Musicologie Médiévale

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I noticed that Cardine's "Is Gregorian Chant Measured Music" or a summary aren't available on the Internet. I'm pretty interested in knowing more or less what are the main points raised in the book, as it was supposedly what "put to rest" the mensural theory. I've seen from some passing comments that it's a badly written essay, with some strawmen and other critiques that are of no importance, much like Fr Smits text. So, could anyone please summarise the main arguments? 

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Dom Murray in substance was almost against Eugene Cardine in a long term. But in the actual fact, there are some key referral points to define. First of all, if we are talking of adiastematic notation/ in campo aperto, or instead of a sort -diastematic form. Why? Because the pitch contour intention was differently intended in both cases. Furthermore, there are many manuscript in between these two realities, and it is difficult to establish rigidly when there was the shifting point , unless we analyse the manuscripts singularly with a consistent knowledge in this regard. When and where is the main topic with a clear picture about the influence. The reason why there is a vague written essay in this concern, obviously is because we cannot considered all of them together in the same moment: simple is that. Eventually, I would look at what other important current Gregorian semiologists have written at this stage.

I think Fr Vollaerts' and Dom Murray's main points could be summed up with Metz and St Gall notations, and literature, as Fr Vollaerts' arguments are, according to Dom Murray's disciple John Blackley, "based upon the shapes of the neumes in the 9th- and 10th-century manuscripts, the writngs of medieval theorists, and the non-conformity of equalist rhythm to Latn accentual patterns." Cardine could have focused on those points, but as far as I know they were ignored, and he went on making some strawmen comparisons.

But I'd like to see it for myself...

Most of medieval theorists are more related to a diastematic connection overall, and in fact were more preoccupied on the precise pitch contour with the inherent outcome-obviously through a metric subdivision more or less evident in the diastematic notations. The research concerned was evidently connected to the cognition known 40 years ago, and not recent. What made me thinking in the past is the fact that the 9th, and moreover the 10th centuries, slowly were related to a different approach in writing on the parchment, regardless where was the scriptorium analysed. Thus changed during the 9th century and even more on the 10th century, which does not always proof the equaliser rhythm, and/or the Latin accentuation pattern was dictated also by other features. Focusing only in this matter, is a way to consider a limitation inside the discourse. The straw men comparison were made for the relative cognition of the material available of that time, even so the limitations were slowly approached differently. Ergo obviously, it would be beneficial to have a broad background in what was achieved in this current century, if we would appreciate to have a broad knowledge.
On the other hand I would appreciate to understand with the same parameter, and with a sort of identical approach all the cases of cantus fractus( clearly of the last belated Gregorian chant repertoire) but most important, all the membra disiecta found in the last two decades. How we are going to analyse all of them? What we have to use, the same methodology? Or Gregorian semiology is teaching us to follow the reasoning, therefore thus is not a methodology, but an application to understand the motive behind of the writing expression in front of us. Ergo obviously we could make approximate conclusions, but we are highlighting the individual approach in one way or another. History is teaching us that sooner or later the reasoning are coming up on surface.

I havent read anything by Fr Vollaerts yet, but from what's I've read by Dom Murray, he cites primarily 10th century authors discussing performance practice and 11th century authors discussing how music was performed in the previous century. Also, he compared adiastematic manuscripts using St Gall, Metz and Nonantola notations. So the theorists serve as testimony to the conclusions he arrives observing the manuscripts.

I suspect I misunderstood what you meant, but I don't think it's a good idea to push (probably) reliable methods and simply try to figure out what the writer had in his mind. Of course it's important try to understand the reasoning behind the writing, but I believe it's necessary to find as much as foundation as possible, so we have a North. You mentioned Cantus Fractus. As far as I know, it uses some kind of mensural notation, so I believe the writings could be compared with other mensural scores and use contemporary commentaries as a guide.

Anyway, I think the thread is derailing a bit. I'm a music student who likes to read about different theories, and I created that thread because I couldn't find the book I mentioned in the original post on the Internet nor a summary. I want to know what are the main arguments of the author to understand more the situation. I don't feel qualified to discuss Cardine's points because I'm still a simple student and I don't know what they were. However, I'm open to reading recommendations on Gregorian semiology , wether it deals with the thread subject or not, specially those ones concerning grace notes 😅

Dear Raphael, I am grateful for your reply: thank you. However, I cited cantus fractus only because there are evident links with measured proportions since are part of the belated repertory. In fact, because are just ‘bits and pieces’ and are of course related to the final manuscripts of Gregorian chant, eventually the relation with measured proportions are justified, but how can be possible that previous discussions were related just to complete manuscripts, and not just part part of. This reality has been in place more than what we can think. That is why I mentioned them: simple is that. My dissertation is not associated with a relative discussion. You viewpoint is totally understandable, but for a total background of the actual c
Ops... my apologies but my prior message went through with any kind of adjustment- Your viewpoint is completely understandable, but for a clear background of the situation, currently when we are studying Gregorian chant, Gregorian Semiology is compulsory, in most of the schools for Gregorian chant.Therefore, not only connected to Eugene Cardine the founder. Even so, to be more simplistic Cardine is connected with two fundamental principles: the great law of the neumatic articulation, and the elasticity of Gregorian chant sounds through the syllabic time. In this content I am not denying the importance of spec
Specific measurements ( obviously) but it is clear that the prior establishment took place longer than what we believe. In effect, it is difficult to establish the perfect shifting point, since we can still find exactly the same process in different manuscripts on the last medieval time, in addition to the measurement approaches.

This excellent paper deals with all the questions. Unfortunately, the Author didn't get the correct interpretation of isolated syllables:

https://www.academia.edu/34395110/The_Rhythm_of_Gregorian_Chant_An_...

We are not talking of isolated syllables overall. Possibly my explanation was not clear enough in this sense. Finally, if we are performing just with notes, as a result we are incurring inevitably on a coarse throbbing performance. To return to the argument at hand, is this what would be our topic?

Raphael,

The book is available from Solesmes, but it's not advertised in Solesmes' webstore.  You can contact them and request a copy, but they will ask for your Paypal or credit card number over email, so be smart.  Or private-message me if you want an easier way.

Meanwhile, I will examine the book and post a summary here later this month for discussion fodder.

On grace notes, you'll want to read this article by Jan van Biezen.  If you cannot read Dutch and still want the English, there is an English edition on Amazon by the same author. Or, again, you can private-message me.

On semiology, Cardine's Gregorian Semiology, and Agustoni's book translated to English by Fr. Columba Kelly.  Although the rhythmic interpretation is flawed, you can still learn much from these two books on the note value system of Early Medieval semiotic notation.  Cardine is very good at presenting examples.

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