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Medieval Music Database

Chontemplar le gran cose c'F onesto

Three-voice ballata by Francesco Landini


Florence: Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Palatino 87 (Squarcialupi Codex), fol. 153 (3/1); Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Panciatichiano 26, fol. 82 (3/1);
London: British Library, Additional 29987, fol. 78 (3/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds italien 568, fol. 113v-114 (3/1).


1. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, edited by Friedrich Blume, 16 vols., Kassel and Basel: Bärenreiter, 1949 ff, plate IV (Pn568).
2. The Manuscript London, British Museum Add. 29987, facsimile edition by Gilbert Reaney, [n.p.]: American Institute of Musicology, 1965. Musicological Studies and Documents 13, (Lo).
3. Il codice musicale Panciatichi 26 della Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, facsimile edition by F. Alberto Gallo, Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1981, no. 149 (FP).
4. Il Codice Squarcialupi edited by F. Alberto GALLO, Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 1992.


1. The Works of Francesco Landini, edited by Leonard Ellinwood, Cambridge/Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1939, p. 191.
2. Der Squarcialupi-Codex Pal. 87 der Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana zu Florenz, edited by Johannes Wolf and H. Albrecht, Lippstadt: Kistner and Siegel, 1955, p. 273.
3. The Works of Francesco Landini, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1958. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century IV, p. 177.
4. GOZZI, Marco. [London, British Library 29987: Transcription and Commentary], 2 vols., dissertation, Cremona, Scuola di paleografica musicale, University of Pavia: 1984-1985.
5. GARFORTH, Constance C. The Lo Manuscript: A Trecento Collection, Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University: 1983.

Text Editions

CORSI, Giuseppe. Poesie musicali del Trecento, Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1970, p. 148.


1. BECHERINI, Bianca. 'Antonio Squarcialupi e il codice mediceo-palatino 87', L'Ars nova italiana del Trecento I: Certaldo 1959, 1962, p. 180.
2. BAUMANN, Dorothea. Die dreistimmige italienische Lied-Satztechnik im Trecento, Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1979. Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Abhandlung no. 64, passim.
3. LONG, Michael P. 'Francesco Landini and the Florentine cultural élite', Early Music History, 3 (1983), p. 88.


Contemplar le gran cose c'F onesto
di chi tutto governa;
ma cercar le ragion non ci F richiesto.

ChT metter tempo e sottigliar la mente
in voler cercar quel che c'F negato?
ChT quanto lo 'ntelletto F pi· possente.
ne la ragion pi· manca d'ogni lato.
Ma vegnamo al rimedio che ci F dato.
che toglie el viver mesto.
del creder puro; e stiam contenti a questo.


It is proper for us to contemplate
the great works of the ruler of all things.
but not to look for reasons.

Why spend time in sharpening the mind
to seek what is denied us?
The more powerful our intellect.
the more chances there are of missing the point.
But let us come to the remedy which is given us.
and removes the sadness from life:
let's have pure faith, and be satisfied with that.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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