The Ars musica attributed to Magister Lambertus

Christian Meyer, ed., and Karen Desmond, trans., The ‘Ars musica’ attributed to Magister Lambertus/ Aristoteles, RMA Monograph Series 27 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015)

The treatise on musica plana and musica mensurabilis written by Lambertus/Aristoteles is our main witness to thirteenth-century musical thought in the decades between the treatises of Johannes de Garlandia and Franco of Cologne. Unique in its ambitions, this treatise presents both the rudiments of the practice of liturgical chant and the principles of polyphonic notation in a dense and rigorous manner like few music treatises of its time – a conceptual framework characteristic of Parisian university culture in the thirteenth century. This new edition of Lambertus’s treatise is the first since Edmond de Coussemaker’s of 1864. Christian Meyer’s edition is displayed on facing pages with Karen Desmond’s English translation, and the treatise and translation are prefaced by a substantial introduction to the text and its author by Christian Meyer, translated by Barbara Haggh-Huglo.

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Reviewed in The Medieval Review, Music & Letters, Speculum, Theoria.