Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Stone, Anne. “A Singer at the Fountain: Homage and Irony in Ciconia’s ‘Sus une fontayne.’” Music and Letters 82 (2001): 361-90.

Despite the common interpretation that Johannes Ciconia’s quotations of polyphonic songs by Filippotto da Caserta in Sus une fontayne reflect a relationship of homage between the two composers, the evidence suggests that contemporary audiences would have understood the quotations as ironic gamesmanship. Although the sources of the quotations are never acknowledged in Ciconia’s text, their appearance can be interpreted as a type of diegetic music within the fictional realm of Ciconia’s virelai. That is, the fictional speaker of Ciconia’s text can hear Filippotto’s music. Similar to the word play of some contemporaneous poems, which require a reader to follow encoded instructions to discover the author’s name, Ciconia’s unattributed quotations invite the audience to identify the quoted composer through the interplay of metaphors (such as the fountain) and musical symbols (such as mensuration signs). Thus, Ciconia’s work seems to suggest that he was not a student paying homage to a teacher but a master composer.

Works: Ciconia: Sus une fontayne (361-90).

Sources: Filippotto da Caserta (Philipoctus de Caserta): En remirant vo douce portraiture (362-64, 371-72, 380, 388-89), En attendant soufrir m’estuet (365, 372-79), De ma dolour (362, 366-67, 372).

Index Classifications: 1300s

Contributed by: Daniel Rogers

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