Project Status: Ongoing

A searchable database of medieval refrains, or fragments of music or text that circulated between songs of various types during the thirteenth century.

The database includes a number of newly discovered refrains (marked with an asterisk), but relies primarily upon the catalogs and editions contained in the following:

  • Friedrich Gennrich, Bibliographisches Verzeichnis der französischen Refrains, Summa musicae medii aevi 14 (Langen bei Frankfurt: n.p., 1964)
  • Nico H. J. van den Boogaard, Rondeaux et refrains du xiie siècle au début du xive: collationnement, introduction, et notes, Bibliothèque française et romane, D:3 (Paris: Éditions Klincksieck, 1969)
  • Anne Ibos-Augé, ‘La fonction des insertions lyriques dans des œuvres narratives et didactiques aux xiiième et xivème siècles’, 4 vols (PhD diss., Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux III, 2000)

The database is searchable or browsable by refrains and works; by singer, manuscript, circumstance, and location; and by author, generic descriptor, and voice in polyphony. Each entry also links to the parent work in which the refrain is located, with information about modern editions where available.

Resource details:

Resource Type: Searchable DatabaseText: Medieval

License: Must provide creditNo Fee

Modern Language: English

Medieval content details:

Dates: 1200 - 1300

Approximate; the genre flourished over the "long thirteenth century."

Subject: ChivalryCourtly LoveCrusadesGenderHistoryManuscript StudiesMaterial CultureMusicNobility, GentryRecreation, EntertainmentTravel, PilgrimageWomen

Type/Genre of Medieval Primary Source Material: LiteratureMusicRomanceTextual EvidenceVerse

Geopolitical Region: EuropeFrance

Original Language: FrenchOld French (12-13C)

Includes refrains and texts by over 100 medieval creators, including Adam de la Halle, Adenet le Roi, Gilbert de Berneville, and many others.