What's New | Cantus Manuscript Database

What's New

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 00:00

New Cantus Publication

A special issue of the Journal of the Alamire Foundation Volume 10, Number 2 (Autumn 2018) includes papers demonstrating a variety of research methods using the Cantus Database. For more information, see: http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503578477-1.

Sat, 04/06/2019 - 00:00

Memorial Mass at CUA for Ruth Steiner

ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be a memorial mass in Ruth Steiner's honor on April 10th at 2:30 pm in the Lower Church of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. This is a community event for those at Catholic University, but is open to anyone to attend.

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00

A Tribute to Ruth Steiner, Founder of the Cantus Database

2 Feb 1931–22 Feb 2019

Founder of the Cantus Database and visionary of the potential for digital and computer-based tools in humanities research. Ruth Steiner was Professor of Music at Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (1966–2000); third chair of the International Musicological Society Study Group ‘Cantus Planus’; a member of the American Musicological Society (as Secretary from 1984–1989), and of the Medieval Academy of America; and an author of articles on selected Gregorian and Sarum chants, their manuscript sources, and matters of style and dating.

In an age of file cards and print-based research materials, before “online” existed, Ruth Steiner’s vision for digitized indexes of chant manuscripts, where their contents could be located quickly and easily through electronic searching, and sorted and manipulated, has transformed how one studies not only the Office (and its psalmody), but also other repertories of medieval chant and liturgy. Begun in 1987 with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and now entering its third decade, the Cantus Database is used by medievalists and Renaissance scholars in many fields, beyond musicology and liturgy.

A Festschrift in her honour, The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages (Oxford, 2000), was edited by Margot E. Fassler and Rebecca A. Baltzer and includes contributions from principal figures in medieval liturgical chant research; this volume immediately became an indispensable resource for the study of the liturgical Office and attests to the impact that Steiner’s Cantus Project and investment in the medieval Office in general has had on medieval chant research. With a Master’s degree from UCal, Berkeley and a PhD from CUA, Steiner soon became a leader in the field. A series of grants from the NEH allowed her to welcome scholars from many disciplines to CUA for summer study, and with grants from the Dom Mocquereau Foundation, she was able to build a superior microfilm collection for the study of the medieval Office. In this context, with her creativity and imagination, she nurtured a generation of scholars, training them in manuscript study while demonstrating the vital importance of developing new tools for the exploration of the manuscript sources she had mastered, as well as providing a professional and ethical model of how to be a scholar.

Requiescat in pace.

Prepared by Debra Lacoste, Margot Fassler, Keith Glaeske, Barbara Haggh-Huglo, and Jane Hardie. Photo reproduced by permission of The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives (ACUA), The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 00:00

Cantus is in Sydney!

With a plan to include processionals in the database in the near future, Debra Lacoste and Barbara Swanson are in Sydney, Australia at the symposium "A Celebration of Music Manuscripts," organized by Jane Hardie (Medieval and Early Modern Centre) and Julie Sommerfeldt (Rare Books and Special Collections). Barbara's topic is the manuscript "Fisher Library Add. MS 376," one of a growing collection of Spanish manuscripts being acquired by the University of Sydney. We are looking forward to engaging discussions about Spanish sources and the Cantus Database with the experts attending this symposium from around the world.


Thu, 10/26/2017 - 00:00

Symposium at Eastman: Live stream!

If you cannot be in Rochester today, please join us on the Live Stream: https://www.esm.rochester.edu/live/hatch/

The programme begins at 9:00 am EDT.

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 00:00

Symposium: Machine-Reading and Crowdsourcing Medieval Music Manuscripts

Join us at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY this Thursday (26 October 2017) for a symposium on crowdsourcing and digital projects in medieval musicology.

For more information, click here:


Mon, 08/07/2017 - 00:00

Welcome to the new Cantus Database!

After a period of testing, we have closed our old site (cantusdatabase.org) and are redirecting everyone to this new site at the University of Waterloo. Please edit any bookmarks you have. We hope you enjoy the updates, new sources, and new analysis programmes!

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 00:00

Cantus at the meeting of the Hymn Society

The Cantus Database will be at the Annual Meeting of the Hymn Society of America tomorrow! Sectional IV, Session 23: A Live Tour of the Cantus Database.

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 00:00

MedRen 2017 Poster

Thanks to Jan Kolacek for representing the Cantus Database and Cantus Index last week with a poster at the 45th Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference in Prague. If you have any questions about either of our databases, or if you would like more information about the Cantus Analysis Tool, please write to us.

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 00:00

Call for proposals to the Historiae series

The series 'Historiae' is devoted to the edition of medieval saints' offices. It is published for the Study Group 'Cantus Planus' of the International Musicological Society and appears as part of the series 'Musicological Studies' at the Institute of Mediæval Music (Kitchener Ontario) under the supervision of Debra Lacoste. 'Historiae' was created by David Hiley. Its first volume was published in 1995; today the series comprises of 27 volumes. Present series editors are Zsuzsa Czagany, Barbara Haggh, and Roman Hankeln. Earlier members of the editiorial board were Ruth Steiner and László Dobszay.

The editors are looking forward to proposals which should consider the general form and content of the existing Historiae volumes. These volumes contain a) an introduction with information about the cult of the saint, the sources used, the history of the repertory, the musical style(s) and b) a transcription of the chants, including lessons and the Venite- and Te Deum-tones. A translation of the texts is optional but welcome.

For new proposals please contact Roman Hankeln: roman.hankeln@ntnu.no.

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