Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4660 and Clm 4660a

Carmina Burana and Fragmenta Burana Facsimile Edition

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The Carmina Burana and Fragmenta Burana stands as the most comprehensive and important collection of lyric poetry from the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The manuscript contains 318 songs, most of them in Latin, some in German, whose content is almost exclusively profane. It includes, indeed, didactic moralizing poems and satires, love songs and spring songs, and drinking and gaming verses. The manuscript, crafted by three scribes, is believed to have originated in the southern Alps region, based on its script and language.

The songs appear to be sourced from diverse origins, possibly including contributions from itinerant scholars. Alongside the songs, the manuscript features two Latin plays—a Nativity play and a Passion play. Neumes, representing melodies, are occasionally incorporated into the manuscript. The book also features eight framed miniatures, mostly found at the conclusion of song groups sharing thematic content.

Evidence of the manuscript's presence in the Benediktbeuern monastery only surfaced in the eighteenth century. Johann Christoph von Aretin found the book in 1803, when the monastery was dissolved. The term "Songs from Benediktbeuern" (Carmina Burana) was introduced by librarian Johann Andreas Schmeller in 1847, and later, composer Carl Orff (1895-1982) popularized them by turning them into a celebrated scenic cantata.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Carmina Burana and Fragmenta Burana": Carmina Burana facsimile edition, published by Prestel-Verlag, 1967

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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Carmina Burana

Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1967

  • Commentary (German) by Bischoff, Bernhard; Eder, Christine
  • Limited Edition: 900 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Carmina Burana and Fragmenta Burana: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

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