Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, 611 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, 611

CH-E 611
14th-century antiphoner from the monastery of Einsiedeln, Switzerland. Staff notation. Monastic cursus. 281 numbered folios (folio number 139 was skipped; in the invitatory section of the codex the folios numbered 274 and 276-77 are missing; leaves have been interpolated after ff. 106, 137, 146, 245, and 263). No other lacunae.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1-152: Temporale (with some parts of the Sanctorale intermingled). 1r, First Sunday of Advent; 14v, Great "O" Antiphons; 17r, Christmas; 22r, Stephen; 41v, Ferial Office (responsories only); 47r, Septuagesima; 81r, Maundy Thursday; 89r, Easter; 102v, Common of Paschal Saints; 105r, Philip and James; 106v, Finding of the Cross; 108v, Ascension; 117r, Trinity; 119r, Corpus Christi; 123v, Summer Histories; 140r, Sundays after Pentecost; 146w, Ferial Office (antiphons); 151v, Alleluia chants for Eastertide.
Ff. 153-250: Sanctorale. 153r, Andrew; 163v, Meinrad of Einsiedeln; 185r, John the Baptist; 196v, Translation of Benedict; 200r, Mary Magdalene; 205r, Afra; 213v, Assumption; 232v, Gall; 236v, Januarius; 237r, All Saints; 247r, Catherine.
Ff. 251-268r: Common of Saints. Ff. 268v-271v: Dedication of a Church. Ff. 272r-273v: Office for the Dead. Ff. 273v-275v: Invitatories (fragmentary). Ff. 278-281: Various added chants (Scholastica, Benedict, Gregory, Mary Magdalene, Transfiguration).


Einsiedeln 611 records a few examples of an unusual practice of the monks of Einsiedeln, the singing of some chants at Nones, prior to a feast's First Vespers, in anticipation of the days of certain important saints. Such services (consisting of an antiphon or an antiphon with versicle in the manuscript) may be observed for the following feasts: John the Baptist (f. 184v), Peter (f. 189r), Assumption (f. 213v), and All Saints (f. 237r). The fact that such a Nones service is included for the Common of Apostles (f. 251r) may indicate that this practice was more general than only for those occasions given specific chants for this service in the manuscript. It is not clear whether these anticipatory Nones services were conflated with or replaced the Nones service of the preceding day.

Some of the unusual Offices in Einsiedeln 611 have been edited in Analecta Hymnica and also appear in Andrew Hughes's Late Medieval Liturgical Offices, including Catherine (AH vol. 26, p. 69, LMLO CB24) and the so-called "Historia nova" for Benedict (AH vol. 25, p. 52, LMLO BE01) that appears in Einsiedeln 611 on the feast of his translation. The prose Office for Corpus Christi (often attributed to Thomas Aquinas) was not edited in AHbut was copied in LMLO under the siglum XCX. These Offices appear in several other sources in the Cantus database.

Other saints' Offices have not been edited in AH nor do they appear in LMLO. These include Meinrad, the hermit-founder of Einsiedeln (21 January); Sigismundus, martyred King of Burgundy (1 May); Felix and Regula, martyrs (11 September); and significant portions of the Office for Maurice and his companions (22 September).

There are only three invitatory tones that are written out in Einsiedeln 611. Presumably there were others on folios now lost. The three tones are those identified as GR, 5, and 3 in the Cantus database. For some of the tones represented only by incipit there is little doubt as to their identity: 2, 7, NE, HS, and PA. One tone (beginning DA, GF, GF) seems likely to be BL; another incipit (DA, AC, A) appears to refer both to the tone in general use on Christmas (CH) and to the tone represented as GR in the database.

A final tone seems to be one of those that was written on a leaf now missing from Hartker's antiphoner (St. Gall 390-391); its presence there can be inferred from a copy of Hartker (St. Gall 388) that includes it at the corresponding point in the series. It has been given the siglum HL. St. Gall 388 (and presumably Hartker) assign two antiphons to it, "Regem regum dominum" and "Surgite vigilemus." Einsiedeln 611 assigns the latter of these to the tone called 2 but assigns a second antiphon to this tone, "Ploremus coram domino," for the feast of Mary Magdalene.

The differentiae for each mode have been numbered with a two-digit system: a majuscule letter indicating the final pitch of the differentia and a sequentially-ordered numeral. For those differentiae that exist in slightly variant forms, minuscule letters (a-d) have been added as suffixes.

Selected Bibliography

  • e-codices - Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/sbe/0611

  • 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. Muenster: Aschendorff, 1988.

  • Hughes, Andrew. Late Medieval Liturgical Offices: Resources for Electronic Research. Subsidia Mediaevalia, 23. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1994.

  • Kjaergaard, Mette R. "CANTUS Inventory and Brief Analysis of an Antiphoner: Einsiedeln Codex 611." M.A. thesis, The University of Western Ontario, 1996.

Notes on the Inventory
The index for CH-E 611 was prepared by Mette Kjaergaard (University of Western Ontario) with proofreading by Alessandra Ignesti (McGill University) and editorial assistance from Charles Downey (Catholic University of America). Essays edited (March 2016) by Debra Lacoste (University of Waterloo).
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