Lacunae Ciconiae : Lost voices in the works of a Liégeois musician ca 1400



Partenaires & équipe

Marina Toffetti, Universita di Padova (UNIPD)

Bart Demuyt, Universiteit leuven (KUL)


Résumé du projet

The works of Johannes Ciconia (ca.1371-1412), exceptional both in their volume, as well as their stylistic variety and refinement, have received broad recognition and attention from early music scholars and performers alike. A number of compositions either securely attributable to Ciconia, or having a close affinity with his style, however, survive only in a lacunary state in the sources. This project aims at reconstructing'as faithfully as possible'the missing voices of the 'Ciconian corpus', proposing performable editions of a number of pieces. This work will also allow for a deeper exploration of the art (sciencia) and praxis (ars) of the late-medieval composer, by doing practical experiments with improvised discant and ex mente composition, without the aide of a conventional, modern score.

A pilot phase of the project has run in 2019-20 entailing an in-depth analysis of the corpus of compositions surviving intact, producing a library of musical loci communes, and the use of these for the reconstruction of a selection of incomplete pieces ascribed or attributed to Johannes Ciconia. 
The project has combined traditional music analytical methods with digital approaches, using the MIT-developed application Music21. This approach has allowed us to make faster and more exhaustive comparisons between our corpus of complete pieces and the incomplete compositions. We have used this to asses the statistical probability of certain choices in reconstructing these.  Furthermore, the team has applied and expanded upon existing methods of digital photographic reconstruction, to recapture musical information on particularly damaged parchment folios. This has not only allowed us to propose several corrections to the existing edition of Ciconia's works, it has also produced a number of plausible candidates for reconstruction among pieces in equally damaged sources. As such, the present proposal regards the support of IRMAS in the writing of a grant proposal for a multi-year project, to be funded by the FNS.


Conférence "Lacunae Ciconiae, voix perdues dans l'œuvre d'un musicien liégeois vers 1400"
Vendredi 31 octobre à 17h, salle de la Bourse, Genève

Voir la conférence live sur Youtube