Aubert, Eduardo Henrik. 2013. “When the Roman Liturgy became Frankish - Sound, Performance and Sublation in the Eighth and Ninth centuries.” In «Notarum figura : l’écriture musicale et le monde des signes au IXe siècle» - Actes du colloque d’Auxerre (17-18 juin 2011), Études grégoriennes 40, pp. 57–160. At


See also "Nova cluniacensa" by this author.


Moran, Neil K. 2013. “Altrömische Offertoriums-Gesänge in medialen Tonarten. Zum Verhältnis des byzantinischen zum altrömischen und gregorianischen Choral.” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 106 (1): 65–82. doi:10.1515/bz-2013-0006.


Worth to be discussed here…


Atkinson, C.M., 2008. The Critical Nexus: Tone-System, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music, Oxford, New York etc.: Oxford UP US.
Barton, L.W.G., 1995-2012. "Influence of Byzantium on Western Chant". In: The Influences of Byzantium and Syria upon Western Medieval Chant. The Neume Notation Project.
Bischoff, B., 1994. Manuscripts and libraries in the age of Charlemagne, Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
Busse Berger, A.M., 2005. Tonaries: A Tool for Memorizing Chant. In Medieval Music and the Art of Memory, Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 47-84. Google.
Colette, M.-N., 1995. Grégorien et vieux-romain: deux différentes méthodes de collectage de mélodies traditionelles? In J. Szendrei & D. Hiley, eds. Laborare Fratres in Unum: Festschrift László Dobszay zum 60. Geburtstag. Spolia Berolinensia. Hildesheim: Weidmann, 37–52.
Floros, C., 1970. Die byzantinischen, slavischen und gregorianischen Tonfiguren und Formeln, Universale Neumenkunde, 3, Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe: Bärenreiter.
Floros, C., 2005. Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press.
Floros, C., 2009. The Origins of Russian Music: Introduction to the Kondakarian Notation, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Grier, J., 2003. Adémar de Chabannes, Carolingian Musical Practices, and „Nota Romana“. JAMS, 56, 43–59.
Grier, J., 2005. The Musical Autographs of Adémar de Chabannes (989–1034). Early Music History, 24, 125–168. doi:10.1017/S0261127905000100.
Huglo, M., 1982. Les débuts de la polyphonie à Paris: Les premiers "organa" parisiens. Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung. Texte zu einem Basler Kolloquium des Jahres 1975, Forum Musicologicum 3, Winterthur: Amadeus, 93-164.
Jeffery, P., 2001. The Earliest Oktōēchoi : The Role of Jerusalem and Palestine in the Beginnings of Modal Ordering. In The Study of Medieval Chant : Paths and Bridges, East and West ; In Honor of Kenneth Levy. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 147–209. Google.
Karp, T., 1998. Aspects of orality and formularity in Gregorian chant, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern UP. Google.
Levy, K., 1998. Gregorian Chant and the Carolingians, Princeton, N.J: Princeton UP. Google.
Levy, K., 2009. On the Origin of Neumes. In Early Music History - Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Music. Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 59–90. Google.
Levy, K. & Troelsgård, C., Byzantine Chant. Grove Music Online.
Martani, S., 2003. The Theory and Practice of Ekphonetic Notation: The Manuscript Sinait. gr. 213. Plainsong and Medieval Music, 12,15–42. doi:10.1017/S0961137103003024.
Pfisterer, A., 2002. Cantilena Romana: Untersuchungen zur Überlieferung des gregorianischen Chorals, Paderborn: Schöningh.
Phillips, N., 2000. Notationen und Notationslehren von Boethius bis zum 12. Jahrhundert. In T. Ertelt & F. Zaminer, ed. Die Lehre vom einstimmigen liturgischen Gesang. Geschichte der Musiktheorie. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 293–324.
Raasted, J. & Troelsgård, C. ed., 1999. Palaeobyzantine Notations II: Acta of the Congress held at Hernen Castle (The Netherlands) in October 1996. Michigan: A.A. Brediusstichting.
Ricossa, L., 2010. "Constantin Floros: Universale Neumenkunde. Quarante ans après, de nouvelles perspectives". Unpublished presentation made during the Colloque international «Musiques et Notations postbyzantines», 25-26 février 2010 à la Haute École de Musique de Genève. Homepage of the author.
Stäblein, B., 1967. Kann der gregorianische Choral im Frankenreich entstanden sein? Wiesbaden: Steiner.
Thibaut, J.-B., 1907. Origine byzantine de la notation neumatique de l’église latine, Paris: Picard. Google.
Troelsgård, C., 2001. What kind of Chant Books were the Byzantine Sticherária? In Cantus planus: Papers read at the 9th meeting, Esztergom & Visegrád, 1998, Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 563–574.
Treitler, L., 2003. With Voice and Pen: Coming to know Medieval Song and how it was made, Oxford, New York: Oxford UP.
Wolfram, G. & Troelsgård, C. ed., 2004. Palaeobyzantine Notations III: Acta of the Congress held at Hernen Castle, The Netherlands, in March 2001. In Eastern Christian Studies 4. Leuven, Paris, Walpole: Peeters Publishers. Google.

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  • Cf. Ademar de Chabannes,

    et omnes Franciae cantores didicerunt notam romanam, quam nunc vocant notam franciscam, excepto quod tremulas vel vinnolas sive ....

    At ille dedit ei Theodoricum et Benedictum Romanae ecclesie doctissimos cantores qui a sancto Gregorio eruditi fuerant, tribuitque antiphonarios sancti Gregorii quos ipse notaverat nota romana.

    James Grier, JAMS 2003, Ademar de Chabannes, Carolingian musical practices, and nota romana. …“There can be no doubt that by "notaverat nota romana" Ademar means musical notation…”

    C. Atkinson, The critical nexus: tone-system, mode, and notation in early medieval music, (2009), p. 137: „I suggested earlier … that the standard Latin term for musical notation from Antiquity onward was nota“.

  • If there was a "notated archetype," it should be dated back to the times of the Carolingian reforms, otherwise notation was definitely not its medium. This is possible for the book tonary without notation (though finally not that useful, as Michel Huglo thought, when he published his doctoral thesis). Even Kenneth Levy's findings confront us with the fact that we are talking about exceptions and a random use of neumes which does certainly not prove the central role which was supposed to be the neumes function during Carolingian reforms.

    Probably the word "archetype" itself is a little bit exagerated and connected with far too high expectations. Of course, Metz and Lorraine was the centre where we have testimonies of a personal exchange between a Roman magister and Carolingian cantors, and we should have in mind that this was probably the only form of exchange which was acceptable for this métier (at least for the 8th century). Notation (I mean the competence of reading and notating) became obviously much later part of it, especially among Cluniac cantors who usually proceeded as abbots, whenever they enter another abbey to introduce their tradition (Michel Huglo pointed at a necrologue of the mid 11th century and at certain conflicts among monks of the Abbey Saint-Maur-des-Fossés). Adémar de Chabannes continued the legend about the difference between Frankish and Roman traditions, but here it is no longer the "Frankish type" which has to be blamed for it, he simply characterized them as two types; the obedient Messine cantors and the disobedient, but creative Gallic ones which did not accept any teachers. This was probably a self-characterization with respect to the Aquitanian redaction (and by the way the one which had to convert the Mozarabic liturgy during the reconquista as it was proclaimed about Aquitanian aristocrats, it is no longer accepted to reduce the Castilian rulers to this role in Andalusia).

    Later the Cistercian order during Bernard's reform could not follow into these footsteps, so they ordered chant books at the scriptorium of Metz. There is this authority of Messine cantors again, but only as long as they got the books which the Cistercian reform groupe regarded soon as "corrupted". As in many other respects, they just followed also here their enemies and made the same "mistakes," just under the false pretention to do the opposite.

    If you see history as a whole, I am not sure that scripture and notation had for cantors the same authority that they have for such ignorant readers as we are today. Most of the musicians, Muslims or Jews, never thought it necessary to notate their music and they still maintained a living tradition, not unchanged, but uninterrupted. It seems that the risk to be lost for ever was considerably higher, since Christian cantors interacted with forms of written transmission.

    You can just ask an Arabistic student here at Berlin, and he will explain you something which might help us to understand, what a religious tradition is. As "a simple muslim" (with quite a privileged education), he does not remember every detail of the melody, he cannot tell you the recitation model nor the maqam, but he can recite the Quran, while he remembers the melody (it serves him as a vehicle of the text). Hafizes and cantors certainly knew better, and the latter had to know, because this was their role since the Carolingian reform. Please do not dare to say that she or he did not know, whenever they changed something, but they certainly did not follow notated books like ignorant fools.

    Even within the oral tradition, a Sufi might say: "I am a slave of Laila [the divine beloved], but I am not a slave of the melody!" Quite the opposite, those who got too easily lost, because they were occupied by such details, had been often characterized as highly uneducated (with a very weak memory as we have today) or even as obsessed by demons :D

    The same I tried to demonstrate with my Notker example who was not even talking about notation, but about sequence collections. No need to say that good musicians became quite often a target of intrigants who reclaimed their religious authority by demonizing them. But every tradition needs both, the orthodox aspect of a precise memory and the orthopractice which allows a tradition to continue thanks to individual mastership.

    The discussion about a later datation was in the main focus in the collection or proceedings published by Kenneth Levy as editor:

    Levy, Kenneth. 2009. On the Origin of Neumes. In Early Music History - Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Music, by Iain Fenlon, 7. Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sydney: Cambridge UP. Google.

    For a more detailed presentation of the transmission disputes over several decades, I recommend Andreas Pfisterer's doctoral thesis "Cantilena romana". His list of Roman and Frankish chant books usually follows Michel Huglo's datation (graduals, missels) and those by Lipphardt, de Loos, and Kelly (antiphonaries), but it is usually just the whole century which is indicated in the list of sources:

    Pfisterer, Andreas. 2002. Cantilena Romana: Untersuchungen zur Überlieferung des gregorianischen Chorals. In Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kirchenmusik; 11. Paderborn: Schöningh.

    The Old-Roman Practice of Alleluia singing
    According to Gregory the Great (
  • Oh, yes! Absolutely right! I am afraid there are some mistakes of this kind in the paper. Also on p. 58, where Etudes grégoriennes left the indication: "par la suite, mettre chaque fois les citations en mode citation". I am sorry for this kind of problem! Thank you for pointing it out, Geert.

  • On page 151 you write "phenomenonological", I guess that should be "phenomenological".

  • Without going into all of the interesting arguments you are putting forward, let me just point out that Bischoff's and Contreni''s date for Laon 239 is IX 4/4. The late date proposed by Solesmes seems no longer acceptable. I would also be very grateful to Geert if he would enlighten me as to what he means by a slip of my pen. 

  • Liturgical reforms as part of Carolingian policies

    I agree that Constantin Floros' work was ignored for very silly reasons (and I assure you that he was treated in a very different way by his Greek colleagues in Thessaloniki, when he talked a last time about his Neumenkunde—he has other projects now), although the fundament of studies in Western plainchant are comparisons anyway (so Floros was the only one who tried something similar in a systematic way for Eastern Chant). I was talking about the fact that there are no sources which prove that neume notation was the medium of Carolingian reforms, certainly not in the time of Pippin the Short, when the physical presence of the director or magister of the Roman Schola cantorum was necessary to teach Frankish cantors at Metz, but also not in the time of Charlemagne's admonitio generalis.

    All this was due to certain political ambitions of his familiy, not because Frankish cantors adored the Roman liturgy so much, that they were ready to abandon their own tradition for it. Nobody was asked here about their opinion, when they were asked to become the river flowing from the Roman source. I found especially interesting, how many Gallican elements are present in Aubert's section about the mass, the discussion of the sacramenteries and the ordo books in Amalar's redaction.

    The tonary as the difference between the Western and the Eastern chant transmission

    During this second reform and not earlier, the central tool was the tonary. It does not seem to me a coincidence that in 787 Pope Adrian I accepted the internal Eastern oktoechos reform of 692 for Western chant, and there was this Carolingian interest for the Byzantine eight-mode system which led to this Carolingian invention of the tonary. But even tonaries had no notation before the very late 9th century, which is 100 years after the second reform!

    Hence, let us talk about the difference and not about the common between Eastern and Western Chant, in order not to be criticized like Constantin Floros before. The Latin sources are far earlier and far more for the time which is in question here, and usually Latin sources tell us much more about Byzantine chant and their liturgical customs than any Greek source.

    I think the Carolingian "Schreibwut" is quite a good point of Eduardo, but I do not understand entirely its motivation, despite all the author's efforts to explain them. Neil Moran's hypothesis that Roman cantors already used the Palestine oktoechos, which was probably even a little bit coloured by Constantinopolitan phthorai and mesoi (thanks to the import of the alleluia genre), would be at least an explanation, why this "Schreibwut" has no Roman counterpart, and there is not even one Roman tonary!

    In the 8th century there is only one notation system which was equally developed, but no longer identical in East and West Rome: the ekphonetic notation! Let us accept the "bitter truth" that Christian Troelsgård wrote in his article "Byzantine chant", the Byzantine neume system as "melodic notation" was developed between the 10th and 12th century and Palaeo Byzantine notation became not earlier diastematic than Western neumes. It was mainly a synthesis of the Studites reform because they did even use the octoechos notation of the sticherarion to integrate the notation systems used in the chant books of the cathedral rite. For this reason, the notation really developed not earlier than until the 13th century, when Western notatores already wrote square notation on staff.

    But if we go back to the 8th century, there was one fundamental difference between Greek and Latin sources and this is probably the main motivation behind the Carolingian "Schreibwut". The reformers of the Stoudios monastery still worked on the models of the oktoechos, before they created the books Sticherarion (with the Oktoechos e megale as part of it) and Heirmologion. They could simply use ekphonetic notation and add the modal signature as main signature as long as it was the Oktoechos and the Heirmologion, and the model was written in notation and could be memorized, the other volumes of the sticherarion switched between them, so they wrote medial signatures (often not identical ones). The modal signature as main signature decided what was the melody and thus, they used these signatures since the 6th century at latest.

    Carolingian cantors instead had not only to learn the huge repertoire of Roman chant and to integrate the Gallican elements for their local customs, they had as well to classify all these melodies according to their creation of an oktoechos in order to combine them with a new simple model of psalmody. For these reasons, the earliest notators in the late 10th century (200 years after Charlemagne), wrote first the neumes, and later they added the signatures (as Roger and Adémar de Chabannes did during the early 11th century in their scriptorium at Limoges). So they needed a very long period of writing until coming to the same point as the Greek notatores, who did so since the 6th century.

  • What I certainly like is the beginning of this long article during which Eduardo Aubert quotes a lot of prominent examples (Solange Corbin, David Hiley, Helmut Hucke, Nancy Phillips) about the imagination of notation as a "Carolingian invention."

    This is interesting because recent scholarly arguments about written transmission emphasized the lateness of fully notated sources, which had more and more be dated back to the last third of the 10th century.

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