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Lambach  

David Wyn Jones

Benedictine abbey in Upper Austria. It was founded in 1056 on the site of a fortress protecting the confluence of the rivers Traun and Ager, and was sanctioned by Emperor Heinrich IV in 1061. The first monks came from the monastery of Münsterschwarzach near Würzburg, and in 1089 the church was consecrated.

Situated on the main west-east trade route, the abbey's wealth grew steadily in the Middle Ages, largely based on the salt trade, but its location also made it vulnerable to attack and occupation by conquering forces from the 13th century to Napoleonic times. Abbot Pabo founded an abbey school towards the end of the 12th century by which time a musical scriptorium was already thriving. Illuminated manuscripts in the hands of two monks, Haimo and Gotschalk, are notable, including a fragment of music in neumatic notation for the Dreikönigsspiel frequently performed at the abbey. Other important medieval manuscripts are two examples of the Lambach Ritual (from the beginning and end of the 12th century), a 14th-century collection of songs (both in monody and in parts) copied by Hermann (now in ...