The Tractatus de musica by the Dominican friar Jerome de Moravia has long been recognised as the most important overview of thirteenth-century writing on music.Footnote 1 After providing theoretical background largely from Boethius, it offers in chapters 20–5 an important discussion of Dominican plainchant and in chapter 26 four complete treatises on organum, organised chronologically.Footnote 2 The first is the otherwise unknown Positio discantus vulgaris, followed by our only complete copy of John of Garland's De mensurabili musica and two more widely circulated texts: the Ars cantus mensurabilis of Franco of Cologne and the Franconian Ars motettorum attributed here to Petrus Picardus. There is much uncertainty, however, about when these four works and Jerome's Tractatus were written. Frobenius argued that Franco was writing c.1280, on the grounds that he must be writing after the Anonymous of St Emmeram, preserved in a manuscript dated to 1279.Footnote 3 This implies not only a late date for Jerome's Tractatus, but also an unexplained hiatus between the flowering of polyphony at Notre-Dame in the time of Perotin (fl. 1200–30?) and discussion of musica mensurabilis in the 1270s and 1280s. This study questions such a chronology by considering Jerome's career in three phases: his early background before coming to France; his studies in Paris; and his relationship to the process of liturgical reform implemented in 1256 by Humbert of Romans, Master of the Order (1254–63). While any attempt to assign clear dates to Jerome's career is necessarily speculative, the various texts on which his Tractatus draws deserve to be situated against broader developments in both music and educational practice. Jerome lived through a period of great transformation in music theory following the time of Perotin in the early decades of the thirteenth century. This makes Jerome's overview in the Tractatus all the more precious.
Scotland, the Dominicans and Parisian music in the thirteenth century
In a short paper published in 1994, Michel Huglo argued that Moravus and de Moravia in the opening and closing rubrics of Jerome's Tractatus referred not to Moravia in eastern Europe, but to Moray in northern Scotland.Footnote 4 While Edward Roesner thought this probable, Christian Meyer and Guy Lobrichon avoided making a decision on this in their (2012) critical edition of the Tractatus.Footnote 5 In the mid-thirteenth century, however, Moravia in eastern Europe had been devastated by the Tartar invasions, alongside Russia, Prussia, Poland and much of Hungary.Footnote 6 Moray in Scotland, however, was then flourishing as a result of strong political, cultural and religious connections between Scotland and France in the thirteenth century, mediated in particular through French-speaking bishops and the Order of Preachers. This makes it seem much more likely that Jerome was signalling his connection to the diocese and family of Moray (Murray) in Scotland than to a vast area in eastern Europe.
The Dominicans had been introduced into Scotland in 1230 by Alexander II (r. 1214–49).Footnote 7 After a first convent at Edinburgh, the Dominicans established another in 1232/33 at Elgin, the centre of the northern diocese of Moray since 1224.Footnote 8 The lords of Moray were an influential family in the region. Andrew, bishop of Moray (1224–42), set about building its new cathedral, of which Richard of Moray was the first cantor (1226–30). Andrew was the son of Hugh of Moray (d. c.1219), a Scottish noble of Flemish origin, and likely related to Gilbert, archdeacon of Moray (1207/8–1222/3) and subsequently the powerful bishop of Caithness (1222/3–1243/5). Quite possibly, Jerome was connected to this family, including bishops Andrew, Richard and Gilbert.Footnote 9 Alexander II held court at Moray in 1230. Its location by the Moray Firth provided a centre for royal power in the north as well as sea access to the continent. While Alexander established an abbey for monks of the small Valliscaulian Order at Pluscarden (10km southwest of Elgin), he supported some nine different Dominican convents, not just at Edinburgh and Elgin, but also at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Perth, Montrose, Berwick, Inverness and Ayr.Footnote 10 The vitality of Moray between 1200 and 1250 is evident from the references to around one hundred individuals in this period, identified within the database ‘People of Medieval Scotland 1093–1371’. They include at least two teachers: a Master Henry, treasurer and chancellor of the diocese of Moray (d. early 1230s), and a Master Hugh Picard, canon of Dunkeld/Moray.Footnote 11
The close musical connections between Scotland and Paris in the early thirteenth century are exemplified by the presence at St Andrews of the manuscript W1 (Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. Helmst. 628) containing the earliest known copy of the so-called Magnus liber organi, as well as an Office for St Andrew. Mark Everist has argued that this manuscript, seemingly copied no later than the 1230s, is much more likely to have been brought to St Andrews by Guillaume de Malveisin (Mauvosin), bishop of St Andrews (1202–38), than by his successor David of Bernham (1239–53). Guillaume was a French noble who had previously been chancellor of Scotland and bishop of Glasgow (1199–1202).Footnote 12 Everist suggested that Guillaume and his entourage brought this early version of the Magnus liber organi to Scotland after returning from a visit to France, either in 1212 or in 1215–17, when Guillaume attended the 1215 Lateran Council alongside the bishops of Glasgow and Moray.Footnote 13 This copy of the Magnus liber organi includes the two-part polyphony of Master Leoninus (d. 1201) of Notre-Dame and the more complex compositions of his successor, Perotin, active in Paris during the first decades of the thirteenth century.Footnote 14 In a careful study of W1, Katherine Hope Kennedy Steiner has argued that Guillaume commissioned the manuscript, not for the Augustinian canons of St Andrews, with whom he was often in conflict, but for the clerics of the Céli Dé, a community with aristocratic connections and the traditional guardians of the relics of St Andrew, serving the Scottish royal chapel.Footnote 15 Jerome's familiarity with Parisian polyphony could have begun in Scotland, perhaps as a cleric linked to the Céli Dé at St Andrews and singing repertoire brought over from Paris.
Clement of Dunblane (d. 1258) and Simon Tailler
The Dominicans first came to Scotland in 1230. Their most significant figure was Clement, whom, in 1233, Guillaume de Malveisin consecrated as bishop of Dunblane, in central Scotland. Clement was remembered as being eloquent in various languages (most likely Gaelic, Latin and French), and zealous in restoring liturgical activity.Footnote 16 According to the Scottish antiquary Thomas Dempster (1579–1625), Clement wrote several books, including a Life of Dominic, an account of the arrival of the Dominican Order into Scotland, another about pilgrimages to the holy places, and various sermons (Summa concionum).Footnote 17 Clement's no longer extant history of the Dominicans coming to Scotland would have complemented the account of the Order's beginnings by Jordan of Saxony (c.1190–1237), who visited Oxford in 1229/30.Footnote 18 Clement joined the Order in Paris in 1217–19, but was part of the group who established a convent at Oxford in 1221 under Gilbert de Fresnay. Clement penned a tribute to Edmund of Abingdon (c.1174–1240), who taught at Oxford in 1214–22.Footnote 19 Guillaume's support for promoting Clement to the episcopate could be explained if Clement was part of the bishop's entourage in 1215–17, before joining the newly established Order in Paris in 1217.Footnote 20 As bishop of Dunblane in 1233–58, Clement was able to promote the Dominican cause and its liturgy in Scotland, prompting Jerome to consider joining the Order.
A Dominican who could have influenced Jerome's interest in music was Simon Tailler, whom Dempster reports came to Scotland with Clement in 1230 according to a now lost account by George Newton, archdeacon of Dunblane (1517–31/33).Footnote 21 Newton, who would have had access to the library of Dunblane cathedral, prior to its dispersal in 1559, reports that Simon Tailler wrote four books (quite possibly a single work, comprising four separate books): On Correcting Ecclesiastical Chant; On Musical Tenor; Of Tetrachords; and Of Pentachords.Footnote 22 It seems unlikely that Newton invented these quite specific titles.Footnote 23 Tailler's treatise De tenore musicali may have been about organum, while his discussion of tetrachords and pentachords implies an interest in chant theory. In 1895, Placid Conway OP expanded on these remarks when he added, without giving his authority, that Tailler was ‘born from ancient and noble stock in Ireland, who taught ecclesiastical chant most learnedly in the cathedral churches of the kingdom’.Footnote 24 It is impossible to confirm this claim, although six Dominican houses were established in Ireland between 1224 and 1229. The title of Tailler's treatise De cantu ecclesiastico corrigendo implies that he wanted to restore chant to its original purity, following the precedent of the twelfth-century Cistercian music theorist Guy of Eu.Footnote 25 Tailler's interest in the pentachords and tetrachords of the plainchant modes echoes that of Theinred of Dover (fl. 1150), whose On the Legitimate Orders of Pentachords and Tetrachords criticised Guido of Arezzo for not accepting the rationality of chromatic intervals.Footnote 26 While we cannot tell if Tailler shared Theinred's criticism of Guido, he could well have encouraged Jerome's early interest in music theory. Like Tailler, Jerome was interested in both pentachords and tetrachords, and like Theinred, he gave more attention to Boethius than to Guido of Arezzo.Footnote 27
Jerome of Moray, John of Garland and the cathedral school of Notre-Dame
The Parisian teacher to whom Jerome gives most attention in his Tractatus de musica is John of Garland, whose writing he quotes as authoritative in relation to both plainchant and polyphony. Jerome preserves our only complete version of John's De mensurabili musica (Dmm) within chapter 26. Unfortunately, Reimer unnecessarily complicated our understanding of this treatise by arguing in his edition of Dmm that the only authentic version of Dmm was that preserved in two unfortunately incomplete manuscripts. Reimer judged the concluding chapters of the complete version of Dmm (about specific three- and four-part compositions and their rhetorical colores) as preserved by Jerome to be inauthentic. He gave no clear reason for this.Footnote 28 He did not consider the possibility that John of Garland himself might have revised the original treatise. The fact that, in Jerome's version of Dmm, there is no longer any reference to rhythmic modes as maneries suggests that this was an improvement made for the sake of greater clarity, to avoid possible confusion with the Cistercian use of maneriae to refer to four groupings of the eight tones of chant. Guy of Eu had borrowed the term maneria, not found before the early twelfth century, from dialectical discussion of four types or maneriae of the category of species, as defined by Aristotle.Footnote 29 John of Garland's treatise as quoted by Jerome offers a clearly improved version. While one might argue that Jerome himself completed and revised John's treatise, there is nothing in the Tractatus to support such a claim.
In Chapter 26 of the Tractatus, this revised version of Dmm occurs immediately after the Positio discantus vulgaris, one of the earliest attempts to explain modal rhythm and its use in two-part polyphony, with an emphasis on the motet.Footnote 30 Jerome comments that the Positio sets out practices commonly used ‘by certain nations’, possibly a reference to its being followed in Scotland.Footnote 31 He contrasts the Positio with what he considers to be the superior analysis offered by John of Garland.Footnote 32 Reimer considered this final section of Dmm (about the rhetorical colores of various compositions) to be ‘inauthentic’, on the slender grounds that this section was not included in its versified version, preserved by the Anonymous of St Emmeram, conventionally dated to 1279.Footnote 33 He considered that John of Garland's major contribution was to rhythmic notation, disregarding the originality of his application of rhetorical theory to chant. This fitted in with his (frequently repeated) assumption that John of Garland the music theorist was a different person from the poet and literary theorist (c.1190–after 1258) of that name.Footnote 34 Yet there is no reason to doubt that Dmm's closing discussion about music and rhetorical colores provides a climax to its argument. Just as the Positio concludes with specific examples of rhythm, so John of Garland's Dmm concludes by reflecting on the rhetorical color of specific compositions, such as ‘the excellent quadrupla of Perotin’, preserved at the beginning of the great book of organum.Footnote 35 John concludes Dmm by summarising three core principles: consistency in rhythm, balance in pitch and finally rhetorical colour in making any sound pleasing to the ear.Footnote 36 Such claims are completely in accord with what John of Garland the literary theorist has to say in the opening of his Parisiana Poetria (from the 1230s), namely that rhyming poetry (rithmica) is a species of musica and that a musicus is able to evaluate metrical verse, rithmica and different types of song, asserting this by reference to the De institutione musica of Boethius.Footnote 37 In his De triumphis ecclesiae (completed by 1252), this John of Garland explains that musica instrumentalis embraces the enharmonic, chromatic (suitable for dances) and diatonic (used by trumpets). This supports the notion that John was both a grammaticus and a musicus, interested in applying literary skills to music theory.Footnote 38 Given that no previous literary theorist offers such a detailed knowledge of Boethius on music, it seems plausible that John of Garland deliberately concluded Dmm with reflection on the rhetorical colores of polyphonic composition.
Because the two surviving manuscripts of the earlier recension of Dmm break off well before this final section, we can observe only a few improvements in the later version. Besides eliminating the term maneries, John clarifies his focus on sound as both pitch and duration.Footnote 39 Whereas he initially introduced organum at the outset, in the revised version he leaves discussion of its various genres to a final section, in which he explains that it involves discantus, copula (not mentioned by any previous theorist) and organum in speciali, understood as the foundation of the polyphony.Footnote 40 The copula he describes as a connecting process between two lines, using a term that in grammar refers to that which connects two syntactic units.
Jerome singles out John of Garland's definition of a tropus as ‘a rule that makes a judgement about every chant from its final’. This reformulates a traditional principle, normally expressed in terms of tone or, more correctly, modus.Footnote 41 Jerome then explains that, according to the moderni, the tropus of a chant is known through its beginning, middle and end: an Aristotelian-inspired triad, also developed by Franco of Cologne.Footnote 42 Jerome silently draws on a report of John's teaching about musica plana, preserved immediately after Boethius's De institutione musica with glosses on all five books (BnF lat. 18514, fols. 85r–94r).Footnote 43 The different texts that Meyer calls reportationes may record different readings by John of a text on which Jerome seems to draw within chapters 17 and 23 of his Tractatus in relation to proportions and the Greek names of intervals.Footnote 44
Jerome identifies John of Garland by name and as author when he introduces John's teaching about the relationship of music to other disciplines.Footnote 45 Jerome does so after providing a long extract from Boethius on music, followed by shorter definitions from Al-Farabi as translated by Gundissalinus, Richard of Saint-Victor, Isidore and Hugh of Saint-Victor. John defines scientia as ‘knowledge of the thing itself’, a phrase drawn from Cicero's De oratore.Footnote 46 Rare in scholastic literature, this definition of scientia also occurs at the outset of the so-called Summa fratris Alexandri, composed by Alexander of Hales and John of La Rochelle, in the period between 1236 and Alexander's death in August 1245 (remembered by John of Garland, the poet, as an important event).Footnote 47 In the report of his teaching, John situates music within a wider framework of theoretical and practical knowledge, relating to divinity, the natural world, or teaching. John repeats a definition of Gundissalinus that arithmetica is about quantity in an absolute sense, while musica is about number related to sound.Footnote 48 Jerome concludes his citation from John of Garland by defining music as knowledge about a multitude of sounds or about knowledge of singing.
After quoting this passage from John of Garland, Jerome refers to him as ‘Iohannes Gallicus’, a detail often cited as evidence that he must be different from the English-born poet and literary theorist also called John of Garland who defines poetry as a branch of musica.Footnote 49 Yet it is quite possible that Jerome referred to him as ‘Gallicus’ simply to distinguish this John, who identified himself with a French name, from the other John (Cotton) to whom he often refers. While Jerome of Moray identified himself by his birthplace, John of Garland (who spent most of his life in Paris) took his name from where he lived, namely the ‘clos de Garland’, a street on the left bank that belonged to the canons of Notre-Dame.Footnote 50 John could have been granted such a residence only if he had a privileged relationship to the cathedral chapter, in particular to Philip, chancellor of the cathedral 1217–38.Footnote 51 Culturally, John of Garland was more French than English.
Boethius, Aristotle and the moderni
There is a visual parallel to John of Garland's Boethian understanding of musica in his account of musica plana in the frontispiece of the version of the Magnus liber organi preserved in the manuscript now in Florence (Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Plut. 29.1), copied perhaps in the 1240s, most likely in Paris. Unlike W1, the Florence manuscript includes many compositions by Philip the Chancellor. The panel illustrating musica instrumentalis includes the instruments that John of Garland explains are plucked, beaten or blown.Footnote 52 Barbara Haggh and Huglo have suggested that this manuscript might have been produced for the Sainte-Chapelle, consecrated in 1248, where there would have been singers capable of performing polyphony.Footnote 53 Given John of Garland's report of the music of Perotin in the Magnus liber organi, it could well be that he was part of the choir school at Notre-Dame while Perotin was still alive and was even involved in recording the compositions mentioned in the final section of his De mensurabili musica, as preserved by Jerome.
John of Garland's major focus on the teaching of music was to explain the subject in ways that were consistent with the teaching of Boethius. In around 1270, his fascination with Boethius and lack of familiarity with Aristotle would be mocked by the Norman master Johannes de Grocheio (Jean de Grouchy) in his Ars musice. Grocheio groups together ‘Boethius, Master Johannes de Garlandia in their treatises and their followers’ as ‘ignorant of nature and truth’.Footnote 54 Grocheio was accusing John and his followers of ignoring Aristotle's criticism in the De caelo of the Pythagorean idea of heavenly bodies generating music.Footnote 55 Grocheio's underlying theme is that music is to be understood, not primarily in terms of number in the manner of John of Garland (who was following Gundissalinus), but following Aristotle, for whom music was primarily about sound. Grocheio's account of John's teaching is supported by the absence of any mention of Aristotle's criticism in the reports of John's presentation of musica plana. John of Garland was passionately interested in relating Boethian principles to both musica plana and polyphony, but did so before Aristotelian critique of music of the spheres started to gain ground.
Jerome shared John of Garland's interest in all five books of Boethius's De institutione musica (not just the first two books, the focus of university teaching).Footnote 56 Jerome may have become familiar with John's teaching on both musica plana and musica mensurabilis through studying under him in the 1240s. This was before the faculty of arts mandated the reading of a wide range of Aristotelian texts, including the De caelo, as laid down by the English nation in 1252 and by the faculty of arts as a whole in 1255.Footnote 57 While it is often assumed that John taught music in the faculty of arts, his reference in Dmm to works of Perotin in ‘the great book of organum’ suggests another possibility: that John taught at the cathedral school of Notre-Dame.Footnote 58 John's familiarity with the liturgy of Notre-Dame is also evident from frequent references made in the early fourteenth century by Guy of Saint-Denis to John's teaching on the tones as observed in Paris.Footnote 59 According to the curriculum laid out for the arts faculty in 1215, quadruvalia (including music) could only be studied on feast days, along with philosophical, ethical and rhetorical writings.Footnote 60 By contrast, no such restrictions applied at Notre-Dame. Jerome may have come from Scotland to Paris in the 1240s to follow the teaching of John of Garland at the cathedral school of Notre-Dame, after absorbing its musical traditions in Scotland (perhaps at the royal chapel of the Céli Dé at St Andrews). While Jerome knew the Positio dicantus vulgaris, he defended the superiority of John of Garland's presentation of mensurable music.
Jerome says that he also absorbed the teaching of John of Burgundy, ‘which we have heard from his own mouth, or according to common opinion, that of Franco of Cologne’.Footnote 61 Jerome integrated into chapter 26 not just Franco's teaching, but also a summary by Petrus Picardus, who explains that he was following the ‘tree’ (presumably a visual diagram) of Master John of Burgundy, whom Anonymous IV also mentions as using Franco's system.Footnote 62 Exactly when and how Franconian notational practices were introduced at Notre-Dame and elsewhere still needs further investigation. Jerome's interest in combining this system with that of John of Garland may derive from his having experienced both practices at the cathedral school before choosing to join the Order of Preachers. Jerome was aware of Franco's teaching and that of a newer generation of moderni (with whose definition of tone as based on beginning, middle and end, he did not disagree). Yet where Grocheio focused on the intellectual gulf between John of Garland and a newer generation, Jerome sought in his Tractatus to demonstrate the value of both perspectives.
Jerome and liturgical reform in the Order of Preachers
Jerome's exposition (in chapters 20–5 of the Tractatus) of Dominican chant, as reformed in 1256 by Humbert of Romans, the newly elected Master of the Order of Preachers, also demands attention. This exposition follows a long discussion of number and proportion (chapters 15–17), quoting extracts from the Boethian De institutione musica or glosses on that text, and another discussion (chapters 18–19) of music in practice, namely, bells and the monochord. Jerome begins by setting out the foundation of the eight modes, the parallels between punctuation and musical notation, and citing John of Garland's definition of tropus as a rule making a judgement about every chant from its ending.Footnote 63 This leads without acknowledgement into the Dominican tonary, implemented by Humbert in 1256, and preserved in copies of the Dominican Antiphonal. The tonary is quoted in chapters 21–2 with only minor differences, but supplemented by further commentary in chapters 23–5. This discussion of music in practice is followed by chapter 26 (containing four treatises on musica mensurabilis) and chapters 27–8, on the tuning of the monochord and of the rubeba and vielle, respectively. In a profound way, Jerome expands on a project initiated by John of Garland to integrate the teaching of both the theory and the practice of music. Since John of Garland's teaching on the tones – to which Guy of Saint-Denis frequently refers in his Tractatus de tonis – has not been identified, it is difficult to identify the precise extent of Jerome's debt to his possible teacher.
In the early decades of the Order, the practice of the friars seems to have been to adopt local liturgical usage.Footnote 64 Its rapid expansion, however, created problems of divergent practices as friars started to be sent from one province to another. The first sign of official concern about this is a ruling of the General Chapter of 1242, held in Bologna, prohibiting the use of discantus.Footnote 65 That this ruling had only limited effect is demonstrated by the survival of a number of Dominican examples of the practice.Footnote 66 In 1244 the General Chapter insisted that each province submit their breviaries, graduals and missals to the Order so as to make them uniform. This was followed in 1245 by a decision to appoint four brothers from four provinces (France, England, Lombardy and Germany) to meet at Angers to standardise the Office.Footnote 67 That Humbert, Provincial of France (1244–54), was already driving this process is implied by agreement in 1246 that he should establish the Order's lectionary. The difficulty in getting these four representatives to agree on a uniform liturgy is evident from repeated injunctions from the General Chapter. They stopped only after Humbert's election as Master in 1254 and a decision made in 1256 that the Order follow his judgement on the matter.Footnote 68 Humbert's master copy of the reformed liturgy established a pattern for the Order, whose General Chapter continued to issue rulings over the next decade and more to enforce its implementation.Footnote 69 The Dominican tonary must have been completed by this time.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Dominican liturgy is the amount of material in common with liturgical practice in the British Isles, as observed by canons regular, the Sarum rite and many cathedrals in the British Isles.Footnote 70 This suggests that Humbert was assisted by a friar familiar with British practice. He may have asked Jerome to help him in establishing the antiphonary as someone who was fully familiar with liturgical practice in the British Isles, even though he was officially part of the French province, having joined the Order in Paris. By virtue of his background, Jerome was ideally situated to undertake the task. If this was the case, then Jerome could have been studying under John of Garland in the early 1240s, but may have joined the Order not long after 1244 when Humbert became prior provincial at Saint-Jacques and started to become involved in the long drawn-out process of establishing liturgical uniformity.
The Dominican tonary begins by declaring as a general principle that all ecclesiastical chant should end on a restricted number of finals with a range going no more than eight notes above or four notes below these finals. In this it imitates the Cistercian Tonale (frequently circulated as by Bernard of Clairvaux, but in fact a summary of the Regulae of Guy of Eu, quite likely by Guy himself) in laying out each of the tones and providing a very limited number of differentiae. Footnote 71 Unlike the Cistercian Tonale, however, the Dominican tonary avoids grouping tones into four maneriae, each with an authentic or plagal form. The few minor textual differences between the tonary and this part of the Tractatus seem to have been introduced by Jerome himself. In chapter 21, Jerome precedes his consideration of the range of any of the tones with discussion of how the permitted range of tones might by modified ‘by licence’ (licencialiter). This term, not used in the tonary itself, recurs in Jerome's chapter 23, in which he explains when one could by licence (licencialiter) use a B flat (rotundum) rather than a B natural (quadratum). While this could be read as Jerome modifying an existing tradition, it can also be seen as Jerome improving his original text with a more specialist explanation. The term licencialiter, little used before Jerome, reflects a greater degree of flexibility than provided for in Cistercian tradition.Footnote 72
Jerome's Tractatus does not include the closing injunction in the Dominican tonary that antiphonaries, graduals and other chant books should use square notation on four lines and that no one should knowingly change any letter or note, and that before any new book was used, it needed to be corrected twice by reference to the correct exemplars.Footnote 73 In chapter 23, however, Jerome picks up this criticism directed against copying mistakes in manuscripts.Footnote 74 In chapter 24 he then speaks about the effects of chant, initially drawing on John Cotton, but extending this with a comment that someone composing chant should take care that the chant expresses what the words say.Footnote 75 Jerome explicitly offers the custom of poets (mos poetarum) as a guide for composing chant, suggesting that he followed John of Garland in seeing verse and chant compositions as closely connected to each other.Footnote 76 Jerome describes the beauty of particular chants, including one (Dum Samsonis) composed in 1253 for the Office of Peter Martyr, canonised within eleven months of his being murdered (6 April 1252). If this discussion was meant to accompany Humbert's liturgical reform of 1254–6, Jerome must have produced this part of the Tractatus during those years, when Humbert moved from being Provincial to Master of the whole Order. Jerome concluded chapter 25 by declaring that to compose beautiful chants one needed to have gladness of heart and not be melancholic. It is possible that chapters 20–5 were originally a separate treatise, subsequently expanded with chapter 26 about mensurable music, which he defines as ‘skill in modulation in sound and chant, consisting of measured harmonic time’.Footnote 77
Jerome of Moray, musica mundana and Thomas Aquinas
If Jerome was involved in assisting Humbert with the reform of the Dominican liturgy in 1256, he could have developed his Tractatus de musica over the next decade or more, while educating friars at Saint-Jacques not only in the principles and practice of plainchant but also (as evident from chapter 26) in polyphony. By the late 1260s, however, Roger Bacon was questioning the Pythagorean notion that John took for granted – that cosmic music was emitted by heavenly bodies. Bacon did so in his Opus Tertium, dedicated to Pope Clement IV (1265–8), declaring that musica mundana was a popular fiction, without any substance.Footnote 78 This criticism was repeated by Johannes de Grocheio in a text more likely to come from around 1270 than 1300. While Grocheio quotes from a number of Aristotelian texts in circulation in the 1260s, he never explicitly mentions the discussion of music in the eighth book of Aristotle's Politics, even if he shares similar views about the social function of different musical genres. The Politics, translated by William of Moerbeke in the early 1260s, was first explicitly discussed in Paris by Thomas Aquinas during his time there, between late 1268 and spring 1272.Footnote 79
On 10 December 1270, Stephen Tempier, recently installed as bishop of Paris (1268–79), launched a serious assault on those in the arts faculty who expounded various doctrines, including that the world was eternal, taught in Aristotle's De caelo.Footnote 80 This condemnation subsequently fed into other tensions within the faculty of arts. Masters of the Norman nation from outside Rouen (thus including Johannes de Grocheio), hostile to Eudes Rigaud, archbishop of Rouen and an ally of Stephen Tempier, supported Siger of Brabant as rector between 1272 and 1275. They did not accept as rector Aubry of Reims (himself a distinguished Aristotelian scholar) supported by the other nations. The conflict was resolved only in 1275 with the election of Peter of Auvergne as rector.Footnote 81 Grocheio's polemical comments about followers of John of Garland in the Ars musice echo the polarised situation of the university in the early 1270s.
These criticisms of Grocheio help explain why Jerome interpolated into chapter 7 of his Tractatus (introduced as Subdiviones musice secundum Ricardum) a long passage from Thomas Aquinas near the beginning of his commentary on Aristotle's De caelo, in which he explains that Aristotle was only questioning the notion that heavenly bodies produced physical sounds, not that of heavenly music in itself.Footnote 82 Jerome never identifies Thomas as his authority, as if Thomas had not yet acquired his posthumous fame. Jerome presents the speaker as Aristotle, but concludes the long extract by observing that he left it to those greater than himself to say which of the opinions was more true.Footnote 83 In this passage, Thomas draws on the Platonising commentary of Simplicius on the De caelo, translated by William of Moerbeke, completed on 15 June 1271 and sent to Thomas by William later in that year. While it is generally assumed that Thomas started his commentary on the De caelo only after returning to Naples in 1272–3, the fact that Jerome never identifies its author suggests that he did so before Thomas's unexpected death on 7 March 1274.Footnote 84 Thomas's posthumous fame is evident from a letter sent by the arts faculty to the Dominican Order in May 1274 asking that both Thomas's remains and various writings be sent to Paris. This included the unfinished commentaries on the De caelo and Politics that Peter of Auvergne would complete, suggesting that Peter himself, a former rector of the arts faculty, could have made this request.Footnote 85 The fact that Jerome never mentions Thomas's name makes it more likely that he added this passage while Thomas was still in Paris, namely, between late 1271 and his leaving Paris in spring 1272. Thomas may have expanded this into the beginning of his commentary on the De caelo after his return to Naples.
At the beginning of his discussion of musica mundana in chapter 6, Jerome gives no indication that Boethian ideas were being criticized. The fact that he silently introduces Thomas's discussion into a chapter about the divisions of music according to Richard of Saint-Victor suggests that it was not part of the original Tractatus. Franco of Cologne makes no reference at all to Boethian notions of musica mundana and humana in his Ars cantus mensurabilis, as his focus was on notation rather than speculative theory. Johannes de Grocheio was raised in a very different educational environment from John of Garland. He went beyond Franco in seeking to rethink the nature of music as a whole. Rather than speak about musica plana and musica mensurabilis as defined previously all by number, Grocheio focused on music as sound. He proposed distinguishing between musica vulgalis as vernacular song and composed, regulated or canonical music (musica mensurata) as distinct from ecclesiastical music, which he defined as based on the two preceding genres.Footnote 86 Jerome of Moray was himself very interested in the practicalities of making music and concluded his Tractatus with an account of how to tune the rubeba and the vielle (as if he had skill with the instruments), but sought to defend the theory of Boethius by appealing to Thomas, then present at Saint-Jacques.
Franco, Lambert and the Anonymous of St Emmeram
The argument put forward by Frobenius that Franco advocated a new notational system around 1280 was based on very slender grounds, namely, the absence of reference to his teaching by the Anonymous of St Emmeram, preserved in a manuscript copied in 1279.Footnote 87 Its versified summary of John of Garland's Dmm concludes with a final Amen, but then adds a verse colophon, which declares that this versified copy, made in 1279, is the ‘grand-daughter’ of the original prose version of Dmm (of which its versification is a ‘daughter’).Footnote 88 This means that the copy with its added colophon was made in 1279, not that the entire versification of Dmm and accompanying prose commentary were produced in that year. This versification (which deserves more attention than possible here) is more than a summary of Dmm. It carries out a sustained polemic against Lambert, who had apparently been nurtured on that treatise on mensurable music, but had rejected certain of its core teachings.Footnote 89 Exactly when Lambert was writing is not clear, but he repeats Boethian assumptions about the universe held together by harmony. This suggests that Lambert was writing perhaps in the 1240s or early 1250s. While the colophon may have been added in 1279 by someone who still promoted John of Garland's teaching, music theory had developed considerably from the ideas first laid out in his De mensurabili musica. This would fit in with Yudkin's proposed identification of the master being criticized as Lambert, dean of Soignies in Flanders, who drew up a will in old age in 1270, witnessed by Robert of Sorbonne (1201–74).Footnote 90 Jerome did not consider it worth including Lambert's treatise in his overview, since it had been superseded by that of Franco. When Johannes de Grocheio was writing his Ars musice, c.1270, he referred back to Lambert and Franco as both making significant contributions to the evolution of music theory.Footnote 91
Franco is reported in a rubric to a manuscript of Saint-Dié as a papal chaplain (an honorific title) and preceptor (or head) of the Cologne house of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem (a title not used after 1258).Footnote 92 Jerome gives no clue that he ever encountered Franco, only that his notational system was promoted by John of Burgundy, as also attested by Anonymous IV.Footnote 93 His decision to place the treatises of Franco and Petrus Picardus after that of John of Garland is deliberate. Newer modes of notation seem to have been introduced at Notre-Dame during the time of a new bishop, Renaud Mignon de Corbeil (1249–68), who intervened much less in university affairs than his long-lived predecessor as bishop of Paris, William of Auvergne (1226–49). By the 1250s, the notational traditions established in the time of Perotin were becoming as outdated as unquestioning acceptance of Boethian notions of musica mundana. The appointment of Stephen Tempier as bishop (1268–79) marked a return to episcopal intervention in the affairs of the university, provoking protest from masters in the Norman nation. Johannes de Grocheio was part of this group, when he criticised John of Garland for not keeping up with an Aristotelian approach to music. Jerome of Moray, being familiar with the teachings of both John of Garland and Franco, was well placed to show how masters of both generations had much to offer.
Jerome of Moray's Tractatus de musica provides a fascinating window into the evolution of music theory in Paris between the 1220s and the early 1270s. Any attempt to establish Jerome's career is necessarily provisional. Nonetheless, it does seem more likely that Jerome came from Moray in Scotland rather than Moravia in eastern Europe, and that he may first have encountered early Parisian polyphony at St Andrews, perhaps in the 1230s. While Jerome would have encountered Dominicans in Scotland (possibly including the music theorist called Simon Tailler), Jerome decided to join the Order only after pursuing studies in Paris. It seems likely that he studied under John of Garland in the 1240s. A parallel between John of Garland's Ciceronian definition of scientia as ‘knowledge of the thing itself’ and that promoted in the Summa fratris Alexandri (from the school of Alexander of Hales, d. 1245) supports the idea that John formulated his teaching on musica plana (quoted by Jerome) before the 1250s, when Aristotle's De caelo and other writings became widely established in the university curriculum. Rather than assuming that John of Garland taught music at the university, it is more plausible – given his knowledge of Perotin and Notre-Dame polyphony – that he did so at the cathedral school, not subject to the same curriculum restraints as the faculty of arts. In chapter 26 of the Tractatus, about mensurable music, Jerome included not just the Positio discantus vulgaris, an account of polyphonic practice that he reports was used in different nations (perhaps including Scotland), but was also mindful of how John of Garland corrected these traditions. At the same time, Jerome was aware that music theory also evolved after John of Garland and therefore also incorporated treatises by Franco of Cologne and a disciple, Petrus Picardus, into that chapter of his Tractatus.
Rather than indicating that Franco of Cologne was writing around 1280, and that Jerome compiled his Tractatus sometime after that date, Grocheio's Ars musice implies that Franco's teaching was widely established by the 1260s. Jerome joined the Order of Preachers sometime during the time that Humbert of Romans was the French prior provincial (1244–54) and then its Master (1254–63). Humbert likely recruited Jerome specifically to help him promote liturgical uniformity within the Order, a task complicated by regional differences between individual provinces, which had tended to adopt local practices. The rapid expansion of the Order internationally made it vital to establish uniformity. Jerome, familiar with liturgical practice in the British Isles while also being part of the French province, was ideally placed to pursue this task under the direction of Humbert. The fact that the official liturgy of the Order, mandated by Humbert in 1256, should share so much material in common with the practices of churches in Britain suggests that he may have asked Jerome to assist in this project. Jerome quoted from the Dominican tonary within his Tractatus, but situated it in a much wider discussion of the principles that should underpin the composition of any new liturgical chant. Jerome's discussion is marked by a concern with doing things by licence (licencialiter), making Dominican tradition not quite as rigid as in the Cistercian Order, even though it shared many of its principles, including avoidance of an excessive number of differentiae for each tone.
Jerome's Tractatus de musica deserves to be appreciated as a work in continuous evolution between 1256 and 1271. He wanted to restore respect for the contribution of John of Garland, while also acknowledging the emergence of a new generation of theorists, in particular Franco of Cologne. Perhaps after already compiling much of his Tractatus Jerome decided that he should respond to those, such as Roger Bacon and Johannes de Grocheio, who supported Aristotle's criticism in the De caelo of the notion that heavenly spheres produced music. He did so by incorporating a long discussion of Aristotle's argument by Thomas Aquinas. The fact that Jerome does not identify its author in his Tractatus suggests that he obtained that discussion directly from Thomas sometime between late 1271 and his departure from Paris in spring 1272, before his unexpected death in 1274.
Much more work is needed on texts that reproduce the teaching of John of Garland, including the so-called Anonymous of St Emmeram, a versification of John's De mensurabili musica with prose commentary. While the surviving copy of this text may have been produced in 1279, its text itself may be much older. The fact that it does not mention Franco does not mean that his new notational system was composed only in 1280. Franco's teaching, like that of Lambert, berated by the Anonymous of St Emmeram, had certainly gained ground by around 1270, when Johannes de Grocheio formulated his criticism of John of Garland and his followers for ignoring Aristotle's teaching about heavenly bodies. Jerome of Moray's perspective on his teachers was less polemical. He appreciated that music theory had been continually evolving over the course of his lifetime. Jerome argued that much could be gained by going back to the ancients, above all to Boethius, as well as by considering more recent theorists.