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Music and Meaning in Old Hispanic Lenten Chants: Psalmi, Threni and Easter Vigil Canticles

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

Original languageEnglish
Publisher or commissioning bodyBoydell & Brewer
Number of pages368
ISBN (Print)9781843838142
DatePublished - 17 Oct 2013


Although Old Hispanic liturgical chant has long been considered one of the most important medieval chant traditions, its musical notation shows only where the melodies rise and fall, not precise intervals or pitches. The lack of pitch-readable notation has prevented scholars from fully engaging with the surviving sources. This book focuses on three genres of chant sung during the Old Hispanic Lent: the threni, psalmi, and Easter Vigil canticles. Emma Hornby and Rebecca Maloy take a holistic view of the texts and melodies, along with their liturgical and intellectual surroundings. For the Easter Vigil, they explore the relationship between different Old Hispanic traditions and other western liturgies. Hornby and Maloy develop a new methodology for analysing the melodies and the relationship between melody and text. They conclude that the theologically purposeful text selections combine with carefully shaped melodies to guide the devotional practice of their hearers.

    Research areas

  • Old Hispanic chant, Mozarabic chant, musicology, medieval music, medieval history, liturgy, medieval theology, Iberia, music analysis, words and music


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