WORKS OF PETRUS WILHELMI DE GRUDENCZ AS PART OF THE TRADITION OF LATE MEDIEVAL POLYPHONY IN CENTRAL EUROPE, ESPECIALLY IN BOHEMIA, IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES
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The author seeks answers to questions in the following two areas: 1) What were the origins of the collection of medieval songs and motets from the songbooks of Bohemian literati brotherhoods dating to about 1500, and what was the role of the compositions of Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz in that collection; 2) How was medieval polyphony treated and adapted in Bohemia and in Central Europe from the end of the fifteenth century . It is supposed that the collection of several dozen medieval polyphonic compositions forming an important part of the repertory of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Bohemian church music, and including most of the extant compositions by Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz, has been assembled in the 70's and 80's of the fifteenth century, perhaps for the benefit of the recently founded 'literati brotherhoods'of lay citizens organized in the manner of guilds. A list of recommended compositions (not preserved), was contained in the musical treatise of Paulus Paulirinus of Prague (around 1460). The fact that Petrus Wilhelmi's compositions were widely known within the Central European territory could have led to their inclusion in the repertory of church singers in Bohemia. The author shows that the archaic polyphony was used and adapted during the period of 16th and the beginning of 17th Century in the forms of 1) Czech contrafacta (about twenty of the most popular medieval compositions, including some of Petrus', were translated into Czech for the literati singing); 2)The tenor of a traditional composition is used as a starting point for a new composition (two Petrus' compositions are used in this way); 3) A traditional composition is incorporated into a new one. Such arrangements are contained in a) sources of the literati brotherhoods and b) in school songbooks containing a.o.arrangements of Petrus' song 'Prelustri elucencia'.
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