Biblical Commentary in the Old Hispanic Liturgy: A Passiontide Case Study

Emma C Hornby, Rebecca Maloy

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Old Hispanic (Mozarabic) chant was sung on the Iberian Peninsula until the 11th century. Although thousands of notated chants survive, for the whole liturgical year, almost all of them are in unpitched notation. The meaning of this music is best accessed first through its texts, reading them in the light of the other liturgical elements that surrounded them, and through the traditions of biblical exegesis that were known on the Iberian Peninsula. This better positions us to analyse the notation and how it might relate to the text. Through this method, as we show in a case study of one simple Lenten Office, we can begin to form a picture of what the chant texts meant to participants in the liturgy and how the melodies helped to convey this meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalEarly Music
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

E-pub ahead of print: 08/12/2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Medieval Studies


  • Old Hispanic chant
  • Mozarabic chant
  • biblical exegesis
  • text–music relations
  • León antiphoner


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