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Pour avenir a mon attainte 3v · Anonymous

Appearance in the group of related chansonniers:

*Nivelle ff. 23v-24 »Pour avenir a mon atainte« 3v PDF · Facsimile

Other sources:

Florence 2356 ff. 83v-84 »[P]our avenir« 3v
*Pavia 362 ff. 37v-38 »[P]our avenir a mon actainte« 3v PDF

Text: Rondeau quatrain; full text in Nivelle and Pavia 362; also found in Berlin 78.B.17 ff. 104v-105, ed.: Löpelmann 1923 p. 173; London 380 f. 244v; Jardin 1501 f. 61.
After Nivelle:

Pour avenir a mon atainte
lessez me fault semblans ouvers
pour tenir vous termes couvers
et user de maniere fainte.

Par foiz a l’emblée a grant crainte
je jecte bien l’euil a travers

pour avenir a mon atainte
lesser me fault semblans ouvers

Trouver petite fasson mainte
me fault et mains moyens divers
en faisant souvant le revers
de mon veuil par droite contrainte.

Pour avenir a mon atainte
lesser me fault semblans ouvers
pour tenir vous termes couvers
et user de maniere fainte.


Evaluation of the sources:

In Nivelle this rondeau (no. 19) is placed on the opening just before Barbingant’s well-known »L’omme banny de sa plaisance«, which in other sources is preserved in fa-clef notation. In the MS Pavia 362 “Pour avenir” is notated with the lower voices in fa-clefs while the upper voice is locked to the same pitch as Nivelle by a C2 clef. The fa-clefsof Pavia 362 are organized in a pattern: fas1, fa3, fa5 / fas1, fa3, fa5 / fas2, fas4, which permits – if one disregards the C2 clef – a reading in D-Dorian without key signatures. On fa-clefs see further ‘On chansons notated in fa-clefs’.

The Italian chansonnier Florence 2356 has a text incipit only and a key signature without E-flat in the superius (an accidental is given in bar 22), but is otherwise quite close to Nivelle (without the errors of the contratenor). Pavia 362 belongs to a different tradition with more extensive variants in the music (compare bb. 5-6, 10-11, and 19-21 in the edition of the Pavia version). The ending, where the composer wanted the contratenor to participate in the play with descending scales is dissonant in both versions (parallel seconds or fifths), is impossible to save. It probably defines the limit of the composer’s ability.

That it circulated in two versions in two different ways of notation mark this song as belonging to the older segment of the repertory, to be placed in the 1450s or earlier along with “L’omme banny”.

Comments on text and music:

The poem was very widely circulated. It is a slightly cunning song about how to manage in love. Its music is not very engaging, it is varied with changes between declamation and imitation and canonic passages in octaves between superius and tenor, and the contratenor, which occupies the same range as the tenor, takes actively part in the polyphony. But it seems short of breath and overuses standard cadential formula – hardly on level with Barbingant’s “L’omme banny”.

PWCH December 2009