Je chante ung chant

An Archive of Late-Medieval French Lyrics

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Introduction

This Archive of Late-Medieval French Lyrics was devised as a research tool for the study of citational practices in the French lyric repertory from ca. 1280-1420 in the context of a research project entitled ‘Citation and Allusion in the Ars Nova French Chanson and Motet’, led by Prof Yolanda Plumley at the University of Exeter from 2007-2010 and funded by the AHRC. Designed and implemented in its current form by Giuliano Di Bacco and Gary Stringer, the Archive offers to scholars of literature and musicologists, as well as other readers, an online resource for the study of late medieval French lyric from a variety of perspectives, by offering a searchable repository of hundreds of lyric texts newly transcribed from their original sources.

This online resource also presents a prototype for an electronic edition of medieval poetry. By allowing multiple views of the same text seen from different perspectives and from multiple sources, it seeks to exploit the specific potential of the new media, rather than simply replicating the characteristics of a traditional paper edition. The design of this resource, which uses international standards of encoding, employs open-sourced and the latest technologies, and makes its own source codes available, should contribute to current debate in the domain of Digital Humanities on better strategies of interchange and interoperability between scholarly projects dealing with similar materials.

For the title of our archive, we have chosen Je chante ung chant, the textual incipit of a late fourteenth-century chanson by Matheus de Sancto Johanne that is transmitted by the celebrated Chantilly Codex (Ch). This song goes on to quote the musical opening of a song by Matteo’s contemporary Jehan Haucourt, who, like Matheus, worked in papal Avignon in the late fourteenth century.

© 2007-2012 University of Exeter - Centre for Medieval Studies