After the imposition of Gregorian chant upon most of Europe by the authority of the Carolingian kings and emperors in the eighth and ninth centuries, a large number of repertories arose in connection with the new chant and its liturgy. Of these repertories, the tropes, together with the sequences, represent the main creative activity of European musicians in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. Because they were not an absolutely official part of the liturgy, as was Gregorian chant, they reflect local traditions, particularly in terms of melody, and more so than the new pieces that were composed at the time. In addition, the earlier layers of tropes represent, in many cases, a survival of the pre local pre Gregorian melodic traditions. This volume provides an introduction to the study of tropes in the form of an extensive anthology of major studies and a comprehensive bibliography and constitutes a classic reference resource for the study of one of the most important musico-liturgical genres of the central middle ages.
Author: Associate Professor of Musicology Kerry McCarthy
William Byrd’s Gradualia is one of the most unusual and elaborate musical works of the English Renaissance. This large collection of liturgical music, 109 pieces in all, was written for clandestine use by English Catholics at a time when they were forbidden to practice their religion in public. When Byrd began to compose the Gradualia, he turned from the penitential and polemical extravagances of his earlier Latin motets to the narrow, carefully ordered world of the Counter-Reformation liturgy. It was in this new context, cut off from his familiar practice of choosing colorful texts and setting them at length, that he first wrote about the "hidden and mysterious power" of sacred words to evoke a creative response. Liturgy and Contemplation in Byrd’s Gradualia responds to Byrd’s own testimony by exploring how he read the texts of the Mass and the events of the church calendar. Kerry McCarthy examines early modern English Catholic attitudes toward liturgical practice, meditation, and what the composer himself called "thinking over divine things." She draws on a wide range of contemporary sources — devotional treatises, commentaries on the Mass, poetry, memoirs, letters, and Byrd’s dedicatory prefaces — and revisits the Gradualia in light of this evidence. The book offers a case study of how one artist reimagined the creative process in the final decades of his life.
Monasticism, in all of its variations, was a feature of almost every landscape in the medieval West. So ubiquitous were religious women and men throughout the Middle Ages that all medievalists encounter monasticism in their intellectual worlds. While there is enormous interest in medieval monasticism among Anglophone scholars, language is often a barrier to accessing some of the most important and groundbreaking research emerging from Europe. The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West offers a comprehensive treatment of medieval monasticism, from Late Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages. The essays, specially commissioned for this volume and written by an international team of scholars, with contributors from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States, cover a range of topics and themes and represent the most up-to-date discoveries on this topic.
The liturgical chant sung in the churches of Southern Italy between the ninth and thirteenth centuries reflects the multiculturalism of a territory in which Romans, Franks, Lombards, Byzantines, Normans, Jews, and Muslims were all present with various titles and political roles. Chants, Hypertext, and Prosulas examines a specific genre, the prosulas that were composed to embellish and expand pre-existing liturgical chants. Widespread in medieval Europe, prosulas were highly cultivated in southern Italy, especially by the nuns, monks, and clerics of the city of Benevento. These texts shed light on the creativity of local cantors to provide new meanings to the liturgy in accordance with contemporary waves of religious spirituality, and to experiment with a novel musical style in which a syllabic setting is paired with the free-flowing melody of the parent chant. In their representing an epistemological 'beyond', and in their interconnectedness with the parent chant, these prosulas can be likened to modern hypertexts. In this book, author Luisa Nardini presents the first comprehensive study to integrate textual and musical analyses of liturgical prosulas as they were recorded in Beneventan manuscripts. Discussing general features of prosulas in southern Italy and their relation to contemporary liturgical genres (e.g., tropes, sequences, hymns), Nardini firmly situates Beneventan prosulas within the broader context of European musical history. An invaluable reference for the field, Chants, Hypertext, and Prosulas provides a new understanding of the phonetic and morphological transformations of the Latin language in medieval Italy, and clarifies the use of perennially puzzling features of Beneventan notation.
Thinking of the text from the Dies frae (S. Matthew, XXV, 40). It is also probable that this other Saint Francis, partly out of admiration for his illustrious compatriot of Assisi and partly from a compelling urge to be superlative in all things, chose the title in opposition to the Franciscans, the Fratres Minori, l who had previously adopted this style taken from Saint Matthew, XXIII, 8. The title "Minim" was confirmed in these words" ... eosque Eremitos Ordinis Minimorum Fratrum Eremitarum F. Francesci de Paula in posterum nuncupari," taken from the Papal Bull, Meritis religiosae vitae, of 26 February, 1493. The earliest reference to the Order in France is in a fragment preserved in the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal called, La regle et vie de Frere Franfois, pauvre et humble hermite de Paule, laquelle donne a tous ses 2 freres voulant entrer et vivre en son ordre. The dating of this manuscript should be accepted with considerable reserve; it bears a clearly legible "1474," although it seems most unlikely that any reference to an Order occurred before the Bull of 1493 or that any Rule appeared in French before the Founder's visit to Louis XI in 1483. 3 The fame of Francis and his reputation as a "guerisseur" had reached the French court where Louis XI was sick and dying; the King summoned him to the chateau of Le Plessis-Ies-Tours, but it required the intervention of the Pope to make the hermit undertake the journey
Icons of Sound: Voice, Architecture, and Imagination in Medieval Art brings together art history and sound studies to offer new perspectives on medieval churches and cathedrals as spaces where the perception of the visual is inherently shaped by sound. The chapters encompass a wide geographic and historical range, from the fifth to the fifteenth century, and from Armenia and Byzantium to Venice, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela. Contributors offer nuanced explorations of the importance of intangible sonic aura to these spaces, including the temporal and performative nature of ritual music, as well as the use of digital technology to reconstruct historical aural environments. Rooted in a decade-long interdisciplinary research project at Stanford University, Icons of Sound expands our understanding of the inherently intertwined relationship between medieval chant and liturgy, the acoustics of architectural spaces, and their visual aesthetics. Together, the contributors provide insights that are relevant across art history, sound studies, musicology, and medieval studies.
This classic anthology assembles over 200 source readings, bringing to life the history of music through letters, reviews, biographical sketches, memoirs, and other documents. Writings by composers, critics, and educators touch on virtually every aspect of Western music from ancient Greece to the present day. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Although medieval English music has been relatively neglected in comparison with repertoire from France and Italy, there are few classical musicians today who have not listened to the thirteenth-century song ‘Sumer is icumen in’, or read of the achievements and fame of fifteenth-century composer John Dunstaple. Similarly, the identification of a distinctively English musical style (sometimes understood as the contenance angloise) has been made on numerous occasions by writers exploring the extent to which English ideas influenced polyphonic composition abroad. Angel song: Medieval English music in history examines the ways in which the standard narratives of English musical history have been crafted, from the Middle Ages to the present. Colton challenges the way in which the concept of a canon of English music has been built around a handful of pieces, composers and practices, each of which offers opportunities for a reappraisal of English musical and devotional cultures between 1250 and 1460.
Limoges enamels, the richest surviving corpus of medieval metalwork, were renowned throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. Yet today they are little known outside academic circles. The present volume, published in conjuction with the exhibition Enamels of Limoges, 1100-1350, brings to deserved public attention nearly two hundred of the most important and representative examples from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musee du Louvre, the great church.
Bringing together artifacts, texts, and practices within an interpretive framework that stresses the cultural work performed by saints, Kathleen Ashley presents a comparative study of the cults of the medieval Sainte Foy at a number of the sites where she was especially venerated. This book analyzes how each cult site produced the saint it needed, appropriating or creating whatever was required to that end. Ashley’s approach is thoroughly interdisciplinary, incorporating visual, religious, medieval, and women’s and gender studies as well as literary studies and social history. She uses the theoretical framework of "cultural work" to analyze how the cult of Sainte Foy was sponsored and received by specific groups in different locales in Europe. The book is comprehensive in terms of historical as well as geographical range, tracing the history of the cult from the early Middle Ages into the present day. It also includes historiographical analysis, examining the way the cults of Sainte Foy have been represented in various historical accounts. Ashley’s narrative challenges the boundary between "elite" and "popular" culture and complicates the traditional vernacular vs. Latin language binary. A chief aim of the study is to show how "art" objects always operated in conjunction with other cultural texts to construct a saint’s cult. The volume is heavily illustrated, showing artifacts such as stained-glass windows and wall paintings which are not readily available from any other source. This book will be of special interest to scholars in art history, medieval history, gender studies, and religion.
Leon Weinberger draws on a wealth of material, much of it previously available only in Hebrew, to trace the history of Jewish hymnography from its origins in the eastern Mediterranean to its subsequent development in western Europe (Spain, Italy, Franco-Germany, and England) and Balkan Byzantium, on the Grecian periphery, under the Ottomans, and among the Karaites. Focusing on each region in turn, he provides a general background to the role of the synagogue poets in the society of the time; characterizes the principal poets and describes their contribution; examines the principal genres and forms; and considers their distinctive language, style, and themes. The copious excerpts from the liturgy are presented in transliterated Hebrew and in English translation, and their salient characteristics are fully discussed to bring out the historical development of ideas and regional themes as well as literary forms. Professor Weinberger’s study is a particularly valuable source-book for students of synagogue liturgy, Jewish worship, and medieval Hebrew poetry. It provides new perspectives for students of religious poetry and forms of worship more generally, while enabling the general reader to acquire a much-enriched appreciation of the synagogue services.