Just a moment… pardon? What was that? Look, I’m… please, Consuela, I’m trying to… I have to… Och Jings!
I’m sorry about that. Consuela (my Tejana maid) was lecturing me on how to tell which decade of the fifteenth century a particular musical score dates from. Honestly, why she should imagine that I’m at all interested I simply do not know. The whole thing has gone in one ear and out of the other, and my head is aching. It’s all Greek to me*.
Honestly, when Consuela gets a bee in her bonnet it stays there, makes a nest, invites its friends and family, and before you know where you are she’s selling jars of honey at the roadside!
Now she has gone off in a huff. She’ll get over it, and be back in a minute-and-a-huff. I can hear her downstairs** rattling the breakfast things. One moment…
Consuela! Dos huevos pasados por agua y dos salchichas por favor… um, let’s see… tostadas con mermelada de naranja… café con leche… What’s that? No, not my mother also, just me!
I think that young woman is losing her marbles. My mother has passed on to a better place***. This has put my day quite out of kilter. I shall stay wrapped up in my comfy blanket (the one with the depiction of the Battle of the Little Big Horn). What I was going to tell you can keep until tomorrow!
* Of course now I have relaxed it’s all coming back to me, and it’s relatively simple. Let’s say you have a basse danse, or better still a tourdion, then the compositional style of a prominent Provençal joglar such as Jehan Pneu de Michelin would be obvious from his use of a much simpler melodic line than was common in the Burgundian court; now given that Jehan’s patron, Howard le Duc, held the Seigneury of Pau (not to mention that of the manoirs of Lalat and Tinquis-Ouinquis) only from 1460 to 1463, the conclusion is blindingly obvious. All you have to do is apply similar logic to all the scores, until you are left with – say – half of them; then you throw those remaining into the air and let God sort them out. Simple, really, as I said.
** Yes the teepee has a downstairs.
*** Somewhere on the Isle of Bute, as I recall.