What's new?

If you want to be notified when there are updates to the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website, and have a Facebook account, you can visit the page linked below, and ‘Like’ it. The Facebook page also has a variety of other stuff that doesn't appear here, so please do take a look.

6th October 2019

Site update: Etymological 'h', enjambment and new materials

Some substantial changes this time:

  • Syllable-initial silent h is now written when etymologically justified, and omitted when it is not.

    My edition has previously omitted this h across the board, because it is rarely used correctly in the manuscripts, and leaving it out is obviously the best way to avoid mispronunciation. However, I've recently come to the realization that in a performing edition, the benefit of restoring the etymological h, and thereby matching the familiar modern orthographies of Galician, Portuguese and Spanish for those who know those languages (natively or otherwise) far outweighs the minor inconvenience to everybody else of having to learn one very simple extra pronunciation rule (i.e. h is silent).

    I'm well aware though that this change may be controversial, and not to everybody's liking. For that reason, I do fully intend to make the use of the h into a user-selectable spelling option in the very near future. Unfortunately, that will require a fair chunk of web-programming work, because it means it's no longer possible to have the Index by Incipit as a pre-generated set of fixed pages—this will instead have to be generated on-the-fly to deal with CSM 75 Homildade con pobreza and CSM 403 Haver non podería changing their locations. I had hoped to get that option implemented before updating the website again, but simply haven't managed to find the time for several months now (day job!) and didn't want to hold up the release of the other new features described below any longer. In the meantime, please keep in mind that the needs of other uses of this website may be different from your own, and watch this space!
  • Enjambment, where the grammatical structure of sentences is at odds with the metrical structure of the poem—something that is more the rule than the exception in the Cantigas de Santa Maria—is now much more clearly highlighted, by virtue of my abandonment of Mettmann's use of a capital letter at the start of every stanza regardless of context. My texts now punctuate strictly according to sentence structure, using lower case letters where they belong. Along with this, the texts as presented now omit the repeats of refrains where a sentence running across stanzas would be interrupted.

    What you do with this as a performer is, simply put, a performance decision. If you want to restore refrains, go right ahead. I believe the important thing here is that this be done knowingly, and with full consideration for the delivery of the story to the audience. Since we know next to nothing about how—or even whether—the Cantigas were sung in the Middle Ages, I believe there is a credible case to be made for the mechanical repetition of refrains between stanzas in the manuscripts being little more than slavish scribal convention. Others insist on the refrains regardless of how much they disrupt the message, and that's an equally valid interpretation of scribal intent. My goal, as always, is that the performance be an informed one.

    Have a look at Cantigas 81, 124, 182, 240, 265, 276 and 366 for some particularly noteworthy examples of persistent enjambment.
  • The Pronunciation guide has been extended with a new list of general ‘dos and don'ts’. Some of these might sound rather strict, but all are in pursuit of the best possible historically-informed performance, and I hope they will at least provide food for thought. Many apply not just to the CSM, or even the medieval Galician-Portuguese repertoire, but to the singing of medieval songs in any language.
  • The References and bibliography page has been reorganized and extended, with more sections and some new citations.

And finally, I've removed the rather tedious ‘terms of use’ footer from most pages, replacing it with a link to a new Terms of use page. Please give this your full consideration when using the website!

LATEST 28th January 2018

Site update: new Incipits

The previous mechanical generation of unique incipits from metrical chunks—hemistichs or whole lines—has now, at long last, been retired. I have reviewed all 420 incipits and extended them so as to make better grammatical sense when read on their own, at least up to the limits imposed by the index columns and page design.

Please forgive the remaining handful of cases where the tortured syntax of the text makes it pretty much impossible to find a good, compact grammatical phrase. For example, CSM 57 would need the incipit Mui grandes noit' e día devemos dar porende nós a Santa María graças to make proper sense, because graças belongs with Mui grandes (= ‘very great thanks’). Let me know though if you think any of the incipits could be improved within the available space.

14th January 2018

Minor site update: A few corrections and a fix to the Index by Incipit

Just when you thought there'd never be another update... we're back!

  • Corrected o porende → e porende in CSM 391:29.
  • Corrected Guarí → Guári in CSM 5:140.
  • Corrected fií → fíi in CSM 192:110.
  • Corrected E la → Ela in CSM 268:15.
  • Fixed the long-standing collation problem in the Index by Incipit. Spaces and variable spellings are now handled correctly.
  • Made another small biographical update.

The previously logged Erratum for CSM 147:35 has been removed as there was in fact no mistake: Mettmann's velocinno is correct (as in [T]), whereas the form vellocinno ([E] vellocỹo) with -ll- is a scribal Castilianism.

There is still a problem with the mechanical truncation of the Incipits on line or hemistich boundaries, which often doesn't make a lot of grammatical sense. I'll get that sorted out as soon as possible.

22nd February 2015

Minor site update: A few tweaks

I've at last got around to fixing a few errata that had been sitting there for far too long, and made a couple of other small changes whilst I was at it:

  • Fixed the words désti in CSM 311:37 and empregásti in 311:27 and 311:36, which previously had the stress marked incorrectly.
  • Fixed the word àquele in CSM 48:34 which had a spurious acute accent on top of the grave accent.
  • Made a small biographical update to the Who are you? section on the Q&A page.
  • Corrected and expanded the description of [E] on the Manuscripts page, adding a link to the miniatures of the musicians at Greg Lindahl's website.

The collation problem in the Index by Incipit is still there for the moment, sorry. I intend to fix this soon as part of a complete overhaul of the index pages, which should make them load up faster and work more smoothly.

25th August 2014

Site update: Errata system

The main feature of the August release is a brand-new system for logging errata, i.e. mistakes in the content of the website. Although ordinary users will not be able to add new errata directly, this facility means that it is now very easy for me to publicly highlight any errors that are found, immediately, and from any location, rather than having to wait until the next release, which is a much more complex and drawn-out process that can only be done with access to the development servers.

All current errata appear in a table on the new Errata page (linked from the Resources menu above), and remain there until the problem is fixed. When there are any errata in the table, a prominent note in the header of the Home page reports the total. In addition, each erratum is linked to the pages to which it relates (individual Cantigas, editorial pages, etc.) and every page which has errata displays a count in the header, with a link back to the table.

For this release only, I have left a small number of entries in the table even though the errors in question have actually been fixed, just so that you can see how it all works. Click on any of the links in the Pages column there and you'll see how the Errata are indicated on the associated pages. I'll be removing these in a day or two, so look now, if you're interested.

Other changes in this release:

  • Fixed all forms of the adjective cégo (= ‘blind’) which were previously missing the open vowel [ɛ] marking.
  • Changed vene, tene, bene to vẽe, tẽe, bẽe in the first stanza of CSM 115. See the footnote to line 6 for details.
  • Added new references [JML1975], [JMMS2002] and [PT1993] to the References and bibliography page. These are all cited from the Pronunciation guide.
  • Added various citations of [PT1993] (Teyssier's História da Língua Portuguesa) from the Pronunciation guide, mainly to provide dates for much later pronunciation changes in Portuguese which should be avoided in the Cantigas.
  • Added further discussion to the section on The tilde in the Pronunciation guide to give some more justification of my interpretation of the tilde as the velar nasal consonant [ŋ] rather than a pure nasal vowel marker, and to give due credit to José-Martinho Montero Santalha for this hypothesis.
  • Added a note to the vowel table in the Pronunciation guide to clarify that any ‘English’ equivalents refer to British English (RP), and emphasize that these are only very approximate at best.

30th June 2014

Minor update: text corrections and ‘low-tech’ resources

Nothing major this time:

  • Fixed three instances of the scribal Castilianism les reproduced by Mettmann; see CSM 57:16, 184:10 and 426:15.
  • Added [ToMES], Martha E. Schaffer's diplomatic transcription of [To], to the References and bibliography page, as I have cited it directly for the first time from 426:15.
  • Added a new Low-tech resources page. For now, this just contains some PDF files for music manuscript paper with wide-spaced lines designed for copying square notation. I have no idea what else might go on the page in future!
6th June 2014

Site update: Musical notation bibliography

As promised in yesterday's entry, the References and bibliography page has now been restructured and expanded with a whole new section, the Musical notation bibliography.

5th June 2014

Minor update: Mostly editorial fixes and additions

Just a few bits and pieces:

  • Unchecked the [To] source option by default in the Musical notation concordance and expanded the labels in an attempt to reduce confusion.
  • Updated the link to Rip Cohen's paper An etymological wordlist for the Cantigas d'Amigo in the Pronunciation bibliography to point to the latest revision.
  • Added a link in the same section to a new paper by Manuel Ferreiro entitled Uma anomalia na língua trovadoresca galego-portuguesa: sobre os casos de conservação de -L- intervocálico.
  • Corrected an apparent scribal Castilianism valesse la → valess' ela in CSM 186:6
  • Corrected a handful of note shapes: Also deleted a spurious short division line after 172.86. Thanks go to Chris Elmes for reporting these.
  • Fixed footnote formatting in Cantigas 72, 109, 113 and 398 which was broken as a result of a recent change in text represention in the site database.
  • Reworded footnotes to Cantigas 21, 75, 115, 125, 188, 262 in which I'd previously suggested that certain types of metrical anomalies don't make a lot of difference to sung performances. They were all written long before I started working in earnest on the musical transcriptions, and I'm older and wiser now.

Finally, you might be wondering why the References and bibliography page is so heavy on textual and pronunciation-related resources, with almost nothing on the music. And rightly so—a new section of citations regarding the music is long overdue, and I will be adding one shortly. In the meantime, I'll just recommend that you read anything you can get your hands on written by the musicologist Manuel Pedro Ferreira (not to be confused with Manuel Ferreiro mentioned above) as the majority of papers I'll be citing will be his. His page on Academia.edu is a great place to start.

31st March 2014

Site update: Extended Neumat samples page

The Neumat code samples page, which was created a while back to list some examples of the ‘Neumat’ representation used for storing and transmitting the musical notation on this website, has now been brightened up considerably with coloured syntax highlighting in the code samples, and the ability to move your mouse over either the code snippets or the elements of the adjacent rendered score in order to see the correspondences. I have also added a Quick guide to Neumat to the page to give you a bit more insight into how it works, as well as a few short paragraphs on how Neumat relates to other projects that you may be familiar with, such as SMuFL, Gregorio and the TML codes for noteshapes. Although this is all very techie-oriented and not directly relevant to performers, I would love to get more people and projects using Neumat and its rendering software, so if any of what you see looks like it might be useful to you, please contact me at the usual address, csmforsingers@gmail.com.

Apart from that, one tiny editorial change worth noting: the previous replacement of .orod with .onod at 41.80 (note E2) has now been changed again to the much more common shape .oron based on evidence from [T].

17th March 2014

Minor update: Comments regarding the facsimiles of [E] published by Anglés

I have added a comment to the notes on Using the music transcriptions to draw attention to the fact that Higinio Anglés' monochrome facsimiles of [E] (1964) were not purely photographic reproductions, but were manually retouched by an assistant working for the esteemed Catalan musicologist, and not always with the most desirable degree of precision. (This is similar to the case of Julián Ribera's reproductions of [To].) The Manuscripts page has been updated to the same effect, and I've also reworded several annotations to the transcriptions of individual cantigas so as to be careful not to attribute to the original manuscript those observations that more properly apply to how they appear in the facsimiles.

There are also a few small editorial fixes:

  • que → quen in Cantiga 26:4 (this was an error in Mettmann II but not Mettmann I);
  • removal of an annotation to the music transcription of Cantiga 26 regarding the rhythm of the repeated long notes in the vuelta (I now think the manuscript is correct);
  • correction of .bawon to .bawo + short division in Cantiga 39 (note E1);
  • correction of .ron to .oron at Cantiga 41.24 and replacement of .orod with .onod at 41.80 (note E2).
7th March 2014

Site update: Non-mensural round notation view of the music

This latest release introduces a third view of the music data: a transformation into non-mensural modern round notation, with a treble clef and all ligatures expanded out to their component notes, so that the melodic contours can be read much more easily. See the updated notes on Using the music transcriptions for details, or go straight to one of the individual cantiga pages (e.g. CSM 193, to pick just one of my favourites) and discover the new drop-down view menu at the top of the Music tab.

Other changes this month:

  • The ‘performance view’ added last time has been given the new name Square notation (normalized), in recognition of the fact that the new round notation is just as likely to be used for performance, if not more so. It has also been tweaked a bit: the double bar lines have moved from the start each section to the end, matching the round notation and modern conventions; and my editorial changes are once again highlighted in red, as in the other two views.
  • All music views are now bookmarkable—the URL changes when you select from the view menu, and vice versa—and ‘sticky’ in the sense that the arrow buttons for navigating between cantigas will keep you not only on the same tab (Lyrics, Music or Resources) but in the same view of the music. This is now even the case when you enter a number and use the Go button, assuming you're already on a cantiga page. Otherwise, e.g. when coming from the index, you'll still arrive at the Lyrics tab as before, and the default view of the music will be the normalized square notation.
  • As a result of the work on the new non-mensural round notation, a dozen or so pitch errors in the music transcription data were identified and corrected, along with a couple of shape misreadings. If you'd stumbled upon any of these previously, please do check to see that they are now fixed; if I have missed any, let me know.
  • A couple of textual corrections have been made: adelante → adeante in both CSM 42:31 and 297:41, and chamado → chamada in 357:3.

13th January 2014

Site update: Performance view of the music notation

The main new feature in this month's release is the new ‘performance view’ of the musical scores. This is a streamlined and prettier version of the existing transcriptions, still in manuscript notation, but omitting those features of the original that are perhaps a more of a hindrance than a help to performance—in particular, changing clef positions, variable numbers of stave lines (the representation of which was added in the previous release and which is still important for non-performance purposes), scribal crossings-out, and so on. See the new section Transcription and Performance views in the notes on Using the music transcriptions for full details. Note that I have made the new view the default, but you can still study the old one by clicking on the Transcription button at the top of the Music tab on each cantiga page.

Other changes this time around include:

  • general rewording of the notes on Using the music transcriptions to take account of the two different views;
  • expansion of the Pitch section on the same page with more information and examples (though this bit could still benefit from a complete rewrite, which I hope to get around to shortly);
  • expansion of the section on musical notation and transcriptions on the Q&A page, adding some more references and commentary;
  • a few corrections to the music transcriptions themselves, including the insertion of some missing manuscript stave breaks as well as handful of missing clefs (though none of the latter affected the reading of the music as all were identical to the preceding clef);
  • a small textual correction of bõas → bõos in CSM 57:15.
9th November 2013

Site update: Improvements to music transcriptions

This release mostly consists of changes made in the pursuit of academic rigour, but I hope that performers will appreciate that such things must be attended to from time to time in order to boost the overall quality of the materials on the website!

Most changes concern the music transcriptions:

  • The number of lines for every stave in the manuscripts is now represented faithfully. Although in the great majority of cases there are five lines per stave, variations on this are scattered throughout the sources, with four and six-line staves being quite common, and even three lines (see CSM 352) and seven lines (CSM 20, 177, 185) cropping up occasionally. To the performer, my best advice is simply to ignore this variation. Think of stave lines as being like squares on graph paper: they are only there to make it easier to judge separations visually, and if they marched off to infinity in both directions the reading of the music would not change. It's the positions of the clefs relative to the notes that really establishes what the notes are, not the stave lines.
  • Breaks between staves where the music continues onto a new folio (left page to right, or verso to recto) are now marked with four wavy lines > > > >, distinguishing them from breaks where the music continues from the front of a folio to the back (right to left overleaf, or recto to verso) which are still marked with three wavy lines (see the notes on Using the music transcriptions).
  • I have rechecked my 11 music transcriptions from [To] against the 2003 facsimile [ToCCG] and corrected a couple of minor errors.
  • Music transcriptions from [To] are now displayed with slightly wider stave line spacing than the [E] ones, not just to match the [To] manuscript style more closely, but also to allow the presence or absence of internal joining lines between note bodies to be seen clearly. (See CSM 401 for some good examples.)

Non-musical changes:

  • The References and bibliography page has been restructured and extended.
  • I have renamed, reworded and restructured the Corrections to Mettmann II page to emphasize the fact that the great majority of textual errors in Mettmann's second edition (Castalia, 1986–1989), on which I originally based this website—though it's come a long way since then—were not actually present in the first edition (Coimbra, 1959–1972). Rather, they appear to be due to careless copying by his publishers in the preparation of the new version. Until recently I'd only had very brief access to the first edition, and must admit to simply having assumed that the second would be at least as accurate as the first, rather than introducing up to 200 new typographical errors. So: thanks to Stephen Parkinson for bringing this to my attention; an apology to the late, great Mettmann for mis-attributing the errors to him (I'd always praised the superb quality of his work but am now even more impressed); and an orellada to Castalia.
28th September 2013

Site update: Links to Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria Database records

I'm very pleased to announce that, with the kind permission of the Oxford project team, direct external links are now available from the Resources tab (e.g. 159) of every one of my Cantiga pages to the individual record for that Cantiga in the Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria Database, where you will find a whole range of extremely useful information, including English plot summaries for every Cantiga that tells a miracle story, copious bibliographic listings, and much more. The Oxford database also currently provides draft versions of brand new, critically edited texts (without musical notation) for 72 of the Cantigas, in PDF format. If you're planning a concert or recording, you may find my own pragmatically presented texts and supporting materials to be easier to use in the preparation of your performance; however, for your concert programme or CD liner notes, I'd recommend that you request permission from the Oxford team to reproduce their own critically edited texts, as these adhere to stricter criteria that tie them more closely to the original sources, and undoubtedly have the greater academic authority. Whether you use my texts, theirs, or both, please remember to give the appropriate credit.

For this latest update I have also made a change to the structure of CSM 87. My earlier version followed Mettmann (and the [E] scribe) exactly, in interpreting it has having alternating four- and two-line stanzas, all with refrains interspersed as usual. However, Stephen Parkinson in [SP1987] makes a strong case for the two-line ‘stanzas’ actually just being variant refrains, such that adding further repeats of the initial refrain is superfluous. I have changed my own presentation of CSM 87 accordingly. See the main footnote there for more details.

Then there's the usual mixed bag of small fixes:

  • Corrected the stress on a couple of elided proparoxytone words where it was previously marked wrongly, i.e. ósti' in CSM 128:23 and 225:14, and luxúri' in CSM 137:9 and 336:45.
  • Corrected several instances of le and l' that should be lle and ll'. Some of these are overt Castilianisms in the [E] manuscript that are not found in the other sources, and others could be Castilianisms but might also be explained as simpler ‘visual’ scribal errors (such as malle being written without a space in 65:32 and 279:3, where mal lle should be read); but I have fixed them all so as to indicate the correct Galician-Portuguese pronunciation.

I've also restored the editorial deletion marks (X) that went missing from the musical staves in the previous website update. Apologies for any confusion that might have caused.

15th September 2013

Minor site update: Editorial tweaks

Just a few small content changes this time:

  • Replaced Mettmann's 14 instances of un' (for elided ũa) with ũ' throughout, in order to ensure consistency and correctly reflect the pronunciation ([ũŋ] not [un]).
  • Fixed the word stress rules in the pronunciation guide to cover the case of a final falling diphthong plus -s.
  • Changed the (invented) ligature shape on the -er of caer in CSM 176 from .owowwjon to .oodwwwon. I'm still unsatisfied with this solution, but for now cannot see a better one. See the footnotes to that cantiga for details.
  • Changed the reading of the ligature on the lé- of léva in CSM 320 from .odyyjrowo to .onyybowo. Again, see the footnotes for details.
  • Corrected the stave position of the sixth ligature (.brad) in CSM 8.

18th August 2013

Site update: List of Cantigas by length, new statistics and a few corrections

Although I would encourage all performers not to neglect the longer cantigas (and that's most of them) I know that when it comes to planning a programme, it's good to have an early idea of what you're letting yourself in for. To assist with this, I've added a new page that lists the Cantigas by length, from shortest to longest, and also presents some interesting statistics in this regard. (These are the same statistics that I posted to the Facebook page a short while ago.)

To supplement this new page, the Resources tab for each individual Cantiga page now also includes a table giving some very rough estimates of possible performance times, for which I hope you may find a practical use. This is a bit of an experiment, so if you have any ideas for improving it, please get in touch.

Apart from that, I have just made a few textual corrections:

  • The stress position on the tiny handful of 1st and 2nd person plural pluperfect verb forms has been fixed. Previously these were marked incorrectly as proparoxytone (stressed on the antepenultimate syllable), i.e. *víramos, *fôramos, *fôrades, *ouvéramos (that's a complete list). They now appear correctly as viramos, foramos, forades, ouveramos with regular penultimate stress. Note, however, that the past subjunctives are proparoxytone, so you'll still find ouvéssemos, perdêssedes and so on.
  • In CSM 345:14 I have corrected *ouvera to ouvéra. (This one slipped through the net previously due to the synalepha marking.)
  • In CSM 407:41 *creí → cre' i. See the associated footnote for details.
  • The formatting of the main footnote to CSM 407 was broken; this has been rectified.

I have also updated the Where can I find translations? section on the Questions & answers page to reflect that fact that Kathleen Kulp-Hill's prose translations into English are available again, at last.

1st July 2013

Site update: A fresh design and many usability enhancements

It shouldn't be hard to spot the changes in this update... in fact it may be harder to see what hasn't changed!

Here's a run-down:

  • The whole site has a cleaner, brighter and (dare I say it) more modern design. But I hope that it still looks familiar to those of you who know it well.
  • Every page now has a fixed header containing the menu, title and other important buttons. This always stays in view, making navigation much more convenient: you don't have to scroll back to the top of the page in order to jump around. The old floating buttons on individual Cantiga pages have been absorbed into this header and no longer get in the way of text on the right-hand side.
  • The main menu has been restructured a little bit to group pages more meaningfully.
  • The ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ arrows in the header appear on all pages where it makes sense to do so (but not this one!) So they work equally well for moving between Cantigas, between Index pages, and through the sequence of pages on the ‘Performance’ and ‘Resources’ menus.
  • You can click on the icons of the musician and singer in the header to return to the main home page, and click on the ‘cog’ icon to change your spelling preferences wherever that is relevant to the page you are viewing.
  • Each Cantiga page now has three tabs, rather than just two, with the manuscript links and metrical summary now appearing on a new ‘Resources’ tab.
  • Cantiga tabs are ‘sticky’ in the sense that once you're on, say, the ‘Music’ tab, then the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons in the header will keep your view on the music until you switch to a different tab.
  • The layout of the Index pages is much improved, allowing larger text without using more space, and presenting the ‘duplicate’ Cantigas (e.g. 373 = 267) in a more logical fashion.
  • The main font used for everything other than actual Cantiga lyrics is now the splendidly fresh and readable ‘Open Sans’ web font, which you've probably seen on a lot of other sites recently. Using downloadable web fonts is bit of new departure for CSM for Singers, so please let me know if this causes you any problems.
  • The title on the home page, and the title of each Cantiga, is now drawn using a brand new system called Gundisalvi which I have been developing in parallel with the site itself. This is not just another font, but true computer-generated calligraphy—try clicking on any of these titles to see what happens!
  • The musical scores now use the HTML Canvas rather than SVG, and look much better as a result, with identical appearance in all major recent browsers. Notes and other stave elements are slightly smaller at the default size than previously, but much crisper and more readable. The reimplementation solves the recently reported problem with the SVG scores looking terrible in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7, and also allows scores to be zoomed in and out using the buttons at the top right of each score, independently of the rest of the page, meaning that it is now possible to print score pages from Chrome without truncation. The scores also now print correctly in Opera, whereas previously they came out blank.
  • Continuing the subject of printing, a separate stylesheet is now used automatically for printing individual Cantiga pages, which removes unnecessary navigation elements and adjusts colours, fonts and margins for a much neater result.
  • I've removed the old ‘Music statistics’ page, since it was rather experimental, and the same results can now be generated by the Neume search tool: just enter * for the Neumat code, uncheck the [To] source and check ‘Sort results by count’.

Finally, there is nothing substantially new in terms of content, although I have fixed a few dozen links from footnotes to Concordance entries that I discovered to be broken due to spelling inconsistencies. Apologies if that caused anybody any difficulties.

30th April 2013

Site update: Neume search

[Note: as of March 2014, the ‘Neume search’ has the new name ‘Musical notation concordance’.]

As I stated a while ago on the Music statistics page [now removed], the fact of having transcribed the music of the Cantigas into electronic format means not just that the finished transcriptions can be viewed on screen, but that all sorts of automatic analysis and processing becomes possible.

The brand new neume search tool is the first of (I hope) many examples of this. This is, essentially, a concordance for the musical notation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, or more specifically for its note and ligature shapes, like .owo, .on, .ra, .oron and hundreds of others. Using the search, you can quickly find every use of a particular shape within the entire collection of musical notation that I have transcribed—so far, everything from [E] plus the eleven cantigas in [To] that have no music in [E]. As well as being a great research tool for paleographers and musicologists, I hope that this will also be indispensible to more performance-oriented users working on the mensural interpretation of the musical notation.

So, I invite you to read through the notes on using the neume search and then give it a try!

20th April 2013

Site update: New web host, experimental user accounts and a few fixes

Since my last update in January, the most important change—though perhaps not the most conspicuous to the occasional visitor—has been the move of the entire website to a new hosting company, as a result of which it is now running on much more robust and powerful hardware. The site had, it's fair to say, rather outgrown its previous host, and had experienced several bouts of very poor responsiveness which on occasion rendered it unusable for serious work. Since the move I can report that I have seen no problems at all, and am delighted with server performance.

Regarding actual functionality, the main new technical feature in this latest release is the ability to create user accounts and sign in to the site. However, for the moment this is all very experimental, and I am not making account creation publicly available—not least because I haven't yet developed very much in the way of functionality for which signing in would be worth the bother. So, for now, please don't fill in the registration form unless I've personally invited you to try it out.

Other changes to the content and functionality of the website have been rather minor:

  • I have updated the main footnote to CSM 173 to reference a paper by Stephen Parkinson [SP2012] which presents a convincing explanation of the curious gap.
  • In CSM 103:15, acababa → acabada (an error from Mettmann's 1988 text).
  • In CSM 252:3 I have added a footnote pointing out the Castilianism pequenn'.
  • The Links page now includes the Cantigas Medievais Galego-Portuguesas site at the University of Lisbon.
  • The References page has been updated to reflect the fact that Elmes' fourth and final volume is now available, and also now includes the [SP2012] paper mentioned above.
  • The CSM ‘Go’ button is now available in the top-left corner of every page of the site.

A couple of bugs have been fixed:

  • If you had not explicitly set your spelling preferences and were still using the default (‘Standard CSM for Singers spelling’) then the Concordance and Rhyming word search pages stated at the top that you were using the Portuguese-style spelling even though you were not. (The index and individual cantiga pages did not have the same problem.)
  • The Rhyming word search was ignoring the spelling preferences entirely and using the default system to display its results, regardless of which system was selected.

Apologies for any confusion these may have caused.

Lastly, you may have noticed that the main contact address for comments, queries and suggestions has now changed to csmforsingers@gmail.com. Please use this new address to write to me on any matter concerning the website. Although the old info@cantigasdesantamaria.com address is now working again after being unavailable for a while during the move to the new web host, it shouldn't be used any longer and will be disabled permanently in future. Of course, you still have the option of leaving a comment on Facebook or Google+ (see links at the top of this page), especially if you simply want to express your appreciation in public!

9th January 2013

Site update: Vowel quality marking finished and now indicated in the lyric texts


After one big final push (involving a scary list of almost 400 words that had to be investigated individually) I am happy to have now completed the work of marking up the distinction between ‘open’ and ‘close’ pronunciations of the vowels e and o, and this is now fully and unambiguously shown in the main lyric texts, as well as the IPA transcriptions. See the expanded section Marking of stress, hiatus and vowel quality at the top of the Spelling page for details of the new accentuation scheme, which is based on the modern Portuguese system, but with the acute accent extended to all cases of stressed open [ɛ] and [ɔ], e.g. féro, Rósa.

I should say that, whilst I have researched everything as thoroughly as possible, and am confident in the quality of the results, there have nonetheless been occasional cases where evidence for open or close e and o has been very hard to come by, and sometimes I have just had to make an educated guess. So, please do let me know if you spot any obvious errors, especially repeated and systematic ones. (I would ask though that Portuguese and Galician speakers bear in mind that the modern languages are not a completely reliable guide to pronunciation in their medieval ancestor, and I'd appreciate some etymological evidence too in each case.)

Related to this development, words spelled with the same letters but different accentuation are now properly separated out in the Concordance. So, for example, whereas póde, pode and podê (= poder before l-) were previously all mixed into a single entry under PODE, they now have three separate entries. (You can still just type in pode to retrieve all three entries, then click on the one you want.)

Finally, I have fixed a couple of recently-introduced bugs:

  • Concordance searches for words containing (e with tilde) sometimes failed to return the expected results.
  • The ‘Syllables’ and ‘IPA’ buttons for the first stanzas of CSM 160, 260, 330 and 406 were not also expanding the refrain, as they should.

Apologies if these caused anybody any problems.

18th December 2012

Site update: Metrical fixes revisited

Most of my work since the last update in November has been focused on conducting a thorough review of all of the textual changes and markup that I have made relative to Mettmann's edition. This was prompted by my recent discovery that, thanks to the generous donation by the composer and musicologist Lothar Siemens Hernández of his musicological collection in 2005, the general library of the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria actually possesses printed facsimiles of all four CSM manuscripts. In addition to the black-and-white facsimiles of [E] in Anglés' first volume, which I already knew about and had made great use of, they also hold copies of the full-colour Edilán facsimiles of [T] and [F], and the 2003 facsimile of [To] edited by Henrique Monteagudo for the Consello da Cultura Galega.

As a result, I have been able to go back to the original sources and resolve (or re-solve!) a significant subset of the metrical problems—about one-eighth of the total—using readings that Mettmann disregarded entirely (i.e. didn't use in his text and didn't mention in his footnotes). Having done that work, I figured it was an opportune time for a major overhaul of the whole Modifications for metrical regularity page, including reworking the introduction and of all of the descriptions of the individual categories of modifications and metrical processes. This is all now finished, and if you're interested in this aspect of my editing of the Cantigas, please take do a look at the new page: I hope you'll find all of the changes there useful. You'll see that I have also added a column listing the manuscript sources for every line that I have modified, and for the categories of synalepha, synaeresis, diaeresis, melisma and breaking there's a column which shows the musical note or ligature shape on which the affected syllables fall. Finally, I've moved the summary lists of words with synaeresis and diaeresis from the top of the page into their relevant sections, which I think improves readability; this has also allowed me to list the modern Portuguese and Galician descendents of the words with synaeresis, which makes interesting reading.

Apart from that, there have been a few other changes to the site.

  • Reconsideration of the metrical fixes for stanzas VIII to X of CSM 255: I have got rid of the awkward and ugly rhyme-masking synalepha across lines and left, I hope, a much more singable result.
  • Minor alterations to the metrical fixes in CSM 113:23 and 224:34;
  • A small update to the Pronunciation guide to offer a bit more leeway in the pronunciation of j, or g before e or i, as either an affricate [ʤ] or a fricative [ʒ]; and also of v as either a biliabial fricative [β] or labiodental [v]. For now though, the IPA transcriptions are unchanged.
  • More work on marking open e [ɛ] and o [ɔ] in the IPA transcriptions, although this is still not finished.
  • Restructuring of the spelling preferences page so as to pave the way for more options in the near future: specifically, once the marking of open e and o is complete there will be options to show the vowel quality in the main text, not just in the IPA transcriptions.
  • Related to the previous two points, and as a sort of special advance preview of the full vowel quality marking: the main texts now distinguish the stressed pronouns nós and vós (grammatical subject or governed by a preposition) from unstressed object nos and vos; also fóra adv. ‘out’ from fora vb. ‘had gone’; póde ‘can’ from pode ‘could’; and podér future subjunctive from poder infinitive. In each case, the acute accent marks open [ɛ] or [ɔ] where the unmarked words have close vowels. For now, each pair continues have just a single entry in the Concordance, but I expect the words to be separated out in future.
  • As on the Modifications for metrical regularity page, individual cantiga pages also now show the corresponding musical note or ligature shape for every case of metrical markup (synalepha, synaeresis etc.)—see CSM 105 which has three such examples.

Finally—and rather belatedly—I have added an Acknowledgements page to the site. Please take a look... you might even be on it!

12th November 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions now available for all Cantigas

I am very pleased to be able to announce that the transcriptions of the original manuscript music notation have now been finished for all Cantigas that have music.

There are 414 transcriptions in total, 403 from the [E] manuscript and 11 from [To]. I have added a section entitled Sources to the notes on Using the musical transcriptions, which explains what I've taken from where, and why. By the way, if you've been following progress so far, you might have noticed the sudden disappearance of the little .bowon symbol from the index pages, which previously showed which cantigas had transcriptions—I'm happy to say that it was no longer useful.

This isn't the end of my work on the music of the CSM by any means, just the end of the first stage. Now that the basic data is complete, I hope to be able to put it to a variety of cool uses, and to share the results with you here, as always. So keep checking back!

7th November 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions for Cantigas 341–380

The end is now definitely in sight: another thirty-eight transcriptions of the music notation from the [E] manuscript are here on the website, bringing us up to CSM 380 (since number 365 has no music and 373 is the same as 267). This batch includes one of my all-time favourites, CSM 377 Sempr'a Virgen groriosa, which I hope you'll enjoy as well.

3rd November 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions for Cantigas 281–340

Sixty more music transcriptions are now available. These exclude CSM 298, which has no music, but now include Prologue B, which conveniently keeps the numbers straight. Note that Prologue A doesn't have music either.


28th October 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions for Cantigas 241–280

Another forty music transcriptions from the [E] manuscript have just gone up on the website, bringing the total to 280. Two-thirds of the way there now!

You'll see another couple of small changes too. Firstly, and less conspicuously, I have reworked the notes on the Manuscripts page to point out the fact that Julián Ribera's reproductions of the [To] manuscript, of which scans are available on Greg Lindahl's CSM website, were not originally simple photographic facsimiles, but rather manually retouched photo-engravings into which some minor errors were introduced. My individual cantiga pages continue to link to Lindahl's scans as they are still extremely useful, but I have also added a new link from the Manuscripts page to the genuine full-colour facsimiles of [To] which are available from the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica. (Thanks go to José-Martinho Montero Santalha once again for bringing these to my attention.)

I have also—miraculum miraculorum—added a box to the top-left corner of the home page, What's New?, index pages and individual cantiga pages, where you can simply enter the number of the cantiga you want to view, if you already know it. I have absolutely no idea why I didn't do this sooner.

24th October 2012

IPA and syllable buttons for Cantigas without an epigraph

I have just discovered a small problem whereby the 'Show all IPA' and and 'Show all syllables' buttons did not work for cantigas without an epigraph, such as Prologue A. This has now been fixed, although you may need to reload these pages in your browser in order to receive the update. Apologies for any inconvenience.

22nd October 2012

Site update: Pronunciation of vowels with the tilde: ã, , ĩ, õ and ũ

Until now, I have not been entirely content with my treatment, in the Pronunciation guide and the IPA transcriptions, of vowels written with the tilde, or vowels before word-final m or n, which are closely related. My previous advice was essentially that they should be pronounced either as pure nasal vowels, or as vowels followed by the velar nasal consonant [ŋ] (like ng in English singer). Having now had a chance to read some more around the subject, I've concluded that this consonant [ŋ] should actually be the core feature in all cases, and that in fact there is no need to mark vowel nasality in the transcriptions at all, as it was not phonemic in medieval Galician-Portuguese, merely a secondary, predictable effect of the following consonant. Having implemented this change, I think the IPA transcriptions are now cleaner and more consistent in all cases, and I'm much more satisfied with them. See the new section The tilde on the Pronunciation page for full details, and feel free to let me know what you think!

As well as that rather pervasive change, I've also taken the opportunity to revisit the metrical minefield that is Stanza V of Cantiga 113, which I was also unhappy with: it previously had two dodgy cases of synaeresis and one even dodgier case of diaeresis. If you're interested in such things, the copious footnotes to that stanza will tell you what I've now changed, and why.

Now that those jobs are out of the way, I'd better get back to transcribing manuscript music, which needs to make some more progress if I'm going to finish by the end of 2012 as promised!

17th October 2012

Site update: Searchability improvements

Hard on the heels of the last featureful release comes another that you probably wouldn't notice had happened just from looking at the pages.

Ever since the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website was launched in June 2011, with syllable bullets fixed firmly in place in the lyrics, using your in-browser search facility (a.k.a. the ‘Find’ button or Ctrl-F) has never worked satisfactorily: the only way to find a polysyllabic word was to include the bullets in the search string—not very intuitive or friendly. Even when the option to hide the bullets was introduced, and later made the default, the in-browser search didn't work because the bullets were still embedded in the text, only invisible.

This latest update solves the problem. Syllable bullets are now only present in the text when they are turned on by the reader. When the page is first loaded, or when the syllable display has been turned off, the bullets are not in the lyric text at all. This means that you can at last search for any word or phrase on a line in the normal way.

As an added benefit, the change should also improve search engines' ability to index the site, and Google will finally stop thinking that it is mostly about Ma and ria.

14th October 2012

Site update: More music transcriptions, more open vowel marking, and a rhyming word search

This time there are just 20 new music transcriptions, adding cantigas 221–240 to the completed pile. Cantiga 224 was a particular challenge, and I have ended up revising and extending the changes that I had previously suggested for fitting the lyrics to the music, with (I believe) far better results. I've also taken the opportunity to fix and annotate the transcription of cantiga 176, which had previously slipped through with an incorrect edit.

Only completing 20 music transcriptions doesn't mean that I have been idle though. On the contrary, I have indulged in a flurry of activity regarding the marking of ‘open’ and ‘close’ pronunciations of e and o in the IPA transcriptions of the lyrics, inspired by the discovery of the following splendidly useful research paper:

  Existe rima de vogal aberta com vogal fechada na poesia trovadoresca galego-portuguesa?
José-Martinho Montero Santalha, 2002
Universidade de Vigo

This asks and answers the question of whether rhymes between open and close vowels exist in medieval Galician-Portuguese poetry, including the Cantigas de Santa Maria. The conclusion is basically ‘no’—the poets were quite meticulous in this regard—but in arriving at that result the author provides a complete and detailed account of the rhymes that do appear. This has proven to be immensely valuable to my own work, and I'd like to thank him sincerely for bringing the paper to my attention.

To cut a long story short, the following new features are now available here as a result:

  • Complete marking of open e [ɛ] and o [ɔ] in all words that are used in a rhyme somewhere, and (almost) all related forms of the same root. As a result, the rhyme tables should now indicate vowel quality accurately in all cases.
  • A new page that gathers together all metrical summaries, including the rhyme tables, for easy browsing and searching.
  • A new Rhyming word search tool, with which you can enter any word (or partial pattern) and find out what rhymes it is used in, with the results linked directly to the rhyming lines in the cantiga lyrics. I developed this to begin with because I realised I needed something like it myself, but I hope others will get some use from it, or at least a few minutes' entertainment.

There are a couple of other miscellaneous changes:

  • The All footnotes page now includes the annotations to the music transcriptions.
  • The menu bar has been reorganised again, as it was in danger of getting too wide. Apologies for doing this twice in quick succession, but I hope that the layout will now remain stable for a while.

And the final new feature is this ‘What's New?’ page itself, which I hope will make it easier to stay abreast of developments here. By the way, if you're wondering how this page could suddenly spring into being, fully formed, with entries going back more than a year, the answer is that these have been extracted from the Facebook cantigasforsingers page, which I encourage you to go and have a look at if you haven't already done so.

UPDATE 15th October 2012 09:48

I have just noticed that in the Rhyming word search, some of the extended rhyming sets are not quite as extended as they should be. I will fix this as quickly as possible, but in the meantime please beware that some results won't be correct.

FURTHER UPDATE 15th October 2012 11:36

The problem noted above has been fixed, and the extended rhyming sets are now correct.

27th September 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions for Cantigas 151–200

Another seventy music transcriptions from the [E] manuscript are now available on the site—that's numbers 1 to 220 done, so we're more than half way.

18th September 2012

Site update: Music transcriptions for Cantigas 51–150

Music transcriptions for cantigas 51–150 now available on the website. There are quite a few of my favourites in there... I hope there'll be some of yours too!

17th September 2012

Work in progress: More music transcriptions

Music transcriptions for Cantigas 51–100 were checked in the ULPGC library today against the high-quality facsimiles of the [E] manuscript in Anglés' first volume... and Cantigas 101–150 are printed out and ready for a follow-up visit in the morning. So all being well there should be another one hundred Cantigas with music on the website in the next day or two.

7th September 2012

Site update: First music transcriptions now available

The most important development on the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website since its inception has now arrived: brand new annotated transcriptions of the music from the [E] manuscript—the códice de los músicos or "musicians' codex".

Scores for Cantigas 1 to 50 are now available on the website, and I'm hoping to complete the rest before the end of the year. Just use the Main Index or Index by Incipit as before to find the Cantiga you want, and then click on the new 'Music' tab. You'll see that the music is in the original square manuscript notation, which many of you may already be familiar with, but if not, I've written a brief guide to get you started. This can be accessed very easily from the link above each score, or from the new 'Music' menu at the top of every page.

The most exciting feature of the transcriptions—and the thing that truly sets them apart from simple facsimiles—are the 'Next stanza' and 'Previous stanza' buttons that allow you to underlay the lyrics of every verse to the music. This would not have been possible without all of my earlier editorial work to ensure 100% metrical regularity for every Cantiga, and it's great to start reaping the benefits of that effort and sharing them with you in new ways!

Please note that the music transcriptions make full use of up-to-date HTML5 technologies, especially SVG, to achieve results that would simply not be possible with static web pages. So in order to view them them you'll need to be using Internet Explorer 9 or a recent version of Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari. I'd heartily encourage those of you who have older browsers to update them if at all possible: it won't just be CSM for Singers that looks better!

Lastly, as always: if you've visited the site recently, please reload pages that your browser may have cached, in order to ensure you're seeing all of the new material.

27th August 2012

Coming soon: Music transcriptions

Coming soon to the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website: brand new edited transcriptions of the music from the Escorial códice princeps manuscript, with the option to underlay the lyrics of all stanzas directly. I'll make another announcement here when the first 50 cantigas are online, so keep a look out!

12th June 2012

Site update: Spelling options now available

As promised, this latest version of Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers includes a brand new feature thats gives the reader the option to display the lyrics of every cantiga in a Portuguese-based spelling that uses lh, nh and word final -m in place of the standard ll, nn and -n. Readers who are more used to Galician standard and Castilian (Spanish) orthography also have the option to use ñ in place of nn.

You'll find a new 'Spelling options...' button on the Index pages, every cantiga page, and in several other places around the site, and I recommend clicking it and having a look at the notes to see what's on offer. As I say there, if you're not a native speaker of Portuguese, Galician or Spanish and can't immediately see the benefit of having alternative spellings, don't worry: you'll miss nothing by ignoring them!

30th May 2012

Coming soon: Portuguese-based spelling option

Coming soon to Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers: the option to display lyrics for every cantiga using a Portuguese-based spelling, with lh, nh and word final -m. Watch this space!

9th April 2012

Internet Explorer menu problem

Apologies to users of Internet Explorer 9 who might have been having problems with the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website, in particular the pop-up menus in the main menu bar, which have a tendency to disappear if you don't move the mouse down fast enough (due to a small space that's not there in other browsers, or earlier versions of IE). The floating '?' help button on the individual Cantiga pages also has an unwanted blue border, though that doesn't affect usage. I'll have these problems fixed as soon as possible.

Update: this was fixed in the June release.

8th March 2012

Site update: Stress and hiatus marking, and a few minor changes

There are a couple of quite important changes in the latest release:

  • Firstly, irregular word stress is now marked with an acute accent on the main text of every cantiga. This means that in combination with a few very simple rules that are listed in the Pronunciation Guide, you can now easily identify the stressed syllable in every word.
  • To accompany this, 'hiatus' between vowels—where they look as if they could form a diphthong but don't—is now also marked in the main text, either with the acute accent for a stressed vowel, or a trema (two dots) for an unstressed vowel. As a result, the syllables in every word are now much more obvious at a glance from the text alone, and so the old syllable bullets are now turned off by default.

A few associated small changes:

  • The Pronunciation guide, Spelling guide and Notes on the IPA transcriptions have been updated to reflect the stress and hiatus marking.
  • A new Pronunciation Bibliography page has been added.
    (Update: this is now part of the References and bibliography page.)
  • The previous Resources page has been split into three separate pages: Manuscripts, References and Links.
  • The navigation bar has a new menu-based format, due to the increase in the number of pages included.
  • On individual cantiga pages, the floating 'M' button for manuscripts has been replaced by in-line links at the top of the page.
  • Similarly, the floating buttons for syllables bullets and IPA transcriptions have been replaced by in-line buttons at the top of the page and next to every refrain and stanza, for finer control over their display.
  • The Concordance search is now much more relaxed about written accents on letters.

And finally:

  • The font size for the main cantiga text has been increased just a little bit, as I found that the new accents on the text really weren't clear at the old size, which rather reduced their usefulness.

That's it. I hope you like the new look and find the new features helpful!

12th January 2012

Site update: Rhyming schemes and open vowels

So, as expected, my current 'day job' has slowed down progress on the website rather a lot over the last couple of months, but I have still managed to finish another update. This time the main new feature is the addition of detailed information on the rhyming scheme of each cantiga to supplement the scansion data that's been there from the start. Each line is now tagged with the rhyming group that it belongs to (A, B, c, d...) and there is a full summary at the bottom of the each page including a table of rhymes in IPA format. I hope you find it interesting and useful.

I've also completed a large chunk of the work to mark the difference between open and close vowels, which as you may know from the Pronunciation Guide is not predictable from the spelling alone. For now, I have concentrated on open and close e, as this is distinction is much more important to the rhyming schemes than that between open and close o. You'll see the open e marked as [ɛ] in the IPA transcriptions (accessed from the bottom button in the floating panel) and also in the rhyming tables, and I hope this will be very useful to those of you who are keen to get the pronunciation as authentic as possible! I hope to complete the job and mark open o in the transcriptions over the next few weeks, and once that's done my intention is to mark all open vowels in the main texts too with the acute accent, as is done (to some extent) in modern Portuguese orthography.

As always, if you see something and think, "That's wrong!", then please drop me a line. And if you see something that just looks messy or muddled, remember to try your browser's reload button.

26th November 2011

Site update: Hiding syllable bullets

Another minor change this time, but one I suspect a lot of people will like. The display of syllable bullets in the Cantiga text is, of course, one of the main raisons d'être of the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website, but it's perhaps true that they can take some getting used to, and might look a bit ugly and distracting if all you really want to do is read the text for the story, or perhaps perform it with full attention to the meaning once you've thoroughly learnt how it fits the music. I have therefore added a brand new button to the floating panel on the right of each Cantiga page, with a prominent bullet point • on it. You can use this to hide both the syllable bullets and the dotted underlining for spaced syllables.

For now (and indeed indefinitely) the bullets will be visible every time you reload a Cantiga page or visit a new one, as I think this is important to getting across the main purpose of the site at a glance, for new users.

You'll see I've also added a bit of colour to the other buttons, just to draw attention to their usefulness and group them by function. As always, if anything looks a bit weird when you first revisit a page, try reloading it in your browser to make sure that it has the latest version of everything.

Finally, I should perhaps just mention that progress in general is likely to slow down a little bit for the next few months as I have some paid contracting work to do (gotta fund these mad personal projects somehow) but rest assured I'll be devoting as much time as I can to the site!

Update: since the March 2012 release syllable bullets have been hidden by default. So much for keeping them ‘indefinitely’...

20th September 2011

Site update: Searchable concordance, and assorted minor editorial changes

The website has just been updated again. There's not a great deal new in terms of content, but I've made a few small changes, including:

  • the addition of a few observations on rhymes, in particular in CSM 340:VI, CSM 95:VI and CSM 146:V (roman numerals are stanza numbers);
  • fixing one or two minor inconsistences in the Spelling and Pronunciation pages;
  • an update to the section on Translations on the Q & A page, mainly to mention the availability of narrative summaries at the Oxford CSM Database website (which I posted about here a little while ago), and also to point out that neither of the published translations include original texts or music (which is something I was asked about recently, and is useful to know);
  • restoration of Mettmann's line breaks in CSM 255 (see the page for that cantiga on the website for details).

The main new addition this time round is a searchable Concordance, which finally gets rid of the huge static HTML files, and also provides a lot more flexibility when looking up words. See the new Notes on using the Concordance page for an overview of what it can do.

Otherwise, work continues on the full performance scores, which are now starting to look rather nice, and have been tested out on a few willing guinea-pigs! More news on this soon.

Update: the ‘full performance scores’ being developed in collaboration with Chris Elmes, based on his modern transcriptions of the music, are currently (as of late 2012) on the back burner whilst I work on the brand new music transcriptions in the original manuscript notation.

31st August 2011

Small change to Cantiga 276

Cantiga 276 has been fixed a bit: I've restored some line breaks to expose all of the rhymes, and also fixed a small irregularity that I had introduced earlier into the final stanza which was at odds with the expected stress pattern. Although the result looks a bit weird to the eye (see line 61) it should be more pleasant to the ear!

24th August 2011

Minor update: IPA notes and diaeresis marking

Another minor update to the website today. I've added a few more points to the Notes on the IPA transcriptions, which I hope will be useful and provide some further clarification. Also, as a result of the ongoing work to identify word stress, a few more words have been interpreted as having diaeresis, but most cases don't affect the singer: the fit between words and music has only actually changed in a couple of lines, 251:76 and 389:22.

17th August 2011

Site update: International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions

The Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website now has line-by-line phonetic transcriptions of every cantiga.

These can be accessed from the new button in the floating panel on the right of every cantiga page (bearing the IPA symbol [ʎ] for the ll sound in Galician-Portuguese). With the mouse pointer over the button you'll also see a link to a new page with some brief but helpful notes on the phonetic transcriptions, which I recommend you read through before using the transcriptions in earnest.

If you have any technical problems viewing the transcriptions, let me know here. (Note that JavaScript will need to be enabled in your browser for the site, though that should be the case by default.) Also, if you can see room for improvement in the transcriptions themselves—other than the limitations already outlined in the notes mentioned above—do feel free to tell me how!

14th August 2011

Minor update: Pronunciation guide tweaks

Just made a couple of minor updates to the Pronunciation guide on the CSM for Singers website: first, to clarify that b and v really are distinct phonemes; and second, to recommend pronunciation of g + e or i, and of j, as an affricate (like Eng. gem) rather than a fricative (like Pt. gelo). See the page itself for more details.

5th August 2011

Elsewhere on the web: Cantiga plot summaries at the Oxford CSM Database

Performers who have struggled to find translations of the Cantigas de Santa Maria—and they're not easy to get hold of with most editions out of print—might like to know that the Oxford CSM Database is now making available narrative summaries, in English, of most of the cantigas. These aren't yet full translations, but should give a good idea of the stories, and be a great help in choosing your repertoire.

22nd July 2011

Site update: Improved metrical data

The syllabification software used in producing the Cantigas de Santa Maria for Singers website has now been improved so that it can identify stressed and unstressed syllables automatically. The most obvious immediate result that you can see from this work is that the raw syllable counts that previously appeared on each Cantiga page have been made more sophisticated, and now indicate clearly the useful metrical distinction between lines which have ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ rhymes, i.e. final or penultimate stress. There's also a new Metrical Summary at the bottom of each page. The longer term aim though is to pinpoint the stress on every word, which will then pave the way for automatic full phonetic transcriptions.

Eagle-eyed readers may note that a smattering of small textual changes accompany this latest update, such as a couple of new corrections relative to Mettmann's edition, four fewer cases of diaeresis, six more of synalepha, and so on. These have emerged from the work on identifying stress, but are mostly minor technicalities and should be of very little consequence to the individual performer.

24th July follow-up

I have just updated Cantigas 70, 163, 188, 189, 233, 238, 262 and 382 in which the metrics for the refrain weren't calculated quite right. They are now!

Update: the above-mentioned full phonetic transcriptions were introduced in the 17th August update, but as of late 2012 these don't yet have stress marking, even though the main texts do.

21st June 2011

Site launched