Two thirteenth-century vernacular motets copied side by side in the Montpellier Codex tell a story of sin and repentance. In one a shepherd rapes a maiden, while in the other a penitent begs the Virgin Mary to forgive a great sin. The music of these two motets is nearly identical: one is a contrafactum of the other, and represents a conscious narrative continuation of the first. This article offers a close reading of this unusual pair of motets, interpreting their texts and polyphonic musical settings in the context of other motets, the pastourelle song genre, their liturgical tenor, the technique of contrafacture, the chanson pieuse, and the intertextual refrain repertory. The two motets constitute a medieval exploration of the boundary between seduction and rape, and the spiritual consequences of its transgression. Having placed the story told by the motets in the context of medieval attitudes toward rape in both legal and pedagogical spheres, I close by reflecting on the ethics of listening to artistic representations of violence for both medieval and modern audiences.

If you should, by some chance, fall in love with some of their [peasant] women, be careful to puff them up with lots of praise and then, when you find a convenient place, do not hesitate to take what you seek and to embrace them by force.

Andreas Capellanus, De amore1 
When I saw that neither by my pleas
nor [by] my promises of jewels
could I please her, whatever my whims
I threw her down on the grass;
she did not imagine she was to have great pleasure,
but sighed,
clenched her fists, tore her hair,
and tried to escape.
“Quant fuelle chiet et flor faut” (anon.)2 

Medieval pastourelle songs surprise modern readers with their occasionally vivid descriptions of rape. Although thirteenth-century legal experts such as Philippe de Beaumanoir condemned forced sex as a crime comparable to treason and murder,3 scholars have searched in vain for medieval criticism of the depictions of rape in the pastourelle. More jarring still, the attitudes toward rape that are expressed by medieval authors in the context of vernacular literature are often permissive or even approving. The most direct discussion of the issue appears in Andreas Capellanus's De amore (quoted above). In this twelfth-century Latin treatise on the subject of courtly love, Andreas advocates precisely the kind of violation described in the anonymous pastourelle “Quant fuelle chiet et flor faut” (also quoted above).4 Moreover, the anonymous thirteenth-century authors who translated Andreas's treatise into Old French actually lengthened and intensified his discussion of rape.5 Modern criticism of the representation of rape in the pastourelle is remarkably recent. Prior to the 1980s the genre's editors and commentators often neutralized or rationalized the descriptions of rape found in the texts.6 In heated arguments during the 1990s literary scholars failed to reach a consensus, some casting the medieval pastourelle as an aestheticization or even outright celebration of rape, while others characterized rape as a notable but ancillary aspect of the song genre.7 

This article adds a previously unexplored voice to this discussion: the thirteenth-century polyphonic motet. Existing explorations of rape in the pastourelle are largely focused on monophonic songs that feature pastourelle lyrics; scholars have not dealt in detail with the motet genre, where pastourelle lyrics often appear.8 Although the editions on which literary scholars have relied in their discussions of rape in the pastourelle tradition included pastourelle texts of individual motet voices, these voices were disembodied, in that their lyrics were presented without melodies, without the texts of their accompanying chant tenors, and without the additional voices with which they were paired in their polyphonic settings.9 As a result, discussions of these pastourelle motet voices in literary accounts were based upon individual texts alone without consideration of the way motet composers set these texts polytextually or polyphonically. By focusing in detail on a particular pair of motets we gain access to a medieval commentary posed by a motet composer who expresses censure of the perpetrator of a rape described in another pastourelle motet. Whereas medieval pastourelle songs and commentators such as Andreas Capellanus outwardly condone rape, this pair of motets stresses its sinfulness and emphasizes the necessity of sincere repentance while demanding penance on the part of the offender.

The two motets in question are “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” and “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur.” The former is a pastourelle motet involving a rape scenario and the latter a Marian motet. The two pieces have a nearly identical musical setting and poetic structure, and use the same rhyme sounds. Through close analysis of their texts and music I aim to show that the Marian motet was a contrafactum of the pastourelle motet. Further, it should become clear that the Marian motet was written in direct response to the pastourelle motet, and that it represents a narrative continuation of its model. “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” ends with a highly unusual event—the shepherd Robin raping the shepherdess Marot. In the continuation Robin is transformed into a desperate penitent pleading with the Virgin Mary for intercession. “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” thus offers a criticism of the casual representation of rape in the secular pastourelle song genre. The commentary rests on a tropological interpretation that encourages the reading of the two motets together as a moral exemplum warning listeners against committing the sin of rape.10 The two motets provide us with a rare opportunity to witness a medieval composer engaged in a hermeneutic process, reading and interpreting a motet and commenting on it through the process of contrafacture. Because the two works deal with the violation of rape and the spiritual demands of penance, they also constitute a medieval denunciation of the representation of rape in the pastourelle song genre, an issue concerning which few medieval critical views survive.

Dramatizing Rape: “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur”

“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” is a pastourelle motet transmitted in Mo and Ba.11 The brief texts of the triplum and motetus voices are both representative of the pastourelle song type, a popular medieval genre in which a knight, who is the song's narrator, goes riding in the countryside and encounters a shepherdess. He tries, with varying degrees of success, to seduce her through flattery, offering gifts, and making insincere promises of marriage. In some cases the shepherdess, who is usually named Marion or a diminutive of this name, succumbs to his rhetoric; in others she rebuffs him, citing her fidelity to her shepherd sweetheart Robin; in still others Robin and his friends chase the knight away; and in what for many modern readers is an uncomfortably large portion of these songs, the knight abandons his attempts at persuasion and resorts to force, raping the shepherdess.12 

The triplum and motetus voices of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” are representative of a subtype within the pastourelle genre that is sometimes called the bergerie or objective pastourelle, in which the knight does not participate; instead, a narrator observes the interaction of Marion, Robin, and their rustic friends.13 The motetus voice of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” unambiguously describes an anomalous event within the context of the pastourelle genre: the rape of Marot not by the knight but by her shepherd boyfriend Robin. Although several hundred thirteenth-century pastourelle songs and motets survive, there are only three pastourelles in which it is Robin who rapes Marot: “En la praerie” and two other motet voices also transmitted in Mo—“Quant fuellent aubespin” (fol. 135r) and “L'autrier chevauchoie” (fol. 148r).14 The motetus text of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” reads as follows:

 En la praerie, Robins et s'amie 
 font lor druerie desoz un glai. 
 Marote s'escrie par grant esmai: 
 An Dieus! An, an Dieus, que ferai? 
Tu mi bleches trop de ton ne sai quoi. 
 N'onques a tel jeu certes ne jouai. 
 Je sui pucelete, foi que te doi, 
 n'onques mai[s] n'amai. 
 Pour Diu, espargne moi! 
10 Fei tost, lieve toi!” 
 Robin sans delai 
 a fet son dounoi, 
 si l'a embracié et drecié enver soi 
 et dit de cuer gai: “Marot, ja ne te faudrai.”15  
In the meadow Robin and his lover / are taking their pleasure beside a glen. / Marot cries out in a great fright, / “Oh God! Oh, oh God, what shall I do? / You are hurting me with your I don't know what. / I've certainly never played such a game before. / By my faith I'm still a virgin, / I've never loved. / By God, spare me! / Go away!” / Robin immediately / took his pleasure. / He embraced her and pulled her to him / and said with a happy heart, “Marot, I'll never fail you.”16 

The text begins from the perspective of an unnamed narrator-observer who tells us that Robin and his lover are taking their pleasure in a glen. We learn quickly, however, that the pleasure to which the narrator refers is one-sided. Indeed, the central part of the text consists of Marot's distressed resistance to Robin's sexual advances. In verse 5 she cries out in a great fright that Robin is physically hurting her with his member, which she is too innocent to name (his “ne sai quoi”). Moreover, her complaint is not merely that she is in physical pain, but, more urgently, that Robin is robbing her of her virginity, as she states no fewer than three times in her brief speech. She states in verse 6 that she has never played this game before, and in verses 7–8 that she is a virgin and that she has never loved.17 As her protests fail to dissuade Robin from his actions, she resorts in verses 9–10 to alarmed calls for him to “spare” her and “go away.” Marot has not only explicitly denied her consent in this brief exchange, she has actively pleaded with Robin to halt his advance. Yet he ignores her expressed wishes. The narrator tells us that immediately after hearing Marot's refusal Robin takes his pleasure, embraces her, and then, ironically, declares his loyalty: “Marot, I'll never fail you.” The scene is an unambiguous medieval representation of the rape of a virgin.18 

The shepherd character in the pastourelle frequently engages in violent behavior. He will brawl with his friends, and he and his friends will threaten the knight with violence in order to protect the shepherdess. This violence is normally presented as humorous or as a symbol of the shepherd's lack of refinement.19 As noted above, it is atypical for the shepherd to use force against the shepherdess. Whereas the coercion and violence that characterize the relationship between the shepherdess and the knight are the product of the differences in their gender and social rank and therefore their power, Robin and Marot inhabit the world of the pastourelle as equals.20 Most pastourelle songs emphasize the mutual suitability of the rustic couple and their shared social status.21 The reciprocity of their relationship can even incite jealousy among knights when they hear shepherds boasting about having lain in the arms of their lovers.22 

The triplum voice of this motet bears striking similarities to the motetus voice, in that it too describes an encounter between Marot—also using the diminutive “Marotele”—and a rustic character who is not named but is likely Robin. Unlike the motetus voice, however, the triplum opens with the direct speech of the seducer, who asks Marot to come to the woods to play with him. A narrator appears much later in the text, from verse 9.

 “Hé, Marotele, alons au bois jouer! 
 Je te ferai chapel de flour de glai 
 et si orrons le roussignol chanter en l'ausnoi, 
 qui dit, ‘Oci ceus qui n'ont le cuer gai!’ 
Douce Marot, grief sunt li mau[s] d'amours. 
 Amors ai! Qu'en ferai? 
 Diex, je n'i puis ces maus endurer, 
 Marot, que sent pour toi.” 
 Il l'embrasa, sour l'erbe la jeta 
10 si la baisa et li fist sans delai 
 le geu d'amors, puis dit de cuer vrai, 
 “Douce Marot, grief sunt li maus que j'ai.”23  
“Hey, Marotele, let's go to the woods and play! / I'll make you a wreath of gladiolas / and we'll hear the nightingale sing in the alderwood, / who says, ‘I kill those who don't have a gay heart!’ / Sweet Marot, grievous are the pains of love. / I'm in love. What shall I do? / God, I can no longer endure this pain, / Marot, which I feel for you.” / He embraced her, threw her on the grass, / he kissed her and immediately did / the game of love, then he said, with a true heart, / “Sweet Marot, grievous are the pains that I have.”24 

As we have seen, in the pastourelle it is typically the knight who plays the part of the seducer, attempting to lure the shepherdess with promises. The seducer in the triplum voice adopts a typical maneuver from the knight's playbook, offering Marot gifts. In place of the knight's typical aristocratic bribes of jewelry or silk purses, however, the speaker in the triplum offers gifts to which a peasant, such as the pastourelle character Robin, would have access: a wreath of gladiolas and a concert of birdsong, which is quoted to Marot as an enticement. These gifts suggest that the unnamed seducer is indeed Robin rather than a knight, aligning the narrative of the triplum with that of the motetus discussed above. The internal third of the triplum text presents Robin's complaints about the pain caused by his love for Marot. After asking himself what he should do (“Qu'en ferai?”), he throws her on the grass, kisses her, and immediately has sex with her.

Because the brief text does not relate Marot's reaction to Robin's actions, giving no evidence of either her consent or her refusal, the status of the sexual act is ambiguous. But further investigation of the choice of words in the triplum and of the impact of the polyphonic combination of this text with the motetus voice reveals that they recount the same incident of rape from different perspectives. In Old French the phrases “faire sa volonté” (to do as one will), “faire son plaisir” (to take one's pleasure), and “faire son buen” (to do as one sees fit) are most often used to denote rape.25 The narrator in the triplum does not use these expressions, but rather employs the euphemism “le geu d'amors” to allude to the sex act. Although this is less common as a euphemism for rape than the phrases just cited, it does recall the very similar phrase, “le ju francois,” that a knight uses to refer to his rape of a shepherdess in Ernous li Vielle's song “Por conforter mon corage.”26 More telling, however, is the narrator's comment that Robin threw Marot on the grass (“sour l'erbe la jeta”). In seven of the twenty-five songs that Kathryn Gravdal classifies as unambiguous rape pastourelles the shepherdess is thrown onto the grass immediately prior to being raped.27 In “Hier matinet deles un vert boisson” by Jacques de Cambrai, once the knight realizes that his seduction attempt is not working, “tout maintenant la getai sor l'erbier” (vv. 31–33).28 In “Au tens nouvel” by Perrin d'Angecourt, once the knight decides that he has spent enough time on the chase he takes the shepherdess by the flanks and, before gratifying himself, “sus l'erbe la souvinai” (v. 32).29 The same phrase is used prior to the rape described in the anonymous pastourelle quoted at the beginning of this article, “Quant fuelle chiet et flor faut.” Within the context of the pastourelle song genre, then, the phrase “sour l'erbe la jeta” has unmistakable associations with forced sex.

The triplum and motetus texts of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” are strikingly similar. Rather than juxtaposing texts that feature different narrative outcomes, as a number of pastourelle motets do, the triplum and motetus seem to recount the same scene from the perspective of different characters.30 The triplum voice is dominated by the speech with which Robin attempts to seduce Marot, concluding with a brief narrative description of his sexual advance. The motetus voice arguably describes the identical situation but focuses on the point of view of Marot, the narrator relating her panicked reaction to Robin's forceful seduction attempt and her unambiguous refusal, making explicit Robin's ensuing rape. There are other double motets in the repertory that function similarly to “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” the upper voices describing the same scene from different perspectives. In “Je ne / Dieus, trop mal / Misit,” for example, the triplum text features a young woman who resolves never again to go into the woods alone because her lover is no longer there, while the motetus text presents the perspective of the lover, who laments that he could not find his lover in the woods, even though she had summoned him there.31 Similarly, in “Il n'a en toi sens / Robins, li mauvais ouvrier / Omnes” the triplum text is narrated from the perspective of a shepherdess who has been refused a kiss by her sweetheart Robin, while the motetus text presents the perspective of a narrator-observer, who explains that Robin has sent his sweetheart away, asking her not to be in a hurry.32 In the case of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” the triplum text describes a lover's sexual advance while the motetus portrays the beloved's unsuccessful attempt to rebuff it. Both texts record the consummation of the character's lust, which is revealed to be nonconsensual in the motetus voice.

How does the tenor, “Aptatur,” relate to the triplum and motetus? Scholars have suggested that its source may be found in the Office of Saint Winnoc or in that of Saint Nicholas, both of which include a chant featuring the word “aptatur” as well as a melodic phrase nearly identical to that of our motet tenor.33 Of these two chants, the latter was far more widely known in the Middle Ages. The liturgy for Saint Winnoc was not often performed in Paris, whereas office and Mass chants for Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the University of Paris, were sung throughout the year.34 Yet the Saint Nicholas chant is not a perfect match for the “Aptatur” tenor, for, as Aubry noted, the pitches associated with the word “aptatur” in the motet are attached to different words in the response “Beatus Nicolas.”35 Saint Nicholas would certainly be an appropriate protector to call upon in the context of the motet, since he was revered as the patron saint of children, students, and maidens, among others. Yet while the reference to his cult might seem to be directed at the young Marot, Saint Nicholas appears to be unable to protect her. The tenor text “Aptatur” is normally translated as meaning “it is fitting,” a phrase that emphasizes themes of suitability and balance when read against the upper voices of motets.36 It is also often used ironically, accompanying texts describing behavior that is less than fitting.37 A more precise translation of the word “aptatur” would be the passive “it is fitted to it.”38 In the particular context of our pastourelle motet it is thus possible that the tenor incipit was intended as a salacious reference to the sex act described explicitly in the motetus text.

Whereas the juxtaposition of the triplum, motetus, and tenor texts has already suggested that the motet deals with issues of consent, the musical setting removes all doubt that the sex act described is nonconsensual in both voices. The setting integrates the two perspectives featured in the triplum and motetus voices, making it clear that they represent different perspectives on the same rape scenario. The full motet appears in Example 1. (The text of “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” has been added to it, to facilitate comparison of the two motets later in the article.)39 

Example 1

The tenor is sung three times in this motet, the second cursus beginning at perfection 33 and the third at perfection 65. In the first and second tenor cursus the phrase structure of the motetus voice, the text that records Marot's protest against her rape, is aligned with the phrase structure of the tenor, “Aptatur.” The rests in the motetus occur simultaneously with the rests in the tenor, creating a regular, coordinated phrase structure between these two voices of eight perfections followed by a rest. The triplum phrase structure is irregular, and is not aligned with that of the lower two voices. The motetus and tenor rests coincide for the first time in perfection 8, and this structural coordination of the two voices persists throughout the first and second tenor cursus of the motet, giving the motet a song-like structure. In the third tenor cursus, however, the phrase structure changes dramatically such that none of the motetus and tenor phrase endings concur. From perfection 65, rather than being coordinated as in the first two thirds of the motet, the phrases of the tenor and motetus largely alternate, one beginning as the other ends, until the final cadence. The two voices fall out of synchronization in this way because the motetus shifts abruptly to significantly shorter phrases. The motetus opens with seven regular phrases of eight perfections each. At perfection 57 this regularity is interrupted by an abrupt phrase of just four perfections, followed by an irregular six-perfection phrase. The motetus's regular, eight-perfection phrase structure does not return until perfection 79.

The disruption of the regular phrase structure in the middle portion of the motetus is striking because of the relationship between the three voices. The rests in the motetus and tenor voices cease to occur simultaneously at perfection 64, as Marot cries “spare me!” After this point the tenor and motetus are never structurally realigned. Moreover, when setting these texts polyphonically the composer of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” created moments of dialogue that capitalize on the non-alignment of phrases between triplum and motetus. This musical dialogue clarifies the questions of force and consent that are left ambiguous in the triplum voice, revealing that, in fact, Marot has not consented to the sex act described in the triplum.40 As mentioned above, the ambiguity surrounding Marot's consent in the triplum is due to the fact that her speech is not reported. Her silence renders unknowable the question of her consent. Once the triplum and motetus are brought together in the polyphonic setting, however, Marot's speech in the motetus voice becomes audible in the rests between phrases of the triplum voice. Through the musical setting the composer thus creates a dialogue between Robin and Marot, unifying the triplum and motetus voices. This dialogue occurs at multiple points within the motet. For example, in perfections 48–49, when in the triplum Robin asks himself, “What shall I do?”—the phrase that is the catalyst for the rape that occurs moments later—the motetus interjects Marot's cry “I am a virgin” into the rest that follows his question.

The shift to short, four-perfection phrases in the motetus at perfection 57 dramatically increases the frequency of rests in the following section, providing additional opportunities for the upper voices to interject phrases into each other's narrative. The rate of alternation between the two voices is thereby increased, rendering them more conversational, as may be seen in Example 2. The final cursus weaves the two upper voices into a dialogue whereby Marot's anguished cries in the motetus voice are inserted into the triplum scene, in which her character is otherwise silent. Just before the narrator's description of the sexual encounter in the triplum, which does not relate Marot's consent, the motetus interrupts with the cry “spare me!” in perfections 63–65, interjecting Marot's vocal protest immediately before the triplum's narrator tells us that “he embraced her” in perfections 65–67 and “threw her” on the grass in perfections 70–71. These phrases are enclosed in brackets in Example 2, with the relevant text and a literal translation marked in bold. The composer dramatizes Robin's act and renders it in dialogue form. The musical setting thus strengthens the description of violence in the motetus and makes manifest Marot's lack of consent in both scenes, not only in that described by the motetus, the voice in which the rape is textually explicit.

Example 2
Example 2
Example 2

“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” perfections 59–72, as transmitted in Mo, fols. 112v–114r, with excerpt of recorded performance by the Ensemble Micrologus, from Adam de la Halle: Le jeu de Robin et Marion & autres œuvres, Zig Zag Territoires, 2004, track 24 (0:45–0:55)

Example 2

“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” perfections 59–72, as transmitted in Mo, fols. 112v–114r, with excerpt of recorded performance by the Ensemble Micrologus, from Adam de la Halle: Le jeu de Robin et Marion & autres œuvres, Zig Zag Territoires, 2004, track 24 (0:45–0:55)

Sin and Its Consequences: Narrative Continuation in “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur”

The musical setting of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” is nearly identical to that of the Marian motet “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur,” transmitted in Mo and Metz.41 One of these motets is thus a contrafactum of the other. The strictest cases of contrafacture involve imitating the melody, rhymes, and rhyme scheme of a model while at the same time adapting its meaning.42 Although finding a pair of works linked by contrafacture is relatively easy, it is not always clear which is the model and which the adaptation. As we will see, a number of highly unusual features in the pair of motets under consideration permit a fairly secure proposition of a compositional order that moves from the pastourelle motet to its Marian continuation.

The full transmission of these works is shown in Table 1. In addition to appearing separately in Ba and Metz, the two motets are copied consecutively in fascicle 5 of Mo, suggesting a close relationship and facilitating comparison by readers.43 “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” appears first, at folio 112v. It is also one of the eight motets that were copied twice within the manuscript. The location of these motets in Mo, mostly within fascicle 5, is shown in the  Appendix. “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” appears a second time in fascicle 5 of Mo at folio 198v, immediately following “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur.” Examples of contrafacture in which all surviving versions of a motet voice are in the vernacular are quite rare.44 In early studies, Pierre Aubry and Friedrich Ludwig assumed, without providing an explanation, that “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” was the model and “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” the contrafactum.45 Yet to assume the direction of contrafacture is not without its pitfalls. For example, although there is widespread agreement that Latin motets are the oldest representatives of the motet genre, some Latin motets are believed to be contrafacta of vernacular originals.46 Thus, it is necessary to evaluate such relationships on a case-by-case basis.

Table 1

Transmission of the motets “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” and “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur”

“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur”“Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur”
Mo, fols. 112v and 198v Mo, fol. 196v 
Ba, fol. 18v Metz, fol. 165v (as two-voice “La virge Marie / Aptatur”) 
“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur”“Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur”
Mo, fols. 112v and 198v Mo, fol. 196v 
Ba, fol. 18v Metz, fol. 165v (as two-voice “La virge Marie / Aptatur”) 

In this case one of the most significant clues to identifying model and contrafactum lies in the motets’ use of intertextual refrains.47 Previous studies have not drawn attention to a striking feature of these two motets, which is the retention of intertextual refrains from the model in the contrafactum.48 “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” contains two intertextual refrains. The refrains in question are “An Dieus! An, an Dieus, que ferai?” (vdB 824) and “Diex, je n'i puis ces maus endurer” (vdB 533), the latter sharing all but the final word of this first phrase with the refrain “Diex, je n'i puis ces maus dureir / ceu me font li malz d'ameir” (vdB 534).49 Both motets feature the refrain “An Dieus! An, an Dieus, que ferai?” (vdB 824) in the motetus part. Remarkably, when retexting the model motet, the author of the contrafactum retained the text and music of the intertextual refrain from the model motet in exactly the same position and composed a new text for the motetus part around this refrain. The refrain “An Dieus! An, an Dieus, que ferai?” has many concordances and many lexical variants.50 All of the surviving contexts belong to the motet repertory, and two of these concordances are melodic as well as textual.51 While the language of the refrain is admittedly clichéd, the fact that it occurs in an identical musical position in the two motets renders it highly noticeable for listeners and especially for singers.

There is a small group of motet pairs in the repertory in which the contrafactum retains a word or phrase from its model. These pairs are listed in Table 2. Some of these motet pairs feature a relatively common gesture whereby the text incipit of one or more motet voices echoes that of the tenor, a process referred to as troping. When this gesture is used in both a model and a contrafactum, as in pairs 2, 3, and 4 in Table 2, the result is that the two motets momentarily share both music and words, not unlike a refrain.52 In the case of pair 2 the retention suggests that the second motet listed may be the contrafactum, in that while it would not be impossible for a vernacular text to begin with a Latin incipit, it would certainly not be typical. In other cases, several words or textual phrases are shared between the model and the contrafactum, showing that the composer of the contrafactum made an effort to preserve more of the model text in the adaptation. This occurs in pairs 1, 3, and 5 of Table 2. The Latin motets in pair 3, for example, both begin by troping the tenor incipit “Mors.” But the voices “Mors morsu nata” and “Mors vite vivificacio” also share the word “mors” again in their eleventh perfection. In pair 1 the French motet voices “Bone compagnie” and “Virgine glorieuse” share the phrase “si criez” from perfection 86 before a closing passage of direct speech. The first of these voices, a convivial ode to “la bone vie,” ends, “si criez: ‘Ci nous faut un tour de vin, Dieus, car le nous donez!,’” whereas the second, Mariological motet voice closes, “si criez: ‘Biau fis, oiez ci vo mere et cor me socorez.’”

Table 2

Motet pairs involving word retention

MotetSources and versions
“Ce que je tieng / Certes mout est / Bone compagnie / Manere” Mo, fol. 51v
Bes, no. 53 (table of incipits)
D, fol. 256v (text of “Bone compagnie” only) 
 “Virgine glorieuse / Manere” Boul, no. 4 
“Et illumina eximia mater / Et illluminare” W2, fol. 180v 
 “Et illumina je vous salu / Et illuminare” W2, fol. 232r 
“Mors a primi / Mors que stimulo / Mors morsu nata / Mors” Mo, fol. 57v; Cl, fol. 372v
F, fol. 400v; Ba, fol. 37v (as three-voice “Mors que stimulo / Mors morsu nata / Mors”)
W2, fol. 164v (as three-voice “Mors morsu nata / Mors que stimulo / Mors”)
Bes, no. 10; Ma, fol. 104v (as two-voice “Mors morsu nata / Mors”) 
 “Mors vite vivificacio / Mors” W2, fol. 164r
Tort, fol. 140v (as monophonic “Mors vite vivificacio”) 
“Haré, haré, hie / Balaam, Goudalier ont bien / Balaam” W2, fol. 197v; N, fol. 180r; Bes, no. 33 
 “Balaam, prophetandi patuit / Balaam” LoC, fol. 6v 
“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” Mo, fols. 112v and 198v; Ba, fol. 18v 
 “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” Mo, fol. 196v
Metz, fol. 165v (as two-voice “La virge Marie / Aptatur”) 
MotetSources and versions
“Ce que je tieng / Certes mout est / Bone compagnie / Manere” Mo, fol. 51v
Bes, no. 53 (table of incipits)
D, fol. 256v (text of “Bone compagnie” only) 
 “Virgine glorieuse / Manere” Boul, no. 4 
“Et illumina eximia mater / Et illluminare” W2, fol. 180v 
 “Et illumina je vous salu / Et illuminare” W2, fol. 232r 
“Mors a primi / Mors que stimulo / Mors morsu nata / Mors” Mo, fol. 57v; Cl, fol. 372v
F, fol. 400v; Ba, fol. 37v (as three-voice “Mors que stimulo / Mors morsu nata / Mors”)
W2, fol. 164v (as three-voice “Mors morsu nata / Mors que stimulo / Mors”)
Bes, no. 10; Ma, fol. 104v (as two-voice “Mors morsu nata / Mors”) 
 “Mors vite vivificacio / Mors” W2, fol. 164r
Tort, fol. 140v (as monophonic “Mors vite vivificacio”) 
“Haré, haré, hie / Balaam, Goudalier ont bien / Balaam” W2, fol. 197v; N, fol. 180r; Bes, no. 33 
 “Balaam, prophetandi patuit / Balaam” LoC, fol. 6v 
“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” Mo, fols. 112v and 198v; Ba, fol. 18v 
 “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” Mo, fol. 196v
Metz, fol. 165v (as two-voice “La virge Marie / Aptatur”) 

The effect of the retention of the refrain between “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” and “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” is similar to that of the word retention in the other motet pairs listed in Table 2, although the shared phrase is considerably longer. The shared refrain demonstrates that the composer of the contrafactum conceived of the new piece as a deliberate reworking of its model. The intertextuality of the two motets further suggests that the contrafactum composer wanted audiences to be able to recognize the model motet and conjure it up in their “mind's ear” as quickly and easily as possible, bringing it to bear on their understanding of the new work.53 

In the motet “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” the refrain “An Dieus! An, an Dieus, que ferai?” plays a pivotal role in the motetus voice, inaugurating the lengthy passage of direct discourse in which the narrator quotes Marot's cries of protest.54 In Example 1 the texts of “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” have been set beneath those of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” facilitating comparison between the two motets. The retention of the refrain in the exact same musical position in the model and the contrafactum (perfections 25–31 in Example 1) can hardly be a coincidence, all but proving that one of these motets was directly modeled on the other. In addition to the intertextual refrain there are several other key phrases that were also left unchanged in the process of retexting one of the two motets, appearing in the same musical position in the two works. These shared phrases, marked by italics in Example 1, offer important clues with respect to which of the two pieces was composed first. The triplum's opening “Hé” appears in both motets, as do the words “amie” in perfections 6–8 of the motetus, “esmai” in perfections 22–23, “moi” in perfection 65, and “sans delai” in perfections 72–73. Exclamations such as “An Dieus!” and “que ferai?” (which are found in the refrain) are ubiquitous throughout the vernacular motet repertory, where they are overwhelmingly directed at the god of love or the lady. The vernacular hail “Hé!” is most often used to beckon pastourelle characters or to address complaints to the god of love; in the motets of Mo and Ba the expression is never used to address Mary. The genre in which the vernacular hail “Hé!” is directed at Mary is the monophonic chanson pieuse, where it appears frequently, but many of the songs in this genre are contrafacta of vernacular love songs.55 The presence of these phrases in the devotional “Hé, mere Diu” thus indicates that they originated in “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” and were retained in the process of retexting the vernacular motet in its new Marian guise.

Closer examination of the Marian motet strengthens this conclusion. This motet is the only example in the repertory that includes two vernacular devotional texts in a three-part polyphonic framework. The triplum and motetus voices of “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” both feature penitents who address urgent pleas to the Virgin Mary. In the triplum a speaker who is beset by sin admits to having allied himself with the devil and pleads with Mary to grant him mercy:

 Hé, mere Diu, regardez m'en pitié, 
 qui voz servanz gardes d'anemistié. 
 Theophilus par toi de son pechié fu quité. 
 Tant m'a tenu l'anemi souz son pié 
et par barat sovent engignié, 
 m'amistié m'alié; 
 en li me truis sovent trebuchié, 
 por ce sui courrucié. 
 Hé, las! Coment porrai mes estre lié, 
10 quant assegié me sent tant en pechié, 
 se deslié mon cuer meheignié 
 n'est par vostre grace et ralié?56  
Oh, mother of God, look with pity upon me, / you who guard your servants from enmity. / Theophilus, through your intervention, was absolved of his sin. / The enemy has held me so long beneath his foot / and deceived me so often / that I allied myself in friendship with him; / I have often found myself tricked by him, / and that is why I am troubled. / Alas! How can I ever be happy / when I feel myself so much beset by sin / and if my wounded heart is not unbound / and healed by your grace?57 

The speaker in this motet voice alludes to the miracle of Theophilus, the sixth-century administrator whose story was popularized in the thirteenth century by Rutebeuf and Gautier de Coinci.58 The story was widely known throughout the Middle Ages and was frequently depicted in stained glass windows.59 While medieval accounts vary, most agree that Theophilus was in line to become bishop of Adana but declined out of humility. When the newly appointed bishop unfairly dismissed him from his administrative post, Theophilus purportedly made a pact with the devil in order to regain it, promising in writing that he would forsake Mary and Christ as payment. He later repented and prayed to Mary to release him from his pact. After lengthy periods of anguished fasting and prayer, he was redeemed by Mary's intercession.60 In addition to inspiring the later story of Faust, the miracle served as a particularly potent medieval exemplum of Mary's power as an intercessor.61 

In the motetus voice a subject also expresses sincere repentance and pleads with Mary for mercy:

 La virge Marie loial est amie; 
 qui a li s'alie, si com je croi, 
 troblez n'en doit estre ne en esmai. 
 An Dieus, an douz Dieus, que ferai? 
Trop l'ai messervie, grant dueil en ai. 
 A li racorder coment me porrai? 
 A genouz vers li me retornerai; 
 merci crierai, 
 qu'ele ait pitié de moi. 
10 Son serf devendrai 
 tantost sans delai, 
 au miex que porrai. 
 “Ave Maria” docement li dirai, 
 mon cuer li donrai, ja mais ne li retaudrai.62  
The Virgin Mary is a loyal sweetheart; / whoever allies himself with her, I believe, / should never be troubled or in dismay. / Oh God, oh sweet God, what shall I do? / I have indeed served her poorly and I sorrow for it. / How can I make my peace with her? / I will return to her on my knees; / I will cry out for mercy / that she have pity on me. / I will become her servant / without delay, / as best I can. / “Ave Maria,” I'll sweetly sing, / give her my heart and never take it back.63 

In perfections 25–31 of the motetus voice the supplicant intones Marot's refrain “Oh God, oh sweet God, what shall I do?,” then explains, “I have indeed served her poorly.” Listeners familiar with both versions of the motet might wonder in this moment whether the woman referred to in this phrase is Mary herself or Marot, the unfortunate shepherdess who intones the refrain in the other version of the motet. Simply identified as “her,” she could be understood to be either woman at this point in the text. Further, “Marot” is simply a diminutive of “Marion,” a name derived from “Mary.” The figure of the shepherdess has strong associations with the Virgin Mary, as commentators such as William Paden and David Rothenberg have noted.64 When combined with liturgical Marian tenors, pastourelle texts can be imbued with sacred meanings such that Robin and Marion become allegorical representations of Christ and Mary, who were themselves understood as the sponsus and sponsa of the Song of Songs.65 Marot's emphasis on her virginity in the motetus voice of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” noted above, further aligns her character with Mary.

The music-textual association between the two women at this moment also invites readers and listeners to conflate the penitent speaker with Robin, and to conflate his unnamed sin with Robin's rape of Marot in the pastourelle motet. The parallelism of the two pairs of texts is profound: Theophilus betrayed Mary just as Robin betrays Marot. This textual conflation is reinforced by the motet's ending. In the final tenor cursus, in place of the dialogue describing the rape of Marot that is created between the two voices of the pastourelle motet, the Marian version features the final appeal by the two penitents in the triplum and motetus voices as they simultaneously beg for Mary's absolution.66 The speaker in the triplum voice cries out, explaining that he is beset by sin and can have no happiness without Mary's healing grace; he asks her to unbind his heart.67 The motetus voice sings the “Ave Maria” and resolves to give his heart to Mary; in perfection 80 a rest in the triplum causes the motetus's song to ring through the texture. In contrast to the conflict between Robin's actions and Marot's protest at the end of the pastourelle motet, the Marian version unites the two speakers in supplication.

By retaining the music and text of the refrain and other key phrases from the original secular version, the author of the contrafactum, “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur,” offers a spiritual continuation of its model motet, appending a moral conclusion to a preexisting pastourelle scene. The composer of the contrafactum thus performs a tropological reading, a medieval hermeneutic device aimed at moral instruction.68 The reading takes shape as the composer makes tropological associations by “replacing the key terms … with their counterparts in the devotional register,” guiding listeners to an appropriate spiritual interpretation of the events described in the model motet.69 In addition to the slippage between God and the god of love in the refrain “An Dieus!” and the dual resonance of the name “Marot,” there is also a reference to the grass, which, together with other evergreens such as ivy, served as a medieval symbol of Marian constancy.70 These terms function as hooks that motivate the tropological reading.

One of the most potent of the hooks found in this motet occurs in the triplum voice of the pastourelle motet, where Robin promises Marot that they will hear a concert of birdsong, then mimics the nightingale's cry “Oci.” As well as being an onomatopoetic representation of the nightingale's call, “Oci,” meaning literally “I kill,” is likely a reference to the story of Philomel, well known to medieval clerics from Ovid's Metamorphoses and popularized for vernacular audiences by the Old French texts Philomena and the Ovide moralisée.71 After her transformation into a nightingale Philomel sang “Oci, oci” as a warning to potential wrongdoers, in reference to the violent revenge she had exacted against her rapist. In addition to summoning this Ovidian imagery and its strong associations with rape, the nightingale also represented Christ; several chansons pieuses meditate on the image of Christ as a nightingale living in Mary's womb.72 In our motet the reference to the nightingale's cry “Oci” points in both directions, toward a classical tale of rape and revenge as well as to Christ. It is Robin who sings this “Oci” and ultimately Robin whose act of rape will require spiritual redemption. The final tropological hook in the Marian triplum voice, the speaker's reference to the story of Theophilus, is a reminder that even the most egregious sins can be absolved if remedied by sincere repentance and arduous penance. The composer of the devotional motet uses tropological interpretation to turn the reader's attention to the spiritual meanings of these hooks, adding a moral reading that extends the pastourelle narrative toward a second, spiritually redemptive conclusion.

Although addressed to Mary rather than a priest, this motet and its closing prayer also seem to portray a penitent in the midst of an act of confession. In the wake of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which reaffirmed penance as mandatory for salvation, the thirteenth century saw the proliferation of vernacular models of penance in confessional manuals, sermons and collections of exempla, and confessional scenes in romances.73 Confessional literature emphasized that the sacrament of confession involved both internal and external actions—sincere, internal contrition and the ritual, performative act of voicing it. In a sermon on confession Maurice de Sully explained, “as soon as he repents of his sin in his heart, he must not stop here, but right away he must soon go to his priest, and humble himself and kneel before him, and cry to him mercy, and confess to him his sin by his mouth and say how and when he did it.”74 The unity of the triplum and motetus speakers at the end of the contrafactum motet, as well as the music and text it shares with the pastourelle motet, encourage us to imagine that both unnamed penitents speak from the perspective of Robin. In the contrafactum Robin is seeking absolution, expressing his sincere repentance for having committed the sin of raping Marot. Both triplum and motetus speakers refer to their heart, recalling the emphasis on internal sincerity in penitential literature;75 both also allude to the sin that has prompted them to seek absolution. The motetus speaker resolves to enact the bodily gestures associated with the external performance of confession, such as falling to one's knees and crying out for mercy. The tenor, “Aptatur,” now resonates differently in its new context. Whereas in the pastourelle motet it seems to have been used ironically, the anguished pleas for forgiveness voiced in the Marian motet become an “apt” reaction to the sinful events depicted in the motet's model.

These pieces provide rare insight into an interpretive process that extends beyond the formal boundaries of a single motet. Further, their presence side by side in Mo suggests that medieval compilers may have been aware of their special relationship, and that by pairing them in the manuscript they sought to encourage their sequential performance as a complete narrative. The compositional sequence of the model and contrafactum is reversed in Mo: the Marian motet is copied first in fascicle 5, followed by the pastourelle motet. When the two motets are encountered in this order their temporal sequence is also reversed. Rather than presenting a linear narrative of rape and repentance, the two motets instead narrate an act of confession, which begins with the inward expression of sincere contrition and moves toward the performative voicing of the sin. When listeners and readers experience the Marian motet followed by the pastourelle motet, they witness a penitent who repents of his sin by promising his heart to Mary, begs for mercy, and falls to his knees; they then learn what his sin was, and how he committed it.

Violence, Performance, Communication

Both the definition of rape and its punishment were evolving during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries. Gratian's Decretum of ca. 1140 emphasized the importance of the woman's consent prior to the sexual act, creating new imperatives for force to be replaced by persuasion.76 Although in twelfth-century France execution was maintained in secular law as the appropriate punishment for rapists, the Christian church, following Gratian, rejected the death penalty. When committed by a layman, rape was punishable by excommunication and a period of social and spiritual isolation.77 In practice, however, the few customaries that survive from medieval France indicate that rape was rarely prosecuted and that the penalties were, by modern standards, light: most often, the assailant paid the victim's family a small fine as punishment. The status of rape as a sin was widely accepted on account of the violence involved in the act, yet the spiritual punishment for rape, excommunication, was both common and difficult to enforce in medieval life.78 In principle rape remained a serious offense.79 The rape of a virgin, such as is represented in the motet “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” was viewed the most harshly. In medieval England, for example, rape was downgraded from a capital crime to a felony except when the victim was a virgin.80 In France, where rape trials were infrequent, the cases that went to trial overwhelmingly involved virgin victims.81 

In the Middle Ages violence was performative: through violent acts perpetrators communicated specific messages to other members of society. In her extensive study of medieval interpersonal violence Hannah Skoda describes acts of violence as transactions or exchanges between perpetrators, victims, and spectators.82 In our own society criminals tend to hide their identities and try to avoid being seen. This was not the case in late thirteenth-century Paris and Arras, where the vast majority of serious crimes occurred in broad daylight, within or just beyond the city walls and in view of witnesses. Although pastourelle songs emphasize that the shepherdess is alone when the knight rapes her, most medieval rapes and other violent crimes such as murders, beatings, suicides, armed robberies, and arson were public incidents. The perpetrators chose to commit acts of violence during the day so that “violent messages could be made meaningful by the presence of multiple spectators.”83 Although an artistic representation of violence lacks a perpetrator and a victim, it too can communicate a message to a “spectator” (a reader, listener, or viewer) charged with interpreting its meaning. So what messages did the violent act represented in our pastourelle motet communicate, and to whom?

There is general agreement that the motet and organum genres were cultivated by clerics, especially in the first half of the thirteenth century.84 This is not to say that clerics constituted the only audience for the motet;85 there is codicological evidence to suggest that vernacular motets were enjoyed in some courtly contexts and that they may have been used to support lay devotional practices.86 Yet medieval clerics likely formed a key portion of the motet's composers, performers, and listeners. Scholars initially imagined this clerical audience as a scholarly elite, but later broadened it to include everyone from priests, monastics, and university masters to university students and boys studying Latin grammar.87 While it might seem incongruous that a motet dealing with rape would be of interest to a clerical audience, most medieval clerics were in fact exposed to textual depictions of rape on a regular basis throughout their studies. Within a medieval education it was deemed acceptable for boys to read Latin genres such as love poetry that were viewed as unsuitable or even risky reading for adult clerics.88 Although some commentators argued that children should be sheltered from such topics, the Latin texts most commonly used to teach boys and adolescents grammar in medieval cathedral schools, particularly those by Ovid, were saturated with explicit descriptions of rape.89 Further, in the accessus (or introduction) to these school texts medieval commentators often situated stories of rape as pedagogical, explaining that the intentio (ethical purpose) of the text was to teach men how to seduce women. These commentators did not allegorize or moralize the descriptions of rape, but rather clarified their literal meaning by glossing words and phrases and explaining obscure grammatical relationships.90 On the whole, medieval school texts and their commentaries construed rape “as both an act of manhood and an act desired by the young and virginal victim.”91 

While it is impossible to know whether exposure to this literature inspired young men to imitate the behavior it described once they came of age, the surviving records confirm that university students were the members of medieval society most likely to rape women, primarily targeting virgins. Fathers most often made payments to remedy rapes committed by sons who were young clerics. Further, rape seems to have been a means for these young clerics to project a masculine identity: “The presence of the fathers and their willingness to pay for their sons’ crime also suggest that these collective rapes may have been a sexual rite of passage.”92 Students were not required to take holy orders, and many did not intend to become priests when they finished their education. Yet the Parisian priests and university administrators who oversaw them expected young clerics to embrace a way of life that was studious, spiritual, and chaste. They strenuously promoted these ideals through sermons and in the university statutes, and they inveighed against students who were engaged in sinful behavior.93 Some students surely were studious and virtuous, but others chafed at the stereotype of the emasculated, chaste cleric and actively rebelled against it by formulating a strongly masculine identity marked by aggression and misogyny.94 They forged this identity through disputations so combative that the participants were compared to fighting cocks,95 and by engaging in actual violence against women, which they perpetrated in groups to publicly and communally reinforce messages of male virility directed at each other and at the Parisian community at large.96 

The subject matter of our two motets would thus have been of broad relevance to thirteenth-century clerical audiences, but it would have resonated differently with particular members of this group. When the model motet, “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” was performed alone, it would have reminded most clerics of the depictions of rape they had read as schoolboys. For some university students, hearing or singing this motet may well have reinforced a powerful, masculine identity they were in the process of forging by reminding them of rapes they had witnessed or even committed themselves. When performed together with the contrafactum, however, the pair of motets would have communicated a different message, echoing the admonitions of preachers and university masters who in their sermons and statutes explicitly condemned the rapes committed by students as immoral. Together, the two motets and their strong, censorious message would have had the potential to reach the very audience most responsible for the sin they denounced.97 As a diptych they could function as a moral exemplum designed to demonstrate vice, expose its consequences, and exhort young clerics to avoid it.98 

Conclusions: Listening, Then and Now

For perpetrators of violent acts in the Middle Ages the presence of witnesses was an advantage: “observers of violence themselves empowered the perpetrators, who knew that, while their intended messages might be contested, they would be observed and interpreted.”99 This is obvious in the case of gang rapes committed to reinforce masculine identity among a group of peers. Yet the witnesses to crimes in medieval society were often not those who endorsed the behavior of the perpetrators. Rather, they were pressed into service as spectators, inadvertently supplying the audience to which a wrongdoer hoped to direct his nefarious message. As a result, these involuntary observers were abused themselves; some medieval witnesses could recall rapes they had viewed in excruciating detail decades after the occurrence and claimed to have been traumatized by these experiences.100 Moreover, such witnesses would have to contend not only with their distress over what they had seen but also the knowledge that their presence had enabled the act itself, since they had provided the audience the aggressor sought. This may seem counterintuitive from a modern perspective, in which the presence of witnesses is generally thought to deter crime. In the medieval context, however, if observers had not been present the violent act might not have conveyed its intended meaning and thus might not have been committed at all. Medieval witnesses were not only the recipients of the message communicated by a violent act but were also unwittingly complicit in its occurrence.

This is not to say that such witnesses were blameworthy. It is perhaps, however, an analogue of this dynamic that makes some modern audience members deeply uncomfortable when they experience artistic representations of violence (including rape). If we assume that audiences suspend their disbelief and engage with the content of a piece as they listen to it, would there not, for some, be a visceral reaction that places them imaginatively at the scene? Of the three characters present in our motet (the offender, the maiden, and the narrator), a listener may identify with a rapist, a victim, or an observer. No actual crime occurs when we consume a representation of violence. Yet when our disbelief is suspended not by conscious choice but by the power of the performance, our act of listening is not entirely dissimilar to the medieval dynamic of witnessing a crime. We are made to observe a fictional representation of the same act that medieval witnesses viewed in person. Just as the presence of witnesses enabled the act in the medieval context, our presence as audience members enables the modern performance in which it is represented. Taken together, these analogies may help to explain the discomfort some modern listeners experience when hearing a motet such as “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” (or many other examples from the pastourelle song genre) without context, commentary, or censure. Listeners troubled by these ethical concerns may find themselves heartened by the message of the contrafactum motet, “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur,” in which the violent acts of its model are identified as sinful and the regretful wrongdoer is shown to face the most serious of all possible consequences. In contrast to the seeming medieval indifference toward the representation of rape in the pastourelle, the contrafactum reveals a corner of reception history where the attitude of at least one composer and one compiler—unequivocal condemnation—seems closer to our own.

Appendix

Motets copied twice in Mo

MotetNumber in MoStarting folioFascicle
“De lui / La bele / Iohanne” 20 24v 
 345 395r 
“Par un / Hé sire / Hé berchier / Eius” 22 27v 
 145 195v 
“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” 75 112v 
 147 198v 
“Que ferai / Ne puet / Descendentibus” 77 115v 
 144 194v 
“Onques ne / En tel lieu / [Vir]go” 100 140v 
 126 172v 
“Quant voi / En mai / [Immo]latus” 121 167v 
 151 203v 
“O virgo / Lis ne / Amat” 177 227v appendix to 5 
 266 293r 
“Amours, qui / Solem iusticie / Solem” 289 326r 
 338 388r 
MotetNumber in MoStarting folioFascicle
“De lui / La bele / Iohanne” 20 24v 
 345 395r 
“Par un / Hé sire / Hé berchier / Eius” 22 27v 
 145 195v 
“Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” 75 112v 
 147 198v 
“Que ferai / Ne puet / Descendentibus” 77 115v 
 144 194v 
“Onques ne / En tel lieu / [Vir]go” 100 140v 
 126 172v 
“Quant voi / En mai / [Immo]latus” 121 167v 
 151 203v 
“O virgo / Lis ne / Amat” 177 227v appendix to 5 
 266 293r 
“Amours, qui / Solem iusticie / Solem” 289 326r 
 338 388r 

Notes

Notes
Earlier versions of this article were read at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh, PA, and at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. Revisions, which were completed with the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, were improved greatly through conversations and correspondence with Joyce Coleman, Kacie Morgan, Logan E. Whalen, and Eliza Zingesser. Catherine A. Bradley, Mary Channen Caldwell, Brian A. Chance, Emma Dillon, and Anna Zayaruznaya read earlier drafts and provided invaluable suggestions.
1.
Capellanus, Andreas Capellanus on Love, bk. 1, ch. 11, 222: “Si vero et illarum te feminarum amor forte attraxerit, eas pluribus laudibus efferre memento, et, si locum inveneris opportunum, non differas assumere quod petebas et violento potiri amplexu.” Translation from Capellanus, Art of Courtly Love, 150.
2.
Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 110–11: “Quant je vi ke por proier / ne por prometre juel / ne la poroie plaixier, / k'en feisse mon avel, / jetai lai en mi l'erboie; / ne cuit pais k'elle ait grant joie, / ains sospire, / ces poins tort, ces chavols tire / et quiert son eschaipement” (vv. 34–42). Translation also from Gravdal. The text is found in the manuscript Bern, Stadtbibliothek 389, fol. 194r.
3.
“Fame esforcier si est quant aucuns prent a force charnel compaignie a fame contre la volenté de la fame et seur ce qu'ele fet son pouoir du defendre” (Rape is when anyone takes a woman by carnal force against the will of the woman and with the certainty that she has tried her best to defend herself); “Quiconques est pris en cas de crime et atains du cas, si comme de murtre, ou de traïson, ou d'homicide, ou de fame esforcier, il doit estre trainés et pendus” (Whoever is caught and convicted in a case such as murder, or treason, or homicide, or rape must be dragged and hanged): Philippe de Beaumanoir, Coutumes de Beauvaisis, quoted in Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 170n11 (my translation).
4.
It is possible that Andreas based this portion of De amore on the pastourelle song tradition itself; see Monson, Andreas Capellanus, 110–12.
5.
Other than the pastourelle songs themselves, Andreas and his translators provide the only surviving medieval commentary on the subject; see Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 106–7.
6.
See ibid., 104–8.
7.
See especially Gravdal, “Camouflaging Rape”; Paden, “Rape in the Pastourelle”; and Vitz, “Rereading Rape.” A summary of the broader debate can be found in Smith, Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition, 31–38.
8.
For an edition of motets featuring pastourelle texts, see Thomas, Robin and Marion Motets. Gravdal refers to the Montpellier motet codex (Mo) as the “Chansonnier de Montpellier,” implying that it contains monophonic trouvère songs rather than polyphonic motets: Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 108, 166, 189.
9.
See Rivière, Pastourelles, and Bartsch, Altfranzösische Romanzen und Pastourellen.
10.
It is not possible to know whether the two motets were the work of the same composer or of two different composers. I will simply refer to the author of each motet individually, reserving judgment as to whether they were the same person.
11.
The copy of “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” in Ba is written a fifth higher than the two copies in Mo. There are also minor variants in pitch between the Mo and Ba copies in the triplum (perfections 37–42) and motetus (perfections 52–54). See Norwood, “Study of the Provenance,” 253–54. For modern editions of the motet as transmitted in the two sources, see Tischler, Montpellier Codex, 2:72–74, and Anderson and Smith, Compositions of the Bamberg Manuscript, 42–43.
12.
For a discussion of the conventions of the pastourelle and its subgenres, see Bec, La lyrique française, 119–36; Paden, Medieval Pastourelle, 1:ix–xiii; and Brownlee, “Transformations of the Couple,” 420–21. For a recent survey of literature on the pastourelle, see Smith, Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition.
13.
Paden distinguishes between the pastourelle-classique, which is defined by the encounter between a chevalier/poet-narrator and a shepherdess, and the bergerie, in which the poet-narrator merely observes the actions of Robin, Marion, and their friends: Paden, Medieval Pastourelle, 1:x.
14.
See Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 108–9.
15.
Transcribed from Mo, fols. 113r, 114r. In my transcriptions of Old French motet texts I have, where possible, divided the text into verses in a way that reflects the musical phrasing. In this case the musical segmentation of the text tends toward decasyllabic verses with frequent internal rhymes. All punctuation and capitalization is, of course, editorial.
16.
Translations of motets in Mo are modified from Stakel and Relihan, Montpellier Codex, here 4:30.
17.
Many of the pastourelles that involve rape scenarios stress the girl's virginity and young age, which is often described as prepubescent; see Foehr-Janssens, “Pastourelle et parodie,” 162–63.
18.
Gravdal includes this motet voice in her list of twenty-five pastourelles that represent rape or attempted rape: Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 166n4.
19.
See Smith, Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition, 26–27.
20.
Smith cites examples in which the knight is clearly aroused by his power over the shepherdess: ibid., 31–37.
21.
Many of these songs present the knight's sexuality as categorically different from Robin's; see Foehr-Janssens, “Pastourelle et parodie,” 165.
22.
This occurs in the motet voice “Hé berchier, si grant envie” (transmitted, for example, in Mo, fols. 28r and 196r). See also Smith, Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition, 39.
23.
Transcribed from Mo, fols. 112v, 113v.
24.
Translation modified from Stakel and Relihan, Montpellier Codex, 4:30.
25.
See Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 2.
26.
See Bartsch, Altfranzösische Romanzen und Pastourellen, vol. 3, text 6.
27.
Ibid., vol. 2, texts 4, 6, 17, 62, 67, and vol. 3, texts 42, 48. For Gravdal, see note 18 above.
28.
Bartsch, Altfranzösische Romanzen und Pastourellen, vol. 3, text 48.
29.
Ibid., text 42. The shepherdess is so disturbed by his actions that she cries out “bele douce mere de, / gardez moi ma chastee” (beautiful, sweet mother of God, protect my chastity, vv. 35–36).
30.
On the juxtaposition of different narrative outcomes in pastourelle motets, see Huot, Allegorical Play, 42–43. On the narrative unity of the two voices in “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur,” see Callahan, “Tracking Robin, Marion and the Virgin Mary.”
31.
Ba, fol. 15r.
32.
Mo, fol. 214v, and Ba, fol. 53r. Grau has described motets that behave in this way as “homoglossic,” noting that their upper voices tend to share musical and textual material and a close musical range and to coordinate rests and rhymes: Grau, “Representation and Resistance,” 200.
33.
Hendrik van der Werf identifies the Saint Winnoc chant as the source for the “Aptatur” tenor: van der Werf, Integrated Directory of Organa, 127. Clark describes the liturgical origin of the tenor as uncertain, while Huot does not engage with the tenor's liturgical context: Clark, “‘S'en dirai chançonete,’” 37n24; Huot, Allegorical Play, 35.
34.
See Caldwell, “Singing, Dancing, and Rejoicing,” 519–23. I thank Professor Caldwell for sharing her dissertation with me prior to its becoming generally available.
35.
Aubry, Cent motets, 3:72. See also Clark, “‘S'en dirai chançonete,’” 37n24.
36.
See, for example, Huot's interpretation of “Entre Adan et Hanikel / Chief bien seantz / Aptatur,” in which the tenor “Aptatur” “expresses a world in which all parts harmonize and nothing is out of place”: Huot, Allegorical Play, 35.
37.
See Clark, “‘S'en dirai chançonete,’” 58.
38.
I thank Leofranc Holford-Strevens for bringing this to my attention (personal communication).
39.
For the significance of the use of italics in the example, see below.
40.
Callahan notes this aspect of the musical setting: “Cadences in one voice direct the listeners’ full attention in the other, however briefly, to Robin's insistence and Marot's increasingly fervent protests of reluctance”: Callahan, “Tracking Robin, Marion and the Virgin Mary,” 295. He describes this scene as one of seduction and gradual acquiescence, however, a reading I find difficult to reconcile with the text.
41.
For a modern edition of “Hé, mere Diu / La virge Marie / Aptatur” as transmitted in Mo, see Tischler, Montpellier Codex, 2:166–68. The manuscript known as Metz 535 is lost. The motet is representative of a small corpus of vernacular devotional motets within the repertory, a corpus that consists of only eighteen examples; see Everist, French Motets, 126.
42.
Whereas the term “contrafactum” was not used in classical Latin, it was most often used in the Middle Ages to suggest imitation. In the nineteenth century it was popularized as a musical term when Friedrich Gennrich used it to describe the conscious use of any model: Gennrich, “Die Musik als Hilfswissenschaft.” See also Falck, “Parody and Contrafactum.”
43.
Such adjacent copying is exceptional. I have located only one other instance of a pair of motets linked by contrafacture being copied in succession within a manuscript: “Mors vite vivificacio / Mors” and “Mors morsu nata / Mors que stimulo / Mors” appear sequentially in W2, fols. 164r–165r. The former also survives in Tort, fol. 140v, while the latter also appears in F, fol. 400v, in Ba, fol. 37v, as a two-voice motet in both Ma, fol. 104v, and Bes, no. 10, and with the quadruplum “Mors a primi” in Mo, fol. 57v, and Cl, fol. 372v. For the use of word retention in this model-contrafactum pair, see below. For examples of song contrafacta copied together with their models in British sources, see Deeming, “Multilingual Networks,” and Deeming, “English Monastic Miscellany,” 150–51.
44.
I have located a single additional example: the motetus voices of “Ja por mal / Hé desloiaus / Portare” (Mo, fol. 121r, and Cl, fol. 390r) and “Nicholaus igitur / Pour celi / Portare” (Ba, fol. 43v) have nearly identical musical settings. There are also nine families of contrafacta in which a single voice is set to two different French texts but also to at least one Latin text.
45.
Aubry, Cent motets, 3:78; Ludwig, Repertorium organorum recentioris, 1:340.
46.
See Anderson, “Newly Identified Chants,” and Baltzer, “Aspects of Trope.” See also Bradley, “Contrafacta and Transcribed Motets,” 4–8.
47.
I use the term “intertextual refrain” to describe refrains that are attested in at least two sources; see Saltzstein, “Relocating the Thirteenth-Century Refrain,” 251, and Saltzstein, Refrain and the Rise of the Vernacular, 4.
48.
Yolanda Plumley and I discovered this concordance independently: Plumley, Art of Grafted Song, 113n45.
49.
The “vdB” numbering of refrains refers to Boogaard, Rondeaux et refrains. “Hé, Marotele / En la praerie / Aptatur” also includes the refrain “Douce Marot, grief sunt li maus que j'ai” (vdB 616), which has no textual or musical concordances outside this motet but does appear twice with the same melody in the Ba version, where it thus functions as an intratextual refrain. On the issue of “unique” refrains that have no known concordances, see Butterfield, “Repetition and Variation”; Everist, French Motets, 54–57; Clark, “‘S'en dirai chançonete,’” 47; and Saltzstein, Refrain and the Rise of the Vernacular, 3–4.
50.
The textual phrase that most of these refrains share is the question “que ferai?”
51.
Boogaard lists M189, M538, M405, M846, M569, M728, and M885 as additional contexts within which this refrain appears: Boogaard, Rondeaux et refrains, 166. For a discussion of refrains that appear only within the motet repertory, see Saltzstein, “Relocating the Thirteenth-Century Refrain,” 252.
52.
Anderson argues that “Balaam, prophetandi patuit / Balaam” is a Latin contrafactum of the French motet “Haré, haré, hie / Balaam, Goudalier ont bien / Balaam”: Anderson, “Small Collection,” 183–85.
53.
See Deeming, “Music, Memory and Mobility,” 67–68.
54.
The refrain is highlighted rhythmically through a shift to mode 5 in the motetus, which draws attention to her cry “Oh God! Oh, oh God.”
55.
See “Mere au roi puissant,” “Or laissons ester,” “Fine amor et bone esperance,” and “Por ce que veritédie” in Epstein, “Prions en chantant,” 134–37, 154–57, 182–85, 202–5. On both the dominance and the clever manipulation of the technique of contrafacture in the chanson pieuse genre, see O'Sullivan, Marian Devotion, 7–8.
56.
Transcribed from Mo, fols. 196v, 197v.
57.
Translation modified from Stakel and Relihan, Montpellier Codex, 4:56.
58.
The allusion to the miracle of Theophilus in this motet has been noted by Mark Everist: Everist, French Motets, 143. Theophilus's story also featured in the Speculum historiale of Vincent de Beauvais. On Rutebeuf's and Gautier's versions of the myth, see O'Sullivan, Marian Devotion, 98–108. See also Mitchell, Witchcraft and Magic, 119, and Butler, Myth of the Magus, 91–94.
59.
See Cothren, “Iconography of Theophilus Windows.”
60.
See Rapp, Holy Bishops, 219.
61.
I know of no other motet that invokes Theophilus's name, but he does appear as a moral exemplum in a number of chansons pieuses; see Epstein, “Prions en chantant,” 45.
62.
Transcribed from Mo, fols. 197r, 198r.
63.
Translation modified from Stakel and Relihan, Montpellier Codex, 4:56.
64.
Paden, “Figure of the Shepherdess” and “New Thoughts”; Rothenberg, Flower of Paradise, 39–57, 60–79. See also Thomas, “Robin-and-Marion Story.”
65.
See Rothenberg, Flower of Paradise, 63.
66.
Deeming describes such moments of parallelism in contrafacta as “virtual polyphony” because of their ability to prompt listeners to remember the former lyrics: Deeming, “Music, Memory and Mobility,” 67–68.
67.
His closing utterance puns on “lié,” as he notes that he cannot be happy (“lié”) unless his heart is unbound (“deslié”) by Mary's grace.
68.
Recent explorations of hermeneutics in the motet repertory have focused on allegory; see especially Huot, Allegorical Play, passim; Robertson, Guillaume de Machaut, 103–4; and Rothenberg, Flower of Paradise, 6–9, 11n31. On John Cassian's fourfold system of scriptural interpretation, see Copeland and Struck, introduction to Cambridge Companion to Allegory, 2–5.
69.
See Huot, Allegorical Play, 62–63, here 63.
70.
The use of this symbol for Mary is common in the chanson pieuse repertory; see Epstein, “Prions en chantant,” 34.
71.
The cry of the nightingale first appears in medieval lyric in the songs of the late twelfth-century trouvère Guillaume le Vinier, and his source was very likely the Old French Philomena; see Pfeffer, Change of Philomel, 136.
72.
See Huot, Allegorical Play, 59; Leach, Sung Birds, 100–101; and Epstein, “Prions en chantant,” 258.
73.
See Epstein, “Prions en chantant,” 21; Galvez, “Intersubjective Performance of Confession,” 6; and Galvez, “Voice of the Unrepentant Crusader,” 111. I am grateful to Professor Galvez for sharing the first of the two essays cited here with me prior to its publication.
74.
Quoted in Galvez, “Intersubjective Performance of Confession,” 14.
75.
Bernard of Clairvaux stresses that the voice of the confessor should arise from a contrite heart; see Galvez, “Voice of the Unrepentant Crusader,” 111.
76.
See, for example, Noonan, “Power to Choose,” and Brundage, Law, Sex, and Christian Society, 530–33.
77.
See Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 8–11.
78.
See ibid., 125–27.
79.
See note 3 above.
80.
See Brundage, “Rape and Marriage,” and Hanawalt, Crime and Conflict, 104–5.
81.
See Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 125–26.
82.
Skoda, Medieval Violence, 5.
83.
Ibid., 233. Comparable forms of communicative violence may be found in modern American society, such as certain types of gang violence and violent bullying, which are intentionally committed in view of witnesses and without concealing the offenders’ identities.
84.
See Wright, Music and Ceremony, 25, and Page, Owl and the Nightingale, 144.
85.
Huot argues that we should envision medieval motet audiences as comprising not only listeners but also composers and performers: Huot, Allegorical Play, 20.
86.
See Bradley, “Song and Citation”; Curran, “Composing a Codex”; and especially Dillon, Sense of Sound, 285–94. I thank Professor Bradley for sharing her article with me prior to its publication. Courtly interest in the motet is suggested by the presence of a large corpus of two-voice motets (although some without tenors) in R and N. By the early fourteenth century the presence of a significant corpus of motet lyrics in D indicates further interest in motet texts among courtly audiences; see Leach, “Courtly Compilation,” 245–46.
87.
See Page, Discarding Images, ch. 3.
88.
See Woods, “Rape and the Pedagogical Rhetoric,” 66.
89.
Ovid's Metamorphoses (which depicts rape) and Ars amatoria (which condones rape) were for centuries widely used in medieval schools throughout Europe to teach Latin grammar to boys; see Woods, “Rape and the Pedagogical Rhetoric,” 56–59, and Allen, Art of Love. For medieval pedagogues who objected to assigning Ovid to boys, see Amsler, “Rape and Silence,” 62–63.
90.
See Woods, “Rape and the Pedagogical Rhetoric,” 64–65.
91.
Ibid., 62.
92.
Gravdal, Ravishing Maidens, 125.
93.
See Skoda, Medieval Violence, 127–32, and Payne, “Aurelianis civitas,” 606–7.
94.
See Woods, “Rape and the Pedagogical Rhetoric,” and Skoda, Medieval Violence, 127.
95.
See Novikoff, Medieval Culture of Disputation, 144.
96.
See Skoda, Medieval Violence, 141–42.
97.
For another case in which a clerical composer seems to have used the motet genre to direct an admonition toward a clerical audience, see Curran, “Feeling the Polemic,” 88–89.
98.
This would align the motets with the medieval Christian allegories of classical texts; see Amsler, “Rape and Silence,” 63–69.
99.
Skoda, Medieval Violence, 233.
100.
See ibid., 81–86.
101.
Sigla used in this article follow Gennrich, Bibliographie der ältesten französischen und lateinischen Motetten.

Works Cited

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Ba Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, MS Lit. 115 
Bes Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 1, 716 
Boul Boulogne-sur-Mer, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 148 (formerly 119) 
Cl Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS nouv. acq. fr. 13521 
D Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 308 (Douce Chansonnier
F Florence, Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, MS Pluteus 29.1 
LoC London, British Library, Add. 30091 
Ma Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 20 486 
Metz Metz, Stadtbibliothek, MS 535 (now Mediathèque Verlaine-Pontiffroy) 
Mo Montpellier, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire, Section Médicine, MS H196 
N Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS fr. 12615 (Chansonnier de Noailles
R Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS fr. 844 (Chansonnier du Roi
Tort Tortosa, Biblioteca de Catedral, Codex 97 
W2 Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, MS 628 (formerly Helmst. 1206) 
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