Musique, poésie, citation: le refrain au moyen âge. Music, Poetry, Citation: The Medieval Refrain

Editorial Policy

All readings are taken from the manuscript sources identified. No emendations have been made tacitly either in the music or text.


No barlines have been used in the transcriptions.

Notes grouped in ligatures are bracketed.

Plicæ appear under dotted slurs, the main note being bigger than the unwritten plica note.

Conjuncturæ appear under dotted slurs, the main note being bigger than the following ones if so indicated in the manuscript reading.

Notation has been treated as measured only when it is unquestionable: a ternary long is then transcribed with a dotted quarter note, and a brevis with an eighth note; groups of three semibreves are transcribed either by triplets of sixteenth notes or with a succession of two sixteenth and one eighth note, depending on context; groups of more than three semibreves are transcribed by equal groups of sixteenth notes, with the corresponding number above the group.

When a measured transcription is not indicated in the manuscript source, the notation has been rendered with unstemmed noteheads, grouped under brackets or plica and dotted slurs, according to the manuscript source.

A vertical stroke indicates the tractus, sometimes used - mainly in measured transcriptions - to indicate a rest whose duration depends on the length of the stroke ; in measured transcriptions, the stroke is placed above the rest; in non-measured transcriptions, it is placed in the middle of the stave.

Accidentals are placed before the note as indicated in the manuscripts; if restored, they are placed above the concerned note.


The text is presented as a diplomatic edition and follows manuscript orthography; the edition differentiates between u and v, i and j, c and t ; there is no accentuation except from é when it is necessary. Abstract titles (songs, motets, rondeaux, narrative, etc.) and texts (refrains) are given according to the bibliographical repertories concerned.

Evident lacunæ - missing letters or words - have been restored within brackets.

Abbreviations, contractions and superscript letters or words have been expanded in italics.

Punctuation follows manuscript sources.

Initials and upper-case letters follow usage in the sources, and according the hierarchy represented in the sources; no other capitalization has been employed.


The sigla used for libraries are those used in the RISM, and are listed on separate pages.

Double foliation in some manuscripts has been indicated with round brackets for the second.