By Charles M. Atkinson
The severe Nexus confronts an incredible and vexing enigma of early writings on track: why chant, which used to be understood to be divinely encouraged, had to be altered with a view to paintings in the then-operative modal method. to resolve this secret, Charles Atkinson creates a huge framework that strikes from Greek harmonic thought to a few of the phases within the transmission of Roman chant, bringing up a number of track treatises from the 6th to the 12th century. Out of this exam emerges the valuable element in the back of the matter: the tone-system encouraged by means of writers coming from the Greek harmonic culture used to be no longer fitted to the notation of chant and that this simple incompatibility ended in the production of recent theoretical constructs. by way of tracing the trail of next variation on the nexus of tone-system, mode, and notation, Atkinson grants new and far-reaching insights into what mode intended to the medieval musician and the way the approach spoke back to its inherent limitations.
Through a close exam of the foremost musical treatises from the 6th in the course of the 12th centuries, this article establishes a primary dichotomy among classical harmonic thought and the practices of the Christian church. Atkinson builds the basis for a extensive and unique reinterpretation of the modal approach and the way it pertains to melody, grammar, and notation. This ebook could be of curiosity to all musicologists, song theorists engaged on mode, early track experts, chant students, and medievalists attracted to track.
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Extra resources for The Critical Nexus: Tone-System, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music (AMS Studies in Music)
35 More important: Boethius provides in this chapter the Alypian notational signs both for singing and for the playing of instruments in all three genera in the Lydian mode (ex. 36 These signs are constructed of the letters of the Greek alphabet, modiﬁed and manipulated in various ways, as may be seen, for example, in the following quotation from the Bower translation of De musica: “Proslambanomenos, which can be called adquisitus [added]; an incomplete zeta and a tau lying on its side: . ”37 Once the notational signs for the pitches have been introduced, Boethius can assign actual pitch content to them by converting the proportional ratios they represent into sound.
Et est minor pars septima decima, maior sexta decima. Sed utraque semitonia nuncupantur, non quod omnino semitonia ex aequo sint media, sed quod semum dici solet, quod ad integritatem usque non pervenit. Sed inter haec unum maius semitonium nuncupatur, aliud minus” (ed. Friedlein, 202–3). 53. Ed. Friedlein, 268–73; Bower, Boethius: Fundamentals, 88–92. 54. On the four meanings of tovno~ in harmonic theory, see Cleonides, Harmonic Introduction, sec. 12: “‘Tonos’ is used in four senses: as note, interval, position of the voice, and pitch” (Mathiesen, Greek Views of Music, 44).
What should the text of this section actually be? 83. , with addenda by J. 359–60 in the edition by Willis, reads as follows:  Tropi vero sunt quindecim, sed principales quinque, quibus bini cohaerent: id est Lydius, cui adhaerent Hypolydius et Hyperlydius; secundus Iastius, cui sociatur Hypoiastius et Hyperiastius; item Aeolius cum Hypoaeolio et Hyperaeolio; quartus Phrygius cum duobus Hypophrygio et Hyperphrygio; quintus Dorius cum Hypodorio et Hyperdorio.  verum inter hos tropos est quaedam amica concordia, qua sibi invicem germanescunt, ut inter Hypodorium et Hypophrygium, et item inter Hypoiastium et Hypoaeolium; item conveniens aptaque responsio inter Hypophrygium et Hypolydium, qui tamquam duplices copulantur.