Bamberg Codex

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The Bamberg Codex (Bamberg State Library, Msc.Lit.115) is a manuscript containing two treatises on music theory and a large body of 13th-century French polyphony.

The first part of the Bamberg Codex contains 100 double motets, which are three-voice pieces with two contrapuntal lines above a cantus firmus. Forty-four of the motets have Latin texts, 47 have French texts, and 9 are macaronic. This is followed by a conductus and 7 settings of hockets. The musical notation is similar to that used in the Montpellier Codex, although some advances in notational clarity are evident, for instance in multi-column layouts, each voice observes line breaks at the same place in the piece. These motets were likely composed between 1260 and 1290, and are generally in the style associated with Franco of Cologne.

The second part of the Codex contains two theoretical treatises, one by Amerus and one anonymous, as well as two motets added later.

The Codex is likely Parisian in provenance.

Further reading[edit]

  • Willi Apel. The Notation of Polyphonic Music, 900-1600. Rev. 4th Ed. Cambridge, 1953.
  • "Sources, MS, V, 2: Early motet", in Grove Music Online (Accessed October 9, 2006), (subscription access)
  • Anderson, Gordon A. ed. "Compositions of the Bamberg manuscript : Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Lit. 115 (olim Ed. IV.6.)" Series: Corpus mensurabilis musicae, 75. [Rome] : American Institute of Musicology, 1977

External links[edit]