1-20 of 24 results  for:

  • Musical Form x
  • Pre- and Early Medieval (before 800) x
Clear all

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

Cantica  

Geoffrey Chew

(Lat.: ‘songs’)

In ancient Roman comedies, the sung lyric sections as opposed to the diverbi or sections containing spoken dialogue; and, in a narrower sense, the sections sung by soloists (rather than the chorus) with instrumental accompaniment. In the latter sense the cantica were analogous to monody in Greek drama. In the comedies of Plautus, the cantica are highlights, and must have required highly skilled performers.

In the Middle Ages, the term (with either canticum or cantica as a singular form) was used more broadly to mean ‘song’, especially when referring to sacred monophonic songs (e.g. sequences or vernacular religious songs; it has been used in the same sense by modern editors for monophonic Byzantine hymns). It came to be applied particularly to the biblical Song of Songs and to the canticles of the Divine Office of the Roman rite (see Canticle).

E. Reisch: ‘Canticum’, Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft...

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

Article

Nenia  

Geoffrey Chew

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[naenia; exequiae, exsequiae] (Lat.; Ger. Nänie)

Funeral song in ancient Rome in praise of a dead person, analogous to the Greek Thrēnos (threnody). It was generally sung by praeficae (professional female mourners) or by female relatives of the dead person, to the accompaniment of one or more tibiae, or to the lyra; the tuba and cornu were also used for funeral music, often as purely instrumental music. The praeficae with their assistants probably sang the nenia in the manner of a litany; it may have consisted of traditional formulae. Others present might also have taken up the song. The nenia was intended to banish the maleficent influence of the spirits of the underworld; in this sense it is said to survive today in remote parts of Italy. The term was also used in antiquity for the ending of a song or poem.

The word ‘nenia’ was revived in a humanistic spirit by Erasmus in his Naenia in Johannes Ockeghem musicorum principem...

Article

Nomos  

Thomas J. Mathiesen

(Gk plural nomoi)

One of the genres of ancient Greek music. Descriptions of specific nomoi in Greek literary sources suggest a complex style that came to be associated with virtuoso performers. Proclus's Useful Knowledge associates the term with one of his many epithets for Apollo, Nomimos, and provides a brief history of the genre: Chrysothemis the Cretan, wearing a splendid robe and playing the kithara in imitation of Apollo, was the first to sing a solo nomos; Terpander, using heroic metre, was the first to perfect the nomos, while Arion of Methymna, who was both poet and kitharode, expanded it; Phrynis introduced innovations in the nomos: he combined the hexameter with a free metre and used more than seven strings; later, Timotheus gave it its current arrangement.

Stylistic generalizations about the nomos are difficult, but four types can be identified: two sung to the accompaniment of a kithara or an aulos and two performed by a solo kitharist or aulete. The earliest type is the kitharoedic, a ...

Article

Paean  

Thomas J. Mathiesen

(Gk. paian, paiēōn, paiōn, paōn)

Ancient Greek choral hymn addressed to Apollo, Artemis, Zeus, Dionysus, Asclepius or Hygieia. Proclus's Useful Knowledge defines it as a species of song specifically assigned to be sung to Apollo and Artemis for the cessation of plagues and maladies but later written for all the gods. The term is also applied to military hymns; hymns composed in honour of an important event, such as the ratification of a treaty; and, later, hymns addressed to prominent persons. In the Iliad (i.472–4) the term appears in connection with a hymn sung to Apollo as a propitiation for the Greek army's offence against the god; and later (xxii.391–4) the term is used to describe a piece sung in celebration of a victory. In addition, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo preserves the famous cry of the Cretan paean singers, ‘Ie Paean’ (iēpaiēon), which was used as an epithet for Apollo in his role as healer. Pseudo-Plutarch (...

Article

David Fuller

revised by Robert Gallagher

(Fr.)

The newly composed chant of the 17th to 19th centuries in France, similar to the Italian canto fratto. The decisive impetus came in the early 1630s from the Oratorians of the rue St Honoré, whose church was designated the royal chapel of the Louvre by Louis XIII, and whose superior conceived the idea of attracting the courtiers by introducing a new kind of chant combining features of the ecclesiastical and modern styles. This initiative resulted in the first collection of such chants – the Brevis psalmodiae ratio (Paris, 1634) by François Bourgoing, a member of the Oratory congregation. It was published with an approbation by Mersenne and contains new chants and simplified versions of known melodies; with rare exceptions, all the chants are syllabic. Resembling this work in its simplicity is Nivers’ Graduale romanum juxta missale, the most extensive collection of plain-chant musical, published by Ballard in 1658. Originally intended for use by Benedictine nuns, it was subsequently reprinted several times for Benedictine and Augustinian nuns. Both the gradual and the alleluia for any given liturgical day are composed in the same mode, probably to ease the transition between these two consecutive chants and to impose a general sense of modal and tonal order on the Mass Propers. In ...

Article

Kenneth Levy, John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham, David Hiley and Bennett Mitchell Zon

[plainsong] (from Lat. cantus planus; Fr. plainchant; Ger. Choral; It. canto plano)

The official monophonic unison chant (originally unaccompanied) of the Christian liturgies. The term, though general, is used to refer particularly to the chant repertories with Latin texts – that is, those of the five major Western Christian liturgies – or in a more restricted sense to the repertory of Franco-Roman chant (Gregorian chant). A third meaning refers to a style of measured ecclesiastical music, often accompanied by a bassoon, serpent or organ, cultivated in Roman Catholic France during the 17th to 19th centuries (see Plain-chant musical). This article is concerned with the chant of the Roman and derived rites considered historically, including its place within Christian chant as a whole and its relationship to the liturgy that it serves.

Kenneth Levy

The roots of the liturgical chant of the Christian Churches lie partly in established Jewish Synagogue practice of the apostolic period, partly in new developments within early Christianity itself and partly in pagan music at the diverse centres where the first churches were established (...

Article

Prosa  

Richard L. Crocker

[prose]

A text for a sequence ( see Sequence ). The term was sometimes used loosely in medieval sources to apply to texts of other kinds of chants, for example Kyries, or to text underlay for melismas (a phenomenon better referred to as Prosula ).

A prosa in the restricted sense is a Latin text constructed largely in ‘couplets’: two lines of text set syllabically to the same phrase of music, hence having the same (or almost the same) syllable count. Successive couplets are of varying lengths, however, so that the line structure of the whole is not regular, like verse, but rather irregular. In the early repertory (written c 850–1000) prosae neither scanned nor rhymed, but later they did both, becoming almost indistinguishable from verse.

Frequently a number of prosae were written to one sequence melody, but (in the early repertory, at least) any given prosa could be sung to only one melody. ...

Article

Prosula  

Ruth Steiner

revised by Keith Falconer

A prosula is a text created to fit a melisma in Gregorian chant. Alternative terms similarly employed in the medieval manuscripts include ‘prosa’, ‘tropus’ and ‘verba’ ( see Prosa and Trope ).

There are prosulas for chants of both the Mass and the Office, and, within the Mass, for both the Ordinary and the Proper. Best known are those for the Kyrie eleison; but more numerous than these in 10th- and 11th-century sources are those for offertory verses and alleluias. The prosula is nearly always in strictly syllabic style, with one syllable for each note of the melisma. As a rule, the contours, phrasing and articulation of the melody were carefully observed by the prosula writer, so that the phrases of text match those of the melody and accented syllables fall on appropriate notes. The beginnings and endings of words in the text often coincide with the beginnings and endings of neumes in the melisma....

Article

Paul Frederick Cutter, Brad Maiani, Davitt Moroney and John Caldwell

[Great responsory of Matins and Vespers; responsorium prolixum]

Paul Frederick Cutter, assisted by Brad Maiani

A category of Western chant serving at Matins and monastic Vespers as musical postludes to the reading of lessons, as the gradual and alleluia do at the Mass. Indeed, responsories make up the greater part of Matins, and in the total repertory of Roman chant are surpassed in quantity only by Office antiphons. From about 600 in their earliest musical source, the Hartker manuscript dating from about 1000 (PalMus, 2nd ser., i, 1900, 2/1970), the number of responsories increased to nearly 1000 in the 13th-century Worcester Antiphoner (PalMus, 1st ser., xii, 1922/R).

The responsories of the Office (like the gradual and alleluia of the Mass) are termed responsorial chants because in them choir responds with a refrain to verses sung by a cantor. In method of delivery they are clearly related to responsorial psalmody, although it is important that a distinction be maintained between the more ancient practice of responsorial psalm singing and the specific liturgical genre that bears its name....

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In 

Article

John A. Emerson, Jane Bellingham and David Hiley

In