Marc’s Milk Carton: An orphaned contratenor voice

The Vienna Ars Nova Fragment A-Wn Fragm406, found and photographed by Robert Klugseder for the cataloguing project Musikalische Quellen (9.-15. Jahrhundert) in der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Musical Sources (9th-15th Century) in the Austrian National Library), features on its recto side the remains of a lone contratenor voice for which I could not find a concordance so far. Therefore, I would like to dedicate the second edition of the “Milk Carton” to this fragment of a voice, which is now bereft of its counterpoint:

Marc's Milk Carton: "Contratenor"

Marc’s Milk Carton: “Contratenor”

The fragment was already discussed in a post on the “Musikleben” blogsite as one of the “Vienna Fragments”, and given that the surrounding notation on Fragment 406 could be identified as Ars Nova compositions (“Mon tres dous coer” & “Je languis d’amere mort”), as well as taking into account the typical layout and notation, one can safely assume that this contratenor voice once belonged to an Ars Nova composition. The fact that the fragment seems to give the beginning of the voice should facillitate the search, but even though I checked most of PMFC I could not find a concordance. It may of course very well be that this voice is an alternative contratenor, not edited in PMFC or that is a yet unknown, “new” contratenor to a known composition. This is my transcription of the fragmented voice (not much, I have to concede, probably even too little):

Fragment of an unknown contratenor voice.

Fragment of an unknown contratenor voice.

My question is: Have you encountered this voice or do you know a composition to which this voice could have belonged?

Marc Lewon


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