The basic question of the paper is, whether the medieval institutions can be identified by the means of musical analysis. Two series of examples are documented, variants with clear characteristics. In the first series the same antiphon text is associated with two or more tunes; in the second series the same antiphon tune is managed in different tonal interpretations linked to regions. At last, one single example shows that even small melodic variants may emerge consequently in the use of individual dioceses or religious orders. The elements defined this way, identify, of course, the given centre not in their singularity but only in conjunction.
As widely known, Antiphon of Rhamnus was one of the most influential leaders of the Four Hundred, who — from the background — led the oligarchical party attempting to overthrow the democratic state, and a conservative orator of extraordinary eloquence, who avoided publicity and never entered any public scene. This picture formed mainly by the famous passage of Thucydides (VIII 68) needs some modifications. A brief survey of the fragments of Antiphon urges us to assume that he was not a theoretical expert retired from public affairs, but rather a professional speech writer active in public life. Furthermore, the mere analysis of the fragments is definitely not sufficient to identify Antiphon’s political commitment.
In the first book of his history, Herodotus interrupts his political narrative to offer a quick ethnographic survey of the Persians, wherein he remarks that Persians respect other ethnicities in proportion to their proximity to Persia and reserve their greatest disdain for the most distant peoples. For Herodotus and his 5th-century Greek audience, the Persian himself incarnates the category of the Barbarian, whose inferiority is a function of his distance from Greece. This article proposes to assess the role of ethnocentrism, and its correlation of proximity and superiority, in two of the most iconoclastic figures in the history of Western thought, the ancient Greek sophist Antiphon of Rhamnus and the French Renaissance author Michel de Montaigne. Recently excavated and edited papyrus fragments reveal tantalizing glimpses of Antiphon’s lost treatise On truth, which seems to formulate a very far-reaching critique of ethnocentrism within the framework of cultural relativism. In his renowned essay Des Cannibales (“Of Cannibals”), Montaigne formulates a remarkably similar critique in his portrayal of the Brazilians encountered by Europeans in their trans-Atlantic voyages of the 16th century. Both authors take their distance from normative cultural values in order to rethink the relation of proximity and superiority, but Montaigne adds a temporal dimension to his analysis by challenging our condescension to the past. The vicinity of Montaigne and Antiphon suggests a similar intuition into the reversibility of cultural values and the contingency of collective identity in space and time.
The conflicting assignments between modes 3 and 8 is found not only among sources, but also within a single source through erasures and revisions in different hands. Here the modal assignments of office antiphons are examined through a comparison of the sources of the monasteries in the region of Lake Constance. They are from the monasteries of Einsiedeln, St. Gallen, Rheinau, Weingarten, and Zwiefalten. For a singer, the most important matter in singing antiphons was not to end the melody on a specific note, but to select a suitable reciting tone. At a time in which musicians classified antiphons into several “differentia” groups, what characterizes each differentia group is surely the melodic incipit and the psalm tone. But over the course of time, medieval musicians became to consider the concept of mode, that is, the classification by the final note and range, and at that time the ending of the antiphon gained in importance. This change of thinking gave rise to the modal conflicting assignments.
The office for the feast of the Dedicatio Ecclesiæ was used and transmitted mainly in the same form in the great majority of medieval liturgical codices. Within this general uniformity, however, the arrangement of the antiphons for the first Vespers varies from tradition to tradition. The present article examines the repertory of the Dedicatio in medieval Hungarian manuscripts, comparing it to the offices found both in other Middle European and in West Frankish sources. This comparative analysis made clear, that although the vesper antiphons in question were already included in the Codex Albensis (the earliest extant office manuscript from 12th-century Hungary) and can be found in almost all manuscripts from the medieval Hungarian archdiocese of Esztergom (Strigonium), they were rarely used in other Central European areas. These items may originate from the Rhineland, from within the region of Liège (Lüttich), what is confirmed by their occurrence in a 14th-century antiphoner from Aachen and in the Breviarium Præmonstratense. Furthermore, the five antiphons were probably not composed as a coherent sequence of chants. Although occasionally we come accross the individual pieces in sources of different time and place, their organization into cycles may be the result of later and secondary local initiations. The cycle might have been transferred to Hungary during the 11th century where it remained unchanged until the end of the Middle Ages.
“But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him… For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” The antithesis in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans enjoyed great popularity in medieval literature, specifically amongst monastic authors. Dezső Pais and János Bollók observed a striking parallel between the biblical passage and the conclusion of the Gesta Hungarorum. János Győry explained the resemblance with the literary impact of the 12th-century Gesta consulum Andegavorum on the anonymous author of the Gesta Hungarorum. On the other hand, the quotation could have been borrowed from a letter by Paulinus of Nola. Another source from early medieval Hungary, the arenga of the charter of hermit Andreas (1130-1140) contains a paraphrased version of the passage, now openly articulating monastic ideals: Ut mortuus seculo, solussoli viveret Deo. The same wording was preserved in a homily for the feast of Saint Blaise attributed to abbot Gottfried of Admont (dG1165) and an antiphon which represents a liturgical tradition originating in Rheinau. Considering the 12th-century political relationship between Admont and Hungary, it is very likely that the charter of Andreas testifies about the impact of the Admont school on Hungarian monasteries.
The paper explains the medieval notions of tonary and differentia in theory and practice. Both notions played a prominent role in defining the book type tonary as well as the function of melodic cadences called differentiae. The tonary is important for the examination of early plainchant repertory and for the interpretation of medieval mode theory (Octoéchos). The differentia has already been discussed by Peter Wagner as the most exciting element of antiphonal psalmody. Recent comparative studies of theoretical as well as practical sources of tonaries are highly promising.
Balther of Säckingen was a remarkable scholar, writer and composer, who was born about 930, made bishop of Speyer in 970, and died in 986 or 987. Educated at the famous monastery in St. Gallen, he went as a wandering student in search of learning as far as North Spain. He had a special veneration for St Fridolin, founder of a convent in Säckingen. On his travels Balther found a copy of a Life of St Fridolin, memorized it, wrote it down on his return home, composed chants to be sung on the feast day of the saint, and sent both the Life (vita) and the chants (historia) to one of his former teachers at St. Gallen for approval. Balther says he composed them “per musicam artem”, “according to the art of music”. This paper tells how Balther’s chants came to be composed and compares them with others in order to understand what was considered to be “musical art” around 970.
Only two of the five polyphonic settings of St Anne’s liturgy in the 16th-century Vesperale Anna Hannsen Schuman at the Slovenský Národný Archív in Bratislava are correctly texted. This paper shows how the rhymed responsory Iesu Christe nepos cuius tu could be identified and the texts of the rhymed antiphons O beata Christi ava and Annae sanctae celebremus complemented by consulting a plainchant source from Kirnberg an der Mank in lower Austria.
The study examines recently found fragments of the Buda Antiphonal. The codex, containing Office chants representing the Esztergom liturgical tradition, was notated at the end of the 15th century with Messine-Hungarian mixed notation. 21 folios, originating from its beginning and preserved at the National Széchényi Library (Budapest), were identified by László Dobszay in 1978. Fragments of the same antiphonal surfaced recently in two collections from Slovakia: 7 folios, with summer and autumn historiae as well as antiphons for Sundays in ordinary time, in the archives of the Saint Adalbert Association (Trnava) and a single truncated folio, with responsories for Christmas Matins, in the music collection of the Slovak National Museum.