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Volume 10, no. 1:

The Provenance of F-Pn Vm7 137305, Cited by Victor Coelho

A Communication from François-Pierre Goy*

A mistake in the physical description of the Paris lute tablature perspicaciously investigated in Prof. Victor Coelho’s very interesting article1 has led to an interesting discovery about the provenance of this manuscript (please note that its call number is Vm7 137305, not Vmd7... [par. 5.1], nor Rés. Vm7... [Inventory], nor Vm7 135305 [Abbreviations]).

The mention of a bookplate of the Comtesse de Chambure (par. 5.1) surprised me very much when I read the article, as call numbers beginning with Vm7 were given only before 1909 at the latest, and I remembered it as bearing a much older, nineteenth-century stamp. There is indeed no bookplate on the inside cover, but a stamp “Bibliothèque Royale” dating from 1830–1848 on fol. 1r and another, more recent stamp, “Bibliothèque Nationale — Imprimés” on fol. 1v.

Moreover, on fol. 2r there is an accession number “Acq. exc. 1507” that Catherine Vallet-Collot (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département de la Musique) identified as referring to a list of music prints and manuscripts acquired by the library from the bookseller E. Audin of Florence (i.e., Étienne Audin de Rians, Via del Sole, Firenze) on March 5, 1840 (F-Pn, Département des Manuscrits, AM 37)—for a Florentine manuscript, a much more significant provenance than the Chambure collection!

This number corresponds on the list to “Sonate per ballo. in-16 obl. ms.,” purchased for two francs. But there seems to have been a fair amount of inversion of accession numbers between the manuscript list and the documents, and the following and last item in Acq. exc. 1508, described as “Canzoni con accompagnamento di liuto. In-16 obl. ms.,” bought for 3 francs, clearly fits this tablature much better.


* François-Pierre Goy ( is a librarian at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département de la Musique, in Paris.

1 Victor Coelho, “The Players of Florentine Monody in Context and in History, and a Newly Recognized Source for Le nuove musiche,” Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music 9, no. 1 (2003).


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