In one of the scores of Byrd's Ave verum corpus on CPDL, one notices horizontal lines :

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  • What do they mean? Are it a kind of phrasing marks?
  • Were they added by the editor?


The Misa de Notre Dame by de Machaut is an other example :

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    I do not think so. The numbers indicated are bar numbers. I have added an other example. – Karlo Aug 13 '19 at 14:14
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    Best guess is phrasing groups, tho' certainly this is nonstandard notation. If you compare with other editions, or original manuscripts, certainly those markings aren't there – Carl Witthoft Aug 13 '19 at 14:20

(This is supposed to be a comment!)

Maybe these scores you present are transcriptions of mensural notation, which allowed for a special notation for ligatures in vocal music. Brackets above the notes are used to represent ligatures in transcriptions of mensural notation to modern notation. You may find many details on the transcription of mensural notation to modern notation under the link provided above.

While the second example you provide confirms my assumption immediately, the first example with the additional slur markings in the soprano confuses me still. Taking a look at the original shows that it's not even in modal notation (and there's not indication of ligatures). Therefore, I would hazard a guess and suggest that those (implicit) ligatures were added by the editor.

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