The Old French Ballette: Oxford Bodleian Library, Douce ms 308

  • Edited, translated, and introduced by Eglal Doss-Quinby and Samuel N. Rosenberg
  • Music editions and commentary by Elizabeth Aubrey
  • Geneva: Droz, 2006
  • clxii + 546 pages
  • Paperback: ISBN-10 2-600-01026-2
  • Paperback: ISBN-13 978-2-600-01026-9

From the Introduction

“The trouvère chansonnier known by the siglum I forms part of Oxford, Bodleian, MS Douce 308. Containing over 500 compositions, this early 14th-century manuscript of Lorraine provenance is one of the most extensive compilations of Old French lyrics; it is also notably unusual in its organization, for it explicitly groups its contents by lyric type. Under the generic label balletes, a term not found in other trouvère songbooks or, indeed, anywhere else, it presents almost 200 texts, none accompanied by music, very few of which occur in other chansonniers as well. These pieces have never been published [before] in a complete critical edition.” (p. xxiii)

“Meticulous and thorough in all their procedures, the editors of The Old French Ballette supply a close, illuminating analysis. . . . The introduction and notes furnish excellent information; the analytic tables are precise and exhaustive; the lively English translations render well the shifts of styles and rhetorical stances within the songs. The level of scholarship is altogether admirable.”

Michel-André Bossy (Brown University)-Romance Philology 62 (Fall 2008), 202

See the early 14th-century Old French manuscript

See the manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian, MS Douce 308):

There is a listing of ballette titles on folios 141 verso-143 verso (pp. 318-322 of the electronic document).

The actual ballettes appear on folios 210e recto-237 verso (pp. 456-520 of the electronic document).

Related publications

Samuel N. Rosenberg, “Comment définir la ballette?” In Les Chansons de langue d’oïl: L’art des trouvères, ed. Marie-Geneviève Grossel and Jean-Charles Herbin (Valenciennes: Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes, 2008), 227-238. [Essay based on a paper presented, in collaboration with Eglal Doss-Quinby, at a colloquium on trouvère lyric held at the Université de Valenciennes, November 16-17, 2006.]

Samuel N. Rosenberg, “Le Tournoi de Chauvency et le Chansonnier du ms. Douce 308 reliés par le chant.” In Le Tournoi de Chauvency: Lettres, musique et histoire en Lorraine médiévale, ed. Mireille Chazan, Nancy Freeman Regalado, and Jean-Claude Mullet (Publications Romanes et Françaises) (Geneva: Droz, 2012), 423-433. [Essay based on a paper presented at a colloquium on MS Oxford, Bodleian, Douce 308 at the Université de Metz, February 27-March 1, 2007.]