THE FRENCH POLYPHONIC CHANSON
AND THE ITALIAN BALLATA
Small f in italics cues the flat sign and
notes B, b, bb, & bbb are B-naturals
The French polyphonic chanson was exemplified and analyzed in my paper
"The Forgotten Art of Modulation in Renaissance Polyphony"(RBM-2003 pp. 20-21) by Je voy mon cuer, an interesting work in contrasts between the two versions of the almost same Tenor and their cadences.
Here in (a) of the first version, the first cadence contrasts the Mixolydian mode in regular position, in the first ending, with the Ionian once sharp in the second ending, but in (b) the second version, it is the Dorian mode once flat in the first ending that is contrasted with the Aeolian twice flat in the second ending. In the first version both modes have the fifth ut-sol in common, while in the second it is the fifth re-la that is common.
The Ballata Amor c’al tuo soggetto by the 13th century Florentine blind organist and composer Francesco Landini (1327-1397), is also a chanson with contrasting cadences but this time they are only at the end of the repeated secunda pars.
Click Here for the HAM Edition of the Ballata
Click Here for the Ballata After Allaire's Solmization
In this ballata, the melodic range from low D to high d in the Tenor, and the numerous F- and C-sharps of the manuscript added to those wanted by the hexachordal analysis, suggest modes transposed on the sharp side of the system and expressed specifically by the contrasting hexachordal octaves D-g-d-gg (D-E-f#-g-a-b-c-d-e-ff#-gg)and D-a-d-aa (D-E-f#-g-a-b-c#-d-e-ff#-gg-aa):
Hypodorian once sharp: E-f#-g-g-b-c-d-e
Hypoionian twice sharp: E-f#-g-a-b-c#-d-e
The cadences in the first mode are identified by a small (a) and can be seen at letters A,C,E,G, and J, while those in the second mode identified by a small (b) are seen at letters B,D,F,H,I, and K.
The opening hexachordal octave of this ballata is that of D-g-d modulating to D-a-d for the cadence at letter B, because the Cantus has moved by a lower fourth in m. 2, while the Contratenor also has moved by a lower fourth. In m. 6 the Cantus ascends the g-Hexachord above the d-Hexachord leading to cadence (a) at letter C, but a rest in the Cantus at m. 10 removes the c-Hexachord above the Tenor putting the hexachordal octave D-a-d in force. However a descending leap of a fourth in the Cantus, on the first beat of m. 13, establishes a momentary modulation to octave D-g-d on the first beat of m. 13, followed by a (b) cadence at letter D.
At letter D the ascending Tenor and the rest in the contratenor removing the a-Hexachord confirm the hexachordal octaves D-g-d at letter E. But the rest in the Tenor of m. 18, establishes in mm. 19 and 20 a modulation to octave a-d-aa, immediately cancelled by the descending g-Hexachord in the mm. 18-20 of the Contratenor, leading by means of rests in the Cantus, to a cadence of the (b) type at letter F.
The secunda pars begins in the octave D-a-d moving to octave D-g-d in m. 26, and leads to a (b) cadence transposed to hexachordal octave D-g-d at letter H. This is followed by hexachordal octave g-c-gg triggered by the rest in m. 30, but modulating to a (b) cadence at letter I. But the octave leap of the Contratenor in m. 36 confirms the hexachordal octave D-g-d which the descending melodic movement in the Cantus doubled by the rest in m. 37 brings down the music to the only notes of the g-Hexachord in all the voices in m. 39. This leading to hexachordal octave D-a-d for the Hypodorian cadence once sharp of the first ending of the ballata at letter J, and for the Hypoionian cadence twice sharp of the second ending at letter K.
It must be noticed here that the becuadro sign in m. 34 of the Contratenor voice did not cue the note G-sharp to the early Renaissance singers, but the solmization syllable fa of the mi-fa semitone of the hexachordal octave D-g-d.