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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 August 2014
The article presents a new edition and English translation of the Latin music-theory treatise transmitted anonymously in Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, MS 1492, sometimes known as De musica et de transformatione specialiter, or simply the Sowa Anonymous (a reference to Heinrich Sowa's edition published in 1935). An introductory essay justifies the treatise's importance and gives reasons why a new edition is necessary. It also presents a complex case for dating the treatise to the eleventh century based on verbal and conceptual affinities with five other treatises of the era. The edition of the text is done to higher standards of orthographic accuracy than were observed in 1935 and corrects about twenty outright errors in Sowa's edition. It also includes the two embedded tonaries that Sowa omitted. The treatise is a crucial complementary witness to the state of music theory in the eleventh century.
1 The treatise is transmitted without title or attribution in Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, MS 1492, fols. 94–98v. The edition was published in Sowa, H., Quellen zur Transformation der Antiphonen: Tonar und Rhythmusstudien (Kassel, 1935), pp. 154–60Google Scholar.
2 H. S. Powers, ‘Mode’, in New Grove II, xii, pp. 376–450. See also Pesce, D., The Affinities and Medieval Transposition (Bloomington, Ind., 1987)Google Scholar.
3 See Micrologus, ch. 8, in Guidonis Aretini Micrologus, ed. J. Smits van Waesberghe (n.p., 1955), pp. 122–9; and Hucbald, Guido, and John on Music, trans. Babb, W., ed. with introductions by Palisca, C. V. (New Haven, 1978), pp. 64–5Google Scholar.
4 Sowa, Quellen, p. 158, n. 345. The omission, indicated in the edition by ellipsis dots, spans nearly two complete folios in the unique manuscript source between ‘ad quartas intendunt’ (fol. 96) and ‘Quia sunt plerique simplices’ (fol. 97v).
5 Meyer, C., Manuscripts from the Carolingian Era up to c.1500: Addenda, Corrigenda (The Theory of Music, Répertoire International des Sources Musicales, vol. B, III6; Munich, 2003), pp. 316–19Google Scholar. For a more detailed codicological description, see Merkley, P., Modal Assignment in Northern Tonaries (Ottawa, 1992), pp.184–5Google Scholar.
6 Fols. 56v–94. Edited by Sowa on pp. 81–154.
7 Merkley, Modal Assignment, p. 185.
8 Sowa, Quellen, pp. 1–10; Huglo, M., Les Tonaires: Inventaire, analyse, comparaison (Paris, 1971), pp. 254–5Google Scholar.
9 The text, which begins without introduction in the middle of a thought, has evidently lost its original opening. That fact alone all but rules out that this unique copy transmits the original version.
10 The dates are firm, but the place of composition is only the most probable of several conjectures. See Ilnitchi, G., The Play of Meanings: Aribo's De Musica and the Hermeneutics of Musical Thought (Lanham, Md., 2005), 1–6Google Scholar.
11 G. A. Anderson and C. M. Balensuela, ‘Rodolfus of St Truiden’, in New Grove II, xxi, pp. 497–8.
12 Pesce has mentioned the near word-for-word agreement of certain passages in the two treatises, but no one until now, as far as I know, has measured its full extent. See Pesce, Affinities, p. 37.
13 Expositiones in Micrologum Guidonis Aretini, ed. van Waesberghe, J. Smits (Amsterdam, 1957), p. 97Google Scholar. The author adds that a Bavarian origin is ‘not impossible’, owing to the number of Bavarian scholars who travelled to Liège in the latter 11th c. to study at the city's famous school of church music.
14 Ch. 7 in the version edited by Gerbert, Martin, Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra potissimum, 3 vols. (1784; repr. Hildesheim, 1963), i, pp. 69–70Google Scholar.
15 The same interpolator, noting that the plagal of the tetrardus consists of the same species of diapente as the authentic (G–d) and a first species of diatessaron below, adds ‘according to some; yet, to speak truly, it is the form of the first species’ (‘secundum quosdam, re vera tamen forma est primae illius speciei’). See Die Musiktraktate des Abtes Bern von Reichenau: Edition und Interpretation, ed. Rausch, A. (Tutzing, 1999), p. 46Google Scholar. Rausch's stemma (pp. 24–5) shows that three of the sources transmitting the emended readings, Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14663, Rochester, Eastman School of Music, MS 92, and Trier, Stadtbibliothek, Ms.8o 1897, all descend from Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, K 504, a source dated to the end of the 11th c. (ibid., p. 20).
16 See ch. 5 of Musica Hermanni Contracti, ed. Ellinwood, L. (Rochester, NY, 1952), pp. 26–9Google Scholar.
17 ‘The fourth [species of diatessaron, D–G] is the same as the first [A–D] except that it differs from the first in its place [on the scale], and because the fourth species forms a species of diapason [D–d] with the upper diapente, which the first species does not do.’ (‘Quarta eadem est cum prima nisi quod loco differt a prima, et quia quarta speciem diapason constituit cum superiori diapente quod prima non facit.’) Expositiones, ed. Smits van Waesberghe, p. 108, line 95.
18 See Aribonis De Musica, ed. van Waesberghe, J. Smits (Rome, 1951), pp. 11–13Google Scholar; and Die Quaestiones in Musica: Ein Choraltraktat des zentralen Mittelalters und ihr mutmaßlicher Verfasser Rudolf von St. Trond, ed. Steglich, R. (1911; repr. Wiesbaden, 1970), pp. 27, 91 and 97Google Scholar. On 11th-c. theories of the species, with particular emphasis on Aribo, see Ilnitchi, Play of Meanings, pp. 163–9.
19 Cf. Quaestiones, ed. Steglich, pp. 54–5. See also the close verbal similarity between the final sentence of the Musica, beginning ‘In aliquibus quippe cantibus’, and the corresponding passage in the Commentarius in Expositiones, ed. Smits van Waesberghe, pp. 144–5, lines 57–60.
20 The criterion of the species' formal identity is possession of the requisite order of tones and semitones. In order for the species to be considered natural as well as merely formal, they must also be framed by notes of the same numeric class as the one to which the species itself belongs, as when the first note of the graves (A) and the first note of the finales (D) frame a first species of fourth.
21 Generally overlooked in modern surveys, the two tonaries appear not to have been included in Huglo, Les Tonaires, or Merkley, Modal Assignment.
22 The notation exhibits a ductus found in German notations from the 13th and 14th cc. Cf. Bannister, H., Monumenti Vaticani di paleografia musicale latina, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1913), nos. 550, 567 and 571Google Scholar.
24 This method of classification is found also in the well-known tonaries of Bern of Reichenau and Frutolf of Michelsberg. It evidently reflects a common understanding of the modes and their varieties in southern German practice in the eleventh century. See Die Musiktraktate des Abtes Bern, ed. Rausch, 75–103; Frutolfi Breviarium, ed. Vivell, 113–76; and München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14965b, ed. Maloy, fols. 34–68.
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