Reading an Office Book

László Dobszay

in The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780195124538
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868421 | DOI:
Reading an Office Book

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If the primary agents of chant history are the communities that performed, preserved, transmitted, enriched, or modified a tradition, the sources must be regarded not only as elements in a textual stemma, products of scribal activity, but also as views of particular everyday practices. Single MSS, however, can often mislead, because of deceptive omissions, missing items, multiple or surplus items, problems of redaction (format and method of compilation), changes in the course of time, and differences between ritus (fixed local liturgy) and consuetudo (written or unwritten customs). In the end, only description and comparison of local traditions themselves, arrived at through the comparative study of sources, produce satisfying conclusions. This chapter references the author's own data base for the study of liturgical sources, which is different in nature from CANTUS, founded by Ruth Steiner.

Keywords: liturgical books; Breviaries; manuscripts; prints; ritus; consuetudo; litrugical music; chant repertory; antiphons; responsories

Chapter.  5768 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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