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Gilbert Reaney

(fl ?14th century). Franco-Flemish composer. He is now known only by a three-voice motet Monstrant hii versus an/Ius plectas leges/Ut queant laxis, transmitted in the early 15th-century manuscript A-SPL 264/4, ff.68v–69. Its peculiarity, as described by Koller, is that it is based on Guido of Arezzo’s method of composing with vowels. The work is not notated in the manuscript, but a canon explains: ‘Hic modulus non notatur sed scribitur et vocalibus canitur’. Thus, where the text has the vowel ‘a’, the note is fa, where ‘e’, re, and so on. The vowels also produce time values, so that ‘a’ has one beat, ‘e’ two beats, etc. Finally, the three voices are related in the proportions 2:3:4. Thus, where the triplum has c′, the motetus will have g and the tenor c.

O. Koller: ‘Aus dem Archiv des Benedictinerstiftes St. Paul im Lavantthal in Kärnten’, MMg...


Christopher Page

[Arnulphus de Sancto Gilleno]

(fl c1400). Writer on music. He was presumably from St Ghislain in Hainaut and was possibly a member of its Benedictine community. One work by him is known, the Tractatulus de differentiis et gradibus cantorum, found only in St Paul im Lavanttal ( A-SPL 264/4). Using highly coloured language, it surveys various kinds of musician. These comprise, firstly, those who know nothing about music, and who sing their parts in the reverse of the way they should; secondly, laymen, often ignorant of the art, who cultivate trained musicians so that natural industriousness and practice makes good their deficiencies, including certain clerics who compose difficult pieces for instruments; thirdly, those whose voices are defective but who study music and teach their pupils what they cannot perform themselves; and fourthly, those with fine voices and a knowledge of musical art, singing according to rule with modus, mensura, numerus and ...