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Dernière mise à jour le 11/04/2016

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NOTRE-DAME DES DOMS CAROLS

Noëls de Notre-Dame des Doms, Provençal carols

The Noëls of Notre-Dame des Doms are Provençal carols from 1580 to 1610 and from 1653 to 1656. Notre-Dame des Doms is Avignon's cathedral next to the Popes' Palace. It seems that the lyrics were written by church "staff", mostly on folk tunes. The manuscripts are kept in Avignon's town library Ceccano [Ms. 4485, 1250 et 1181].

They were first published in 1925 "Les noëls provençaux de Notre-Dame des Doms (1570-1610) édités pour la première fois avec la musique, suivis de dix noëls inédits de 1653 et 1656", Clamon Joseph-Noël et Pansier Pierre, Avignon, Aubanel frères, 1925 [Transcription du Ms. 4485 de la Bibliothèque d’Avignon et de dix noëls des Ms. 1250 et 1181].

They were later published in "Trésor des Noëls provençaux, avec musique et illustrés, Saboly, les Rèire, les félibres, Notre-Dame des Doms et Denis Cassan, Marcel Petit, Culture provençale et méridionale, 1981", The book preface indicates that they were copied from the book previously mentioned above.

They were transcribed in Mistralian norm. The lyrics were written for "a folksy" audience.

According to Gustave Bayle's work "Étude historique, littéraire et musicale sur un recueil manuscrit des anciens noëls de Notre-Dame des Doms", 1884, Ed. Aubanel, Avignon, Ed. Houdin, Paris, the manuscript belonged to Michel Tornatoris ("compaire Tournatory" in the carol #1-10), organist at the cathedral and who died in 1641. Gustave Bayle was a lawyer in Avignon in the late 1800's and he found the manuscript while making some research in old material from another lawyer's office.

On this page you'll find notes on some specific words that are often used so instead of writing a note at the bottom of each and every song including any of them, there there are.

On this page you'll find the list of the first 52  of them in both alphabetical order with their numbers and from 1 to 52. They are the ones from Ms. 4485.
The titles in the list are spelled in first Mistralian norm since they've been first published this way and many people may look for them with this spelling, then in classical norm since most people use it now.

Each page will (hopefully!) consist in:

  • the lyrics as transcribed in the manuscripts 4485, 1250 and 1181 kept in Avignon Town Library though I transcribed whatever was notated "vowel+'tilde' above" as "vowel+n" and I wrote in extenso whatever abbreviation that can be only displayed as an image..
  • the lyrics in classical writing system because most people are likely to search them using this spelling system. Note that I just changed the spelling, I didn't "sanitize" them by replacing original words by some more "genuine" ones –some words are "provençalized" French ones.
  • an English translation –the result of many email exchanges between Artful Codger and me- and,
  • a singable translation into French of my own making for those who know French but don't feel the courage to try their skills on Provençal –I'm actually not sure it'll come out easier! (Cf. Oc pronunciation).
  • you should also find a midi music and a score both by Rob Wahl whom I thank very much for his work and help.

On  this page, you'll find the list of the 10 next carols in both alphabetical order with their numbers and from 1 to 10. They are the ones from Ms. 1181 and 1250. The Ms. 1181 includes the scores of the melody lines and the full sets of lyrics, the Ms.1250 includes the scores of the accompaniment and the first verse of each song. Unfortunately, on page 12 of the Ms. it reads "Les feuillets 13 à 46 manquent" (Pages from 13 to 46 are missing) hence 17 sheets; they were indeed torn or cut out. 140 pages are also missing on the same manuscript, namely 70 sheets. This explains why Clamon and Pansier published only 10 of them out of the 40 odd primarily written down on these two manuscripts according to the Ms.1250 content.






Dernière modification le 10/12/2014

Versions françaises et traductions anglaises : Monique Palomares

Fichiers sonores midi et partitions : Robert Wahl