Musicologie Médiévale

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Le manuscrit Mas 138 de la Bibliothèque de l'École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris est un manuscrit de la fin du XIème début XIIème siècle originaire de l'Est de la France contenant principalement des vies de saints et des versus.

Trois versus ont reçu une notation contemporaine au texte.

85r Item versus cuiusdam doctoris : Ut belli sonuere tubae violenta peremit...

85v Versus Prisciani de XII signis : Ad Boree partes Arcti vertuntur.... ; Eiusdem de XII ventis : Quattuor a quadro consurgunt limite venti. His quoque octo gemini... 

D'autres additions musicales, en notation neumatique lorraine, ont été faites au cours du XIIème siècle. 66r In dedicatione ecclesiae Sequetia. Clara chorus dulce pangat (AH 54:94) ; 75v S. Marcialis apostolus officiium [In.] Iustus ut palma* ; R/ Isutus ut palma* ; All. Ipse peibit ante illum* ; Of. In virtute tua domine ; Co. Psuisti domine*. 86r R/ Evigilans Noe ex vino... V/ Benedictus dominus deus...

L'addition la plus important de ce manuscrit est certainement celle concernant la théorie musicale aux folio 130v et 131r.

Au folio 130v, nous voyons une main guidonienne avec une particularité unique, jamais vu jusqu'à ce jour. Il s'agit de la correspondance des notes en notation dasianne.

Au folio suivant (131r), nous trouvons un traité, inédit jusqu'à ce jour, qui est une  clef de lecture de la main guidonienne.

Je vous propose l'édition du texte ci-dessous :

De notis musicae artis quibus per cuncta tetracorda cantus quos volveris calculare valeas animadverte. Intimabo paucis. Incipiens a G prima monocordi litera quae ponitur, in principio pollicis et ibi pones vt, In secundo articulo Re In tertio mi. In quarto quarte primus in indice pones fa et in eodem vt ut cum cantus ascenderit pronuntietetur vt. Cum uno descenderit ad inferior quae sunt in pollice dicatur fa in secundo eius articulo. Inde in medio digito ut bene nosti ponitur Re. In anulari mi. In auriculari uno fa. In secundo eius loco sol et in eodem vt scilicet propter ascendentem cantum. Inde progrediens ad tertium articulum per dicti auricularis ponito ibi La quae vox etiam dici poterit Re. In summo uno digiti eiusdem ponito mi In sequentis uno summo fa quae vox erit etiam vt sicut priori factum est tetracordo propter ascendentem cantum. Inde precedens in summo medii digiti ponitur Re. In indicis uno summo mi. In primo eiusdem articulo fa. In sequenti Sol. Sic omnis cantus per manuale monocordum cantare poteris si sollerticura ad aequae predicta sunt diligentiam adhibebis.

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Replies to This Discussion

A similar sort of misunderstanding of the relation between distinct scalar systems affects the very interesting table from Metz BM 494 that M. Gatte' posted on 6 September. There, proslambanomenos of the Boethian 2-octave system is equated with the protus gravium of the daseian tetrachordal system. Inevitably, all the subsequent correlations are incorrect. E.g;, the lowest of the finals, protus finalium, is equated, not with lichanos hypaton, as it should be, but with the note a step higher, hypate meson. The attempt may have been misled by the fact that the same series of intervals, T-S-T, lies, of course, at the bottom of both systems.

Dear David
It happens to us all that we add comments and the discussion has alreay 4 pages and one might not have read everything. You can always delete your own or add a corrected version of a former one.
The Dasian system with protus, deuterus, tritus and tetrardus could be represented by the Guidonian syllables re, mi, a sol, so that you have Γ re, A mi, B fa and C sol in the graves, but e re, f mi (f sharp), g fa and aa sol in the excellentes tetrachord. But this would require a lower hexachord which starts on the F as the phthongos below to γ (φ?) so you start not with Γ ut, but Γ re ut, A mi re, B fa and C sol fa etc. and you drop F ut, because b fa does not exist as phthongos within the tetraphonia of the Daseian system, so that d la sol re becomes actually d sol re ut. As I said Guido was against it, because he excluded the other tone systems. Nevertheless, the Dasian system worked somehow within the ambitus C—e and f sharp was anyway the last element. If you use the old solfeggio (parallage) with the echemata you must start on a very low pitch with protos, devteros, tritos, tetartos, protos etc. in order to pass the disjunct (separated) tetrachords four times!
I do not think this scribe did misunderstand anything, he was more experimental than Guido himself who used just three mutations in order to exclude the Dasian system. But nevertheless the author of the Vatican organum treatise had not Guido's problems and used the fourth mutation anyway! Somehow the later practice of florid organum met the first one...

See also the tone systems according to Boethius (GPS), Hucbald and Musica enchiriadis:


Meyer, Christian. „Polyphonies médiévales et tradition orale.“ Cahiers d’ethnomusicologie. Anciennement Cahiers de musiques traditionnelles Nr. 6 (Oktober 1, 1993): 99–117.

Nice diagram! Is it from the article by Christian Meyer that you cite beneath it? Or . . .?



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