1st Edition

Chant and its Origins

Edited By Thomas Forrest Kelly Copyright 2009

    The Latin liturgical music of the medieval church is the earliest body of Western music to survive in a more or less complete form. It is a body of thousands of individual pieces, of striking beauty and aesthetic appeal, which has the special quality of embodying, of giving voice to, the words of the liturgy itself. Plainchant is the music that underpins essentially all other music of the middle ages (and far beyond), and is the music that is most abundantly preserved. It is a subject that has engaged a great deal of research and debate in the last fifty years and the nature of the complex issues that have recently arisen in research on chant are explored here in an overview of current issues and problems.

    Contents: Introduction; Part I General Overviews of Scholarship: Gregorian studies in the 21st century, Richard Crocker; Writings on Western plainchant in the 1980s and 1990s, David Hiley. Part II Early History: Jerusalem and Rome (and Constantinople): the musical heritage of 2 great cities in the formation of the medieval chant traditions, Peter Jeffery; The singing of psalms in the early-medieval office, Joseph Dyer; The 8th-century Frankish-Roman communion cycle, James McKinnon. Part III Editions and Repertories: The critical edition of the Roman gradual by the monks of Solesmes, Jacques Froger; Research on the antiphoner - problems and perspectives, Hartmut Möller. Part IV Analytical studies: Some remarks on Jean Claire's octoechoes, László Dobszay; The offertory chant of the Roman liturgy and its musical form, Joseph Dyer; The Gregorian office antiphons and the comparative method, Edward Nowacki. Part V Roman and Frankish Chant: The central problem of Gregorian chant, Willi Apel; Die Entstehung des gregorianischen Chorals, Bruno Stäblein; The question of the 'old-Roman' chant: a reappraisal, Paul F. Cutter; Papal schola versus Charlemagne, S.J.P. van Dijk; Introits and archetypes: some archaisms of the old Roman chant, Thomas H. Connolly; Towards a new historical view of Gregorian chant, Helmut Hucke; Gregorian chant and the Romans, Kenneth Levy; Remarks on Roman and non-Roman offertories, Andreas Pfisterer. Part VI Other Chant Traditions: The development and chronology of the Ambrosian sanctorale: the evidence of the antiphon texts, Terence Bailey; The Beneventan chant, Thomas Forrest Kelly; The old Hispanic rite as evidence for the earliest forms of the Western Christian liturgies, Don M. Randel; Index.


    Thomas Kelly is Harvard College Professor and Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music, Harvard University, USA

    '...the introductions to each volume are excellent...' Early Music Review 'It would be hard to overestimate the value of the work presented in these collections.' Medieval Review