Musicologie Médiévale

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Le manuscrit Latin 17227 de la BNF est un évangéliaire copié par Adalbaldus, moine de Saint-Martin de Tours, sous l'abbatiat de Frédégise (804-834).

Adalbaldus s'est mentionné en grec au folio 6v.

Nous remarquons que cet évangéliaire utilise des signes de hauteur de récitation peu habituels.

Du folio 56v à 63v, nous constatons pour la récitation de la passion selon saint Matthieu trois signes : un quilisma, une lettre rappelant un sigma final et un s.

  pour le récitant

-      pour le Christ

-         pour les disciples, les juifs, etc…

BNF, Latin 17227, 57r

Et du folio 164v à 63v, les lettres et signes utilisés pour la récitation de la Passion selon saint Luc sont : un quilisma, ius pour iusum, un s surmonté du signe d'abréviation us et un trait.

 et   pour le récitant

    -      pour le Christ

-                              pour les disciples, les juifs, etc…

BNF, Latin 17227, 167v

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Replies to This Discussion

Molto interessante. Suggerisco che il quilisma possa essere interpretato come una forma corsivizzata di ius(um). 

Dear Dominique,

Thank you for this reference!

This ms seems to reflect the essence of my doctoral thesis I hope to defend next September in Utrecht. A range of melodic othernesses were applied as rhetorical codes, underlining text that deserves additional attention from the audience. The quilisma is an example of such otherness. 

In my thesis, I concentrated on microtonal inflections in 6 mss for Mass. In more than 500 cases (all genres, all modes) the one and only function of the microtone is to accentuate text along rhetorical principles, ALWAYS: affect, logic and loci. In the loci, the presence of references to Augustine is so overwhelming that I decided to mention it in the title of my dissertation: "Microtones according to Augustine". The 38 cases of applications of the special letter 'S' occurring in the Antiphonary U 406, analysed by Ike de Loos (“Der Neumenbuchstabe S als chromatisches Zeichen im Antiphonale Utrecht, Universitätsbibliothek 406, aus dem 12. Jahrhundert.” Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 39 (1989): 5–27) appear to have the same functionality. I analyse these 38 cases of non-diatonic semitones in an excursus of my thesis.The employment and understanding of these non-diatonic accentuation traditions seem to have withered away gradually after c.1250. Chronicles mention them (approvingly!) up to 1400.

The same links between music and meaning are reflected in previous research by Emma Hornby (Medieval Liturgical Chant and Patristic Exegesis: Words and Music in the Second-Mode Tracts. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2009), William Mahrt  “Commixtio Modi and the Expression of Texts,” Dublin, Cantus Planus Conference, 2016) and Dirk van Betteray (Quomodo cantabimus canticum Domini in terra aliena: Liqueszenzen als Schlüssel zur Textinterpretation, eine semiologische Untersuchung an Sankt Galler Quellen. Hildesheim; New York: Olms, 2007) and Sam Barrett's doctoral thesis "Notated Verse in Ninth- and Tenth-Century Poetic Collections" Cambridge, 2000.  

The for musicologists seemingly facultative occurrence of these othernesses is not based on formal or melodic principles but on the meaning of the text, accentuated by microtonal inflections, quilismas etc. The performer chose whether or not to apply this musical code, guided by rhetorical considerations, taking into account the ever present warning against overkill by applying the same effect too often (Cicero, Quintilian, etc.). When applying microtones, the presence of a preceding supersemitonal pitch c, f or b-flat in the 'diatonic main frame' of the chant seems to be prescriptive (with the exception of Montpellier H159).

This interpretation is beyond what sémiologie grégorienne covers: the analysis includes notations, which refer to non-diatonic intervals as well as references to text. In my thesis, I suggest semiotic terminologies in order to better explain and understand what actually happens when these othernesses are applied. 

I am looking forward to present and discuss my findings during the next Cantus Planus conference in Växjö, session 20, scheduled on Saturday, August 11 at 11:00 AM.  

Cher Leo,

Merci beaucoup pour ce résumé de votre thèse, je vous souhaite une bonne chance pour votre soutenance !

Il reste encore beaucoup de recherche à effectuer sur les lectures...

Malheureusement, il ne m'est pas possible de me rendre à Växjö

Leo Lousberg said:

Dear Dominique,

Thank you for this reference!

This ms seems to reflect the essence of my doctoral thesis...

J'ai sans doute trouvé la solution pour le Christ dans la Passion selon saint Luc grâce à un manuscrit que Susan Rakin nous a montré pendant une conférence.

Paris, BNF, Lat. 528

I have discussed the letters in the Passion narratives, using material provided by Michel Huglo and Barbara Haagh-Huglo, in a paper about to be published by my hononym, David Ganz of Zürich, in the proceedings of a conference Clothing Sacred Scripture. I tried to list those manuscripts copied before 900 with contemporary Passion letters: the list is far from complete.

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