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D’ung aultre amer / L’homme armé 4v · Basiron, Philippe


*Bologna Q17 ff. 57v-58 »D’ung aultre amer / L’homme armé« 4v PDF · Facsimile (Q017_59)

Rome XIII.27 ff. 113v-114 »Dum altre amer« 4v Basiron · Facsimile

Edition: Smijers 1939, pp. 30-32 (Rome XIII.27).

Text: Rondeau quatrain and popular song; both sources have incipits only. For the complete rondeau text, see Ockeghem’s »D’un autre amer mon cueur s’abesseroit«; the text for the tenor tune is completed according to the Mellon chansonnier, cf. Perkins 1979, II pp. 333-334:

L’homme, l’homme, l’homme armé,
l’homme armé, l’homme armé doibt on doubter,
et l’homme armé.
On a fait partout crier
que chescun se doibt armer
d’un haubregon de fer.

L’homme, l’homme, l’homme armé,
l’homme armé, l’homme armé doibt on doubter.

The armed man, the armed man,
the armed man is to be feared,
and the armed man.
Everywhere the cry is raised
that everyone must protect himself
with an iron shirt.

The armed man, the armed man,
the armed man is to be feared.

Evaluation of the sources:

Copied into Bologna Q17 without any scribal errors; text incipits only. While altus and bassus indicate “D’ung aultre amer” as text, and only tenor has the text “L’homme armé doit on doubter”, it is evident that they too should sing the “L’homme armé”-text, which fits the parts very well. The ligatures in these voices are useful as guides for the text distribution. The version in Rome XIII.27 was made after a different exemplar. The music is similar, but it contains quite many differences in the use of ligatures, and it has no text incipit for the “L’homme armé”-tune.

In Superius bar 31.1, we find an error, which also appears in Basiron’s four-part »D’ung aultre amer« with canon in Bologna Q17 ff. 55v-56. This probably means that the error goes back to a common exemplar.

Comments on text and music:

Double chanson by Basiron. It uses the upper voice of the famous rondeau quatrain »D’un autre amer mon cueur s’abesseroit« by Ockeghem in the superius, which is combined the popular tune “L’homme armé” in the tenor. The tune appears here in the same shape as in the setting by Morton [Borton?] in the Mellon Chansonnier (New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, MS 91, ff. 44v-45 (ed. Perkins 1979, I, no. 34). Basiron has transformed the tune into tempus imperfectum diminutum, but keeps traces of its original rhythm in triple time, which at some places produce a characteristic wobbly pace (see bb. 15-30). The two contratenors relate primarily to the tenor tune, supporting and imitating it, but at the same time they allow the phrasing of the superius c.p.f. to come forward and compete with the tenor tune as the principal formal element. In several superius cadences the bassus functions as its structural tenor (see bb. 10-12, 20-22, and 35-36). It is quite ingenious made. In musical style the song is not far from the double chansons preserved in the ‘Loire Valley’ chansonniers, e.g. by Busnoys (except for, of course, being based on another courtly chanson). It is possible to perform it as a rondeau.

See also the article ‘The chansons of Basiron’s youth and the dating of the ‘Loire Valley’ chansonniers’.

PWCH September 2011