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Reconstructing the echema AIANEOEANE (Alia musica) on the base of neumes in Hartvic (D-Mbs clm 14272)

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

clm 14272, fol. 177v

Tonary of the alia musica compilation (manuscript M) with neumed intonations, psalmody, and glossed tonaries, music theoretical collection of the Abbey St Emmeram, Regensburg (1006-1028).

When I published my article about this particular intonation:

Gerlach, O., 2011. About the Import of the Byzantine Intonation AIANEOEANE in an 11th-Century Tonary. In M. Altripp, ed. Byzanz in Europa. Europas östliches Erbe: Akten des Kolloquiums „Byzanz in Europa“ vom 11. bis 15. Dezember 2007 in Greifswald. Turnhout: Brepols, S. 172–183. Available at:

Hartvic's tonary was not yet online, so that I could reconstruct the original echema as it was notated in this manuscript. It is one of those with a melisma on the last syllable:

The text (Chailley 1965, 141):

Hoc quoque senties canendo A[punctum]I[virga cum episema]A[virga cum episema]-NE[climacus/pressus?]O[punctum]E[pes]A[pes]NE[clinis, salicus & torculus].

Siquidem a paramese [♮], peracta quarta specie diapente, ad lichanos hypaton [D] descendit, et ad lichanos meson [G] per singulas chordas ascendendo diapente intendit, rursusque ad trite diezeugmenon [c] gravando remittit; ad extremum in sua finali hoc est hypate meson [E] definitum.

I think we could do this reconstruction work together, based on this source.

Any suggestions, how this echema AIANEOEANE should sound like according to the neumes and the verbal description?

You might download this graphic to insert letter notation:

Tags: AIANEOEANE, AliaMusica, Hucbald, Tonary

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Replies to This Discussion

This comes closer to my hypothesis that a lower intonation of E was possible which means that the fourth between a and the low E was augmented. I also explained, how this low intonation was possible, although it is no longer compatible with the Boethian diagramme. Within a tonus of tetrardus, whether authentic or plagal, the pentachord of the mode defines the fixed degrees, according to Greek theory it was C—G or G—d, according to Latin theory only G—d, around E the diatessaron (fourth species) was D—G.

Now, a low E does not exist within the Boethian diagramme, but a diesis on E very well. The chant examples mentioned by the author (compilator) of alia musica point at a particular case where punctum and oriscus seem to be on the same pitch. The question is, whether this was also meant for the salicus within the cauda of the echema?

Nevertheless, 11/10 is too large for a semitone, it can be the middle interval in a rather equal tetrachord division where C—D und G—a is defined as a whole tone (9/8). But there is one problem: If the minor tone would be 12/11 within the tetrachord 12/9 and you prefer to rely on a sequence of microtones (so that your ear can grasp the intervals after some training), there is no space for 9/8, it becomes 12/11, 11/10, 10/9. I mentioned it before. 

The interval 11/10 can be heard often in various oral traditions (particularly in laments). It is not too large because it is local; in the practice of oral traditions, including learned spiritual ones (Byzantine and Eastern Churches, Sufi Turkish, Iranian, North and South India, etc.), the used intervals do not follow strictly the theoretical scale and are not fixed, as they were not in our XVIIth c. I can show e.g. that in D mode (of our Chant), the fourth D-G is rather large and usually de passage, but can be the deep pure fourth (4/3), especially in the end of a verse, or to make the intonation G-A, from the fourth to the pure fifth easier to sing (I can give some examples). With a strictly fixed scale and intervals, there is no way.



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