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Restoring Lost Songs: Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy


Only the opening couplet of Carmina qui quondam, the first metrum in the De consolatione philosophiae, is sung in this video. For online editions and translations of the complete poem, click here. A transcription of the melody performed is provided here.  

The notation survives in a manuscript copied around the year 1000, perhaps from Canterbury.  The manuscript is now privately owned, having been previously held in the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Geneva, and is given the manuscript reference GEN 175 on this site. The full set of notations in this manuscript is listed here.

Users might wish to compare the version in this video with a performance of this song earlier in the reconstruction process, which can be seen in this clip. The melody did not change between versions, but many other aspects of performance were revised. A performance of the full text can be found as the opening track on the CD, Boethius: Songs of Consolation.