Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. iii-v

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-vii

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. viii-ix

Music Examples

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. x-xi

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xv

This project was begun in 1992–93 when I was a fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Institute of Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. I had planned to work on an entirely different topic, but within a few weeks, Jan Ziolkowski, a visiting professor at I Tatti, suggested that I look at memory texts and Mary Carruthers’s new book, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture. ...

Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xvi-xvi

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-8

While musicologists have long been aware that memorization played an important role in medieval education and that much of the music of the period was sung by heart, the role of memory in the creation and dissemination of polyphony remains to be studied. The reason for this neglect is simple. The music of the first important polyphonic collection, the Magnus liber organi, ...

read more

1. Prologue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 9-44

Why have musicologists been so slow to investigate the role of memory, when our sister disciplines have been thinking about these issues for more than half a century? Since the story I am trying to tell in this book is different from the one currently found in textbooks, it is important for us to understand where our notions are coming from. One of the most exhilarating ...

read more

Part One. The Construction of the Memorial Archive

The memorial archive of the medieval musician covered three areas. The first was chant, the second elementary music treatises, and the third counterpoint. While the first two areas are of importance from Carolingian times to the end of the fifteenth century, the learning of counterpoint became particularly important from the thirteenth century on. The central question I will address in all three areas is: how was the material ...

read more

2. Tonaries

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 47-84

Life in early Western monasteries centered around the Divine Office. From the moment a boy entered a monastery he spent much of his time singing and memorizing chant. In 830, Agobard of Lyon described the demands made on monastic singers as follows: “Most of them have spent all the days of their life from earliest youth to gray age in the preparation and development ...

read more

3. Basic Theory Treatises

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 85-110

After having mastered the chant, students had to learn intervals, the gamut, and, from the eleventh century on, solmization syllables and the hexachord. Much of the theoretical material has been described by scholars of music theory. My interest is less in what theorists explained than in how they did so. More specifically, we would want to know what methods were used to ...

read more

4. The Memorization of Organum, Discant, and Counterpoint Treatises

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 111-158

After the choirboys had mastered chant and solmization syllables, the more talented went on to learn organum (pieces with a plainchant tenor in sustained notes against a melismatic upper voice or voices), discant, and/or counterpoint. In this chapter I use the last two terms in the most general sense as either written out or improvised pieces for two or more parts. The ...

read more

Part Two. Compositional Process in Polyphonic Music

In the last two decades, medievalists have fundamentally changed our understanding of how verbal texts were composed. Mary Carruthers, in particular, has shown that much of the composition was done in the mind, and that the final result could, but did not have to, be notated.1 Composition consisted essentially of putting together elements or chunks that ...

read more

5. Compositional Process and the Transmission of Notre Dame Polyphony

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 161-197

In the middle of the twelfth century, John of Salisbury gave the following account of what must have been some kind of early Notre Dame polyphony (Leonin is considered to have been active at Notre Dame from the 1150s on):1 Music sullies the Divine Service, for in the very sight of God . . . [the singers] attempt, with the lewdness of a lascivious singing voice and a singularly ...

read more

6. Visualization and the Composition of Polyphonic Music

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 198-251

This chapter is concerned with the impact of the art of memory on polyphonic music that was not improvised but written down, and more specifically with pieces that would not have come into existence without mensural notation. These pieces had a composer in the modern sense of the term, that is, they were put together by someone who conceived his music not only as ...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-254

Throughout this book I have tried to determine how the oral and written transmission of music interacts with the art of memory; or, to put it differently, what effect mnemotechnics had on medieval performers, composers, and the music they produced. The single most important result of this study is that it allows us to see how oral and written transmission complement each other ...

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 255-279

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 281-288