This volume makes available, in a facsimile edition, one of the most important musical manuscripts of the late Middle Ages. Copied probably in Venice around 1430, the Oxford manuscript contains the most comprehensive surviving collection of secular songs of the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Of the 326 pieces, 216 are not found in any other source. Including works by Guillaume Dufay, Binchois and nearly all other leading composers of their generation, it is central to an understanding of 15th-century song traditions. Because of the copyist's clear and distinctive hand, it is also significant for studies of late medieval musical notation. David Fallows's introduction includes a history of the manuscript, analysis of its preparation and survey of its choice of repertory, as well as a full inventory of the music and alphabetical indexes by title and composer. The original-size facsimile includes beta-radiographs of all watermarks, as well as ultraviolet photos that show the copyist's changes and revisions.
This volume is the first edition in a new series called "Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Music in Facsimile", edited by Margaret Bent and John Nadas and published by the University of Chicago Press. This series will include high-quality reproductions of some of the most important and frequently studied European music manuscripts of the late 13th to early 15th centuries. Each facsimile edition will include a detailed critical introduction and a complete inventory by an acknowledged expert in the field.