Variance and Retextualisation in the Music and Text of the Love Song
The study is an interdisciplinary sub-project in which German studies and musicology work closely together on the same questions. The focus is on the relationship between text and music, their variants and the historical and modern reception of these components. Every work on song intabulations leads to considerations of how and whether the text of the vocal original was understood, heard or thought into the instrumental version? What semantic or structural components did the text bring into the intabulated music? What textual and vocal music sources and practices were actually available to and engaged with by the scribers? Finally, how was the parallel reading of text and music and the dialogue between tablature and vocal writing to be made possible or demonstrated to the modern recipient?
The focus is on love songs from the Königssteiner Liederbuch (D-B, Ms.germ.qu. 719; 1470–1473) as examples of ‘collective production’ and ‘open textual types’ (Kern 2005). Several songs from this book were handed down in several variants in the course of the 15th and 16th centuries (Das Schedelsche Liederbuch 1459–1467, Liederbuch der Clara Hätzlerin 1470–1471, Rostocker Liederbuch 1487, Glogauer Liederbuch c. 1480, individual broadsheets or occasion publications, such as calendars or family books (Stammbücher) of the 16th century; Sappler 1970, 4f.; Petzsch 1965). The analysis of variants offered by our edition makes it possible to examine how and whether the texts ‘react’ to each other, how the formation of variance changed over time. Research will also extend to: What social contexts can be established on the basis of semantic, including metaphoric, references in the text and structural connections of variants? What does ’productive reception’ mean for the Königssteiner Liederbuch (Kropik 2018)? We will investigate the same in music, especially where notations have been handed down. – How did music and literature function in the ‘text-event’ mode (Chartier 2000, 5) as both were inseparable? Since four songs nos. 82, 133–135 are included in the edition anyway because of the tablature lines preserved there, we examine which variants of the melodies could be underlaid (allowing users of the edition to select among the results), because the linkage to text was not determinate (Sappler 1970, 375). Song no. 82, for example, survives through the references to ‘Elßlin’ song in Glogauer (1480) and Ambraser Liederbuch (1582), music prints by Ott 1534 and Forster 1539, and in several tablatures as intabulation. We consider how the music was (re)interpreted in the context of the text in later printed music and especially in the intabulations of the edited tablatures.