Learning French by Singing in 14th-Century England

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Early Music, Volume 33, Number 2, p.253–270 (2005)




The anonymous rondeau Tres doulz regart is uniquely copied with musical notation in the early 15th-century manuscript {I-MOe} {α.M.5.24} {(ModA).} The two missing poetic lines of this 16-line form can be supplied from its appearance in a late 14th-century dialogue-based treatise designed to improve the {Anglo-French} of English readers. The treatise, which specifically describes Tres doulz regart as being sung, can be found in no fewer than five manuscripts of English provenance from the later 14th and early 15th centuries. This article gives an overview of this treatise, an account of the song, and attempts to draw out some of the issues of provenance raised by this discovery.


{ArticleType:} research-article / Full publication date: May, 2005 / Copyright © 2005 Oxford University Press