Musicologie Médiévale

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A thorough more recent monograph about Old Roman chant seems to be missing.
Some thoughts what should be included in such a monograph:
ALL sources for Old Roman (including fragments) should be listed with exact descriptions of their datings and contents. Some facsimile pages of sources should be included.
ALL text passages from theoretical sources concerning the history and performance of Old Roman chant should be included with English translations. The liturgical peculiarities and their implications for historical performance practice of Old Roman chant should be described. All places where Old Roman chant was being sung should be listed and their importance for the repertory be made clear. All genres of Old Roman chant should be listed and their musical styles be outlined. The stylistic peculiarities of Old Roman chants should be analysed (with many and well-chosen notational examples in modern transcription) and be compared with other chant traditions. The (probable) influence on other chant traditions and from other chant traditions should be outlined.
The book should of course include a summary of the discoveries from secondary literature (only certain and probable findings).
The monograph should outline what we can assume as probable about the historical performance practice of Old Roman chants (ensemble sizes, on what occasions boys might have been used, which passages/chants were sung by soloists, how improvised polyphony was probably used etc.) - certain sources for Gregorian chant (including theoretical sources) are probably also important to consider here.
The book should include a complete bibliography (including all facsimiles and editions of course) for Old Roman chant and a good index (places, names, neumes, sources, terms etc.). All web links for Old Roman chant should be given.
The monograph should also include a CD/DVD with a new recording of Old Roman chants (it would be best to choose especially "typical" and especially beautiful ones as well as some which were probably of special liturgical or historical importance).

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Replies to This Discussion

Personally, I find modern transcriptions with black noteheads very dangerous. They deprive us of valuable informations. Especially with OR chant, sometims the form of a sign is important (e.g. to show alterations).

If I want to learn greek, I have to learn the alphabet, if I want to learn chant, I learn the notation!

Your idea is good, but requires a lot of work... there is so much to be said

Maybe it is even more important to forget about notation and learn to sing again in an oral tradition.

YES

Don't sell the skin of the boar, before you have hunted it!

I am curious, what Roman treatises you would like to choose. Luca once suggested Guido of Arezzo...

Geert Maessen a dit :

Maybe it is even more important to forget about notation and learn to sing again in an oral tradition.

Guido doesn't speak about the so called Old Roman chant

 learn the notation!  YES !!!


Ricossa a dit :

Personally, I find modern transcriptions with black noteheads very dangerous. They deprive us of valuable informations. Especially with OR chant, sometims the form of a sign is important (e.g. to show alterations).

If I want to learn greek, I have to learn the alphabet, if I want to learn chant, I learn the notation!

YES learn AND forget; don't look at the Italians who shot the bear AND forgot their melodies:

Carnival in Calabria

Don't worry, they still know a lot of melodies (even some which the Albanians already forgot, if we believe Albanian anthropologists—nevertheless, Albania is a great field). I said they STILL do...

Guido doesn't speak about the so called Old Roman chant

No, he doesn't! But they were much nicer to him at Rome than at Pomposa.

Please listen to the next, AMAZING, Bonum est, and tell me what you hear:

Bonum est

Formidable!

But you got it wrong, the Teanesi do shoot the Carnevale, not the Urss. If they did shoot the bear, they would forget all the melodies.

We should be more serious, if we discuss notation. Luca was too modest to mention his concept of "modern transcription," but you find it in his publications, whenever he quotes the Roman tradition. The handwritten transcription of Malcolm Bothwell you can see in the second video of "Alleluia. O kyrios evasilevsen" (see my discussion about Lykourgous's contribution). Ellen Hünigen does her edition of Aquitanian sources according to a very similar concept. Unfortunately, there are still a lot musicologists whose palaeographic knowledge is so far from these standards, that they do not even understand this concept of a modern edition which is useful for all diastematic forms.

On the other hand, we should also consider alternative forms which musician sometimes develop for their own needs (like sketches of a traditional composition for a more deliberate performance, or the use of Braille code). I often prefer to annotate facsimiles, so that my interpretation is evident.

OK, right again. I think we all agree that modern 4 and 5-line notations like Meinrad and Volpiano are not the best possible transcriptions for "historical" performance practice. To say the least. Superposition of neumatic notation would not make it much better. Best would be to sing everything before 1200 by heart. And of course for memorisation the "original" notations should be preferred and studied.

I guess your "Formidable!" did not refer to the upcoming Bonum est, but to the bear. I am curious to your opinion on the upcoming program.

Best, G

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