On modulation in Eastern and Western chant: techniques, texts, and rhetoric

Charles M. Atkinson, Calvin Bower, Susan Rankin, Alexander Lingas
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17:00 - 18:30
All Souls College - Online via Zoome
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Lectures and seminars
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This paper will focus on the discussions of modulation in Regino of Prüm’s Epistola de harmonica institutione (ca. 900 C.E.), Manuel Chrysaphes’ On the Theory of the Art of Chanting (1458 C.E.), and the anonymous 9th-century Scolica enchiriadis, and will present musical examples illustrating the techniques described in these works.

Although these techniques are strikingly similar in East and West, the way modulation functions in relation to texts differs drastically in the two regions. As a result, while Regino characterizes modulating chants as nothae–degenerate and illegitimate–Chrysaphes can advance one type, the nenano, as “sweetest and finest.”

This long-running series of seminars, convened by Dr Margaret Bent, considers all aspects of medieval and renaissance music. It usually consists of a talk by an invited speaker and then a period of questions, to which all attendees are encouraged to contribute.