The repertory of versus that circulated in eleventh- and twelfth-century Aquitaine is preserved in nine versaria, which today form parts of four codices: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds latin MSS 1139, 3549 and 3719, and London, British Library, Additional MS 36881. Through a comparison of versions of several pieces that occur in two or more versaria, the historical descent of those pieces to their surviving witnesses is discernible and may be depicted schematically in a stemma codicum. The stemma has two functions. First, readings introduced by individual scribes can be isolated. Some of these readings are errors and thus are eliminated from consideration in the establishment of the text; others, however, are variants and their study can reveal the musical personality of the scribes who introduced them. Second, a group of pieces sharing the same stemma may be identified within the versus repertory. It is proposed here that these pieces were widely circulated as a group in Aquitaine throughout the twelfth century and therefore constitute a central repertory.
- Copyright 1988 The American Musicological Society, Inc.