For modern listeners, the sounds of Gregorian chant are compelling, with words and rhythms that seem at once familiar and remote. Even without a musical background or knowledge of the religious significance of Gregorian chant, listeners respond to the unique qualities of this music. Richard L. Crocker, a world-renowned authority on chant, offers in this book and its accompanying compact disc an eloquent introduction to the history and meaning of the Gregorian chant. He explains how Gregorian chant began, what functions and meanings it had over time, who heard it and where, and how it was composed, learned, written down, and handed on. His guided tour of the Gregorian chant provides for any interested listener a richer understanding of this enduringly powerful music. Crocker explains Gregorian chant and its functions within modern catholic liturgy as well as its position outside this liturgy, where the modern listener may hear it just as music. He describes the origins of the chant in the early Middle Ages, details its medieval development and use, and considers how it survived without, and later with, musical notation.
[Librarian's note: This is a great introductory resource.]
What is Gregorian chant, and where does it come from? What purpose does it serve, and how did it take on the form and features which make it instantly recognizable? Designed to guide students through this key topic, this book answers these questions and many more. David Hiley describes the church services in which chant is performed, takes the reader through the church year, explains what Latin texts were used, and, taking Worcester Cathedral as an example, describes the buildings in which it was sung. The history of chant is traced from its beginnings in the early centuries of Christianity, through the Middle Ages, the revisions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the restoration in the nineteenth and twentieth. Using numerous music examples, the book shows how chants are made and how they were notated. An indispensable guide for all those interested in the fascinating world of Gregorian chant.
The liturgical celebration of the Mass, a multifarious spiritual, artistic, and intellectual manifestation, had a central position in the cultural life of medieval Europe. The 'Gregorian Chants', mostly words from passages of the Old Testament, were reinterpreted and ornamented by means of new lyrics, and became the basis for new literary and musical genres, such as tropes, sequences, and other new lyrics. In spite of all the unifying efforts made by the Carolingian reformers, a rich variety in practice came to characterize the performance of the Mass in the ninth through the twelfth centuries. Extensive repertories of new texts and melodies were spread in manuscripts all over Europe. Until now this fascinating material has been the preserve of a small circle of specialists in musicology and philology. With this volume, the author introduces and analyses these hidden treasures to make them available to a wider public. It is directed to those with an interest in the philosophy, theology, and history of medieval Latin literature, and in the expressions of spiritual, poetic, and musical creativity of the European Middle Ages.
Studying Gregorian chant presents many problems to the researcher because its most important stages of development were not recorded in writing. From the sixth to the tenth century, this form of music existed only in song as medieval musicians relied on their memories and voices to pass each verse from one generation to the next. Peter Jeffery offers an innovative new approach for understanding how these melodies were created, memorized, performed, and modified. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, including anthropology and ethnomusicology, he identifies characteristics of Gregorian chant that closely resemble other oral traditions in non-Western cultures and demonstrates ways music historians can take into account the social, cultural, and anthropological contexts of chant's development.
The years 1590-1890 comprised a period of intensive activity in the realm of Gregorian chant, marked by two major and opposing series of fundamental changes to the repertoire. This vitality notwithstanding, only a small handful of studies provide information about chant in this period. The present monograph and edition seek to remedy this lacuna in our knowledge with respect to chants for the Mass Proper. It presents the first large-scale account of the various repertoires involved, together with transcriptions from selected primary sources. It offers also the first extensive listing of our primary printed sources. [Librarian's note: This resource discusses chant revision in the period following the Council of Trent (1563 to the end of the 19th century)]
How music functioned in the middle ages, what it meant to its hearers, and how it was performed: these are the subjects of this fascinating volume. The studies collected here introduce the reader to the practical detail and complex intricacies of the performance of medieval music in the liturgy, bringing into clear focus a number of matters that were long obscure. (A second volume by Professor Kelly,The Sources of Beneventan Chant, Ashgate 2011, complements this volume). Two detailed studies of aspects of musical practices of the Eternal City bring new historical perspectives to the understanding of the growth of the Roman liturgy, while the second and third groups of articles bring the reader close to the actual sound of medieval musicians. Writings on the art of the prosula, a hitherto understudied musico-poetic phenomenon, give practical information about Gregorian chant that can be acquired in no other way. Likewise, the study of variants in the music of the Exultet for Holy Saturday provides a window onto a creative and improvisational practice that is often difficult to discern from surviving written sources. A final study, of the composers of chant in the middle ages, gives us a view of how musicians and others thought of themselves in a time that often valued anonymity.
A world-renowned scholar of plainchant, Kenneth Levy has spent a portion of his career investigating the nature and ramifications of this repertory's shift from an oral tradition to the written versions dating to the tenth century. In Gregorian Chant and the Carolingians, which represents the culmination of his research, Levy seeks to change long-held perceptions about certain crucial stages of the evolution and dissemination of the old corpus of plainchant--most notably the assumption that such a large and complex repertory could have become and remained fixed for over a century while still an oral tradition. Levy portrays the promulgation of an authoritative body of plainchant during the reign of Charlemagne by clearly differentiating between actual evidence, hypotheses, and received ideas. How many traditions of oral chant existed before the tenth century? Among the variations noted in written chant, can one point to a single version as being older or more authentic than the others? What precursors might there have been to the notational system used in all the surviving manuscripts, where the notational system seems fully formed and mature? In answering questions that have long vexed many scholars of Gregorian chant's early history, Levy offers fresh explanations of such topics as the origin of Latin neumes, the shifting relationships between memory and early notations, and the puzzling differences among the first surviving neume-species from the tenth century, which have until now impeded a critical restoration of the Carolingian musical forms.
In his final accomplishment of an extraordinarily distinguished career, James W. McKinnon considers the musical practices of the early Church in this incisive examination of the history of Christian chant from the years a.d. 200 to 800. The result is an important book that is certain to have a long-lasting impact on musicology, religious studies, and history.
Gregorian Chant offers a detailed tutorial in the history and liturgy of Gregorian chant for musicians and musicologists, clergy and liturgists, passionate participants, and others who are interested in the revival of chant in the church, today.
This collection provides English translations for the Propers of the Mass_those portions of the Roman Catholic Mass which change from day to day throughout the Liturgical Year. Since the Middle Ages, these texts were set to music in the form of chant, and later as motets, and sung during the service of the Mass. Many of these musical works are the standard literature for choirs today and are regularly performed in concert and worship settings. New settings of Mass propers continue to be written by major contemporary composers. Because these settings of Latin texts are often published without English translations, this collection of more than 900 propers is a valuable reference for choral directors and church musicians and is the most comprehensive book of its type. The proper's liturgical function provides the reader with information regarding the specific feast day (or days) for which particular texts were used. This is useful not only as basic background information but also as a valuable aid to assist in the artistic interpretation of the musical setting of a text. A listing of the feast days of the liturgical year is helpful to church musicians who wish to select music with Latin texts for use in worship services or as an aid for conductors as they program Latin sacred music in concert settings.
Aspects of Orality and Formularity in Gregorian Chant is a milestone publication in the study of medieval monophonic music. In its movement away from the concept of chants as products and toward the idea of chants as processes, it will markedly change accepted ways of thinking about this musical form. The essays are loosely connected through their bearing on one or more of three themes: the role of orality in the transmission of chant circa 700-1400; varying degrees of stability or instability in the transmission of chant; and the role of the formula in the construction of chant.
An immensely useful book, even if you don't read German. Mostly a study of the chant Kyrie, but 40% or so of the book is a thematic catalog of those 226 Kyries, and in which manuscripts they can be found.
Cultural landscape and geography have affected the history of Western music from its earliest manifestations to the present day. City, Chant, and the Topography of Early Music brings together essays by thirteen leading scholars that explore ways that space, urban life, landscape, and time transformed plainchant and other musical forms. In addressing a broad array of topics and regions--ranging from Beneventan chant in Italy and Dalmatia, to music theory in medieval France, to later transformations of chant in Iceland and Spain--these essays honor and build upon Thomas Forrest Kelly's work in keeping cultural, geographic, and political factors close to the heart of the musicology of chant, early music, and beyond. Two essays complement Kelly's scholarly and pedagogical interests by investigating the role of the city in premieres of works composed long after the end of the Middle Ages.
[Librarian's note: "One-stop shopping" for various important journal articles.]
The Latin liturgical music of the medieval church is the earliest body of Western music to survive in a more or less complete form. It is a body of thousands of individual pieces, of striking beauty and aesthetic appeal, which has the special quality of embodying, of giving voice to, the words of the liturgy itself. Plainchant is the music that underpins essentially all other music of the middle ages (and far beyond), and is the music that is most abundantly preserved. It is a subject that has engaged a great deal of research and debate in the last fifty years and the nature of the complex issues that have recently arisen in research on chant are explored here in an overview of current issues and problems.
The Divine Office--the cycle of daily worship other than the Mass--is the richest source of liturgical texts and music from the Latin Middle Ages. However, its richness, the great diversity of its manuscripts, and its many variations from community to community have made it difficult to study, and it remains largely unexplored terrain. This volume is a practical guide to the Divine Office for students and scholars throughout the field of medieval studies. The book surveys the many questions related to the Office and presents the leading analytical tools and research methods now used in the field.Beginning with the Office in the early Middle Ages, the book covers manuscript sources and their contents; regional developments and variations; the relationship between the Office, the Mass, and other ceremonies and repertories; and the deep links between the Office and medieval hagiography. The book concludes with a discussion of recent technical advances for handling the enormous amounts of evidence on the Office and its performance, in particular CANTUS, the vast electronic database developed by Ruth Steiner of Catholic University for the analysis of chant repertories.The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages is an essential resource for anyone studying medieval liturgy. Its accessible style and broad coverage make it an important basic reference for a wide range of students and scholars in art history, religious studies, social history, literature, musicology,and theology.
After the imposition of Gregorian chant upon most of Europe by the authority of the Carolingian kings and emperors in the eighth and ninth centuries, a large number of repertories arose in connection with the new chant and its liturgy. Of these repertories, the tropes, together with the sequences, represent the main creative activity of European musicians in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. Because they were not an absolutely official part of the liturgy, as was Gregorian chant, they reflect local traditions, particularly in terms of melody, and more so than the new pieces that were composed at the time. In addition, the earlier layers of tropes represent, in many cases, a survival of the pre local pre Gregorian melodic traditions. This volume provides an introduction to the study of tropes in the form of an extensive anthology of major studies and a comprehensive bibliography and constitutes a classic reference resource for the study of one of the most important musico-liturgical genres of the central middle ages.
The writing down of music is one of the triumphant technologies of the West. Without writing, the performance of music involves some combination of memory and improvisation. Isidore of Seville famously wrote that "unless sounds are remembered by man, they perish, for they cannot be written down". This volume deals with the materials of chant from the point of view of transmission. The early history of chant is a history of orality, of transmission by mouth to ear, and yet we can study it only through the use of written documents. Scholars of medieval music have taken up the ideas and techniques of scholars of folklore, of oral transmission, of ethnomusicology; for the chant is, in fact, an ancient music transmitted for a time in oral culture; and we study a culture not our own, whose informants are not people but manuscripts. All depends, ironically, on deducing oral issues from written documents.
Gregorian chant was the dominant liturgical music of the medieval period, from the time it was adopted by Charlemagne's court in the eighth century; but for centuries afterwards it competed with other musical traditions, local repertories from the great centres of Rome, Milan, Ravenna, Benevento, Toledo, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Kievan Rus, and comparative study of these chant traditions can tell us much about music, liturgy, literacy and culture a thousand years ago. This is the first book-length work to look at the issues in a global, comprehensive way, in the manner of the work of Kenneth Levy, the leading exponent of comparative chant studies. It covers the four most fruitful approaches for investigators: the creation and transmission of chant texts, based on the psalms and other sources, and their assemblage into liturgical books; the analysis and comparison of musical modes and scales; the uses of neumatic notation for writing down melodies, and the differences wrought by developmental changes and notational reforms over the centuries; and the use of case studies, in which the many variations in a specific text or melody are traced over time and geographical distance. The book is therefore of profound importance for historians of medieval music or religion - Western, Byzantine, or Slavonic - and for anyone interested in issues of orality and writing in the transmission of culture.
A nice little summary of rhythmic performance practice of chant, of the accentualist, Solesmes and mensuralist schools. A poignant passage from the Foreword: "The Second Vatican Council... has ordered further study in the chant; the "typical edition" is to be completed and a more critical edition of the books already published ... is to be prepared. It is heartening to note that studies are consistently in progress; perhaps conclusive evidence will be forthcoming in our time."
The oldest written tradition of European music, the art we know as Gregorian chant, is seen from an entirely new perspective in Katherine Bergeron's engaging and literate study. Bergeron traces the history of the Gregorian revival from its Romantic origins in a community of French monks at Solesmes, whose founder hoped to rebuild the moral foundation of French culture on the ruins of the Benedictine order. She draws out the parallels between this longing for a lost liturgy and the postrevolutionary quest for lost monuments that fueled the French Gothic revival, a quest that produced the modern concept of "restoration." Bergeron follows the technological development of the Gregorian restoration over a seventy-year period as it passed from the private performances of a monastic choir into the public commodities of printed books, photographs, and Gramophone records. She discusses such issues as architectural restoration, the modern history of typography, the uncanny power of the photographic image, and the authority of recorded sound. She also shows the extent to which different media shaped the modern image of the ancient repertory, an image that gave rise to conflicting notions not only of musical performance but of the very idea of music history.
This volume presents for the first time in English the fully documented history of the Gregorian chant restoration which culminated in the publication of the Vatican Edition ordered by Pope Pius X at the dawn of the 20th century. It is based upon archival documents in the Abbey of St Pierre de Solesmes. music as an integral part of prayer and of solemn public worship as a whole. Sacred music is not intended to beautify and decorate worship. Rather, taking shape from the depths of the Church's interior life, sacred music bears the imprint of that divine beauty which never grows old - and which is far more sublime than all mere artistic or historical intentions. Gregorian chant, the Catholic Church's very own music, is proper to the Roman liturgy, but during the course of its long history it has experienced periods of ascendancy and of decline. and the result was the Vatican Edition. This book describes in careful, vivid detail the strenuous efforts of personalities like Dom Joseph Pothier, Dom Andre Mocquereau, Fr Angelo de Santi and Peter Wagner to carry out the wishes of the Pope. The attentive reader will not fail to note that many of the questions so fervidly debated long ago are still current and topical today.
One of the most important but least studied of medieval chant repertories is that of the Kyrie. With their Latin texts, Kyrie melodies represented musical ambitions manifested alongside of and subsequent to Gregorian chant - ambitions which achieved stylistic and formal distinction. This study illuminates those features of the early Kyrie that give it its distinctive character and set it apart not only from Gregorian chant but also from other types of medieval chant.
The fifteen studies assembled here grew out of research on south-Italian ordinary chants and tropes for the multi-volume series Beneventanum Troporum Corpus II, edited by John Boe in collaboration with Alejandro Planchart. In the present essays, clerical and ordinary chants and tropes of the Mass (especially when derived from paraliturgical hymns and poems), certain aspects of chant notation and particular facets of the old Beneventan and the old Roman chant repertories are examined in relation to the three main cultic centres of the Italian south - Benevento, Montecassino and Rome - and as they relate to their European context, namely Frankish and Norman chant and the varieties of chant sung in Italy north of Rome. The volume includes one previously unpublished study, on the Roman introit Salus Populi.
This book reconstructs and studies the music, liturgy, and illustrations of a twelfth-century manuscript from the Austrian monastery in Lambach. The manuscript was taken apart in the fifteenth century and subsequently sold to various collectors in the twentieth century. The pages are here brought together (albeit photographically) for the first time since the original manuscript was dismantled five centuries ago. The book includes a black-and-white facsimile of the recovered portion of the manuscript. Charts and tables are used to demonstrate how it compares to other twelfth-century liturgical manuscripts.
Focusing on the earliest and most extensive collection of tropes we now possess, those associated with the abbey of Saint Martial de Limoges in the tenth and early eleventh centuries, Professor Evans offers new conclusions about the nature and early development of the trope.
This text uses detailed analysis of the eigth-mode tracts in addressing some of the still unresolved questions of chant scholarship. The first question is that of the nature of the relationship between Old Roman and Gregorian chant, the second, of the relationship between oral and written modes of transmission in the ecclesiastical culture of the Middle Ages. Also, the Middle Ages saw a transition to a culture more dependent on writing. The book investigates the effect this transition had on the way eighth-mode tracts were understood by those who performed and notated them.
How do text and melody relate in western liturgical chant? Is the music simply an abstract vehicle for the text, or does it articulate textual structure and meaning? These questions are addressed here through a case study of the second-mode tracts, lengthy and complex solo chants for Lent, which were created in the papal choir of Rome before the mid-eighth century. These partially formulaic chants function as exegesis, with non-syntactical text divisions and emphatic musical phrases promoting certain directions of inner meditation in both performers and listeners. Dr Hornby compares the four second-mode tracts representing the core repertory to related ninth-century Frankish chants, showing that their structural and aesthetic principles are neither Frankish nor a function of their notation in the earliest extant manuscripts, but are instead a well-remembered written reflection of a long oral tradition, stemming from Rome.
Medieval Iberian liturgical practice was independent of the Roman liturgy. As such, its sources preserve an unfamiliar and fascinating devotional journey through the liturgical year. However, although Old Hispanic liturgical chanthas long been considered one of the most important medieval chant traditions, what musical notation to survive shows only where the melodies rise and fall, not precise intervals or pitches. This lack of pitch-readable notation has prevented scholars from fully engaging with the surviving sources - a gap which this book aims to fill, via a new methodology for analysing the melodies and the relationship between melody and text.Focussing on three genres of chant sung during the Old Hispanic Lent (the threni, psalmi, and Easter Vigil canticles), the book takes a holistic view of the texts and melodies, setting them in the context of their liturgical and intellectual surroundings, and, for the Easter Vigil, exploring the relationship between different Old Hispanic traditions and other western liturgies. It concludes that the theologically purposeful text selections combine with carefully shaped melodies to guide the devotional practice of their hearers.
From the High Middle Ages the dominance of Gregorian chant has obscured the fact that musical practice in early medieval Europe was far richer than has hitherto been recognized. Despite its historical importance, the "Gregorian" is not the most consistent and probably not the oldest form of Christian chant. The recovery and study of regional musical dialects having a common ancestry in the Christian church and Western musical tradition are reshaping our view of the early history of Christian liturgical music. Thomas Kelly's major study of the Beneventan chant reinstates one of the oldest surviving bodies of Western music: the Latin church music of southern Italy as it existed before the spread of Gregorian chant. Dating from the seventh and eighth centuries it was largely forgotten after the Carolingian desire for political and liturgical uniformity imposed "Gregorian" chant throughout the realm. But a few later scribes, starting apparently in the tenth century, preserved a part of this regional heritage in writing. This book reassembles and describes the surviving repertory.
The offertory has played a crucial role in recent vigorous debates about the origins of Gregorian chant. Its elaborate solo verses are among the most splendid of chant melodies, yet the verses ceased to be performed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, making them among the least knownand studied members of the repertory. Rebecca Maloy now offers the first comprehensive investigation of the offertory, drawing upon its music, lyrics, and liturgical history to shed new light on its origins and chronology. Maloy addresses issues that are at the very heart of chant scholarship, suchas the relationship between the Gregorian and Old Roman melodies, the nature of oral transmission, the presence of non-Roman pieces in the Gregorian repertory, and the influence of theoretical thought on the transmission of the melodies.Although the Old Roman chant versions were not recorded in writing until the eleventh century, it has long been assumed that they closely reflect the eighth-century state of the melodies. Maloy illustrates, however, that rather than preserving a pristine earlier version of the melodies, theprolonged period of oral transmission from the eighth to the eleventh centuries instead enforced a formulaic trend. Demonstrating that certain musical and textual traits of the offertory are distributed in distinct patterns by liturgical season, she outlines new chronological layers within therepertory, and along the way, explores the presence and implications of foreign imports into the Roman and Gregorian repertories. Carefully weighing questions surrounding the origins of elaborate verse melodies, Maloy deftly establishes that these melodies reached their final form at a relativelylate date.Available for the first time as a complete critical edition, ninety-four Gregorian and Old Roman offertories are presented here in side-by-side transcriptions. A companion web site provides music examples and essays which elucidate these transcriptions with significant insights into theirsimilarities and differences. Inside the Offertory will be an important and longstanding resource for all students and scholars of early liturgical music, as well as performers of early music and medievalists interested in music.
"St. Olav was venerated in all the Scandinavian countries throughout the Middle Ages. In this dissertation, the Divine Office that was the backbone of the liturgical celebration is examined from several different angles. Its historical background is sought in connection with the establishment of the Nidaros archdiocese and the growing literary milieu there in the twelfth century. The liturgical influences and models of the office are traced to various other Saints' offices, such as those of St. Augustine and St. Martin. In the preserved sources, there is also evidence of oral transmission long after musical notation was established." "An edition of the chants from the existing sources is included, and of two hitherto unknown vita texts in honour of St. Olav."