De Codes van het Gregoriaans

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Intertekstuele Analyse

In mijn proefschrift Microtones According to Augustine (Universiteit Utrecht 2018, cum laude) toon ik aan dat middeleeuwse zangers aan Gregoriaanse gezangen melodiecodes konden toevoegen die verwijzen naar retorische eigenschappen in de verbale tekst: emoties, logica en loci. Na een gedetailleerde analyse van het principe aan de hand van microtonen (ook wel kwarttonen genoemd) laat ik een aantal soortgelijke interrupties zien van melodie- en tekstschemas met dezelfde werking: ze annoteren de verbale tekst van het gezang met melodische interrupties in de muzikale tekst. Het zijn muzikale codes die iets zeggen over de tekst; daarmee zitten we midden in de semiotiek. Ik noem die interrupties: musemen, dat zijn codes in de muzikale tekst die iets zeggen over de verbale tekst. Dat is waar intertekstualiteit over gaat in dit verband. Afgezien van de link naar mijn proefschrift komen de andere blauwe links uit op de begrippenlijst op het blad Terminologie.

Another Analysis

From the nineteenth century on, musicologists have been reconstructing the oldest layers of Gregorian chant by comparing melodies as notated in manuscripts from all over Europe. The neumes that establish a link with rhetorical elements in the text were difficult to grasp in the formal concepts underlying musicological analysis. Musicologists look for melodic patterns and these neumes and the sounds assumingly connected to them did not fit in those patterns. Result: musicologists gave up or presented invalid hypotheses. Now that we are aware that the sounds were triggered by the rhetorical waypoints in the verbal text and not by whatever formal considerations, another analysis is needed to show how members of emotional communities in the Middle Ages up to abut he fourteenth century could annotate text during liturgies.  These communities existed in Modena, in Cluny, Dijon, Aachen, Stavelot, Utrecht, Trier, Sankt Gallen and Leipzig – cities where this tradition is evident from sources consulted.

Why “Intertextual”?

Gregorian chant is sung liturgy from Rome that was fused with Carolingian interpretations from the eighth century on. Musical notation was introduced during the ninth century and the neumes (see image above this text) gradually developed in a musical notation on a staff with keys as we know it nowadays. My doctoral thesis demonstrates that cantors had a range of melodic tools available signalling the presence of rhetorically relevant text content. These sound codes ALWAYS refer to rhetorical content: I call them musemes in my thesis. Cantors could employ these signals at their own discretion. This links their text interpretation in contexts defined by space and time. Musemes offer insights into emotional communities in medieval Europe up to about 1250.


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