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A study of the ornate antiphons in MS. Vat. lat. 5319 Colk, Alma Lorraine

Abstract

To date, there has been no detailed or comparative analysis of the repertory known as the Old-Roman Chant. Although the historical and liturgical problems created by the recent discovery of this repertory may be found in scattered writings, no one has published a detailed study of the music itself. Those that have written on the Old-Roman melodies have confined their attention to isolated examples. This study is concerned with the Introits, Offertories, and Communions of MS Vat. lat. 5319, an Old-Roman Graduale which dates from the late eleventh century. Whenever possible, a comparison has been made with their Gregorian counterparts. The introduction summarizes the basic, historical study of the Old-Roman repertory; the three main chapters treat each antiphon cycle in turn; and the final chapter places the work of this thesis in an overall context. That we are dealing with an early repertory is indicated by such features as the close relationship between the Communion antiphons and their verses and the striking uniformity in cadential patterns. Although the Old-Roman version bear a close musical relationship to the Gregorian, certain evidence indicates that they are earlier. The basic form of all the Old-Roman Mass antiphons is clearly a recurring psalm-tone formula which usually appears in an ornamented form throughout the chant. This feature is not as evident in the Gregorian melodies and may well be a link to an earlier oral tradition. An example is offered for the difference in melodic style between the Old-Roman Introits, Offertories, and Communions. The Offertories and Communions can be seen as elaborations of earlier simpler forms still represented by the Introits. In short, the ornate antiphons of MS Vat. lat. 5319 are shown to be, basically, redactions prior to their Gregorian counterparts.

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