Charles M. Atkinson

in The Critical Nexus

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780195148886
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852185 | DOI:

Series: AMS Studies in Music


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The incongruities between the flexibility inherent in the body of plainchant itself and the relative inflexibility of the ancient Greek system as a notational matrix came increasingly to be perceived as a problem that had to be solved. As a consequence, later authors developed their own solutions to the difficulties of rationalizing and notating problematic melodies. This chapter looks at three different approaches to this problem: those of Johannes (dictus Cotto vel Affligemensis), Marchetto da Padova, and the first treatise in the Berkeley manuscript (“Quoniam in antelapsis temporibus”).The three are linked together by the fact that they all respond to the problem as it is manifested in the Communion Beatus servus. Hence, that chant will serve as a kind of “rondo theme” for the chapter.

Keywords: plainchant; chant; Johannes; Marchetto da Padova; Quoniam in antelapsis temporibus; Beatus servus

Chapter.  9825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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