Alice TACAILLE, Tempus, tactus, proportions and barlines: the perception of time in the Bourdeney manuscript of the National Library (Rés. Uma ms. 851)

One of the first manuscripts in score at the very end of the 16th century, the Bourdeney manuscript (Rés. Uma ms 851) of the French National Library proposes a varied repertoire, compiled mainly from printed sources (from Josquin des Prés to Claudio Merulo) that transmit it in separate parts. Copying these pieces in score raises questions of page layout and of musical visualization that go far beyond what can be done in separate parts: the visual and the conceptual aspects of the copy are inextricably linked. When the copyist deals with Josquin des Prés, more particularly through the copy of his mass L'homme armé super voces musicales, one of Josquin’s summits in mensural speculation and, for the copyist, a testimony of an already foreign system of rhythmic notation, the solutions imagined in order to arrange without ambiguity a notation that rested in part on equivoque, reach a degree of rational sophistication very symptomatic of the evolution of the metric thought at the turn of the 17th century.