- Alejandro Enrique Planchart
- and Sarah Fuller
Former monastery at Limoges (Aquitaine) in south-west France. An important repertory of medieval music, monophonic and polyphonic, has become associated with the abbey. Many scholars prefer the adjective ‘Aquitanian’ to describe the repertory and its manuscripts.
Alejandro Enrique Planchart
Among the French abbeys that from the 9th century to the 12th were centres of musical and poetic activity, none has left so rich a store of musical material as St Martial de Limoges, founded in 848 at the site of the tomb of St Martial, first Bishop of Limoges (3rd century). In the late 10th century a legend grew up claiming the saint's apostolicity; fervently supported by the monastery's chronicler, Adémar de Chabannes (d 1034), the apostolicity was proclaimed by the councils of Limoges (1028) and Bourges (1031), beset by controversy but nevertheless increasing the abbey's prestige. Two significant factors mark the period 930–1130: the flowering of the Aquitanian school of poets and composers, and, towards the end of the period, the rise of Aquitanian polyphony. Despite the efforts of a few exceptional men, including the historian Bernard Itier (...