Primitive Polyphony? Simple Polyphony Outside the Mainstream of the Music History Narrative
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This thesis addresses the relatively narrow understanding of simple polyphony in music history. Using three examples, I provide a survey, mostly of secondary literature available in English, and offer an overview of the use of simple polyphony in three different places and time periods in Western Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. More specifically, I examine the music of the Devotio Moderna in the Low Countries and Northern Germany during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Llibre Vermell and Iberian pilgrim culture in the fourteenth century, and the laude and processional genres in Northern Italy during the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. My purpose is to bring the topic of simple polyphony—significant despite its simplicity—back to the center of the music history narrative.