The Introit

James Mckinnon

in The Advent Project

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221987
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924338 | DOI:
The Introit

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This chapter gives an introduction to the origin of Roman introit. The 144 introits of the core repertory (those shared by the Roman and Frankish sources) are notably uniform in style, never extremely syllabic nor extravagantly melismatic, but rather consistently neumatic, with only the occasional melisma or brief syllabic passage. The formulaicism of the Roman Paschaltime introits increases the number of interesting tendencies, such as the more important liturgical occasions like Easter; the feasts of Philip and James, Ascension, and Pentecost are relatively free of melodic formulas, whereas ferias, ordinary Sundays, and lesser sanctoral dates employ them regularly. The presence of alleluias in the introit texts of Paschaltime is an added factor in the quantity of formulaicism in the season and is clearly an indication to employ formulas. Roman introits themselves are comparatively unformulaic when compared to a genuinely formulaic genre such as the gradual or tract. The Roman sanctoral melodies share the temporal chants' tendencies.

Keywords: Roman introit; Roman sanctoral melodies; Roman Paschaltime introit; liturgical occasions; melodic formulas

Chapter.  10714 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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