So ... this week my wonderful viol teacher, Polly Sussex, set me an interesting piece of homework: find "Angelica Bilta" - a piece by 14thC composer Landini we've been playing - in the Squarcialupi Codex.
There's a facsimile of the codex at IMSLP. Still, easier said than done.
- Download facsimile. All 441 highly-decorated pages.
- Look at the first few pieces, realise this is going to take a while.
- Keep looking.
- Notice that section start with a portrait, notice page headings. Realise it's divided up by composer, and the composer is named at the top of the page.
- Skim whole thing, looking at each new composer name. Fail to find Landini.
- Look up Landini on Wikipedia, to see if he was called by other names. Notice that the portrait of Landini is familiar - it's from the Codex I've just skimmed.
- Look for the page number for that portrait. Fail to find it.
- Skim whole thing again, even more quickly. Find portrait (p246 of facsimile pdf). This time, read "Magister Franciscus ... de Florentia". Why didn't I see that the first time?
- Found it! P251 of pdf. "Angelica bilta ...". Well, there's one line. We play two parts. The other version (19thC) on IMSLP has three.
- And I found another favourite - Ecco la Primavera - starting on p.273.
- I can easily identify the melody lines for these pieces, not so much the harmonies. Hmm, maybe the Roman numberals in the margins indicate the end of each piece?
- Only now do I notice the drop-down on the IMSLP page labelled "detailed contents listing". Oh look, contents, with page numbers!
Right, now to make sense of it, and reconcile it against the edition I've played from ...