How music functioned in the middle ages, what it meant to its hearers, and how it was performed: these are the subjects of this fascinating volume. The studies collected here introduce the reader to the practical detail and complex intricacies of the performance of medieval music in the liturgy, bringing into clear focus a number of matters that were long obscure. (A second volume by Professor Kelly,The Sources of Beneventan Chant, Ashgate 2011, complements this volume). Two detailed studies of aspects of musical practices of the Eternal City bring new historical perspectives to the understanding of the growth of the Roman liturgy, while the second and third groups of articles bring the reader close to the actual sound of medieval musicians. Writings on the art of the prosula, a hitherto understudied musico-poetic phenomenon, give practical information about Gregorian chant that can be acquired in no other way. Likewise, the study of variants in the music of the Exultet for Holy Saturday provides a window onto a creative and improvisational practice that is often difficult to discern from surviving written sources. A final study, of the composers of chant in the middle ages, gives us a view of how musicians and others thought of themselves in a time that often valued anonymity.
Contents: Part 1 Roman Matters: Old-Roman chant and the Responsories of Noah: new evidence from Sutri; Candle, text, ceremony: the Exultet at Rome. Part 2 Embellishing the Liturgy: Introducing the Gloria in excelsis; New music from old: the structuring of responsory prosas; Melodic elaboration in responsory melismas; Melisma and prosula: the performance of responsory tropes; Neuma triplex; Modal neumes at Sens. Part 3 Singing from Scrolls: Structure and ornament in chant: the case of the Beneventan Exultet; The liturgical rotulus at Benevento; A Milanese processional roll at the Beinecke library. Part 4 Later Medieval Music: Medieval composers of liturgical chant; Early polyphony at Montecassino; Indexes.
The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.
The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.
Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource.
For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]