BEdT Catalog Numbers

The catalog numbers used on this site correspond to those used in the Bibliografia Elettronica dei Trovatori, which are usually also the same numbers as assigned in the PC (Pillet-Carstens) catalog. The first part of the number (before the comma) is the number assigned to a particular troubadour (for example, Bernart de Ventadorn is 70, Peire Cardenal is 335, etc. A table of each troubadour with extant melodies and their number can be found here). The songs assigned to each troubadour are numbered in alphabetical order by incipit (when you see a letter at the end of a number, this means a song was added to that troubadour's catalog between two already-cataloged songs). The numbers used for the links to each page are comprised of the catalog number for the song and, if there are multiple versions of melodies for that catalog number, the sigla of the manuscript that version comes from.

Melody Pages

Each melody has its own page with its basic information, the melody in volpiano font, and images showing the melody by its phrase divisions and by the line breaks in the manuscript. For works that are a lai or descort, the images will show the melodies by strophe, by line breaks, and by phrase groupings (except when the song is through-composed)[Lais and descorts images in progress]. When a melody is a fragment, this is reflected in the transcription and in the "Number of Phrases" field, which will give the total number of phrases that should be in a melody, if known, followed by the number extant. For example: 8* (3*) would show that a melody should have eight melodic phrases but only 3 are extant in that manuscript.

The Transcriptions

The melodies in this database use the standard guidelines for Volpiano as used by CANTUS. Apostrophes are used to mark breaks in the melody in the manuscript: one (') for a line break; two ('') for a column break; and three (''') for a page break. Insertions that were added outside the normal staff system are surrounded by four apostrophes ('''').
Where the need arose, a symbol not contained in the CANTUS guidelines was used: a missing note (or notes) is marked in the transcriptions by <> (these symbols were chosen as (), {} and [] already have identities within the Volpiano encoding system.) Where a missing passage includes notes in more than one phrase, the phrases are marked to show the number of phrases missing: <>---|---<>---, etc.
Accidentals are marked as they appear in the manuscripts either through a signature or individual appearances for the sake of searchability. On Windows computers there is sometimes a rendering error viewing the volpiano melodies themselves, but the images in each melody page will allow you to see the melody without those errors.

The melodies appear here as found in the manuscripts without editorial correction. In cases where published editions of the melody differ from the manuscript reading because of perceived scribal error or damage, notes to that effect are included in the Notes section for that melody. For the beta version of the website, all of the melodies have been compared to those in Hendrik Van der Werf's Extant Melodies of the Troubadours or, if not found in that edition, to at least one other published edition of the melody. Those melodies with difficult interpretations because of damage or other complications have been compared to additional editions as needed to consider differences in my interpretation compared to those by Van der Werf. Eventually the melodies will be compared to all of their published versions and notes made about any differences.

When incipits in the manuscripts use abbreviations, the expansions given here are in agreement with those found in the BEdT.


Bibliography and Editions

Currently the melody pages have a partial list of editions where transcriptions of those melodies can be found, corresponding to the keys found in the Bibliography page. More editions will be added to those lists over time as I compare more editions to the melodies, with the eventual goal to have all editions of each melody given here.

Searching for Terms Using the Sidebar Search Boxes

The site can be searched for a variety of terms throughout the entire site or by specific fields through the search options found in the right sidebar. If you find no results with your search, it may be a spelling variation problem as there are sometimes different spellings for the names of troubadours and song incipits. The names of the troubadours and incipits will be found in the searches using the spellings as found in the troubadour table or the list of incipits. There are two options for searching by incipit- that found in the manuscript or that used for the standardized spelling. You can adjust the setting for the search boxes to find results that start with, contain, etc., your search terms. One common spelling problem is that certain letters were interchangeable during this period, so u/v and i/j may vary in the spelling. For example, if you search for incipits containing "can vei" you will not find any results, but if you search for "can uei" you will find one. For this reason, browsing the songs by troubadour, incipit, genre, etc., can be more helpful than search by incipit. If you know the catalog number of a song, searching for that will return all the versions of melodies assigned that catalog number.