The Sources of Beneventan Chant: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Sources of Beneventan Chant

1st Edition

By Thomas Forrest Kelly


404 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
New in Paperback: 9781138375802
pub: 2019-01-03
SAVE ~$11.20
Hardback: 9781409405306
pub: 2011-10-28
SAVE ~$41.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


The area whose capital was the southern Lombard city of Benevento developed a culture identified with the characteristic form of writing known as the Beneventan script, which was used throughout the area and was brought to perfection at the abbey of Montecassino in the late eleventh century. This repertory, along with other now-vanished or suppressed local varieties of music, give a far richer picture of the variety of musical practice in early medieval Europe than was formerly available. Thomas Forrest Kelly has identified and collected the surviving sources of an important repertory of early medieval music; this is the so-called Beneventan Chant, used in southern Italy in the early middle ages, before the adoption there of the now-universal music known as Gregorian chant. Because it was deliberately suppressed in the course of the eleventh century, this music survives mostly in fragments and palimpsests, and the fascinating process of restoring the repertory piece by piece is told in the studies in this book. A companion volume to this collection also by Professor Kelly details the practice of Medieval music.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Repertory, Sources, Style: The Beneventan Chant; Notes on a census of Beneventan manuscripts; Music of Benevento cathedral. Part II Individual Sources: Palimpsest evidence of an Old-Beneventan gradual; Montecassino and the Old Beneventan chant; Beneventan fragments at Altamura; A musical fragment at Bisceglie containing an unknown Beneventan office; A Beneventan borrowing in the Saint Cecilia gradual; New Beneventan liturgical fragments in Lanciano, Lucera, and Penne containing further evidence of the Old Beneventan chant; New evidence of the Old Beneventan chant. Part III Context: The oldest musical notation at Montecassino; Abbot Desiderius and the two liturgical chants of Montecassino; Beneventan liturgy and music in Tuscany: Lucca, Biblioteca Capitolare Feliniana ms. 606; Non-Gregorian music in an antiphoner of Benevento; A Beneventan notated breviary in Naples (Archivio Storico Diocesano, Fondo Ebdomadari, Cod. Misc. 1, fasc. VII; Musical relations between Venice and Benevento; Tradition and innovation in the antiphoner Benevento 848; Indexes.

About the Author

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

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

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

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
MUSIC / Religious / General