Resources for medieval musicology and liturgy
The book was published in 1958 (2d ed. 1960). Dom Gregory Murray also thinks it is excellent. John Blackley also thinks it is excellent. What other discussions have been published in the last 56 years with reference to this book?
Merci, je crois que j'ai compris cet argument hautement scientifique. Je crois aussi comprendre que pour vous un temps syllabique et deux temps syllabiques ne doivent pas être différenciés. Tant mieux pour vous.
Pour ma part, je préfère l'évidence, qui me donne une pleine satisfaction musicale.
Merci de ne pas insister
But you did not answer my question. Are you the only scholar who has discussed this book in addition to those I mentioned? Has no one else writen in the scholarly reviews of musicology?
I don't care. Les faits ne dépendent pas de ceux qui en parlent, que je sache. Et si personne n'en parle, il serait temps de remettre l'ouvrage sur le métier pour aller plus loin, corriger ce qui doit l'être, approfondire ce qui mérite de l'être.
Quant à vous, vous ne me dites toujours pas si pour vous deux temps syllabiques doivent être traités comme un seul temps syllabique
One important feature of this book is that the main notational styles of Gregorian chant are presented to the reader so that one gets the whole picture. Cardine's book, which came after that of Dr Vollaerts, notably does not present all the notational styles for comparison and focusses instead on one style of notation.
The 'speech-rhythm' argument falls apart when one looks at the relatively unchanging pitches and rhythms of psalm-tone terminations (which ride rough-shod over language), the Hartker antiphon notations (which are clearly in duple time), and the habit of lengthening unstressed syllables in gradual chants. Also, the Laon and Nonantolan notaters had no need to mark syllables of one pitch with signs bearing an episema, as they do: both styles carry the potential to notate syllables of one pitch with a plain virga and yet the notaters did not take that option. The fact that they took that option is absolutely significant and instructive.
The 'speech-thythm' argument falls also apart in melismatic chants. Typically, many alleluia-neumae (iubilus) feature very complex rhythmical patterns (I think e.g. of Laetatus sum and Omnes gentes).
Durandus (yes, a late author!) tells us that in many churches people clapped with the hands, because, he says, "omnes gentes plaudite manibus". Guess what? The very alleluia neuma of Omnes gentes features a regular rhythm!
That adds interestingly to the 'percussione numerum instruere' of the Commemoratio brevis.
There's also the issue of the use of the letter 'n' in Laon 239 on the last pitch before the next syllable. You don't often see the letter 'n' marking the last note of a syllable containing only a torculus, porrectus, tristropha or long pes. This is instructive about the duration of the last pitch of syllables containing only such signs: the duration doesn't have to be shown to be short because you normally don't have the option in singing of shortening the duration of the final pitch when one of these figures is the only such melodic figure of the syllable. Such general restricted use of the letter 'n' is a sure sign that such a three-note syllable is normatively composed of two shorts and one long (as per Nonantolan notation), which means that it possesses the same overall duration as a clivis formed by two tractuli or a bivirga.