Instructional Documents | Cantus Database

Instructional Documents

For an overview of the contents of medieval liturgical chant manuscripts and printed books for the Office and the Mass, and detailed descriptions of data-entry protocols for the Cantus Database including precise instructions for particular fields, please see the Cantus Database Procedures Manual.

The following instructional documents are also included as Appendices to the Cantus Database Procedures Manual, Third Edition (2024):

Quick Guide to Manuscripts (Antiphonals) and Liturgy
Illustrated guide to liturgical manuscript organization with annotated examples and a self test.

Guide to Indexing Graduals in Cantus
Provides lists of Mass chant genres, and documents methods for indexing in Cantus, with numerous summary examples.

How to Create an Inventory of a Fragment
Provides instructions that are specific to issues frequently encountered while indexing fragments, such as incomplete chants and missing information.

Text Entry and Editing Guidelines for Cantus Database and Cantus Index
Explains the differences between the two full text fields in the Cantus Database with detailed instructions on formatting issues, such as spelling variations, expansions of abbreviations, use of upper-case letters, and more.

Volpiano Protocols with Self-Test
Provides an introduction and detailed instructions about how to transcribe chant notation using the Volpiano font, following Cantus Database standards. The "Beyond the Basics" section provides advanced protocols for complex situations, such as missing text or pitches.

Volpiano Neume Protocols: Standardized Guide for Transcribing, Editing, and Interpreting Neumes in Multiple Cantus Ultimus Manuscripts
An extensive comparative neume table showing Volpiano transcriptions used in the Cantus Database for 9 manuscripts from the Cantus Ultimus project.

Volpiano Editing Guidelines
This document is for editors who are proofreading Volpiano transcriptions by other contributors.

How to Write a Source Description for a Cantus Database Inventory
Provides field-by-field instructions on describing manuscript and printed sources, including provenance and sigla.

Data-Entry and Cantus ID Numbers for Hymns and their verses and Sequences and their verses in Cantus Index and Cantus Database
Describes two current methods for data entry of these chant genres that include multiple sections. Includes examples.