Conflicting modal assignments of office antiphons: A comparative study of seven Germanic sources.

Title: Conflicting modal assignments of office antiphons: A comparative study of seven Germanic sources.
Authors: Mori, Hiroko.
Date: 1999
Abstract: In the musical repertory of the medieval Gregorian liturgy, office chants have more diversity among sources than mass chants. The diversity sometimes results in the conflicting modal assignments of given chants which have been one of the chief concerns of the theorists throughout medieval centuries. By finding the conflicting modal assignments in the office antiphons from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost through a comparison of seven German antiphoners, and also by consulting with contemporary theoretical treatises about the antiphons of problematic modal assignments, this study inspects the real circumstances of modal problems in the medieval practice. One of the causes of the conflicting modal assignment of antiphons is the change of criterion of modal decision. In the early middle ages, singers selected the psalm tone according to the melodic incipit of an antiphon, while later they decided the mode of every chant based on the finalis. The other cause of conflict is that medieval singers often transposed a melody either entirely or in part, in order to avoid a certain interval or a chromatic tone, or in order to ease excessively high or law notes for certain singers. These modal conflicts, even among the sources produced in rather closely located geographical places, along with the theoretical discussions on modal problems of such antiphons, can be regarded as evidence of the struggles of medieval musicians to systematize the vast repertory they inherited.
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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