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A second medial mode Palestinian chant in Old Roman, Beneventan and Frankish sources

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2010


Chants based on Crucem tuam in the second medial mode are examined in Greek, Slavonic and Latin sources. Central to the discussion is the role of Jerusalem in the dissemination of the modal system. On the Latin side, the emphasis is on Old Roman melodies, showing how they reproduce the prototypes more faithfully than Beneventan or Frankish melodies. The analysis does not support certain conclusions regarding the origins of the modal system and the relationship of Old Roman and Gregorian melodies advanced by Robert Snow, Helmut Hucke and Leo Treitler.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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1 Edward C. Nowacki, ‘Studies of the Office Antiphons of the Old Roman Manuscripts’, Ph.D. diss., Brandeis University (1980), 255–57, 578–79. The Office antiphons of the codex I – Rvat S Pietro B. 79 are also found in Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, C. 5, written in the script known as carolina romana of the later eleventh century. See also Jacob Carl Ledwon, ‘The Winter Office of Sant’ Eutizio di Norcia. A Study of the Contents and Construction of Biblioteca Vallicelliana Manuscripts C 13 and C 5', Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Buffalo (1986).

2 Neil K. Moran, ‘The Chant “Crucem tuam” in the Byzantine, Slavonic and Latin Recension’, Studies in Music from the University of Western Ontario, 5 (1980), 35–48.

3 C. Meinberg, ‘Cross’, New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd edn, (Washington, DC, 2003), 2: 382–3.

4 H.W. van Os and Géza Jászai, ‘Kreuzlegende’, Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie, 2 (Rome, 1970), 642. Anton Baumstark mentions Coptic translations of the text in his article ‘Der Orient und die Gesänge der Adoratio crucis’, Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft, 2 (1922), 1–17. On images of the Exaltation of the Cross, see Neil Moran, Singers in Late Byzantine and Slavonic Painting (Leiden, 1986), 58–65.

5 Sources of the melodies:

  1. 1

    1 Athos, Monē Megistēs Lavras, Γ. 3, fol. 58 (fourteenth century).

  2. 2

    2 Moscow, Gosdarstvennyi Istoričeskii Muzei, Usp. 9, Uspenskii Kondakar (dated 1207).

  3. 3

    3 Moscow, Rossiiskaya Gosudarstvennaya Biblioteka, Tr.-Serg 23, Lavrskii Kondakar (twelfth century).

  4. 4

    4 Rome, Biblioteca Vaticana, lat. 5319, fol. 80.

  5. 5

    5 Antiphonale missarum juxta ritum Sanctae Ecclesiae Mediolanensis (Rome, 1935).

  6. 6

    6 Graduale triplex: seu Graduale Romanum Pauli PP. VI cura recognitum & rhythmicis signis signis a Solesmensibus monachis ornatum Neumis Laudunensibus (Cod. 239) et Sangallensibus (Codicum San Gallensis 359359 et Einsidlensis 121) nunc auctum (Solesmes, 1998), 175.

  7. 7

    7 Beneventan version from Le Codex 10673 de la Bibliothèque Vaticane fonds latin (XIe siècle): Graduel bénéventain, Paléographie musicale 14 (Tournai, 1931), 311.

  8. 8

    8 Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 17296, fols. 213v–214 (antiphonary of St Denis).

6 Manuscripts from St Gall are available on the internet at Codices Electronici Sangallenses ( Regarding evidence of the Old Roman rite in St Gall see Bruno Stäblein, ‘Der “altrömische” Choral in Oberitalien und im deutschen Süden’, Die Musikforschung, 19 (1966), 3–9.

7 Constantin Floros, Universale Neumenkunde (Kassel, 1970), 2:64–78.

8 Floros, Universale Neumenkunde 2:160, 2:47 and 3:348. Floros believes that clinis (from κλίνειν) is the correct spelling of clivis.

9 For description of this ms, see In his collation of Latin antiphonaries, René-Jean Hesbert notes the presence of both the Gregorian Crucem tuam and the Old Roman version in the ninth-century antiphonary of Compiègne; Hesbert, Corpus antiphonalium officii, III, Invatatoria et antiphonae (Rome, 1968), 115 and 516.

10 As tabulated in a handout for a paper by Luisa Nardini on ‘Imported and Local Elements in the Masses for the Holy Cross in Medieval Italy’ at the 82nd meeting of the Medieval Academy, Toronto, 12–14 April, 2007. See also Rupert Fischer, ‘Die Bedeutung des Codex Paris, B.N. lat. 776 (Albi) und des Codex St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek 381 (Versikular) für die Rekonstruktion gregorianischer Melodien’, Beiträge zur Gregorianik, 22 (1996), 43–73.

11 Le Codex 10673 de la Bibliothèque Vaticane fonds latin (XIe siècle): Graduel bénéventain; Thomas Forrest Kelly, The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge, MA, 1989), 18. For descriptions of Beneventan manuscripts, see E.A. Loew, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 2nd edn prepared and enlarged by Virginia Brown (Rome, 1980). For sources in Benevento itself, see Jean Mallet and André Thibaut, Les manuscrits en écriture bénéventaine de la Bibliothèque capitulaire de Bénévent(Paris, 1984–97). Nardini deals with the theme ‘Transmission of Repertories/Contamination of Styles: The Case of Liturgical Music in Southern Italy’ in a paper of 2004 published on the internet site

12 Kelly, The Beneventan Chant, 56, Table 2.1.

13 See table giving arrangement of the antiphons in Paléographie musicale, XIV, 296–301, 310–313.

14 Vat. lat. 10673 and Ben. 35.

15 Ben. 33, Ben. 40 and Lucca 606.

16 Floros, Universale Neumenkunde 2:248: ‘Die bilingue Antiphon Crucem tuam adoramus als Paradigma einer Melodie im moesus secundus’. See also his article ‘Die Entzifferung der Kondakarien-Notation’, Musik des Ostens, 3 (1965), 7–71; 4 (1967), 12–44. Charles Atkinson deals with the medial modes in ‘The Parapteres: Nothi or Not?’, The Musical Quarterly, 67 (1982), 32–59.

17 Constantin Floros, Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, enlarged 2nd edn, revised, translated and with an illustrated chapter on cheironomy by Neil Moran (Warren, MI, 2005), 43–5.

18 Floros, ‘Die Entzifferung der Kondakarien-Notation’, 3, 7ff.

19 Bartolomeo De Salvo used the term genos sticherarikon to describe the repertory of the Hagiopolites in his article ‘L'essenza della musica nella liturgie orientali’, Bolletino della Badia greca di Grottaferrata, 15 (1961), 173–91.

20 The rhythmic distortion in Crucem tuam is noted by Jan W.A. Vollaerts, Rhythmic Proportions in Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Chant, 2nd edn (Leiden, 1960), 141.

21 Margaretha Landwehr-Melnicki, ed., Die Gesänge des altrömischen Graduale: Vat. Lat. 5319 (Kassel, 1970), with an introduction by Bruno Stäblein. See also Nowacki, Studies of the Office Antiphons, nos. 215, 259 and 361.

22 For the facsimile, see Paléographie musicale, XV, Le Codex VI. 34 de la Bibliothèque capitulaire de Bénévent avec prosaire et tropaire (Tournai, 1931).

23 It is worthy of note that the introduction of Gregorian melodies into the late Beneventan repertoire represented by Ben. 34 was not always strictly carried through. The final alleluia of Sancti tui in Ben. 34 (fol. 152) resembles the Old Roman version of Vat. lat. 5319 (fol. 100) and the word ‘alleluia’ occurs only once. This differs from the regular Gregorian version of Sancti tui, which has two alleluias. However, the Gregorian versions in the codices Laon, Bibl. Mun. 239 and Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibl. 121 have only one. The alleluia of Ecce oculi in Ben. 34 differs from both the Old Roman and the regular Gregorian version (Graduale triplex, 439–40). These are perhaps indications that final alleluias retained elements of the original Beneventan repertoire, but these questions fall outside an investigation of the medial second mode. As mentioned above, medial traits have all but been eliminated in both Ecce oculi and Sancti tui in Ben. 34.

24 W. Lipphardt, Der karolingische Tonar von Metz (Münster, 1965), 69–100.

25 The introits of the Old Roman rite are discussed by Thomas Connolly, ‘Introits and Archetypes: Some Archaisms of the Old Roman Chant’, Journal of the American Musicological Society [hereafter JAMS], 25 (1972), 157–74, esp. 163, n. 9. According to a communication from Joseph Dyer (26 May 1983), the introit Vocem iucunditatis begins with a typical mesos devteros leap D–G in the Old Roman gradual from St Cecilia (fol. 90), although the version in codex Vat. lat. 5319 does not have this opening. See Max Lütolf, Das Graduale von Santa Cecilia in Trastevere: Cod. Bodmer 74, 2 vols. (Cologny-Geneva, 1987).

26 Lipphardt, Der karolingische Tonar, 13–21; Jacques Chailley, Alia musica (Traité de musique du IXe siècle) (Paris, 1964), 141; and Michel Huglo, Les tonaires: inventaire, analyse, comparaison (Paris, 1971). The second tonary in codex Montecassino, Archivio della Badia, Q 13 is not considered because it contains non-Gregorian readings. See also Paul Merkley, Italian Tonaries (Ottawa, 1988), 127.

27 In Les Tonaires, pp. 309 and 402, 84 and 118 respectively.

28 Bruno Stäblein believed that chant Protexisti for the feast of St George did not belong to the original Old Roman repertory but was introduced in the so-called Byzantine period in about 740. The feast of Alexander and Theodulus with the introit Clamaverunt is classified as ‘urrömisch’. See Stäblein, Introduction to Landwehr-Melnicki, ed., Die Gesänge des altrömischen Graduale, 14. Lipphardt was of the opinion that the feasts of St George and St Alexander were added to the Frankish antiphony after 835. See Lipphardt, Der karolingische Tonar von Metz, 201.

29 Robert Snow, ‘The Old-Roman Chant’, in Willi Apel, Gregorian Chant (Bloomington, IN, 1958), 484–505.

30 Floros, Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, 8 and Universale Neumenkunde, 2, 241–49.

31 Floros, Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, 10.

32 Atkinson, ‘The Parapteres’, 57.

33 Ibid., 56.

34 Ibid., 41.

35 Terence Bailey, ‘De modis musicis: a New Edition and Explanation’, Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch, 61/62 (1977–78), 47–60; and Atkinson, ‘The Parapteres’, 44-48. In introducing the parapteres, the author of De modis musicis refers to examples which are found ‘in antiphonis minutis’. Both Quia mirabilia and Speret are listed in the codex Lucca, Bibl. Cap. 601 of the twelfth century under the antiphons of the first tone. The Office antiphon Omnis terra is set in the G mode in the Old Roman Office antiphonary and in the E mode in Gregorian sources.

36 Floros, Universale Neumenkunde, 2:244.

37 Ibid., 3: plates 107–10 and 121–24.

38 Ibid., 2:241–44.

39 Floros, Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, 44. See also Constantin Floros, ‘Byzantinische Musiktheorie’, Geschichte der Musiktheorie, 2: Vom Mythos zur Fachdisziplin. Antike und Byzanz, ed. Thomas Ertelt et al. (Darmstadt, 2006), 259–318, esp. 311–13.

40 ‘Der Begriff parapter scheint somit eine westliche Neubildung (eine Analogie-Bildung zu πλάγιος/plagalis) im Rahmen einer gräzistischen Bewegung zu sein. Das besagt aber nicht viel. Denn die lateinische Terminologie der medial Modi … ist nicht einheitlich. … Und man braucht nicht Anhänger einer byzantinischen Ursprungshypothese zu sein, um zu erkennen, daß zwischen modi mesi und den byzantinischen Echoi mesoi ein enger Zusammenhang besteht’; Floros, ‘Byzantinische Musiktheorie’, 310–11.

41 Helmut Hucke, ‘Toward a New Historical View of Gregorian Chant’, JAMS, 33 (1980), 437–67, esp. 442. Hucke's ideas have been elaborated upon by Leo Treitler, Kenneth Levy, Peter Jeffrey and Theodore Karp.

42 Bailey, ‘De modis musicis’, 56.

43 Kenneth Levy, Gregorian Chant and the Carolingians (Princeton, 1998), 116 (Fig. 2), 118 (Fig. 3). The research of Constantin Floros seems not to be taken into account in this book.

44 Kenneth Levy, ‘Gregorian Chant and the Romans’, JAMS, 56 (2003), 5–41, esp. 35.

45 Kenneth Levy, ‘A New Look at Old Roman Chant’, Early Music History, 19 (2000), 81–104, esp. 99.

46 With regard to this period of incubation, Kenneth Levy has advanced a hypothesis about the existence of a modal ‘interregnum that combined the modes of E and G’ in a study on the Sanctus in East and West: Kenneth Levy, ‘The Byzantine Sanctus and its modal tradition in East and West’, Annales Musicologiques, 6 (1958–63), 7–67, esp. 56. The Byzantine Hagios in codex Athens, NL, ms 2438 is transcribed on page 13 of his article (Example 3). This codex is dated 1336. In my study, The Ordinary Chants of the Byzantine Mass, I transcribed this chant from four sources, including codex Barberinus gr. 300 (fifteenth century), which ascribes the piece to Joannes Glykys. Glykys was the teacher of Joannes Koukouzeles (c.1280–c.1360). The martyria for the echos deuteros stands before this composition, although the tone E is not touched once in the course of the melody. This Hagios melody builds the foundation of Levy's argument, that not only the Anaphora, but also all the Ordinary Chants of the Byzantine Mass were originally sung in the modal area of this melody: that is, in echos deuteros. He concludes that, ‘It has seemed possible to advance the further hypothesis that the nucleus of the Ordinary at Constantinople in the fourth century drew its chants exclusively from the modal area expressed by the Sanctus.’ In other words, the author extends the modal propensities of a composition by a known composer of the fourteenth century back to the founding years of Constantinople. At no point in the discussion is it mentioned that the codex Barb. Gr. 300 ascribes this composition to Joannes Glykys. Levy makes no mention of two earlier versions from thirteenth-century manuscripts of the Hagios in the fourth plagal mode, which are published in The Ordinary Chants of the Byzantine Mass (Table XXIII and Table XXV). One of these, in codex Grottaferrata Γ.β. 37 (vi) is a ‘Latin’ Hagios: that is, a Latin Sanctus in Greek letters on the text σαντους σαντους σαντους δδομινους δδεους σαββαοθ. I have suggested that these chants were sung by castrati: Neil Moran, ‘Byzantine castrati’, Plainsong & Medieval Music, 11 (2002), 99–112. For the Slavonic versions of the Sanctus, see Svetlana Kujumdzieva, ‘The Byzantine-Slavic Sanctus: Its Liturgical Context through the Centuries’, Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 39 (1998), 223–32. Drawing on Levy's musings on chants in ‘a G-mode’, ‘a variety of E- or G-mode’, ‘a sort of G-plagal’, ‘a form of G-mode’ or in ‘the modal region of low G’, Luisa Nardini extrapolates a E–G–a–b–a–a–G phrase ‘as a rare witness to the physiognomy of Byzantine music before the introduction of the theoretical system of the Oktoechos’ (‘Aliens in disguise: Byzantine and Gallican chants in the Latin Liturgy’, Plainsong & Medieval Music, 16 (2007), 145–72, esp. 154). This, however, is a typical E-mode (kyrios deuteros) phrase. Nardini admits as much when she writes ‘the formula is quite frequent in E mode and rarely appears in G mode’ (p. 153). Nardini's work makes no mention of the present author's research into the earliest recorded Byzantine Sanctus and Trisagion melodies.

48 ‘Wechselbeziehungen zwischen dem lateinischen, byzantinischen und slavischen Kirchengesang im frühen und hohen Mittelalter: Das Cherubikon für Gründonnerstag ΤΟϒ ΔΕΙΠΝΟϒ ΣΟϒ’, Ostkirchliche Studien, 56 (2007), 155–69.

49 Leo Treitler, ‘The Early History of Music Writing in the West’, JAMS, 35 (1982), 237–79.

50 Chailley, Alia musica, 141.

51 Atkinson, ‘The Parapteres’, 33.

52 Since completing this article, Oliver Gerlach has completed his dissertation at the Humboldt University with the title ‘Im Labyrinth des Oktoichos. Über die Rekonstruktion mittelalterlicher Improvisationspraktiken in liturgischer Musik’ (2006). In his article, ‘About the Import of the Byzantine Intonation Aianoeane in a 9th-century Tonary’, he translates the passage as:

This you will also feel singing AIANEOEANE.

As far as [the chant] descends from ‘paramese’ [b natural] to ‘lichanos hypaton’ [D], after passing through the 4th species of the fifth [between d and G], the chords [degrees of the mode] inside the fifth will be raised, if [the melody] ascends from ‘lichanos meson’ [G], while it will turn away like as an act of rejection, if [the melody] descends from ‘trite diezeugmenon’ [c] down to the extreme of its final degree [low E].


53 Floros, Introduction to Early Medieval Notation, xv. On Greek elements in the Old Roman liturgy, see Ewald Jammers, Musik in Byzanz, im päpstlichen Rom und im Frankenreich; der Choral als Musik der Textaussprache (Heidelberg, 1962); Hans Schmidt, ‘Die Tractus des zweiten Tons in Gregorianischer und stadtrömischer Überlieferung’, in Festschrift Joseph Schmidt-Görg zum 60. Geburtstag; gemeinsam mit seinen Kollegen, Schülern und Freunden im Auftrag des Beethovenhauses Bonn, ed. Dagmar Weise (Bonn, 1957), 283–302; Hans Schmidt, ‘Gregorianik – Legende oder Wahrheit?’, in Ars musica, musica scientia. Festschrift Heinrich Hüschen zum fünfundsechzigsten Geburtstag am 2. März 1980, ed. Detlef Altenburg (Cologne, 1980), 400–11; and Edward Nowacki, ‘Constantinople–Aachen–Rome: The Transmission of Veterem hominem’, in De musica et de cantu: Studien zur Geschichte der Kirchenmusik und der Oper. Helmut Hucke zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Peter Cahn and Ann-Katrin Heimer (Hildesheim, 1993) 95–115. Regarding the Byzantine influence on the Roman alleluia, see James McKinnon, The Advent Project. The Later-Seventh-Century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper (Berkeley, 2000), 252–60, 274–9. At the 82nd meeting of the Medieval Academy, Toronto, 12–14 April 2007, Joseph Dyer presented a paper on ‘The Double Office at St. Peter's Basilica on Dominica de Gaudete’ with reference to Old Roman sources.

54 Floros' ‘Die Entzifferung der Kondakarien-Notation’ has now been translated into English in The Origins of Russian Music, revised, translated and with a chapter on relationships between Latin, Byzantine and Slavonic church music by Neil K. Moran (Frankfurt, Peter Lang Verlag, 2009).

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