the masque Ludus Diane (1501), performed before Maximilian and a diplomatic delegation from Milan – were associated with centres of learning and with the court.15 The musical recreation of antiquity, distinct from both vernacular song and liturgical music, was a sign of elevated cultural status and suggested a claim to the glories of imperial Rome and its continuation in the Holy Roman Empire.
The circumstances surrounding the publication of the Melopoiae can be reconstructed in outline. In early 1507, Celtis travelled to Augsburg. However, he was ill with syphilis, and this would be his last journey.16 At the Cistercian monastery of Ebrach, near Bamberg, he had discovered the only known manuscript of the poem Ligurinus, a Latin epic on Frederick Barbarossa.17 In Augsburg, he shared the manuscript with the city secretary Conrad Peutinger, a prominent adviser of Maximilian I. Peutinger and the other members of the literary sodality in Augsburg decided to have the poem published to please Maximilian, who was intensely interested in the history of the Holy Roman Empire and his place in its history.18 Erhard Oeglin would soon print the work; the publisher was the prominent Augsburg book dealer Johannes Rynmann.19 But first he had another task. Celtis had evidently also brought the manuscript of the Melopoiae from Vienna. Oeglin printed this even before the Ligurinus, likewise with Rynmann as publisher.20
Despite Celtis’ intentions, the Melopoiae was only a mixed success. It was printed in a large format convenient for displaying the woodcuts but impractical for use as a choirbook by a group of four or more singers: only the tenor is underlaid with the full text, and the individual voices are set out in a confusing way on the large pages (Fig. 6.1). Furthermore, the musical text contains errors.21 Oeglin printed a second, corrected edition in quarto in August 1507, under the title Harmonie Petri Tritonii. The presence of Oeglin’s printer’s mark at the end of this book and the absence of any reference to Rynmann suggest that Oeglin acted here as his own publisher. This new edition presented a more accurate musical text, with the parts arranged in a more convenient way, and with text given beneath all four voices, not merely under the tenor. It also contains short explanations of each of the metres, an addition which accentuates the didactic possibilities of the work.22 These explanations are derived ultimately from Niccolò Perotti’s treatise on the metres of Horace and Boethius (1471), possibly by way of Jacob Locher’s 1499 edition of Horace, which reproduced Perotti’s descriptions of each metre.23 Furthermore, the Harmonie lacks the dedicatory poems and woodcuts of the Melopoiae, as well as the table providing parallels between the odes of Horace and Celtis. The Harmonie thus effaces its origins in Celtis’ cultural program and in his network of friends and patrons.
In his Odes (published posthumously in 1513) Celtis presented himself as a second Horace. The Melopoiae plays with this identification. Like the shape-poems found amongst the Greek bucolic poets, the type on the title page of the Melopoiae is artfully arranged to resemble a wine-goblet, described with didactic precision as the ‘mixing-cup of Bacchus’ (‘Crater Bachi’), a frequent motif in Horace’s Odes. The book loudly advertises Celtis’s association with the late Frederick III Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor, who had crowned him with laurel in 1487, and with Frederick’s son Maximilian I, King of the Romans, who appointed him as professor at the University of Vienna. In a table on the second page of the book, Celtis lists the nineteen lyric metres used by Horace (and three others not found in Horace’s Odes) (Fig. 6.2). Next to each, he names an example from Horace’s œuvre and from his own (as yet unpublished) Odes, written in each of the same metres as Horace had used. The first metre, Lesser Asclepiads, is represented by ‘Maecenas atavis edite regibus’, Horace’s address to his patron Maecenas (Odes I, 1), and by Celtis’s ‘Caesar magnificis laudibus inclytus’, a salute to Emperor Frederick III. This is the first poem in the printed edition of Celtis’s Odes, just as ‘Maecenas atavis’ stood at the head of Horace’s collection. A “performance” of the Melopoiae using the odes of Celtis rather than those of Horace could thus present his life and his networks in a kind of musical tableau.
Celtis’ emphatic identification with Horace suggests that the Melopoiae was a last attempt, in the face of impending death, to ensure his immortality by completing and memorialising his mission to bring Apollo to Germany. In a four-line poem in praise of Oeglin, Celtis mentions twice that the Melopoiae was printed from musical type made of bronze (‘aes’). Bronze is of course composed principally of copper and tin, while type metal is an alloy of tin, lead and antimony, but Celtis’s repeated reference to bronze is not poetic licence or error. Rather, it subtly alludes to Horace’s boast (Odes III, 30) to have founded with his poetry a monument ‘more lasting than bronze’ (‘Exegi monumentum aere perennius’).
The other paratexts in the Melopoiae sketch the lineaments of Celtis’s social network. They include poems that Celtis addressed to members of his circle, including a certain “Jordanus”, a singer from Augsburg, and the printer Erhard Oeglin. The book also includes commendatory epigrams by two members of Celtis’s circle in Nuremberg: the Benedictine monk Benedictus Chelidonius and the physician Dietrich Ulsenius. It also contains two full-page woodcuts. The first shows a scene of Mount Parnassus (Fig. 6.2). Apollo, Celtis’s source of inspiration, sits beneath the laurel, singing to his lyra and surrounded by mythological characters associated with poetry (the Muses, Minerva, Pegasus, Bacchus, Silenus, Oreads, Dryads) and the countryside (Diana, Actaeon and his hounds). The scene is adapted from an illumination by Giampetrino Birago in a Milanese manuscript of Italian sonnets, executed perhaps by one of Albrecht Dürer’s apprentices.24 The artist has added several characters and inscriptions not present in the original illumination, including a banderole bearing three distichs by Franciscus Octavius Cleophilus which describe the scene, and the names of all the figures.25 Birago’s manuscript contained a second illumination depicting Apollo, which formed the basis for another woodcut, probably designed by the same hand, which was printed in Celtis’s Four books of erotic poetry (Quatuor libri amorum, 1502) and in the Ligurinus (1507). The presence in that woodcut of the heraldic arms of Willibald Pirckheimer and his wife Crescentia Reiter, Celtis’s patrician friends in Nuremberg, suggests that they owned the manuscript when it served as model for the woodcuts.
The Melopoiae represents a technical innovation: while German music printers had used woodcut to print mensural notation to this point, Oeglin developed a font of movable type for mensural music, which he used for the first time in this book.26 The most unusual element of the Melopoiae, as already mentioned, is the inclusion of twenty-two musical settings. Tritonius’ nineteen settings of Horace – one for each of the lyric metres he used – are followed by three settings of poems by Celtis, Lucan and Alcuin, composed by an unnamed composer (or composers) for three voices. (Since the last two do not conform strictly to quantitative metres, they will not be considered here.)27 Nothing quite like the Melopoiae – a combination of text, image and music in conscious imitation of antiquity – had ever been conceived or printed before, and this book initiated a craze for similar settings that lasted well into the seventeenth century, particularly amongst humanist sodalities and schools in Germany, and later in Lutheran and Bohemian hymnbooks.28
3 Celtis’s Ars Versificandi et Carminum
A production as elaborate as the Melopoiae does not come out of nowhere. Two decades before the Melopoiae, Celtis had published his first book, a manual of Latin versification, Ars versificandi et carminum. This work, the first humanistic treatise on poetry by a German author, was printed twice, both times without identification of the printer or date. The first edition has been assigned on typographical grounds to the Leipzig printer Konrad Kachelofen, and was presumably printed in 1486 for Celtis’s classes at the University of Leipzig. The second edition has been attributed on typographical grounds to the Leipzig printer Martin Landsberg, and dated variously between 1494 and 1496.29 By this time, Celtis had moved to the University of Ingolstadt. Had he wished to produce a second edition for his classes at Ingolstadt, he could have commissioned a printer there, such as Johannes Kachelofen (brother of Konrad), who printed other works by Celtis during this period.30 It is thus likely that Celtis was not responsible for the second edition.31 Rather, it was probably commissioned by another, unknown professor, presumably at the University of Leipzig.
Much about Celtis’s approach in this treatise was new. One feature was his preference for classical Latin diction over medieval vocabulary and expression. (His surviving verse is all in Latin, and vernacular poetry and poetics had little influence on his work.) Another was his emphasis on the usefulness of poetry. In a prefatory letter and a poem addressed to Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, Celtis emphasised the utility of poetry in serving the needs and desires of the ruler, a project that he later realised in the service of Maximilian. Celtis’s letter and poem to Frederick the Wise thus anchor the humanistic poet firmly to the context of the court, and exploit the ruler’s desire to gain status amongst his peers and – through the foundation and promotion of schools and universities – to ensure a supply of well-trained functionaries to serve his administration.32 For Celtis, the revival of classical Latin poetry would help to effect the transfer of learning and culture over the Alps into Germany, permitting Germans to participate in humanistic culture on equal terms with Italians. Celtis expressed this wish in his ‘Ode to Apollo, inventor of poetry, that he might come from the Italians with his lyre to the Germans’ (‘Ad Apollinem repertorem poetices, ut ab Italis cum lyra ad Germanos veniat’), printed at the end of the Ars versificandi. This poem would assume programmatic importance as a manifesto for German humanistic poetry, which often referred explicitly to the question of German identity. An exchange of poems between Celtis and the Italian poet Fridianus Pighinucius, secretary to Duke George of Saxony, also printed at the end of the Ars versificandi, plays with the conceit that Apollo had begun to make himself known north of the Alps: this Italian poet confesses that Germans were abandoning their earlier barbarity to speak the language of Vergil in a correct and erudite way. (This attitude reflects a long history of comparisons between German and Italian manners and culture, sometimes favourable, sometimes bitter, from Tacitus to Giovannantonio Campano.) After completing the Ars versificandi and using it in his classes at Leipzig, Celtis travelled to Italy, where he heard lectures given by leading humanists and experienced the revival of classical learning at its source. This encounter strengthened Celtis’s engagement with those elements of Italian humanistic culture to which he had previously been exposed only indirectly.
Celtis based the Ars versificandi on a broad range of sources, including the works of the late-antique grammarians Diomedes and Aelius Donatus, and the treatises of the Italian humanist Niccolò Perotti: De Horatii et Boethii metris, which treads firmly in the steps of Servius and Lupus of Ferrières, and his more original and important De generibus metrorum (both 1453).33 Celtis also drew much from medieval materials, as Franz Josef Worstbrock has shown: the Doctrinale of the medieval grammarian Alexander de Villa Dei, two anonymous medieval verse treatises (Ordo metrorum and Versus de pedibus).34 Some nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars who liked to emphasise the new and revolutionary character of humanistic culture were irritated by the presence of medieval materials in the productions of renaissance writers. Yet Celtis’s work reveals that humanist culture had long roots, and that he and his fellows took what served their purposes wherever they found it. Like many such works of its time, Celtis’s Ars versificandi was a blend of materials both old and new.
It was not strange that Celtis should have used treatises on medieval poetic theory, since some still contained traces of classical forms. Medieval Latin poets continued to use a few classical verse metres for Christian hymns, principally iambic dimeters, trochaic dimeters and the Sapphic strophe, though these were often accentual rather than quantitative. Medieval poets sometimes also used the hexameter for ceremonial and epic poetry, such as the Ligurinus. Horace remained the most popular technical model for Latin lyric in the middle ages and renaissance. The late-antique grammarian Servius wrote a treatise on Horace’s metres which remained important for centuries. Beside Horace, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and the poems of Prudentius offered models for further metres. In the ninth century, Lupus of Ferrières wrote a treatise on Boethius’ metres which was transmitted in many manuscripts of the Consolation. A commentary on Boethius’ Consolation by the early fourteenth-century English scholar William Wheatley contains remarks on the metres he used.35 Although medieval poets followed the outline of these ancient metres, they generally subordinated the ancient metrical schemes to a principle of syllable stress rather than syllable length. Medieval poets also introduced structural elements foreign to classical versification, such as internal and end-rhyme.36
Celtis’s awareness of the survival of classical metrics in ecclesiastical hymnody is discernible in his Ars versificandi. While one of his ultimate sources, the Ordo metrorum, named several hymns as examples of classical metres, Celtis replaced some of these with examples from Horace. This suggests that he wished to move away from medieval schemes in favour of classical quantitative metres and classical diction (Table 6.1).37 In the Melopoiae, Celtis provided a list of such Christian hymns, borrowed from Jacob Wimpheling’s De hymnorum et sequentiarum auctoribus ([Mainz, Peter von Friedberg: 1499]).38 (This table was also included in the Harmonie Petri Tritonii.) Celtis or his editor probably included this table to encourage singers to use Tritonius’ metrical settings to perform such hymns in the liturgy, either replacing the plainsong melodies or perhaps singing them in alternation with Tritonius’ settings, at least where the modes were compatible.
Celtis’s book contains an important pedagogical innovation: grids (‘tabellae’) that show clearly which kinds of metra were admissible in each foot of each line in the various species of Latin poetry (Fig. 6.3). For example, his grid for the hexameter indicates that a spondee can stand in the first, second, third, fourth or sixth feet; a dactyl in the first, second, third, fourth or fifth; and a trochee in the sixth.
This innovation was immediately popular, and students added such grids to the margins of their textbooks for decades to come.39 Annotations of a related kind suggest that those who used Celtis’s book increasingly conceptualised metre in terms of musical rhythm, perhaps responding to Celtis’s own interest in the musical declamation of verse, as later testified by Tritonius and Minervius.
4 Annotations in Surviving Copies of Celtis’s Ars Versificandi
The study of manuscript annotations in printed books tends to concentrate on those made by notable readers. A recent volume edited by Iain Fenlon and Inga Mai Groote examined the annotations that Heinrich Glareanus made in his books, uncovering his practices of reading; Anthony Grafton and Joanna Weinberg recently published a similarly enlightening study of the marginal annotations of Isaac Casaubon.40 In his study of annotations in the surviving copies of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus, Owen Gingerich showed that marginalia in multiple copies of the same book can reveal much about its reception by communities of readers and users, who sometimes copied marginalia from one exemplar to another.41 In a similar fashion, the systematic study of marginalia in school textbooks can tell us much about the ways in which students used these books. Then, as now, some students wrote more extensive notes, while others wrote less. Where the marginalia in multiple copies of the same edition of a school book are similar or identical, we can surmise that they provide a record of what teachers told their students in the classroom. The presence of annotations in printed books also makes each copy a unique object, the work of a single scribe, or multiple scribes working in sequence, thus blurring the line between manuscripts and the ostensible standardisation of printed books.42
Of the copies of the first edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi that I have inspected, only the copy in Vienna contains a few musical notes to gloss metrical patterns.43 An early reader of the copy at the University of Pennsylvania has added macrons and breves within the boxes of the metrical grids, and the corresponding letters ‘l’ and ‘b’ (for ‘longa’ and ‘brevis’) beside some grids. Unfortunately, there are not enough similarities between the annotations in the extant copies of the first edition of Celtis’s manual to allow us to conclude confidently that they represent the students’ record of the way in which the teacher – probably Celtis himself – expanded on the printed text in class.
By contrast, several of the nearly thirty surviving copies of the second edition of Celtis’s manual contain extensive annotations. In some copies, early users have even added musical notation (see Appendix 1). I shall concentrate here on five copies: those in Baltimore, Budapest, Florence, Münster and Wolfenbüttel. In no two copies are the annotations identical. However, there are enough similarities to suggest that these copies reflect the oral explication of this text in a single classroom, as recorded by different students.44 While most of the glosses are in Latin, some copies (such as that in Budapest) also contain comments in German. This may reflect the teacher’s use of the vernacular in the classroom to gloss difficult words or concepts, or the student’s mental use of the vernacular to clarify a particular point to himself. Such evidence challenges the widespread assumption that all instruction and thought at late medieval universities took place in Latin.
Following the prefatory material, the first chapter of Celtis’s treatise (De pedibus et de eorum sillabis) analyses metrical feet of two, three and four syllables. Celtis derives most of his material from an anonymous medieval verse treatise on metrics (Versus de pedibus). Celtis then adapts a passage from Donatus’ Ars minor which presents sample words to illustrate each of these feet.45 Since some tetrasyllables (prosceleusmaticus, diiambus, ditrochaeus, Paeon quartus, epitritus secundus, epitritus tertius) are metrically impossible in the hexameters in which Donatus wrote, Celtis could not provide sample words for these feet. He thus provided a supplementary list of tetrasyllables in the margin (Table 6.2).46
Marginalia in the surviving copies of the second edition suggest that the teacher provided his students with further alternative sample words for each foot (see Table 6.2). Many (though not all) of these alternatives are also found in Antonio Mancinelli’s Versilogus sive De componendis versibus opusculum, first published at Rome in 1488 and reprinted eight times before 1500, including three times at Leipzig; it is plausible that the teacher drew on this work here.47 The many similarities between the sample words given in the various copies again suggest that they were all annotated under the instruction of the same teacher.48
Annotations in copies of the second edition of Celtis’s manual allow us to identify other texts which the teacher cited to explain the text to his students. Annotations in the Münster copy draw on the commentary on Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy by William Wheatley. The Münster glossator also quotes the popular etymology of ‘elegia’ from ‘eleison’, found in the glosses on Juvenal by William of Conches, as well as Isidore of Seville’s definition of heroic verse (Table 6.3).49 Like Celtis himself, the teacher who taught from the second edition of his textbook still drew heavily on medieval predecessors, despite the humanists’ pretensions to despise the obscuri.
In the Wolfenbüttel, Münster and Budapest copies of the second edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi, early users have written musical notes (semibreves and minims) next to Celtis’s descriptions of metres. This suggests that the teacher encouraged his students to conceptualise the relationship between long and short syllables in terms of musical rhythm, which they then expressed in mensural notation (more precisely, in fully binary tempus imperfectum cum prolatione imperfecta). This may seem obvious, but to my knowledge this equivalence is not found in any earlier treatises on versification. The owner of the Florence copy entered these same annotations not in the margins of Celtis’s book, but in an additional gathering of six leaves bound in at the back. That students should have conceived and expressed verse rhythms in terms of mensural notation rather than, say, as macrons and breves, presupposes that mensural music played a role in their education. Furthermore, their recourse to such notation indicates their assumption of the cultural authority that such specialised learning brought with it.
On the title page of the Baltimore copy of the second edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi, an early user has written the names of eight metrical feet, together with a sample word for each, and a short description derived from Alexander de Villa Dei’s Doctrinale, one source on which Celtis drew (see Fig. 6.4). The annotator has marked the scansion of each sample word with breves and semibreves for long and short syllables respectively, and indicates the pitch on which each syllable is to be sung: fa for long syllables, and re for short ones. This equivalence of syllable quantity and pitch could serve a mnemonic function. Perhaps more convincingly, it suggests an equivalence of syllable length, stress and pitch accent, with stressed syllables pronounced a (perhaps nominal) minor third higher than unstressed syllables. The annotations in this copy thus represent a further element of complexity: not simply the element of musical rhythm, but also a pitch relationship between syllables of different length. Such heightened speech, not unrelated to the recitation tones and psalmody familiar to students from their training in liturgical music, represents the most basic form of metrical song. Such formulas were perhaps performed monophonically, though they are sufficiently simple and predictable that they could also serve as the basis for improvised harmonisation.
From here, the next step was the composition of more complex, less formulaic melodies for each metre. On fol. A6r of the Münster copy, an early annotator has added a short melody for Horace’s Sapphic ode ‘Iam satis nivis’ (Fig. 6.5). This is not Tritonius’ melody, but represents another response to the same impulse. Such a melody could be sung monophonically, but could equally form the basis of an improvised harmonisation, performed at sight from the written notation, to produce a result resembling the four-voice harmonisations of Tritonius. Comparing this melody with those of Tritonius immediately reveals the care with which the latter constructed his tenors. Tritonius marked off line-ends with repeated notes, and created cohesion by using consistent melodic cells for repeated metrical features, transposing them to different degrees of the scale or inverting them.50 Such carefully weighed structural features are largely absent from the example recorded by the Münster annotator.
The Budapest copy provides tantalising evidence that students associated Celtis’s instructions with music, whether real or mythological. On fol. A1v, in the margin of the hortatory poem supplied by the editor of the second edition (‘Carmina necte modis’), apparently responding to the line ‘Hae tibi praestabunt plectrum cytaramque canoram’ (‘They [the Muses] will supply you with a plectrum and a melodious lyre’), an early user has drawn a stringed instrument resembling a lira da braccio or vihuela, hanging from a hook in the wall (Fig. 6.6). The instrument has a rose, two c-holes and no bridge. Despite the lack of a bridge, it is possible that this drawing represents a bowed instrument like that played by Apollo in the first woodcut in the Melopoiae (Fig. 6.2). However, the imprecision of the drawing and later trimming of the page, which has obliterated the peg-box, prevent us from identifying the type of instrument firmly.
If, as seems likely, the second edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi was commissioned for use at Leipzig, then the teacher in whose classroom these copies were used was not Celtis, who was teaching at Ingolstadt at this time. Nevertheless, the annotations in many copies of the second edition present strong evidence that the practice of metrical singing, which Celtis encouraged amongst his students at Ingolstadt, had also taken root at Leipzig, perhaps through the activity of his former students there.
5 Excursus: ‘Virgo sub Aetheriis’
A further source from the University of Leipzig illustrates the popularity of Celtis’s Ars versificandi amongst the musically literate there. At the end of the treatise, Celtis asks those who used his book to pray to the Virgin to intercede for his soul after his death, for ‘it is a pleasing task […] to pour out prayers to heaven for your brothers in Christ’ (‘Gratum opus est […] pro fratribus Christi fundere ad astra preces’). ‘But lest’, Celtis promises his readers, ‘you should be snatched away tragically to the shades below, the Virgin will aid whoever sings this poem’ (‘Ne tamen infernas tristis rapiaris ad umbras | carmine pulsanti Virgo parabit opem’). Celtis then gives the text of his prayer to the Virgin in ten hexameter verses, ‘Virgo sub aetheriis’.
A convolute musical manuscript compiled at the University of Leipzig at the end of the fifteenth century contains Alexander Agricola’s three-voice chanson ‘Comme femme desconfortée’, copied into a gathering compiled in the mid-1490s. The scribe has replaced the French text of the song with four verses from Celtis’s prayer ‘Virgo sub aetheriis’, underlaid beneath the tenor voice.51 Perhaps the scribe who set Celtis’s poem to Agricola’s music was one of his readers who hoped to benefit from the divine aid which the poet promised those who sang this poem.52 The widespread practice of supplying music with new texts (‘contrafact’) blurs the boundary between genres and between sacred and secular. This example illustrates the confluence of piety and humanistic learning in a university context, and shows that Celtis’s influence on musical practice was not limited to quantitative settings of the kind written by Tritonius, but also extended to more usual kinds of polyphonic music.
6 Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura
After returning from Italy, Celtis taught for a short time at the University of Kraków. Amongst his students there was the Silesian humanist Laurentius Corvinus, who attended Celtis’s lectures for a semester in 1489. The fair copy of Celtis’s correspondence (Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. 3448) contains five letters from Corvinus to Celtis, written between 1499 and 1503.53 These letters indicate that Corvinus, even after a decade, continued to consider himself as Celtis’s disciple, and that Celtis continued to regard Corvinus as his pupil. Corvinus’ first book, Cosmographia, was completed at Kraków in 1494. Corvinus’ former student Heinrich Bebel brokered its publication at Basel in 1496. Celtis’s copy of Corvinus’ Cosmographia, perhaps a presentation copy, attests to the ongoing contact between the two men.54 In 1516 and 1522, Corvinus published two books containing musical settings of Latin verse which follow the same metrical principle as those in the Melopoiae: strict conformity of metre and rhythm. These two publications show that metrical song could spill out from the classroom to more public contexts: in this case, in the performance of a sophisticated humanistic dialogue which Corvinus performed before the city council of Breslau/Wrocław, and in Latin hymns which he wrote for use at St Elisabeth’s church in the same city.55
Corvinus’ second published book, a manual on Latin versification, Carminum structura, was first printed at Leipzig by Martin Landsberg. The letter to the reader at the end of the book is dated 20 August 1496, but the edition itself is undated. Although it has generally been assumed that the edition was printed in 1496, annotations in the surviving copies suggest that it was printed for a class at the University of Leipzig in 1499, as we shall see. Accordingly, we assign it the date “[c.1496–1499]” rather than 1496, as found in other bibliographies.
Corvinus’ Carminum structura departs more decisively from medieval models than Celtis’s Ars versificandi did.56 It was also more successful, and was reprinted at Leipzig in 1504 and 1505, and at Cologne in 1508.57 Corvinus’ approach differs from that of Celtis.58 First, he provides a preface describing the nature of poetry, addressed to the students of the University of Kraków. This book is thus a proper poetics, not simply a manual of versification. Second, Corvinus’ did not take his explanations of each metre and of the principles of prosody from medieval verse treatises, as Celtis did in Ars versificandi; rather, these explanations are original, and are expressed in prose. Third, Corvinus composed original poems to illustrate each metre, which form a poetic cycle about the lyric persona as teacher at Kraków, lover of the young woman Flora, and aspiring client of King Jan Olbracht of Poland, to whom he directs two poems. Fourth, Corvinus did not employ the metrical grids developed by Celtis; as we shall see, some early users considered this a defect, and added these grids in the margins of the book, or on blank pages bound in behind the printed text. In 1507, when Hieronymus Gürtler von Wildenberg produced his own manual of Latin versification – to which Corvinus contributed a poem of commendation, printed on the title page – he added the grids which Corvinus had declined to include in his own work. If Corvinus approved this edition – as the inclusion of his poem of commendation suggests – he did not oppose the use of such grids.59
7 Annotated copies of Corvinus’ Carminum structura
Annotated copies of the first edition of Corvinus’ Carminum structura provide further evidence for the use of music in the teaching of Latin poetry at the University of Leipzig. Here we will concentrate on eight of the most heavily annotated copies, preserved in Jena, Leipzig, Prague, Tokyo, Uppsala, Vienna, Wolfenbüttel and Zwickau.60
The most extensively annotated copy is now in the Ratsschulbibliothek in Zwickau, and forms part of a bound convolute volume originally owned by Georg Schiltel.61 Schiltel, from Hahnbach (Upper Palatinate in modern-day Bavaria), matriculated at the University of Leipzig in winter semester 1496. He received the degrees of baccalaureus artium on 6 June 1498, and magister artium on 28 December 1501. In 1503 he began studies in medicine at Leipzig, taking his doctorate in 1510. He subsequently served as professor of medicine, rector of the medical faculty, and dean of the university.62 Schiltel’s annotations in one item in this bound volume, Pandolfo Collenuccio’s Alithia, indicate that he attended the lectures on this work given by Martin Pollich von Mellerstadt, Celtis’s defender at Leipzig, which concluded on 11 August 1500. On fol. E5r of the Zwickau copy of Corvinus’ Carminum structura, Schiltel noted that he attended the lectures on this book given by ‘Magister Arnoldus Lindaviensis’, that is, Arnold Wöstefeld of Lindau (1477–1540).63 Bound in behind Schiltel’s copy of Corvinus’ book is a manuscript gathering which contains extensive notes on metre. In another item in the same convolute volume, Johannes Maius’ Opusculum de componendis versibus hexametro et pentametro, Schiltel recorded that he attended Wöstefeld’s lectures on that work as well.
Wöstefeld was not much older than Schiltel. He enrolled at Leipzig in 1493 and graduated as magister artium in winter semester 1498/99. Besides his work on scholastic philosophy, he was also interested in the revival of ancient literature. He taught a course on grammar at the University of Leipzig in 1499 and another on poetry in 1508. He served as rector of the University of Leipzig in 1507, 1519 and 1533.64 When he died in 1540, Wöstefeld left his library of some 250 volumes to the Collegium ducale at Leipzig.65 Amongst his volumes, still preserved in the University Library of Leipzig, is his extensively annotated copy of Corvinus’ Carminum structura, presumably the copy he used in his classes. Wöstefeld also had some expertise in music; he owned a copy of one of the undated editions of Cochlaeus’ Musica, bearing an inscription dated 1507.66
Annotations in two copies of the first edition of Corvinus’ Carminum structura suggest that Wöstefeld’s classes on this work took place in 1499. Schiltel wrote the year 1499 on the title page of his copy.67 At the end of the work, underneath Corvinus’ colophon to the work (‘Schweidnitz, Monday 20 August 1496’), the annotator of the Chicago copy wrote: ‘Corvinus was secretary at Schweidnitz; now in 1499 he is master of the school at St Elisabeth in Breslau.’68 The presence of the date 1499 in two separate copies of Corvinus’ manual suggests that Wöstefeld’s lectures on this work at Leipzig took place in that year. If so, the lectures on “grammar” that he gave in 1499 were perhaps based on Corvinus’ book. “Grammar” is a broad term, and a course in literary composition could easily fall within its scope. Annotations in some copies, evidently made by Wöstefeld’s students, permit us to reconstruct how he expounded Corvinus’ text to his students in the classroom.
8 Evidence for the Use of Corvinus’ Carminum structura in the Classroom of Arnold Wöstefeld
Several details allow us to conclude with some confidence that the annotations in the various copies of the first edition of Corvinus’ Carminum structura reflect Arnold Wöstefeld’s exposition of this text. Firstly, the many similarities in the content and phrasing of annotations in the various exemplars of Corvinus’ book suggest strongly that they were used in the same classroom.69 Secondly, the annotations in Wöstefeld’s copy are echoed closely in many – though not all – of the comments in the student’s annotations. Where similar annotations are found in several student copies but not in Wöstefeld’s copy, they probably reflect spontaneous comments that Wöstefeld made in the classroom, which went beyond what he noted in his copy when preparing his classes. Some details that follow in this section are rather arcane, and those who wish to avoid excessive technical detail may safely skip to the next section.
Some annotations give evidence that Wöstefeld dictated certain details he considered important. For example, the Zwickau, Jena and Uppsala copies all bear the same summary of Corvinus’ intentions in the preface to the Carminum structura: ‘He encourages youth to seek the good of the mind rather than that of the body, insisting on the virtues and sciences which poetry especially instils. Thus he tries to lead them on to cultivate it.’70 The same three copies contain an annotation recording the following reference to Horace’s Letter to the Pisos: ‘Thus one must take time for poetry, lest we completely neglect either logic or philosophy, since a poem requires both things, that is, content and eloquence. Thus Horace says in his Art of Poetry: “Knowing how to write correctly is the beginning and the fountainhead; the pages written of Socrates will supply you with the subject matter”.’71
An interesting example of the coincidence of similar annotations in multiple exemplars occurs in the margin of Corvinus’ poem ‘Utinam me turbo citatis’ in the Zwickau and Chicago copies. Corvinus wrote many (if not all) of the poems later collected in his Carminum structura while he was living at Kraków. In this poem, Corvinus expresses his wish to be transported to a more primitive stage in the history of the city, when no iron bar would have blocked access to his beloved. The annotators of the Zwickau and Chicago exemplars faithfully reproduce a long passage recounting the legend that a dragon lurked in a cave under the Wawel hill in Kraków, terrorising the inhabitants of the city until they vanquished it by feeding it bulls’ hides filled with sulphur. This story is borrowed from the Chronicle of the princes and kings of Poland by Wincenty Kadłubek, the thirteenth-century Cistercian and Bishop of Kraków.72 Wöstefeld did not copy the passage from Kadłubek’s Chronicle into his own exemplar of Corvinus’ book, but perhaps read it aloud from a manuscript copy of Kadłubek’s Chronicle while his students took dictation. But why mention this story at all, which is not even hinted at in the poem? In fact this detail could support the hypothesis that Wöstefeld had some kind of contact with Corvinus. Corvinus knew Kadłubek’s version of the story of the Wawel dragon, and used it in a poem written for the wedding of King Zygmunt I of Poland and Bona Sforza at Kraków in 1518.73 If Wöstefeld knew Corvinus directly or indirectly – as the presence of the many references to Corvinus’ personal life in the annotations perhaps suggest – he may have learned the story from him. However, in the absence of firm evidence of a personal connection between Wöstefeld and Corvinus, this explanation must remain in the realm of speculation.
Schiltel’s annotations attest to the variety of authors on whom Wöstefeld drew in explicating Corvinus’ text, including Aristotle (Poetics, fol. A3r), Hieronymus Balbus (A1v), Basil (A2r), Filippo Beroaldo (A3v), Boethius (C4r), Catullus (C4r), Cicero (including Ad Herennium) (A1v), Francesco Filelfo (A5r), Juvenal (A2r), Herodotus (B6v), Hesiod (A3r), Horace (A2v, B3v), Hyginus (C2r), Cristoforo Landino (Commentary on the Aeneid, A3r, A6v, D3r), Mancinelli (E1r), Origen (A3r), Solinus (C8v, D3r), Statius (A3r), Strabo (C1r, C1v, C3v, C8v, D4r), Vergil (B3v, D4r), and of course the Bible.
Some student annotations refer to Corvinus’ Cosmographia. Wöstefeld’s copy of Corvinus’ Cosmographia survives in the University Library, Leipzig, and he evidently read it when preparing his class on Corvinus’ Carminum structura.74 References to Corvinus’ Cosmographia in Schiltel’s annotations might reflect references made by Wöstefeld in class, or his own reading of the text. For example, on fol. C5v of the Carminum structura, Corvinus writes the lines: ‘Let others take from caves dug in cliffs the tawny wealth of the busy ant’ (‘exese rupis ab antro | tollat fulvas solertis opes | formice’). This reference remains obscure until we read a passage in Corvinus’ Cosmographia (G2v–3r), where he cites Strabo’s account of the gold-digging ants of the land of the Derdae (Geography XV, 1, 44–45), which Corvinus read in the translation of Guarino of Verona. In his copy of the Carminum structura, Wöstefeld simply wrote the laconic remark ‘golt emsse’ (‘gold ants’) in the margin beside these verses. In the margin of his copy, Schiltel wrote: ‘On these ants, see Corvinus in his Cosmographia.’75 Schiltel’s annotation contain further references to Corvinus’ Cosmographia which do not appear in Wöstefeld’s copy, but which may simply reflect Wöstefeld’s spontaneous recollection of the work in class, or Schiltel’s own study of Corvinus’ work. For example, whereas Corvinus spells the Latin name for the Hercynian Forest (the Black Forest) “Hircinia” in the Carminum structura (B3r), he spells it “Hercinia” in the Cosmographia (C4v). In a marginal annotation, Schiltel writes: ‘Corvinus also reads “Hercinia” in his Cosmographia; it is a huge forest in Alemannia.’76 On Poland, Schiltel notes: ‘Poland is located beneath Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, as the said Corvinus writes in his Cosmographia.’77
Wöstefeld occasionally disagreed with Corvinus in matters of technical detail. For example, Corvinus wrote that words such as ‘dii’, ‘diis’, ‘hii’, ‘hiis’, ‘hae’, ‘cui’ and ‘huic’ are naturally disyllables, but are treated as monosyllables in verse. However, Wöstefeld marked in the margin of his copy that ‘hi’ and ‘his’ are naturally monosyllabic, citing Tortellius as his authority. Wöstefeld’s disagreement with Corvinus on this point is echoed in Schiltel’s marginalia.78
Although there is no known evidence of contact between Wöstefeld and Corvinus, the annotations contain several details about Corvinus’ person. While some details can be verified from other sources, others provide information otherwise unknown, which therefore cannot be verified independently. For example, the Chicago annotator knew that Corvinus had worked at Schweidnitz before his appointment at St Elisabeth’s school at Breslau in 1499, a detail not mentioned in the printed book, but amply attested by archival documentation in Breslau. Further annotations, perhaps relying simply on the reference to Glogau in the poem ‘Hanc tibi mittit amans Corvinus’ (fol. B2r), state that Corvinus worked for a time as teacher at Glogau, but this cannot be verified from any other known source. Annotations in the Zwickau and Chicago copies also mention that the father of Flora, Corvinus’ girlfriend from Glogau, was the alderman “Dreissigmark”. Although this information is not transmitted in any of Corvinus’ extant printed works, a Melchior Dreissigmark was indeed an alderman of Glogau at this time, and this detail thus appears plausible.79 Glosses in the Chicago, Zwickau and Jena copies all explain that “Lentulus”, the subject of a poem on fols. D1v–2v, was a member of Corvinus’ household at Kraków, and so lazy that he regularly slept until midday. (The divergent wording in each copy indicates that the students were paraphrasing their teacher’s words, not copying them verbatim.)80 Most remarkably, an appendix to the Chicago copy contains two poems (‘Difficilem cur Flora foves’ and ‘Sat erit Phoebe lyram compte canoram’) which were either written by Corvinus, or by another poet using Corvinus’ name as the lyric self. The first is provided with a short melody (Ex. 21). These poems, which continue the story of Corvinus’ relationship with Flora, begun in the verses printed in the Carminum structura, are preserved only in this copy. In the Chicago copy, these poems are provided with glosses that cite authorities such as Strabo and Solinus, two of Corvinus’ favourite technical authors. If Corvinus really wrote these two poems, their presence in the Chicago copy could provide further circumstantial evidence that Wöstefeld knew Corvinus, even if only by letter. It must be added that the attribution of these two poems to Corvinus rests solely on the presence of Corvinus’ name as the lyric subject of the second poem, and their address to Flora, the lover named in Corvinus’ undisputed poems. It is possible that the poems were written by Wöstefeld, by the student who annotated the Chicago copy, or by someone else.
9 Music in the Annotations to the First Edition of Corvinus’ Carminum structura
Annotations in several copies of the first edition of Corvinus’ Carminum structura suggest that Wöstefeld was familiar with Conrad Celtis’s Ars versificandi. Annotations in the copies in Jena, Leipzig, Tokyo, Uppsala, Vienna, Wolfenbüttel and Zwickau contain metrical grids like those in Celtis’s treatise.81 Some grids contain musical notation to explain the metres even more clearly (Fig. 6.7). In some copies – such as that in Washington – breves and semibreves are written in the margins or above the first verse of several poems to indicate the metre.
Besides expressing the syllable quantities of each of the metres used by Corvinus with breves and semibreves, the copies in Chicago, Uppsala, Leipzig, Zwickau and Prague also contain embryonic metrical melodies for several of Corvinus’ poems. These melodies are of limited compass, and are notated on staves of between two and four lines. Most settings lack a clef, though the cadences and the shape of the melodies – especially the desirability of avoiding melodic tritones – often suggest one mode more readily than others. In the most rudimentary melodies, the notated pitches perhaps merely represent the rise and fall of the voice on a non-determinate pitch. Such restriction of the voice to a limited set of pitches recalls the annotations in the Baltimore copy of Celtis’s Ars versificandi, in which only two pitches (re and fa), a minor third apart, are indicated (Fig. 6.4). A manuscript appendix of eight leaves added to Schiltel’s copy contains an extensive collection of metrical explanations, grids and melodies. Some of these, such as those for the Archilochean metre, are also found in Wöstefeld’s copy, which indicates that he communicated them to his students (Fig. 6.7; the melodies are transcribed below in Appendix 1, Ex. 2–17). All the melodies in Wöstefeld’s copy are also transmitted in one or more of the other annotated copies, but these student copies also include further melodies not found in Wöstefeld’s copy. This could suggest either that Wöstefeld provided alternative melodies for some poems, or that he encouraged his students to create their own settings. Such spontaneous composition is the essence of ‘melopoeia’: literally, the creation of lyric poems and their associated melodies.
In one case, Wöstefeld (or one of his students) proposed quite a radical emendation to one of Corvinus’ poems, ‘Ad Sigismundum Fusilium in Italiam pergentem’, addressed to a friend from Kraków who was about to embark upon a humanistic grand tour of Italy.82 Corvinus casts this poem in the Greater Sapphic strophe, a form that Horace used only once (Odes I, 8, ‘Lydia dic per omnes’). The strophes are couplets made up of Aristophaneans in the odd verses and Greater Sapphic verses in the even ones.83 Since the metre consists of couplets, the poem should have had an even number of verses. However, the poem ‘Ad Sigismundum Fusilium’ as it appears in the printed edition of the Carminum structura has twenty-three verses, beginning with a Greater Sapphic verse (‘Fusili linquis patrios heu sine me Penates’, ‘Alas, Fusilius, you leave your homeland without me’) rather than with an Aristophanean verse. It seems that an entire verse is missing, perhaps omitted through a typesetting error. Annotations in Wöstefeld’s copy show that he realised that Horace’s ‘Lydia dic per omnes’ was Corvinus’ technical model, but he recorded no amendment to replace the missing line, nor does he give a melody for it. However, in his copy, Schiltel conjecturally added an Aristophanean verse (‘Carior inter omnes’) at the beginning of the poem, as the form requires.84 Both Schiltel and the Chicago annotator give a melody that begins with this conjectural emendation (Ex. 11). The Uppsala annotator was evidently confused by this addition, and his melody consequently contains several obvious errors. The occurrence of this emendation in three separate copies (albeit once in mutilated form) suggests that Wöstefeld or one of his students proposed this emendation in his class.
At the end of his copy of Corvinus’ Carminum structura, Wöstefeld added two pages containing metrical grids and melodies for several additional metres: ‘Nec fonte labra prolui caballino’ (Persius, Prologus 1) (iambic trimeter acatalectic), ‘Summumque credit gloriam’ (Boethius, Consolation II, metr. 7, 2) (Archilochian iambic dimeter), ‘Quisquis volet perennem’ (Boethius, Consolation II, metr. 4, 1) (iambic dimeter catalectic), ‘Omne hominum genus in terris’ (Boethius, Consolation III, metr. 6, 1) (dactylic tetrameter) (see below, Appendix 3, Ex. 18). Georg Schiltel copied the first two of these melodies in the manuscript appendix bound in behind his own copy of Corvinus’ textbook.
Schiltel’s copy of Corvinus’ treatise contains seven additional melodies besides those for the poems in Corvinus’ treatise. They include the melodies for Persius’ ‘Nec fonte labra prolui caballino’ and Boethius’ ‘Summumque credit gloriam’, which he evidently learned from Wöstefeld. However, Schiltel also records a further five melodies not found in Wöstefeld’s copy (see below, Appendix 4, Ex. 19). All five are underlaid with poems by Horace: ‘Non ebur neque aureum’ (Odes II, 18); ‘Miserarum est neque amori’ (Odes III, 12), ‘Arboribusque comae’ (Odes IV, 7, 2), ‘Scribere versiculos’ (Epodes 11, 2) and ‘Nivesque deducunt Iovem’ (Epodes 13, 2).85 Some verses analysed here form parts of larger strophic patterns not used by Corvinus, such as the dactylic trimeter catalectic (‘pentimemerus dactylicus’).
Schiltel also provides a grid and melody for the combination of iambic dimeter and dactylic trimeter catalectic (Alcmanic), which together constitute the second and third verses of the second Archilochean strophe, a metrical scheme which Horace used only in the poem ‘Nivesque deducunt Iovem’ (Epodes 13, 2). Schiltel had already analysed the first verse of the second Archilochean strophe (a dactylic hexameter) in his examination of the metres used by Corvinus.
The student annotator of the Chicago copy of Corvinus’ treatise also recorded four melodies for elegiac couplets (Appendix 5, Ex. 20). These too are absent from Wöstefeld’s copy, and were either transmitted by Wöstefeld orally in the classroom, or perhaps written by the student annotator. Three are underlaid with texts by Ovid (Remedium 441–442, Fasti VI, 771–772, Heroides XVII, 97–98), while one is untexted. Three of these melodies are otherwise unknown, but the third (‘Tempora labuntur’) also appears in the Basel editions of Franciscus Niger’s Grammatica brevis (1499, 1500) (Fig. 6.8).86 It is impossible to determine whether the Chicago annotator (or Wöstefeld) learned the melody to ‘Tempora labuntur’ from the 1499 Basel edition of Niger’s treatise – if indeed the publication of Niger’s treatise on 3 March 1499 predated Wöstefeld’s class on Corvinus at Leipzig – or whether a pre-existent melody was recorded independently by the Chicago annotator and the editor of the 1499 edition of Niger. If the latter, then we would need to reconsider the assumption that the melodies in the 1499 edition of Niger – or at least this melody – were written specially for that edition.
10 The Use of Corvinus’ Carminum structura after 1499
Corvinus’ Carminum structura was reprinted twice at Leipzig, in 1504 and 1505. The 1504 edition contains two new prefatory poems by a certain “A.F.L.”, presumably the editor. These appear once again in the 1505 edition, and in a further edition produced at Cologne in 1508. Annotations in a copy of the 1504 edition in the Leipzig University Library closely resemble those in extant copies of the first edition.87 For example, on the first page, the annotator has entered precisely the same summary of Corvinus’ preface as is found in the Zwickau, Jena and Uppsala copies of the first edition. This suggests that this copy was used in a repeat class on Corvinus’ book some five years after the first, probably at the University of Leipzig, perhaps again under the instruction of Arnold Wöstefeld. However, some melodies in this copy differ from those in the annotated copies of the first edition.88 Where the annotator of the 1504 Leipzig edition gives variants of the melodies given by the annotators of the first edition, he often fills in leaps of a third with conjunct motion. This suggests that the edges were being worn off these melodies through repeated use. Schiltel gives two alternative melodies for the hexameter; the annotator of the 1504 Leipzig edition combines these (with a slight variation) into one melody to cover a pair of hexameter verses. For the elegiac couplet, the 1504 Leipzig annotator begins by giving the same melody as the annotators of the first edition, but breaks off in the second verse; he then gives another melody for the same text, with a wider range. For ‘Bacche frondosis’, the 1504 Leipzig annotator gives a melody in which the first two notes differ from those given by the annotators of the first edition. Otherwise the melody is identical, except that it is notated on two lines rather than three. These differences suggest that these rudimentary melodies were unstable, and that the melodic element was less important than the rhythm, which was in any case predetermined by the formal features of the verse. This copy also reproduces many glosses similar to those in the copies of the first edition, including the long account of the dragon beneath the Wawel. These similarities suggest that Wöstefeld perhaps used this book in the classes on poetry that he is recorded as giving in 1505. If so, he may stand behind the initials of the editor (“A[rnoldus] F[östefeld] L[indaviensis]”?), just as he signed the prefatory verses in his edition of Ovid’s Remedia amoris (1503) with the initials “A.W.L.”89
Further evidence for the dissemination of the glosses to Corvinus’ Carminum structura, both textual and musical, is found in a copy of the 1508 Cologne edition preserved in the Stadtbibliothek Braunschweig (Inc. 249 A). In this copy, an early reader has copied some of the same melodies as are found in the various copies of the first edition, though not the same melodies as any one of them. These differences suggest that the melodies were transmitted either orally, or by way of annotations in a now lost copy. Further evidence for the dependence of the Braunschweig copy on the Leipzig glosses is the fact that the annotator included the additional verse ‘Carior inter omnes’ as the first line of the poem ‘Ad Sigismundum Fusilium’, as well as the corresponding melody (see below, Appendix 2, Ex. 11).
Previous studies of humanist song before the Melopoiae struggled to reconcile several facts. The most serious problem was that the previously known melodies for classical or neoclassical Latin texts from German sources predating the Melopoiae – from dramas such as Johannes Reuchlin’s Scaenica progymnasmata, Jacob Locher’s Historia de rege Franciae and Celtis’s Ludus Dianae – do not consistently and unambiguously preserve the strict equivalence of verse metre and musical rhythm which Tritonius’ settings elevated to a structural principle.90 Second, the only firm written evidence that the metrical principle seen in the Melopoiae enjoyed any real currency in German-speaking lands before Melopoiae was the 1499 Basel edition of Franciscus Niger’s Grammatica brevis, in which Niger’s rather loose non-metrical settings, as given in the original Venice edition of 1480, were replaced by more strictly metrical models. (The sole exception is the Sapphic strophe, which in the 1499 edition receives a new accentual melody.) However, Niger’s treatise, containing only a handful of melodies, lacked the systematic and exhaustive range of the Melopoiae. For these reasons, scholars have hesitated to consider the 1499 edition of Niger’s Grammatica as a real predecessor to the Melopoiae. The musical and metrical annotations in many copies of the second edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi and in Corvinus’ Carminum structura at last provide convincing evidence that the practice of metrical song was already established in Germany by the time the Melopoiae was published in early 1507. These annotations also connect the Melopoiae, with its encyclopaedic and systematic coverage of Horace’s nineteen metric species, to earlier metrical treatises, notably Celtis’s own Ars versificandi and Corvinus’ Carminum structura.
As we move from the Ars versificandi to the Melopoiae, the autobiographical element also increases in importance. Celtis’s self-presentation in the Ars versificandi is limited to the paratexts: his poem and letter to Frederick the Wise; a poem to the reader in which he recalls his education at Heidelberg under Rudolf Agricola; an exchange of poems with the Saxon ducal secretary Fridianus Pighinucius; a request that the reader should pray for Celtis’s soul to the Virgin after his death; the text of Celtis’s prayer to the Virgin; and an invitation to Apollo to cross the Alps and take up residence in German lands. In the main body of the treatise, Celtis himself disappears from sight. By contrast, in the Carminum structura, Corvinus presents his life as student and teacher at Kraków as the central drama, expressed in the full variety of verse forms. Celtis reacts to this autobiographical impulse in the Melopoiae by providing a list of poems from his own Odes which could be sung to the same music as the Odes of Horace.
Most of the materials we have examined here are found in books associated with the University of Leipzig. Unfortunately it is impossible at this point to determine whether the melodies found in these annotations reflect Celtis’ ideas on verse and music as he expounded them at Leipzig in 1486. However, the annotations in the second edition of Celtis’ Ars versificandi tell us that humanists at Leipzig in the mid-1490s already conceptualised quantitative metre in terms of musical rhythm, and even wrote melodies in which the rhythm is determined by the quantitative metre of the verse, as in Tritonius’ settings. Further evidence for the influence of Celtis’ Ars versificandi is found in the metrical grids, Celtis’s greatest technical innovation, drawn in the margins of copies of Corvinus’ Carminum structura and Tritonius’ Melopoiae. Furthermore, the many melodies in the annotated copies of Corvinus’ Carminum structura provide strong evidence that the practice of rhythmical, pitched declamation of metrical verse had taken firm root at Leipzig by 1499 at the latest. If any of those who wrote melodies in their copies of Celtis’s or Corvinus’ treatises later became schoolmasters, they may have reproduced this practice in their own classrooms, as the annotations in the Braunschweig copy of the 1508 Cologne edition of Corvinus’ manual suggest. The success of the Melopoiae may be due to the fact that the practice of metrical song was already familiar by the time the book was published. Thus the Melopoiae, where we began, was not the start of the tradition of metrical song, as has long been imagined. Rather, it was simply its first record in print, following at least a decade of oral cultivation in humanist classrooms, as amply documented by the annotations in books used by professors and students at the University of Leipzig.
Extant copies of Celtis’s Ars versificandi and Corvinus’ Carminum structura
Conrad Celtis, Ars versificandi, second edition (Leipzig, [Martin Landsberg]: [c.1494–1496])
Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, IA Lei 94 (no musical annotations)
Amsterdam, Universiteitsbibliotheek, OTM: Inc. 308 (no musical annotations)
Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Library, Incun.1494.C4 (some textual glosses, musical notation only on frontispiece [see Fig. 6.2])
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Inc. 1312,2 (no musical annotations)
Budapest, Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Könyvtár, Inc. 565 (imperfect, but richly annotated)
Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Inc. Haun., 1096 4° (no musical annotations)
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Magl. A.5.5 (explanations of metres, with musical annotation, in blank gathering bound in at the end)
Göttingen, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, 8 AESTH 9801 INC (no musical annotations)
Güssing, Franziskanerbibliothek, 2/133–6 (no annotations)
Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, 4 in 42 A 1932, 11 RH (no musical annotations)
London, British Library, IA.8067 (no annotations)
Moscow, Rossiiskaya Gosudarstvennaya Biblioteka, MK Inc/1694 Cum allig (not inspected; enquiries received no reply)
Moscow, Rossiiskaya Gosudarstvennaya Biblioteka, MK Inc/344 (not inspected; enquiries received no reply)
Münster, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, COLL. ERH. 395 (musical and textual annotations)
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 4 Inc.s.a. 496 m (annotations)
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 4 Inc.s.a. 496 n (no annotations)
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 4 Inc.s.a. 1625 a (no annotations)
Oldenburg, Landesbibliothek Cim II 61d (no annotations)
Princeton, Princeton University, Firestone Library EXI 2540.247 (no annotations)
Saint Petersburg, Rossiyskaya natsional’naya biblioteka, NLR 188.8.131.52 (not inspected; enquiries received no reply)
Uppsala, Universitetsbiblioteket, Ink. 31:233(:4) 8:o (no musical annotations)
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ink 1.G.39 (fol. A5r–v: macrons and breves entered in the grids, no musical notation)
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ink 18.H.9 (A4v–5v: notes added, both mensural and a kind of chant notation)
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ink 17.H.9 (many annotations, but no music)
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, A: 27.6 Poet. (6) (some musical annotations)
Wrocław, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, XV.Q.564,4 (no musical annotations)
Wrocław, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, XV.Q.1050,3 (no musical annotations)
Zagreb, Nacionalna i sveučilišna knjižnica, Zbirka rijetkosti, RI-8°-63 (no musical annotations)
Zeitz, Stiftsbibliothek (no annotations)
Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Martin Landsberg: [c.1496–1499])
Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchgemeinde Annaberg-Buchholz, Buch Nr. 902 (some annotations, no music)
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek (lost)
Chicago, Newberry Library, miniature Inc. 2948.5 (richly annotated with text and music, including two poems perhaps by Corvinus)
Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Inc. Haun., 1288 4° (heavily annotated, but no music)
Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (lost)
Jena, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, 4 Phil.VIII,39/2(2) (no musical annotations)
Jena, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, 4 I 196(15) (richly annotated, including musical notation)
Kaliningrad, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University Library (enquiries received no reply)
Kórnik, Polska Akademia Nauk, Inc.Qu.52 (no annotations)
Kraków, Czartoryski Library, Ink. 276 II (no music; annotation on E6v: Pro j grosso)
Kraków, Jagiellonian Library, St. Dr. Inc. 1996 (no annotations)
Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, Gr.lat.rec.103 (missing since 1945)
Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, Gr.lat.rec.103-b (richly annotated by Arnold Wöstefeld, including musical notation)
Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Inc. 8° 155314 (some musical notation at the end of the volume)
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, RES M-YC-100 (no annotations)
Prague, Knihovny Národního muzea, 65 E 00011 (text annotations and melodies)
Saint Petersburg, Rossiyskaya natsional’naya biblioteka, 184.108.40.206 (enquiries received no reply)
Tokyo, Keio University Library, 120X@860@1 (some metrical grids)
Uppsala, University Library, Ink. 32:97(:4) 8:o (imperfect; richly annotated, including musical notation)
Vienna, Dominikanerkonvent, W 215–6 (some metrical grids)
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Ink 1.H.43 (a few annotations, no music)
Washington, Library of Congress, Incun. X .C617 (some annotations, including some breves and semibreves added by hand over lines of printed verse)
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, (2) 50.1 Quod. (6) (annotations, including metrical grids, and, on fol. C1r, some semibreves and breves added by hand over lines of printed verse)
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, A: 82.6 Quod. (8) (no music, but some metrical grids)
Wrocław, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka (not in catalogue)
Wrocław, Biblioteka Kapitulna, XXIV.150.O (enquiries received no reply)
Zwickau, Ratsschulbibliothek, Sign. 7.5.16 (richly annotated with text, musical notation and metrical grids by Georg Schiltel)
Melodies from Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Landsberg: [c.1496–1499]), Zwickau, Ratsschulbibliothek, Sign. 7.5.16, unfoliated appendix (‘Ad Coruinum’), copied by Georg Schiltel.
Melodies from Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Landsberg: [c.1496–1499]), Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, Gr.lat.rec.103-b, E5v–6r.
Melodies from Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Landsberg: [c.1496–1499]), Zwickau, Ratsschulbibliothek Zwickau, Sign. 7.5.16, unfoliated appendix (‘Ad Corvinum’), copied by Georg Schiltel. These melodies are underlaid to poems not included in the printed text of Corvinus’ treatise.
Melodies from Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Landsberg: [c.1496–1499]), Chicago, Newberry Library, miniature Inc. 2948.5, E5v–6v.
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. Melopoiae sive harmoniae tetracenticae super xxii genera carminum heroicorum elegiacorum lyricorum & ecclesiasticorum hymnorum per Petrum Tritonium et alios doctos sodalitatis litterariæ nostrae musicos secundum naturas & tempora syllabarum et pedum compositae et regulate ductu Chunradi Celtis foeliciter impresse. , Tritonius, Petrus Conrad Celtis et al Augsburg, Erhard Oeglin for Johannes Rynmann: [vdm 55]. 1507
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The production of this article was supported by the MALMECC project (Music in Late Medieval Courtly Culture). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant No. 669190). Further work was supported by the project The court chapel of Maximilian I: between art and politics (FWF Project P 28525). Library sigla are taken from RISM online; vdm numbers refer to the Verzeichnis deutscher Musikdrucke (www.vdm.sbg .ac.at). Thanks to Karl Kügle, Uri Smilansky, David Catalunya, Bonnie Blackburn, Leofranc Holford-Strevens and Tim Braithwaite for their comments and corrections. This chapter is dedicated to Birgit Lodes, patron saint of Wanderhumanisten.
Further, see Schäfer E., Deutscher Horaz. Conrad Celtis, Georg Fabricius, Paul Melissus, Jacob Balde: Die Nachwirkung des Horaz in der neulateinischen Dichtung Deutschlands (Wiesbaden: 1976) 1–38; Wenk W., “Flaccus crebrius nobis volvendus: Horaz im Frühwerk des Konrad Celtis”, Wiener Studien 104 (1991) 237–259; Auhagen U. – Lefèvre E. – Schäfer E. (eds.), Horaz und Celtis, NeoLatina 1 (Tübingen: 2000).
Further on Tritonius, see Brinzing A., “Tritonius, Petrus”, in Worstbrock F.J. (ed.), Verfasserlexikon – Deutscher Humanismus 1480–1520 (Berlin: 2008–2015) 2:1122–1128.
See Ziolkowski J., Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Melodies in the Early Middle Ages (Turnhout: 2007).
See Helms D., “Denken in Intervallverbänden: Kompositionsdidaktik und Kompositionstechnik um 1500”, Die Musikforschung 54 (2001) 1–23.
Celtis C., Quatuor libri amorum (Nuremberg, [Printer for the Sodalitas Celtica]: 1502) fol. i6r: ‘Verba lyrae sociare fuit mihi summa voluptas […].’
Petrus Tritonius, Conrad Celtis et al., Melopoiae sive harmoniae tetracenticae (Augsburg, Erhard Oeglin for Johannes Rynmann: 1507) fol. [A10v]; here I cite the later recension of the poem from Conrad Celtis, Libri Odarum quatuor cum Epodo, et saeculari carmine (Strasbourg, Matthias Schürer for Leonhard and Lucas Alantsee: 1513) fol. a3v: ‘Huc prior Ausonias Frisius conducere musas | Agricola, hinc Celti palma secunda datur. | Dulcior hic ipso cum tangit Apolline chordas, | Auditor totis sensibus esse velim. | Tam varium, tam lene melis concordat in vnum, | Tam celerem fidibus concitat ille manum.’ The recension published in the Melopoiae does not mention Agricola. In the 1507 recension, Ulsenius strongly emphasises Celtis’ connection with Maximilian and his status as first amongst German poets: ‘It is no wonder that my Caesar bestows wealth and honours upon him, since he judges that he is virtually peerless in Germany’ (‘Ni mirum caesar meus hunc obseruat et ornat | Quem uix teutonicis censet habere parem’).
Lowinsky E., “Humanism in the Music of the Renaissance”, in Lowinsky E., Blackburn B. (ed.), Music in the Culture of the Renaissance (Chicago: 1989) 154–218; Wilson B., Singing to the Lyre in Renaissance Italy: Memory, Performance, and Oral Poetry (Cambridge: 2020).
Blackburn B., “Professional women singers in the fifteenth century: a tale of two Annas”, in Busse Berger A.M. – Rodin J. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music (Cambridge: 2015) 476–485, esp. 481–484.
Text and translation in McDonald G., “The metrical harmoniae of Wolfgang Gräfinger and Ludwig Senfl in the context of Humanism, Neoplatonism and Nicodemism”, in Stefan Gasch – Birgit Lodes – Sonja Tröster (eds.), Senfl-Studien I, Wiener Forum für Ältere Musikgeschichte 5 (Tutzing: 2012) 69–148, at 135–147.
Schmid M.H. “Musica theorica, practica und poetica. Zu Horaz- Vertonungen des deutschen Humanismus”, in Krasser H. – Schmidt E.A. (eds.), Zeitgenosse Horaz. Der Dichter und seine Leser seit zwei Jahrtausenden (Tübingen: 1996) 52–67, at 58, citing Minervius’ description of the ‘harmoniae’ that Tritonius wrote at Ingolstadt, concluded that these settings were conceived polyphonically. However, ‘harmonia’ was the normal term for what modern scholars have inaccurately dubbed Humanistenoden, whether monophonic or polyphonic.
See Bobeth G., “Die humanistische Odenkomposition in Buchdruck und Handschrift: Zur Rolle der Melopoiae bei der Formung und Ausbreitung eines kompositorischen Erfolgsmodells”, in Lodes B. (ed.), NiveauNischeNimbus. Die Anfänge des Musikdrucks nördlich der Alpen (Tutzing: 2010) 67–87.
Hartmann K.G., Die humanistische Odenkomposition in Deutschland; Vorgeschichte und Voraussetzungen, Erlanger Studien 15 (Erlangen: 1976) examines the Latin dramas with musical choruses by German humanists which predate Melopoiae, but these are musically distinct from Tritonius’ settings, and cannot be considered predecessors except in a general sense. More suggestively, Brinzing A., “Kleinüberlieferung mehrstimmiger Musik vor 1550 in deutschem Sprachgebiet V. Neue Quellen zur Geschichte der humanistischen Odenkomposition in Deutschland”, Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen I. Philosophisch-historische Klasse 8 (2001) 515–565, at 543, notes that D-Mbs Clm 19822, fols. 49r–50v, transmits Tritonius’ setting of the Sapphic strophe, without underlay (and two errors in the altus), but followed immediately by Sebastian Brant’s Sapphic hymn ‘Veritas summi patris osculatur’, which was evidently meant to be sung to Tritonius’ setting. The scribe was probably a Cistercian born c.1476 (see fol. 26v), perhaps a certain Johannes Schlemmer (fol. 192r). The dates in the manuscript range from 1506 (fols. 6v, 7r, 21v, 26r, 26v), 1507 (42r), 1511 (183r), 1515 (42v), to 1516 (323r, 325v). On fol. 50r (the page containing Brant’s ‘Veritas summi’) is the date 16 August 1507 and the name of the town “Iricz” in Moravia (either Jiřice u Miroslavi or Jiřice u Moravských Budějovic). On one hand, it is possible that Tritonius’ setting circulated before the Melopoiae was published. It is equally possible that the scribe saw the Melopoiae soon after its publication. An encounter with this novel publication could have prompted him to copy the setting into his manuscript, along with an appropriate sacred text with which it could be used in a liturgical or devotional context. There is simply insufficient evidence to decide whether this setting was copied into the manuscript before or after the publication of the Melopoiae. Further description of the manuscript, including the toponyms mentioned, in Halm K., Catalogus codicum latinorum Bibliothecae Regiae Monacensis, Tomi II Pars III (Munich: 1878), 275.
See Busse Berger A.M., Medieval Music and the Art of Memory (Berkeley: 2005); Ziolkowski, Nota Bene, 39–56.
Barrett S., “Creative Practice and the Limits of Knowledge in Reconstructing Lost Songs from Boethius’s On the Consolation of Philosophy”, The Journal of Musicology 36 (2019) 261–294.
It is not known when Celtis arrived in Augsburg or how long he stayed, since his letters after 1506 are sparse. Conrad Peutinger reported that Celtis had already reached the city by 22 April 1507; Conrad Peutinger, König E. (ed.), Briefwechsel (Munich: 1923) 81–83. See also note 20 below.
Assmann E., Guntheri Poetae Ligurinus (Hannover: 1987) refuted the traditional identification of the author as Gunther of Pairis, associating the poem with another, unidentified Gunther.
Conrad Celtis, Rupprich H. (ed.), Briefwechsel (Munich: 1934) 596–598; Spitz L., Conrad Celtis, the German Arch-Humanist (Cambridge, MA: 1957) 98.
Oeglin was authorised as one of two imperial printers at Augsburg between 1508 and 1512, but his participation in these two projects involving Celtis, Peutinger and other individuals associated with Maximilian suggests that he had already begun to attract official attention by 1507. See Reske C., Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet. Auf der Grundlage des gleichnamigen Werkes von Josef Benzing (Wiesbaden: 2007) 31.
In a letter to Willibald Pirckheimer dated 7 February 1507, Lorenz Behaim apparently refers to the Melopiae as already printed, and to the Ligurinus as not yet printed. He also mentions that he had brought similar settings (of Horace?) from Rome, which he considered more competent. See Reicke E. – Reimann A. (eds.), Willibald Pirckheimers Briefwechsel, Bd. 1 (Munich: 1940) 485. It has sometimes been asserted that the Melopoiae was printed in August 1507, but this is a result of a misreading of the colophon (‘Impressum anno sesquimillesimo et VII auguste’) as referring to the month rather than to the place of printing, Augsburg (Augusta Vindelicorum); “August” would be “mense augusto” or – more unusually, but as found in the Harmonie – “augusti”. The creation of a music typeface took time, so Oeglin’s experiments probably predated Celtis’s arrival in Augsburg. The fact that Celtis brought the materials for the Melopoiae (probably including the pictorial woodblocks) suggests that he already knew before he left Vienna that Oeglin was developing a music font.
Lodes B., “Concentus, Melopoiae und Harmonie 1507: Zum Geburtsjahr des Typendrucks mehrstimmiger Musik nördlich der Alpen”, in Lodes B. (ed.), NiveauNischeNimbus. Die Anfänge des Musikdrucks nördlich der Alpen (Tutzing: 2010) 33–66, esp. 58–59; McDonald G., “Printing Hofhaimer: a case study”, Journal of the Alamire Foundation 7 (2015) 67–79.
Lodes, “Concentus, Melopoiae und Harmonie”, 59–60. Lodes argued plausibly that the large format of the Melopoiae, which involved much white space on the page, would have driven its price beyond the means of most students. However, Gustavson R., “The Montanus & Neuber catalogue of 1560: prices, losses, and a new polyphonic music edition from 1556” in Lindmayr-Brandl A. – McDonald G. (eds.), Early Printed Music and Material Culture in Central and Western Europe (New York: 2021) 247–279, showed that the number of sheets of paper in a book was the primary determinant of price in the sixteenth century. The Melopoiae was printed as a single gathering of ten leaves in folio, thus requiring five sheets of paper. With its twenty-two leaves in quarto (collation: A8, B6, C8), the Harmonie required 5.5 sheets. If the Harmonie and Melopoiae were priced simply according to the amount of paper required, then the Harmonie could have been marginally more expensive than the Melopoiae, contrary to what we might have assumed. Gustavson noted that some titles, including books of polyphonic music, were priced at a premium, but in this case, both the Melopoiae and the Harmonie presumably fell into this premium category.
Niccolò Perotti, Liber de metris […] Epistola de generibus metrorum quibus Horatius flaccus & Seuerinus Boetius usi sunt (Bologna, [Balthasar Azoguidus]: 1471) fols. d2r–7r; Horatij flacci Venusini. Poete lirici opera cum quibusdam Anotationibus imaginisbusque pulcherrimis aptisque ad Odarum concentus & sententias, ed. Jacob Locher (Strasbourg, Grüninger: 1499) fols. [
The manuscript is now Wolfenbüttel, HAB Cod. Guelf. 277.4 Extrav. Further, see Luh P., Kaiser Maximilian gewidmet: Die unvollendete Werkausgabe des Conrad Celtis und ihre Holzschnitte (Bern: 2001) 210–238; for a proposed explanation of the route by which this manuscript moved from the Pirckheimer collection to Wolfenbüttel, see McDonald G., Orpheus Germanicus: Metrical Music and the Reception of Marsilio Ficino’s Poetics and Music Theory in Renaissance Germany (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Melbourne: 2002) 833–835. The appearance of one woodcut based on one of the two illuminations in this manuscript in Celtis’s Quatuor libri amorum (1502) suggests that both woodcuts were already created in 1502. The fact that these blocks were used by two different printers suggests that they belonged not to a printer, but to Celtis himself.
Franciscus Octavius Cleophilus, De coetu poetarum ([Rome, Eucharius Silber: c.1483–1485]) fol. a1r. The reading ‘Hic’ in ll. 1–2 of the inscription on the woodcut indicates that it was not copied from the Rome edition, which has ‘Hinc’ both times.
On the experiments of Oeglin and his contemporary Gregor Mewes of Basel, who also printed mensural notation in 1507, see Lodes B., “An anderem Ort, auf andere Art. Petruccis und Mewes’ Obrecht-Drucke”, Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis 25 (2001) 85–111; Lindmayr-Brandl A., “The pioneers of mensural music printing in German-speaking lands: networks and type repertoria”, in Lindmayr-Brandl A. – McDonald G. (eds.), Early Printed Music and Material Culture in Central and Western Europe (New York: 2021) 19–40. Lodes showed that Oeglin and Mewes were technically independent of Petrucci.
The title page of the Melopoiae advertises that the twenty-two settings it contained were ‘composed by Petrus Tritonius and other learned musicians of our literary society’, who are not further named. The title page of the second edition, Harmonie Petri Tritonii super odis Horatii Flacci (Augsburg, Erhard Oeglin: 22 August 1507) indicates that the nineteen settings of Horace were written by Tritonius. The twentieth piece in both the Melopoiae and the Harmonie is a setting of the Phalaecean hendecasyllable, a metre not used by Horace. In the Melopoiae, it is underlaid with Celtis’ poem ‘Quid tantum steriles poeta Musas’ (Celtis, Odes III, 1), first printed in full in Conrad Celtis, Libri Odarum quatuor cum Epodo, et saeculari carmine (Strasbourg, Matthias Schürer for Leonhard and Lucas Alantsee: 1513) (I7v–8v); in the Harmonie it is underlaid with Catullus’ poem ‘Vivamus mea Lesbia atque amemus’ (Carmina 5). It is written in the same quantitative and homorhythmic style as the other pieces by Tritonius; this, and its inclusion in the Harmonie, suggests that Tritonius wrote this piece as well. The last two non-Horatian settings in the Melopoiae, which do not reflect the same adherence to classical quantitative metres, were perhaps the work of one or more of the ‘other learned musicians’ mentioned on the title page of the Melopoiae, perhaps even of the Augsburg singer Jordanus, to whom Celtis addressed a poem printed in the Melopoiae.
See Hartmann, Odenkomposition; McDonald, “The metrical harmoniae”; McDonald G., “Notes on the sources and reception of Senfl’s harmoniae”, in Gasch S. – Lodes L. – Tröster S. (eds.), Senfl-Studien II, Wiener Forum für Ältere Musikgeschichte 7 (Tutzing: 2013) 623–634. I do not have space here to discuss the later adaptation of this practice by Jean-Antoine de Baïf, Claude Le Jeune and their circle, on whom see Lowinsky, “Humanism” 176–179.
My identification of the printers relies on the GW and ISTC databases.
Geldner F., “Zum Ingolstädter Buchdruck des 15. Jahrhunderts”, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 43 (1968) 97–99.
Adel K., “Die Arbeitsmethoden des Konrad Celtis”, Codices manuscripti 3 (1977) 1–13, at 9; Worstbrock F.J., “Die ‘Ars versificandi et carminum’ des Konrad Celtis: Ein Lehrbuch eines deutschen Humanisten”, in Worstbrock F.J., Köbele S. – Kraß A. (eds.), Ausgewählte Schriften (Stuttgart: 2005) 2:200–236, at 2:204.
Robert J., Konrad Celtis und das Projekt der deutschen Dichtung: Studien zur humanistischen Konstitution von Poetik, Philosophie, Nation und Ich (Tübingen: 2003) 22.
Leonhard J., Dimensio syllabarum: Studien zur lateinischen Prosodie- und Verslehre von der Spätantike bis zur frühen Renaissance (Göttingen: 1989) 121, 160–161.
See Leonhardt J., “Niccolò Perotti und die ‘Ars versiﬁcandi’ von Conrad Celtis”, Humanistica Lovaniensia 30 (1981) 13–18; Worstbrock, “Die ‘Ars versificandi’”.
Thomas Aquinas, Opuscula alia dubia, volumen tertium (Parma: 1869) 1–147. This commentary circulated under the name of Thomas Aquinas, as for example in the edition printed at Nuremberg by Anton Koberger in 1476 [ISTC ib00771000].
Leonhard, Dimensio syllabarum 116–153.
Conrad Celtis, Ars versificandi ([Leipzig, Konrad Kachelofen: c.1486]) fols. a5r, a6r. Annotations in the Bamberg copy of the first edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi name several ecclesiastical hymns written in classical metres besides those mentioned in the text: ‘Festum nunc celebre’ (Asclepiadeum tetrametrum, that is, a strophe composed of three Asclepiadean verses + one glyconic), ‘Ut queant laxis’ (Saphicon hendecasyllabon), and ‘Iam lucis orto sidere’ (dimeter archilocheus). The annotator of the Münster copy of the second edition of Celtis’s Ars versificandi likewise gave ‘Festum nunc celebre’ as an example of the Asclepiadeum tetrametrum. The Budapest annotator remarked that Prudentius’ hymn ‘Inventor rutili dux bone luminis’ is written in the Lesser Asclepiadic. It is possible that these examples appeared in the lost redaction of the Ordo metrorum used by Celtis; see Worstbrock, “Die ‘Ars versificandi’”, 2:211.
Horz A., “Hymnen und Metrik um 1500 im deutschsprachigen Raum”, in Lodes B. – Tröster S. – Gasch S. (ed.), Senfl-Studien III (Vienna: 2018) 85–99, esp. 86–90.
Apart from the annotations to Corvinus’ Carminum structura, discussed below, we find such grids for example in the St Gallen copy of Melopoiae; see Giselbrecht E., “Reading the Melopoiae (1507): a search for its owners and users”, in Lindmayr-Brandl A. – McDonald G. (eds.), Early Printed Music and Material Culture in Central and Western Europe (New York: 2021) 85–108, at 95. In the Kraków copy of Laurentius Corvinus, Dialogus de Mentis saluberrima persuasione (Leipzig, Schumann: 1516 [PL-Kc 1883 I Cim]), the staff-lines of one of the melodies have been extended into the margin to form the frame of a metrical grid (fol. A5v). Like most of the melodies in the annotations of the Carminum structura, this melody lacks a clef; a c-3 clef was probably intended.
Fenlon I., Groote I.M. (ed.), Heinrich Glarean’s Books: The Intellectual World of a Sixteenth-Century Musical Humanist (Cambridge: 2013); Grafton A., Weinberg J., “I have always loved the Holy Tongue”: Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and a Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship (Cambridge, MA: 2011).
Gingerich O., An annotated census of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus (Nuremberg, 1543 and Basel, 1566) (Leiden: 2002); Gingerich O., The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus (New York: 2004).
We should also not take the putative uniformity of printed books for granted. At this early period, copies within a single edition could vary amongst themselves, reflecting stop-press changes made during the course of the edition. For examples in the Melopoiae, see Lodes, “Concentus, Melopoiae und Harmonie” 56–59. On differences between copies of the Liber selectarum cantionum (1521), see Giselbrecht E. – Upper L.E. “Glittering woodcuts and moveable music: Decoding the elaborate printing techniques, purpose, and patronage of the Liber Selectarum Cantionum”, in Gasch S. – Lodes B. – Tröster S. (ed.), Senfl-Studien I (Tutzing: 2012) 17–67; Lindmayr-Brandl, “The pioneers of mensural music printing” 25–26; Schiefelbein T., Same Same But Different. Die erhaltenen Exemplare des Liber selectarum cantionum (Augsburg 1520) (Vienna: 2022).
The absence of musical notation in the other copies of the first edition suggests that such a conclusion is far from firm; the notes in the Vienna copy could equally have been added by a later user.
The provenance of many of these copies is unclear, so this cannot be used as a criterion for determining whether they came from a single group of readers. However, the strong similarities between the annotations in different copies suggest that they were made in the same classroom. For example, the Budapest copy has this annotation on the molossus (fol. A3v): ‘Dictus est a tarditate Siue a molosia idest epirotica que & caonia dicitur.’ The annotator of the Wolfenbüttel copy writes: ‘Molossus dictus est a tarditate siue a siue [sic] cane rustico siue a molossia idest epi⟨ro⟩thica que & cahonia dicitur.’ Apart from similarities in the annotations, codicological clues suggest that the annotated copies were used in a group context, such as classroom, rather than for private study. For example, the bifolium C1/6 is missing in the Münster copy, evidently lost after the sheets were cut but before the gatherings were bound. An early user has copied the missing texts on a replacement bifolium, subsequently bound into the book. This scribe evidently had ready access to another copy from which he could supply the missing text.
Celtis, Ars versificandi [c.1486] fols. a3v–4v; the anonymous source and the passage from Donatus are edited in Worstbrock, “Die ‘Ars versificandi’” 2:229–230, 235–236.
Celtis also supplements Donatus’ text. For example, Donatus reads: ‘Inde duos iambos in se tenet ipse diambus | Sic ditrochaeum duo; “cunctipotens” choriambum.’ Celtis supplemented this with a partially unmetrical expansion: ‘Atque duos iambos in se tenet ipse diambus | Sic distrocheum trocheum dic “duplicatum” | “Armipotens” dictum tibi designat coriambum.’ Celtis, Ars versificandi [c.1486], a4v; Worstbrock, “Die ‘Ars versificandi’” 2:230.
Antonio Mancinelli, Versilogus sive De componendis versibus opusculum ([Rome, Stephan Plannck: 1488]) fols. v–r.
The alternative sample words for the tetrasyllables in the Florence and Münster copies agree in eleven out of fourteen cases. The Budapest copy agrees with the Florence copy in giving ‘amator’ as an example of the amphibrach, and with the Münster copy in giving ‘impotens’ for the amphimacer. The Wolfenbüttel copy agrees with both the Florence and Münster copies in giving ‘vindicator’ for the ditrochaeus.
William of Conches, Wilson B. (ed.), Glosae in Iuvenalem (Paris: 1980) 93: ‘Eleison est miserere unde elegia, enim miseria quia miseri miseremur unde proprie elegi dicuntur.’ Isidore of Seville, Etymologies I.39, in Migne J.P. (ed.), Patrologiae cursus completus, series latina (Paris: 1844–1905, henceforth PL) 82:118: ‘Heroicum enim carmen dictum, quod eo virorum fortium res et facta narrantur […].’ Isidore’s definition of elegiac verse (‘Elegiacus autem dictus eo, quod modulatio eiusdem carminis conveniat miseris’) also lies behind the definitions of William Wheatley and William of Conches.
Schmid, “Musica theorica” 59–60.
D-B 40021, 131v–132r, Nr. 62. On the Marian use of this text and its associated settings, see Rothenberg D.J., “Angels, Archangels, and a Woman in Distress: The Meaning of Isaac’s Angeli archangeli”, The Journal of Musicology 21 (2004) 514–578, esp. 527–532.
In none of the six concordant sources is Agricola’s piece underlaid with Celtis’s text; see Just M., Der Mensuralkodex Mus. ms. 40021 der Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin: Untersuchungen zum Repertoire einer deutschen Quelle des 15. Jahrhunderts (Tutzing: 1975) 2:133–134. The alternative attribution of the poem to Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, suggested by Walther H., Initia carminum ac versuum Medii Aevi posterioris Latinorum (Göttingen: 1959) 1079, Nr. 20557, and repeated by Just, seems untenable. Celtis also included the poem in his Economia ([Vienna, Johann Winterburger: c.1499–1500]) fol. [a3]r. The reading ‘ubi semita’ in D-B Mus. ms. 40021 follows that in Ars versificandi; the Economia here reads ‘qua semita’. Further evidence for the reception of the poem ‘Virgo sub aetheriis’ is found in the Vienna copy of the Proverbia Senece (Hain 14639, ÖNB 15.G.71), where it is copied on a blank page (fol. 11v); see Adel, “Arbeitsmethoden” 9; Henkel N., “Bücher des Konrad Celtis”, in Arnold W. (ed.), Bibliotheken und Bücher im Zeitalter der Renaissance (Wiesbaden: 1997) 129–166, at 158. It is also found in Latin, with a German translation and commentary, in D-Gl Hs Gym. 1, fol. 283v. This latter manuscript was copied at Leipzig between about 1493 and 1497; see Wunderle E., Katalog der mittelalterlichen lateinischen Papierhandschriften aus den Sammlungen der Herzog von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha’schen Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft (Wiesbaden: 2002) 463. The poem is also transmitted, with the subtitle ‘Ad sanctissimam sanctae Annae filiam supremi Tonantis genitricem Virginem Mariam Conrad Celtis decastichon quottidie orandum pro aeterna mortis hora’, in P-WRu IV. F. 36, fol. 82v; this manuscript, which bears the date 1515, also contains three unpublished poems by Laurentius Corvinus: see Jezienicki M., “O rękopisie biblioteki królewskiej i uniwersyteckiej we Wrocławiu z roku 1515, oznaczonym sygnat. IV. F. 36, tudzież o pismach w nim zawartych”, Archiwum do Dziejów Literatury i Oświaty w Polsce, Seria I, 9 (1897) 268–294, at 290.
Celtis, Briefwechsel, 361–363, 393–396, 517–518, 521–522, 529–530.
Laurentius Corvinus, Cosmographia ([Basel], [Nicolaus Kessler]: [not before 1496]) ([GW 7799]), A-Wu, I 138054. Further, see Henkel, “Bücher des Konrad Celtis” 157. Celtis did not annotate this copy.
Laurentius Corvinus, Dialogus de Mentis saluberrima persuasione (Leipzig: Schumann, 1516 [vdm 134]); idem, Cursus sancti Bonaventurae de passione domini (Breslau/Wrocław, Adam Dyon: 1522 [vdm 136]). Further, see McDonald, Orpheus Germanicus 258–277.
Glomski J., “Poetry to teach the Writing of Poetry: Laurentius Corvinus’ Carminum Structura (1496)”, in Haskell Y. – Hardie P. (eds.), Poets and Teachers (Bari: 1999) 155–166; Szczepaniak A., “Laurentius Corvinus’ Carminum structura against the background of medieval and early Renaissance treatises on metre”, Scripta Classica 11 (2014) 55–65.
Jan Daniel Janocki, Ianociana sive clarorum atque illustrium Poloniae auctorum Maecenatumque memoriae miscellae (Warsaw and Leipzig: Groellius, 1776–1779) 1:44–45, claimed that editions of the Carminum structura were published at Kraków in 1496, 1502 (by Haller) and 1507, and at Vienna (undated), but no copies or any other trace of any of these editions are preserved, nor does Janocki name the libraries in which he saw these alleged editions. The existence of a 1496 Kraków editio princeps can be dismissed. The only printer active at Kraków in the 1490s was Swietopolk Fiol, who produced four surviving titles in Church Slavonic between 1491 and c.1493. Between the cessation of Fiol’s activity in c.1493 and c.1502, no printer was active at Kraków. For precisely this reason, Corvinus had to send his Cosmographia to be printed at Basel. Only one title printed by Haller is known from 1502: an edition of Sacrobosco’s Algorithmus (ISTC ij00399590). I suggest that Corvinus addressed his work to the students at Kraków in the hope of finding a stable position as professor of poetry at the university there, such as Celtis had found at Ingolstadt, and then Vienna.
I know of no evidence, either internal or external, to support Ryszard Gansiniec’s assertion that Corvinus used Celtis’s Ars versificandi in his classes at Kraków, nor do I agree with his judgement that the Carminum structura shows the strong influence of Celtis’s treatise; see Gansiniec R., “Wkład czołowych przedstawicieli ziemi śląskiej w kształtowanie się myśli poznawczej i literatury polskiego Odrodzenia”, in Odrodzenie w Polsce (Warsaw: 1956) 2:154–174, at 164.
Hieronymus Gürtler (Cingulatorius), Opus grammaticae integrum ac consummatissimum Germaniaeque solidissima et prima iuventutis institutio (Leipzig, Monacensis: 1507) fols. Gg6v–Hh1v (recte Hh2v). In the Munich copy (BSB 4 L.lat. 347) fol. Gg6v, an early reader has added breves and semibreves to the grid for the Sapphic strophe.
See Appendix 1 for shelfmarks and short descriptions.
On this volume, see Clemen O., “Handschriftliche Einträge in Büchern der Zwickauer Ratsschulbibliothek”, Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen 39 (1922) 435–445, 499–525, at 516.
Georg Schiltel (RAG-ID: ngPF8W072QX8beljjPYe2NbS), https://resource.database.rag-online.org/ngPF8W072QX8beljjPYe2NbS, 21.03.2021.
He is listed as a Saxon in the matriculation list, so was thus probably from Lindau (Anhalt) rather than Lindau in the Bodensee; Bauch G., Geschichte des Leipziger Frühhumanismus mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Streitigkeiten zwischen Konrad Wimpina und Martin Mellerstadt (Leipzig: 1899) 78. Bauch (80) writes: ‘Daher erkennt man in Woestefeld den nur oberflächlich humanistisch gefirnißten Scholastiker. Immerhin sieht man doch auch an ihm, daß in Leipzig der leise poetisch-klassische Überzug nicht ungern erstrebt wurde.’ (‘Thus one recognises in Wöstefeld a scholastic with only a superficial humanistic varnish. Nonetheless one can also recognise in him that those in Leipzig liked to strive for this gently poetic and classical mantle.’) However, such a determination to distinguish scholastics from humanists is untenable at this time; see McDonald G., Marsilio Ficino in Germany, from Renaissance to Enlightenment: a Reception History (Geneva: 2022) 47–51.
Erler G., Die Matrikel der Universität Leipzig. I. Band. Die Immatrikulation von 1409–1559, Codex diplomaticus Saxoniae regiae II.16 (Leipzig: 1895) 1:lxxviii, lxxix, 279, 396, 456, 463, 469, 472, 476, 477, 551, 566; 2:18, 30, 344, 365. On Wöstefeld, see Virgilius Wellendorffer, Annotatio peregrina Ad dei cultum exiguamque nonnullorum scholasticorum commemorationem (Leipzig, Wolfgang Stöckel: 1516) fols. A2v–3r: ‘Dominus Magister Arnoldus Woestefeldes Lindavianus, vir scolasticus, theologiae saltem completione licentiandus, universitatis moderator fuit cum honore atque labore, decanatum expedivit viriliter, multa legit publice, in privato resumpsit non pauca, scholas gubernavit triviales, acceptus fuit ubique. Poetriae atque historiae insignis amator, nunc moralem ordinarie enarrat philosophiam. Per annos fuerat Sassonum bursae conventor diligentissimus, in moribus maturitatem, in processu atque vestitu decentiam servat. Persona est commendabilis. Vidimus carmina et epistolia quae fecerat eleganter. Parentes suos amat colitque cum effectu ut sit super terram longaevus. Caeteros actus scholasticos in Gymnasio consuetos tenuit et exercuit […].’ (‘Master Arnold Wöstefeld of Lindau, a school philosopher who has at least completed the requirements of a licentiate in theology, has governed the university with honour and industry, manfully carried out the role of dean, held many public lectures, taken up many private classes, directed grammar schools, and has been welcome everywhere. He is a conspicuous lover of poetry and history, and is now chair of moral philosophy. For many years he was a very dedicated rector of the Saxon College. He preserves maturity in his morals and modesty in his manner of walking and dressing. He is a praiseworthy person. We have seen the poems and letters which he wrote elegantly. He loves his parents and cares for them, for which he will be rewarded with a long life. He has held and exercised the remaining scholastic exercises in the university […].’) Further on Wöstefeld, see Bauch, Leipziger Frühhumanismus 70, 77, 78–80, 100, 184.
Döring T.T., Leipziger Buchkultur um 1500 (Leipzig: 2012) 19. A further seven volumes from Wöstefeld’s library are preserved in the castle library of Jawor; see Šípek R., Jauerer Schlossbibliothek Otto des Jüngeren von Nostitz (Ph.D. dissertation, Charles University of Prague: 2013) 1:185, 2:138–139.
Sachs K.-J., Musiklehre im Studium der Artes: Die “Musica” (Köln 1507) des Johannes Cochlaeus, 2 vols., Studien zur Geschichte der Musiktheorie 11 (Hildesheim: 2015) 30.
This was later changed to 1496 by a librarian who evidently believed that the date referred to the year of publication.
Laurentius Corvinus, Carminum structura ([Leipzig], Martin Landsberg: [c.1496–1499]) [US-Cn] fol. E6r: ‘Coruinus fuit Notarius in Schwaydenitz jam est rector scholarum Vratislauie ad sanctam elyzabeth anno 99. & nouumforum 4 distat miliaribus ab Vratislauia.’ Besides commenting on Corvinus’ career, the annotator here also noted that Neumarkt/Środa Śląska, Corvinus’ native town, is ‘four [German] miles from Breslau’. In his copy, Schiltel wrote at the same place: ‘in quo opido fuit tunc temporis notarius’ (‘In that town he was secretary at that time’).
While most of the annotations are in Latin, scattered comments in the Jena and Zwickau copies are in German. For example, on fol. E2r, Schiltel glosses Kadłubek’s unusual word ‘olovagus’ (sc. ‘holophagus’, ‘one that swallows whole’) as ‘Lintdwurm’ (‘dragon’).
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fols. A1v [D-Z], A2r [D-Ju and S-Uu]: ‘Hortatur adolescentes ut potius bonum animi quam corporis quaerant, virtutibus et scientiis insistendo quas maxime poetica ministrat. Hinc ad cultum eius inducere illos conatur.’
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. A2v [D-Z, D-Ju, S-Uu]: ‘Sic poeticae vacandum est ne omnino negligamus vel logicam vel philosophiam cum carmen duo requirat [exigat D-Z] scilicet rem et verba. Hinc dixit Horatius in de arte poetica: “Scribendi recte sapere est et principium et fons, Rem tibi Socraticae poterunt ostendere cartae” [Horace, Epistola ad Pisones 309–310].’
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499] [D-Z] fol. E2r: ‘Erat in huius arcis anfractibus & antris monstrum atrocitatis immanissime quod olovagum dici putant / huius voracitati singulis diebus certus armentorum numerus dabatur / quae nisi accolae quasi victimas quasdam obtulissent / humanis eorum capitibus a monstro plecterent & / quam Graccus dux non ferens perniciem instituit ut coria armentorum accenso plena sulfure loco solito pro armentis collocarentur / que dum avidissime absorbsit olovagus interijt Mox in scopulis olovagi fundata est urbs insignis a nomine Gracci Graccouia ut eterna Graccus [sc. Gracci] viveret memoria / quam a crocitatione corvorum qui ad cadaver monstri confluxerant Craccoviam dixerunt.’ (‘In the gorges and caves of this citadel was a huge and hideous monster which they think was called a “swallow-in-one”. To assuage its greed, a certain number of cattle was given to it every day. If the inhabitants had not offered these as victims, they would have paid the price to the monster with human heads. Unable to bear such destruction, Duke Gracchus instructed that cow-hides filled with burning sulphur should be set up at the accustomed place instead of cattle. As the dragon greedily devoured them, it died. Soon Graccovia, a notable city, was founded on the dragon’s rock, named after Gracchus, so that the memory of Gracchus might live for ever, or which they called Craccovia from the cawing of the crows that flocked to the corpse of the monster.’) Cf. Wincenty Kadłubek († 1223), Chronica de gestis illustrium principum ac regum Poloniae, ch. 7, in Bielowski A. (ed.), Monumenta Poloniae Historica-Pomniki Dziejowe Polski (Lwów: 1872) 2:255–257.
Laurentius Corvinus, Epithalamium […] In nuptiis sacrae regiae Maiestatis Poloniae (Kraków, Vietor: 1518) fol. a2v.
Laurentius Corvinus, Cosmographia, [D-LEu Or.lat.rec.41/2]. Wöstefeld also owned a copy of Corvinus’ textbook on conversational Latin, Latinum idioma ([Leipzig], [Konrad Kachelofen]: [c.1498/1500]), D-LEu Ms 1296/2.
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. C5v [D-Z]: ‘De istis formicis vide Coruinum in sua cosmographia.’ (‘On these ants, see Corvinus in his Cosmographia.’)
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499] [D-Z], fol. B3r: ‘Coruinus etiam Hercinia [sic] legit in sua cosmographia & est silua maxima in alemania.’ Cf. Corvinus, Cosmographia, C4v.
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499] [D-Z], fol. B4r: ‘Polonia est sita sub ursis duobus ut scribit dictus coruinus in sua cosmographia.’ Cf. Corvinus, Cosmographia, fol. C5r: ‘Terra diffusis spaciosa campis | tenditur longe geminam sub Arcton.’ (‘This land, running across open plains, extends for some distance beneath the Bear.’) Sometimes Schiltel’s references to Corvinus’ Cosmographia are imprecise; see for example his gloss in Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. D1v [D-Z]: ‘Carmanus est amnis asie ut scribit Coruinus in Cosmographia’ (‘Carmanus is a river in Asia, as Corvinus writes in his Cosmography’). He refers here to Corvinus, Cosmographia, fol. G1r: ‘Scribit Strabo in quindecimo [Strabo, Geography XV.2.14]: Onesicritus tradidit flumen esse in Carmania, quod auri strigilem ferat, item argenti fossilis et aeris venam. Hi propter equorum inopiam asinis in bello plurimum utuntur, et asinum Marti sacrificant, quem solum ex omnibus diis colunt, et bellicosi sunt.’ (‘As Strabo writes in the fifteenth book, Onesecritus hands down the tradition that there is a river in Carmania which bears flakes of gold, likewise there are silver and bronze mines. Because they have few horses, they make considerable use of donkeys in battle. They also sacrifice donkeys to Mars, the only one of the gods whom they worship, for they are a warlike people.’)
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. E4v [D-Z]: ‘Hic non sentio cum Coruino sed potius cum Tortellio qui dicit hi cum aspiratione simplici esse scribendi similiter his etc.’ (‘Here I do not agree with Corvinus, but rather with Tortellius, who says that “hi” is to be written with a simple aspiration, likewise “his” and so on.’) This comment closely echoes the annotation in Wöstefeld’s copy [D-Lu]: ‘Hic non sentio cum Coruino magis cum Tortellio qui dicit hi cum aspiratione quum i scribitur esse similiter his.’ Wöstefeld here draws on Johannes Tortellius, Commentarii grammatici de orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum (Venice, Andreas de Paltasichis: 1488) fol. c4v: ‘Hi pluralis nominatiuus ab eo quod est hic aspirationis notam traxit: per quam sane differt ab .i. uerbo: & per unicum .i. scribitur: sicut & uerbum: si uero sine aspiratione scribitur: ipsum quoque .i. duplicatur: & dicitur ii: uenitque ab illo pronomine is ea id.’ (‘The nominative plural “hi”, which comes from “hic”, has the marker of aspiration [i.e. the letter h], which distinguishes it from the word “i”, which is written with a single “i”. And just as this word is written without aspiration, it can also be written with a double “i”, pronounced “ii”, and it comes from the pronoun “is, ea, id”.’). Tortellius’ source is the treatise De nota aspirationis by the twelfth-century grammarian Apuleius; see Osann F. (ed.), L. Caecilii Minutiani Apuleii de orthographia fragmenta et Apuleii minoris de nota aspirationis et de diphthongis libri duo (Darmstadt: 1826) 105. Tortellius’ point here is in fact not whether ‘hi’ and ‘his’ should be spelled with one ‘i’ or two, but that the presence of the ‘h’ distinguishes it from other pronominal forms with which it could be confused in the absence of an ‘h’.
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. B1v [D-Z]: ‘Corvinus Magister Cracouiensis cum Glogouie rectoris scolarum offitium gereret adamauit puellam pulcram floram dictam proconsulis cuiusdam ciuitatis filiam qui dreisickmarck est appellatus & nobilitatus [?] Post discessit & sweidenicz versus se recepit & ibidem notarius effectus est tunc scripsit hoc carmen ad eam.’ (‘When Corvinus, a master of the University of Kraków, was working as a schoolmaster in Glogau, he fell in love with a beautiful girl called Flora, the daughter of a certain alderman of the city called Dreissigmark, who was ennobled. Afterwards he left and travelled to Schweidnitz, where he was made city secretary; and then he wrote this poem to her.’) Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. B1v [US-Cn]: ‘Tunc temporis fuit Rec⟨tor⟩ sco⟨larum⟩ glogouie & debebat ducere in uxorem filiam proconsulis qui nobilis fuit dictus dreyssigmargk & dux Johannes fuit dominus glogouie & herzog lagen [Sagan?] filiam dare voluit.’ (‘At that time he was schoolmaster at Glogau, and was due to marry the daughter of an alderman, a nobleman called Dreissigmark; and Duke John was Lord of Glogau and Duke of Sagan, wanted to offer him his daughter.’) On Melchior Dreissigmark, see Markgraf H. (ed.), Annales Glogovienses (Breslau: 1877) 58, 63, 64.
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. D1v [D-Z]: ‘Lentulus discipulus fuit Cracouie a pigricia denominatus quia somno expleri nequiuit & ad x. & meridiem somno deditus et pigre oblitus cocleari in scutella.’ [US-Cn]: ‘Fuit eius famulus quem in Vniuersitate Cracouiensi secum habuit qui in dies quousque mensa tegeretur dormiebat.’ [D-Ju]: ‘⟨H⟩oc carmine Cor⟨u⟩inus Lentulum ⟨stu⟩dentem Croca⟨ui⟩ensem [sic] ob suam ⟨des⟩idiam carpit, qui non ad ardua facta ⟨at⟩que opera honesta anhelat quibus ⟨ali⟩quando se in senio conseruare possit ⟨h⟩oc intelligens pigriciam eorum qui vsque ⟨ad⟩ meridiem dormiunt […].’ (‘In this poem Corvinus criticises Lentulus, a student at Kraków, for his laziness, for he did not strive for those difficult deeds and honest works by which he might maintain himself in his old age as the need arose; he understands this laziness as typical of those who sleep even until midday.’)
Some of these copies are annotated only sparingly. Apart from underlining and brief summaries, the copy in J-Tku has metrical grids on fols. B3v, B4v and C1r, but no melodies. A-Wdp has metrical grids on fols. B3v, B4v (including mensural notes to indicate rhythm), C1r, C2v, C3v. The copy in D-W has two metrical grids on fol. C1r, and breves and semibreves added above the syllables of the first line of the poem ‘Ad Bachum’ (fol. C1v). The copy in US-Wc has breves and semibreves entered over the syllables of the first two lines of the poem ‘Puellam ad rus invitat’ (fol. C3v); on fol. C6v, breves and semibreves are entered over the syllables of the first line of the poem ‘Laus antiquae aetatis’, while breves and semibreves are entered in the margin in place of a metrical grid.
Corvinus, Carminum structura [c.1496–1499], fol. D1r–v. Celtis had likewise addressed a poem to Fusilius, in which he set out an ideal program of humanistic study (‘Ad Sigismundum Fusilium Vratislaviensem de his, quae futurus philosophus scire debeat’, ‘To Sigismund Fusilius of Breslau, on the things which the budding philosopher must know’), repr. in Conrad Celtis, Pindter F. (ed.), Libri odarum quattuor, Liber epodon, Carmen saeculare (Leipzig: 1937) 14–15.
Halporn J. – Ostwald M. – Rosenmeyer T.G., The Meters of Greek and Latin Poetry (London: 1963) 101, 105.
Schiltel writes “A” next to the conjectural verse ‘Carior inter omnes’ in the margin, and “b” next to the first verse of the printed text, which makes the restored order of the verses clear. However, if this had been Corvinus’ intention, he presumably would have communicated it to Hieronymus Gürtler von Wildenberg for inclusion in his Opus grammaticae integrum (1507), to which he contributed a poem of commendation. On fol. Gg1v (recte Gg2v), Gürtler does not include the verse ‘Carior inter omnes’ as the first Bacchius, but rather ‘Frugiferosque amoeni’, the first Bacchius given in the poem as printed in the Carminum structura.
The melody for ‘Miserarum’ reflects an older stichometry of this strophe as a “Sotadicum trimetrum”:
Miserarum est neque amori dare ludum
neque dulci mala vino lavere, aut ex-
animari metuentis patruae verbera linguae.
This stichometry is unsatisfactory, since it can lead to line-breaks in the middle of a word, as in this example. The underlay of this setting is also confused, but it is not clear if this is deliberate or the result of error.
Franciscus Niger, Grammatica (Basel, Jakob Wolff from Pforzheim: 1499), l6v; Franciscus Niger, Grammatica (Basel, Jakob Wolff from Pforzheim: 1500), m4r. These melodies are different from the ones supplied in the first edition of Niger’s Grammatica brevis (Venice, Thedorus Herbipolensis for Johannes Santritter: 1480); all the melodies in the Wolff editions, except that for the Sapphic strophe, conform much more closely to classical verse metre than do Niger’s original melodies. The melody given in the 1499 edition for the Sapphic does not conform to the classical scansion (– ⏑ | – – | – || ⏑ ⏑ | – ⏑ | – ⏓), but to the four-square accentual medieval “rithmus” (/ × × | / / || × × × × | / /). It is not known who decided to replace Niger’s melodies.
D-LEu Gr.lat.rec.104. An early annotator of the copy of the 1508 Cologne edition in GB-Ob added breves and semibreves (but no melodies) to express the metres on fols. D2v, D3r, D4r, D4v (here also two metrical grids).
For ‘Inter sarmaticos mihi sodales’, ‘Quam felix fuerat falciferi tempore saeculum’ and ‘Num tibi stigis sorores’, the 1504 Leipzig annotator gives the same melody as the Zwickau annotator. For ‘Apro saga ferocior’, ‘Carior inter omnes’, ‘Carmano pigrior Lentule asello’, ‘Iam soror intonsi’ and ‘Utinam me turbo citatis’, the 1504 Leipzig annotator gives a slight variation on the first melody given by the Zwickau annotator of the first edition. These variants often occur only at the beginning of the melody. The last two notes of the 1504 melody for ‘Iam soror intonsi’ are metrically incorrect, probably through error. For ‘Cornua Phryxei’, ‘Alter sacri cupidus nummi’, ‘O Griphe saevo dives avarior’ and ‘Iuppiter e specula’, the 1504 Leipzig annotator gives a different melody from that in the annotations in the first edition.
Publii Ovidii Nasonis Sulmonensis duo libri continentes Remedia amoris (Leipzig: Jacob Thanner, 1503 [VD16 ZV 21613], repr. 1505, 1507 [twice], 1510, 1511, 1512, 1515, 1520).
See for example Hartmann, Die humanistische Odenkomposition; Lowinsky, “Humanism”, and Strohm R., “Fifteeenth-century humanism and music outside Italy”, in Busse Berger A.M. – Rodin J. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music (Cambridge: 2015) 263–280.