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date: 24 February 2020

Musica enchiriadis, Scolica enchiriadislocked

  • Raymond Erickson


Anonymous 9th-century Latin music treatises of signal importance for the early history of modal theory and of polyphony. They are generally transmitted together in the manuscript tradition, frequently with other contemporary tracts (ed. in Schmid, 1981) but most of all with Boethius’s De institutione musica. Though best known for containing the earliest extant discussions of (improvised) polyphonic singing (organum), they are equally notable for transmitting the first chant melodies preserved in a precise pitch notation and for drawing upon a wide range of late Latin literary and philosophical sources; they thus document the intellectual environment as well as the state of musical theory and practice of the Carolingian Renaissance. Although the origins of the treatises are still wrapped in mystery, major advances in the understanding of Musica enchiriadis and Scolica enchiriadis have been possible following the completion of Schmid’s critical edition (1981), the dissertation by Phillips (...

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