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French as a Courtly Language in Fifteenth-Century Italy: The Musical Evidence

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French continued to be a vital language in many northern Italian courts until at least 1450, nearly a century after the available literature suggests it ceased being used. Songs in French were composed for public events in Italian courts during the first half of the 15th century. This, coupled with the competition in the courts for French singers and composers, the rondeau form of many compositions, and the ability of Italian copyists to work in French, indicates the continued use of the language in court circles.

Keywords: Court life; French; Italy; Music

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1477-4658.00081

Publication date: December 1, 1989

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