A-Gu 29

Graz, Universitätsbibliothek, 29 (olim 38/8 f.)
Number of chants: 4290

Provenance: St-Lambrecht
Date: 1300s
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Graz, Universitätsbibliothek, 29 (olim 38/8 f.)

Siglum: 
A-Gu 29
Date: 
1300s
Provenance: 
St-Lambrecht

Fourteenth-century antiphoner in two volumes (29 and 30) from the Abbey of Sankt Lambrecht (Steiermark, Austria). Monastic cursus. 382 and 376 fols.

Liturgical Occasions “at a glance” (refer to the index for complete contents):

Ff. 1v-199r: Winter Temporale. 1v, First Sunday of Advent; 32r, Great “O” Antiphons; 38r, Christmas; 55r, Epiphany; 65v, Ferial Office; 83v, Septuagesima; 97r, Ash Wednesday; 137v, Palm Sunday; 149r, Maundy Thursday; 168v, Tones for the Lamentations of Jeremiah during the Triduum; 187r, Polyphonic Settings of the Solemn Readings for Christmas.

Ff. 199v-308r: Winter Sanctorale. 199v, Agnes; 205r, Andrew; 221v, Stephen; 261v, Purification; 268r, Blaise; 285v, Gregory; 292v, Benedict; 299r, Annunciation.

Ff. 308v-352v: Common of Saints. Ff. 352v-363r: Office of the Dead. Ff. 363v-376v: Invitatory Tones. Ff. 377r-379r: Tonary. Ff. 379r-382r: Polyphonic Hymn Settings, Added Miscellanea.

The following information is for both Graz 29 and 30:

Differentiae are indicated in the margins of both manuscripts using the two-letter system (one letter for mode, one for differentia) found in Switzerland and some regions of Germany and Austria. These tonary letters are given in the differentia field of the computer index. The Arabic numerals in the field for mode have been supplied by the CANTUS staff on the basis of the tonary letters. A few unusual tonary letters in Graz 30 (34r, 36v, 38r, 50r, 120r, and 221r), which appear to be "m," have been interpreted instead as "w," that is, omega. The index does not distinguish between tonary letters in the original series and those that appear written over or in place of an earlier designation.

Some differentiae have been notated on the staff instead of or in addition to a tonary letter (for example, in Graz 29, 65v, 149r, 253v, 268r, 285r, and 344v). Such notated differentiae may or may not match those found in the tonary (Graz 29, ff. 377r-379r). No attempt has been made in the index to indicate when differentiae are notated, even if they differ from what is implied by the tonary letter in the margin. Some antiphons without tonary letters include differentiae notated on the staff. When these could be matched to tonary letters through reference to the manuscript tonary, the appropriate letters have been supplied in the computer index.

Ff. 199-204 in Graz 29 are the work of a different text hand inserted, out of liturgical order, before the Sanctorale section of the manuscript (Andrew, 205r). Therefore, the group of folios that precedes them (ff. 187-198, containing polyphonic settings of the Solemn Readings for Christmas) may also have been added to the manuscript at a later date, between the Temporale and Sanctorale sections. The hand of these folios containing polyphony, however, is more similar to the main body of the manuscript. The ends of both manuscripts appear to include a few folios appended at a later date.

The two volumes overlap in interesting ways. Although only slightly longer, Graz 29 contains some unusual items (tones for the Lamentations of Jeremiah, 168v; the Office of the Dead, 352v; the Invitatory Tones, 363v; the Tonary, 377r; Polyphonic Settings, 187r and 379r) which are not included in Graz 30. By contrast, Graz 30 contains the majority of the important occasions of the Sanctorale. Both manuscripts include the Commons, a fortunate duplication because a folio lost in the Common of Virgins in Graz 30 (between ff. 369 and 370) may be reconstructed from Graz 29, beginning on f. 346r.

The Commons in Graz 30 were probably copied from Graz 29, judging by the stray rubric (“In commemoratione animarum fidelium”) added by the copyist at the bottom of f. 374v. In Graz 29, this rubric precedes the Office of the Dead, after the Commons, which the scribe evidently copied into Graz 30 before deciding not to include that Office in the second volume. It is uncertain how much time may have elapsed between the production of the two volumes, but there are a few differences between the two versions of the Commons.

In addition, the end of the summer Sanctorale in Graz 30 (Saturninus, 324r; Andrew, 324v; Nicholas, 330v; the Octave of Andrew, 336v; and Damasus, 336v) overlaps the beginning of the Advent Sanctorale in Graz 29 (Andrew, 205r; Nicholas, 212r; the Octave of Andrew, 219r; and Damasus, 219r). Comparison of these sections of the two manuscripts reveals some interesting changes in the Abbey liturgy in the period between the production of the two volumes. The feast of Saturninus appears to have been added in this time; incipits for the Magnificat and Benedictus antiphons as found in Graz 30 (324r-v) have been added to Graz 29 in the top margin of f. 205r.

An antiphon intended for a procession after Lauds on St. Andrew’s Day (Graz 29, 211v) appears, by its absence from Graz 30 (330r), to have been removed from that function. The Benedictus antiphon selected for Damasus is different in Graz 29 and 30, although both are Common antiphons. The few minor variants which may be observed between versions of individual melodies in the two manuscripts (for example, the antiphon “Ambulans Jesus juxta mare”) suggest that the copyist of Graz 30 may have worked at least in part from memory rather than slavishly copying melodies from Graz 29 into Graz 30.

Chants not found in CAO have been assigned arbitrary chant ID numbers prefixed by “gra.”

The Polyphony in Graz, Universitätsbibliothek, 29 and 30:

Graz 29 and 30 present the solemn record of a highly developed body of music for the Office as it was celebrated at the Austrian monastery of Sankt Lambrecht. Among the important aspects of the abbey’s musical sophistication, the large number of polyphonic pieces is perhaps the most obvious. Two thirds of this important repertory--approximately sixty hymns, conductus, responsory verses and doxologies--has already been indexed in Gilbert Reaney, ed., Repertoire International des Sources Musicales, series B, no. 4, Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music (c. 1320- 1400) (Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 1969), 2: 327-333. The other polyphonic settings in Graz 29 and Graz 30 have remained unknown. The opportunity afforded to CANTUS in compiling complete indices of these two manuscripts has made it possible to remedy this problem.

The polyphonic item in Graz 29 “Constantes estote videbitis” was added by a later hand in the lower margin of f. 37v, where the original monophonic melodies of both verse and doxology found in the main body of the page reappear with discant voices added to them. Four small staves have been added to accommodate this musical material. This item may have been excluded from the list of polyphonic items in RISM because it was a later addition to the manuscript; yet the verse “Per te ducem” for Benedict’s Translation [Graz 30, 172r] was included there even though its polyphonic version appears on an added half-folio inserted into the manuscript.

In Graz 30 the polyphony not listed in RISM is disguised by the fact that the added voices were written in the lower margin of the page rather than next to the chants. The discants for the two verses for the Nativity of Mary [247r, 249r] were added in the lower margin in a text hand and musical notation similar to those of the original body of the manuscript. In the remaining five added discants, the text hand is similar to that of the original script but the staff notation is of a later type. In all five cases, the voice added to the doxology was notated in the lower margin of the preceding folio. In two cases [334r, 357r] doxologies with discant were added on two staves for responsories that did not originally include doxologies.

There is some consistency in the liturgical assignment of responsory verses for which polyphony is supplied. With one exception, each of the final responsories for Matins in the Commons of Graz 30 has a polyphonic verse; the exception is the Common of Apostles. (The Commons in Graz 29, in most respects quite similar to those of Graz 30, lack the added voice parts.) The non-standard verse melodies are the same in both manuscripts [in Graz 29, “Tradiderunt,” 322v; “Immortalis,” 332r; “Vigilate,” 340v; “Eructavit,” 350r]. Actually, the verse “Tradiderunt” is set to both non-standard and standard verse formulae in both manuscripts.

A single musical style is common to all Sankt Lambrecht polyphony, both for those items included in the main body of the manuscript and the marginal items. A cantor familiar with the rules for producing this type of discant might have been able to improvise an accompaniment to a familiar melody, much as fauxbourdon was used to ornament a single line. In fact, the marginal discants in both manuscripts may be the results of-- or plans for--such improvisations. The fact that not all responsories include polyphonic intonations for the respond after the verse may reflect the relative ease with which a cantor could have improvised the discant part.

The polyphonic musical style in these manuscripts is primarily homophonic with the discant matching the original melody neume for neume. This is true of the simplest items (such as the second “Jube domne silentium,” Graz 29, 189v, which is basically an ornamented recitation tone) as well as more melismatic pieces (such as “Per te ducem,” Graz 29, 297r, or Graz 30, 172r). A single pitch is occasionally held for the duration of several pitches in the opposite voice (see the first “Jube domne silentium,” Graz 29, 187v, the final neume of each strophe). Furthermore, this single pitch may be notated either as several repeated puncta or as a long (compare in the same piece the ending of the first and second strophes).

The discant voice stays most commonly at the interval of a perfect fifth and progresses in parallel motion with the chant. In order to preserve the perfect fifth, E-flats are usually notated in the accompanying part when B-flats occur in the principal voice. In cases where there is contrary motion, perfect intervals (unison, fifth, octave, and the occasional fourth) are strictly maintained between the two voices. An exception is the occasional third that results from contrary motion in passing from a fifth to a unison, or vice versa. This rigorous maintenance of certain intervals occasionally produces discant lines that are rather disjunct (such as the opening of the discant for the verse “Inter choros confessorum” for Benedict, Graz 29, 293r).

When other Austrian manuscripts are examined, the Sankt Lambrecht polyphony proves even more interesting. All responsory verses set polyphonically in Graz 29 and 30 involve non-standard melodies. Comparison of indices in the CANTUS database facilitates the study of these melodies, which are often part of numerical series (such as in the late Offices for Benedict or Gregory). Rather than being modal formulae, as are standard responsory verses, these melodies are individual compositions transmitted from source to source with few changes. Most of these special melodies have a rather wide geographical distribution, and many appear in the other Austrian sources indexed by CANTUS--Vorau 287 (from Salzburg) and Klosterneuburg 1017 and 1018 (from Klosterneuburg). The melodies for Commons responsory verses also appear in the Commons of both other sources either in Vespers or as supplemental Matins responsories. The musicians of Sankt Lambrecht sought to elaborate these special melodies even further by adding discant voices. The fourth melody for the hymn “Te lucis ante terminum” [Graz 29, 379v] has also been added to Vorau 287 for hymn texts for the feast of the Immaculate Conception (“Maria mater domini aeterni” and “Maria virgo regia ex stirpe,” 311v) and for Anne (“Assunt Annae sollemnia,” 319r). The discant lines, however, appear to be unique to Sankt Lambrecht.

Selected Bibliography

Downey, Charles and Glaeske, Keith. “The Music and Text of the Lamentations: A Comparison of Cambrai XVI C 4 and Graz 29,” Medieval Perspectives 10 (1995): 86-100.

Haggh, Barbara. Two Offices for St Elizabeth of Hungary: Introduction and Edition. Musicological Studies LXV/1. Ottawa: Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1995.

Heckenbach, Willibrord. “Das mittelalterlichen Reimoffizium ‘Praeclarum late’ zu den Festen das Heiligen Benedict.” In Itinera Domini: Festschrift fuer Emmanuel von Severus OSB zum 80. Geburtstag, 189-210. Münster: Aschendorff, 1988.

Reaney, Gilbert. Répetoire International des Sources Musicales: Manuscripts of Polyphonic Music (c. 1320-1400), pp. 327-333. Series B IV 2. München: G. Henle, 1969.