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Fixity, Flexibility, and Compositional Process in Old Hispanic Chant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergcw106
Pages (from-to)547-574
Number of pages28
JournalMusic and Letters
Issue number4
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - 15 Mar 2017


Old Hispanic (or ‘Mozarabic’) chant bears witness to a transmission that was rather different from that found in the proper chants of the Franco-Roman Mass. While there is evidence of the use of Old Hispanic notated exemplars from at least the late ninth century, many melodies did not attain the fixity associated with the Franco-Roman Mass Proper. The present article interrogates the Old Hispanic materials, finding evidence that these chants continued to change in an oral tradition that interacted with the written one throughout the period that the Old Hispanic repertory was sung. Close analysis makes it possible to pinpoint some features of the melodies that varied regionally, others which could change on an apparently casual basis, and other melodic details that seem to have been more firmly fixed in the written tradition.

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Issue cover date: November 2016

    Structured keywords

  • Centre for Medieval Studies

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