Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 June 2001
Some basic stylistic features of ten prose offices for English saints are considered. The oldest is that for St Cuthbert (probably c. 930). Others are for Dunstan of Canterbury, Edmund of East Anglia, Ethelwold of Winchester, Kyneburga, Kyneswytha and Tybba of Peterborough, Mildred of Thanet, Oswald of Northumbria, Oswald of Worcester, Swithun of Winchester, and Wulfstan of Worcester. All were probably composed earlier than the office for Thomas of Canterbury (soon after 1170), which with its rhymed, accentual verse text marks a new type of office. Important musical features of these offices include the deployment of chants in modal order, tonality that relies on a framework of finalis and fifth (also the upper octave and lower fourth), cadences approached from the note below, the use of responsory verse tones, and formulaic melodies.