The Dendermonde codex contains works by Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) and Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1165), as well as one anonymous work: Liber Vitae Meritorum S. Hildegardis (ff. 1–121v); Liber Viarum Dei S. Elisabeth de Schoenau (ff. 121–152v); Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum (ff. 153–170v); and an untitled dialogue between a priest and the devil (ff. 170–173v). Only the portion of the codex with music, known as Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum (Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations), is inventoried in the Cantus Database.
Hildegard composed musical works for use in the Mass and Office c. 1141–1158, including antiphons, responses, sequences, hymns, a Kyrie, and an alleluia, which survive mainly in two extant sources, the Dendermonde and Wiesbaden codices.
The Dendermonde codex was completed before Nov. 1, 1176 in the scriptorium of the Rupertsberg cloister and sent to the Cistercian abbey of Villers in Brabant, Belgium as indicated by the owner’s mark on f. 173v, “Liber s[an]c[t]e Ma[rie de] Villari” (The Benedictine Abbey of Villers). The codex was transferred to the abbey of Affligem in the seventeenth century, at which point “Monasterii Haffligemensis” was marked on f. 1. In 1796, the monks were expelled from Affligem due to the French Revolution, and in 1837, the abbey moved to Dendermonde. Since then, the manuscript has been held by the St. Pieters & Paulusabdij abbey. The codex was rebound in the eighteenth century with white paper flyleaves and “M.S. OPERA HILDEGARDI [sic] VIRGINS” was stamped on its spine. There are also pencil folio numbers in the upper right hand corners in a modern hand.
The differentiae in this manuscript are labelled according to their modal type: protus (1 or 2); deuterus (3 or 4); tritus (5 or 6); and tetrardus (7 or 8). Within each modal type, unique differentiae are identified by an uppercase letter indicating the final pitch of the differentia and an arbitrarily-assigned number, e.g. A1, D2, etc. The Volpiano transcription of each differentia is included in the Extra field.
- Hildegard of Bingen. Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum (Dendermonde St.-Peters & Paulusabdij Ms Cod. 9). Introduction by Peter van Poucke. Peer Belgium: Alamire, 1991.
- Embach, Michael and Martina Wallner. Conspectus der Handschriften Hildegards von Bingen. Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2013, 81-82.
- Mannaerts, Pieter. "Dendermonde, Benedictijnenabdij, Ms. 9." In A Catalogue of Notated Office Manuscripts Preserved in Flanders (c. 1100-c. 1800). Volume 1: Averbode, Dendermonde, Diest, Geel, Ghent, Tongeren. Edited by Sarah Ann Long and Inga Behrendt. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015, 59-60.