Let's Compose Mozarabic Melodies

Over 5000 chants of the Mozarabic rite are preserved in neumatic contour notation of tenth and eleventh-century manuscripts. Only a few dozen of these were found in pitch-readable notation in eleventh to sixteenth century sources.

Generally we know the meaning of Mozarabic neumatic notation. We also know there were all kinds of liturgical and melodical relations to other traditions, like GRE, MIL, ROM …

Among scholars it is communis opinio the lost melodies are "irretrievably" lost. There are, however, only two arguments for this opinion. The fact that most melodies were never found and the probability pitch-readable melodies were only incidentally notated before the sixteenth century.

Both arguments, of course, are not conclusive. However, they brought the perverted scholarly reality to the fore where on the one hand there is great disdain and rejection towards attemps to compose melodies for the lost chant, and on the other hand there is the belief that compositions for chorus SATB and instrumental ensemble can recreate "something" of the lost aesthetic, devotional and spiritual world of the Mozarabic rite. There is no doubt, of course, such music did not exist a thousand years ago. It is unclear, therefore, what this "something" possibly could mean. The perverted scholarly reality seems to substitute the historical lack of knowledge by a modern lack of meaning.

Instead of modern "nonsense", for a better understanding of the lost tradition, it seems preferable to make "fake" reconstructions. Therefore we should encourage the composition of melodies agreeing in all detail with our knowledge of the lost tradition. Besides my own I only know of Ricossa's compositions. Below you find Ricossa's last compositions. Please join us in making new compositions and let's discuss them in detail. What can we learn? What's wrong? How can we improve them?

ALL Resurrexi et adhuc tecum AL 181v

ANT Tu Domine susceptor meus es AL 287v

ANT Ne proicias me Domine a facie tua AL 287v

ANT Cantabo Domine et psallam in gloria tua AL 287v

ANT Tu autem Domine susceptor meus es AL 288r

ANT Usquequaque lava me ab iniustitia AL 288r

ANT Mitte de caelo et libera me Domine da AL 288r

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  • Luca's latest upload:


  • And here is Luca again! Bravo. Who's next?

    Tentativo di ricostituzione del prælegendum di Pasqua (Messale di Cisneros) con la musica dei cantorali mozarabi (la referenza C rimanda alla pagina del fac-simile) e i neumi di León (dove questo testo serve da antifona nell'ufficio dei defunti!)


  • Wow... Tomorrow evening we will sing these pieces during our weekly rehearsale. Also is the Early Music Day... a wonderful manner to celebrate it.
    Thanks, Luca & Geert
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