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7. MUSIC (1)

7.1. SUMERIAN MUSIC

MS 2340 Sumer, 26th c. BC
MS 2951 Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC

7.2. OLD BABYLONIAN CUNEIFORM TABLATURE MUSIC NOTATION

MS 5105 Babylonia, 2000-1700 BC

7.3. ANCIENT GREEK MUSIC NOTATION

MS 2260 Egypt, ca. 300

7.4. BYZANTINE MUSIC NOTATION

See also MS 2858, Byzantine Empire, late 10th c.
MS 2033 Greece, ca. 1100
See also MS 1982, Turkey, 11th c.
MS 1979/07 Greece or Sicilia, 13th c.
MS 1897 Serbia, 18th c.

7.5. METZ (MESSINE) NEUMES

MS 096 France, late 9th c. MS 1275/19 France (or Germany?), ca. 950

7.6. NORTH FRENCH NEUMES

MS 630 France, mid 11th c.

7.7. AQUITANIAN NEUMES

MS 658 France, ca. 1030

7.8. PALAEO-FRANKISH (ST AMAND) MUSIC NOTATION

MS 5284/1 France, 11th c.

7.9. ST GALLEN NEUMES

MS 1664 Germany, ca. 1000
MS 098 Germany, 1st half 11th c.
MS 1574 Austria or Southern Germany, 1st half 12th c.
MS 1670 Germany, ca. 1150

7. Music

This collection comprises 191 items of which 43 are listed here, including the 4 earliest ones. The presentation here aims at giving a fairly comprehensive overview of the main types of musical notation in Europe in the period 9th to 15th c, with some Asian notations added.

While the national or regional scripts were mostly standardized with the Carolingian reform around 800, musical notation continued to be regional during most of the remaining medieval ages. There are no standardized consequent designations. The notation is named after countries, regions, cities and even monasteries, scriptoria or monastic orders, while others are named according to their appearance. The following presentation is mainly based on the tables in Riemann: Musiklexicon, and The new Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. The presentation will complement the materials in the palaeography and liturgical collections.

7.1 Sumerian Music

MS 2340
LEXICAL LIST OF 9 TYPES OF MUSICAL STRINGS, 23 TYPES OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND MUSIC, INCLUDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRINGED INSTRUMENTS SUCH AS HARP AND LYRE, AS WELL AS HITHERTO UNKNOWN INSTRUMENTS; FURTHER LAPIS LAZULI, BEDS, COPPER UTENSILS, TEXTILES, DOMESTIC ANIMALS AND SINEWS, JEWELLERY, WEAPONS, LEATHER PARTS OF YOKE, STRAPS, SACKS, TYPES OF SHEEP, KNIVES, AROMATICS AND PERFUMES, REED OBJECTS, GRAINS AND FLOURS, ETC.

MS in Sumerian on clay, Sumer, 26th c. BC, upper half of a huge tablet + fragment of lower part, 20x30x5 cm + 9x18x5 cm, originally ca. 40x30x5 cm, 16+9 and 7+7 columns, 437+ ca. 100 lines remaining in cuneiform script, circular depressions introducing each new entry.

 

Binding Barking, Essex, 1996, green quarter morocco gilt folding case by Aquarius.

ms 245/07

Context: Similar, smaller tablets are known from Fara or Tell Abu Salabikh. 3 compilations all from 26th c. BC have music instruments. The present tablet is almost a duplicate of a relatively well-known lexical list, discussed by Miguel Civil in Cagni, Ebla 1975-1985, pp. 133 ff. The obverse is an abbreviated recension with minor changes in the sequence of the entries. The reverse is the continuation of the unfinished Fara recension.

The fragment of this MS was earlier MS 2524. This number is now used for another tablet. Another fragment of the same tablet is Mikhail Collection, published in Pettinato 1997 no.2.

Commentary: The earliest known record of music and musical instruments in history. The name of one of the stringed instruments is a Semitic word, ki-na-ru, the later kinnaru known from the Mari letters and Ras Shamra texts (13th c. BC, cfr. MS 1955/1-6), and the still later Biblical Hebrew kinnor. The system of phonetic notation in Sumer and Babylonia is based on a music terminology that gives individual names to 9 musical strings or "notes", and to 14 basic terms describing intervals of the 4th and 5th that were used in tuning string instruments (according to 7 heptatonic diatonic scales), and terms for 3rds and 6ths that appear to have been used to fine tune (or temper in some way) the 7 notes generated for each scale. The combination of string names and interval terms is used to describe the tuning procedure and the generation of the 7 scales and form a skeletal phonetic notation. (The New Grove, 2nd ed., vol. 18, p. 74.) The oldest musical instruments known are a ca. 41 000 BC flute made of bear bone, found in 1995 at a Neanderthal site in Slovenia, and 6 intact and 30 fragmentary crane bone flutes from Jiahu, in the Chinese province of Henan, dated to 9000-7700 BC. One crane bone flute is still in playing order, the earliest instrument possible to play.

Published: Miguel Civil: The Lexical Texts in the Schøyen Collection, Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology, vol. 12, Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, Cuneiform texts V. CDL Press, Bethesda, MD, 2010, text 6.3.1, pp. 203-214.

Image in: Andrew E. Hill & John H. Walton: A survey of the Old Testament, 3rd ed., Grand Rapids, Mi., Zondervan Publ. House, 2009, p. 734. Zondervan Illustrated Bible, Backgrounds, Commentary. John H. Walton, gen. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan, 2009, vol. 5, p. 443.

Discussed in: Miguel Civil: The Early Dynastic practical vocabulary A (Archaic HAR-ra A). Roma, Missione Archeologica Italiana in Siria, 2008, pp. 3, 93-102.

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MS 2951
ms 245/07
HEBE-ERIDU THE SON OF ADAD-LAMASI SAT WITH IL-SIRI IN ORDER TO LEARN MUSIC. AT THAT TIME, IN ORDER TO STUDY SINGING, THE TIGIDLU-INSTRUMENT, THE ASILA, TIGI INSTRUMENT, AND THE ADAB INSTRUMENT SEVEN TIMES, ADAD-LAMASI PAID IL-SIRI 5 SHEKELS OF SILVER. ILI-IPPALSANI, THE SCHOOLMASTER

MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC, 1 tablet, 6,5x4,4x2,0 cm, single column, 13 lines in cuneiform script.

Binding: Barking, Essex, 2000, blue cloth gilt folding case by Aquarius.

Context: Cf. MS 2340 listing 23 types of musical instruments.

Commentary: There are texts of dialogues between a teacher and a scribe, (Schooldays, see MS 4481) and between an examiner and a student, but a text concerning music lessons is so far unique.

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7.2 Old Babylonian Cuneiform Tablature Music Notation

MS 5105
MUSICAL NOTATION OF 2 ASCENDING CONSECUTIVE HEPTATONIC SCALES TO BE PLAYED ON A 4 STRINGED LUTE TUNED IN ASCENDING FIFTHS: C - G - D - A, USING FRETS; SCHOOL TEXT

MS in Old Babylonian on clay, Babylonia, 2000-1700 BC, 1 lenticular tablet, diam. 9,0x3,2 cm, 2 double columns, each of 7 ruled lines with numbers in Old Babylonian cuneiform tablature notation, with headings, "intonation" and "incantation", respectively.

Context: The only other complete music text is a later Hurrian hymn written in the mode of nidqibli, which is the enneatonic descending scale of E.

Commentary: The oldest musical notation known so far. Lutes are not preserved from the Old Babylonian period. The earliest known description of a lute dates from the middle of the 10th c., of a 9th c. instrument, Oxford, Bodleian library MS Marsh 521. The present notation system gives contemporary information on the Old Babylonian 4 stringed lute. It further attests that frets were used, and that their values, tonal and semitonal, were purposely calculated. Most significantly, the discovery of this text attests of a music syllabus in educational institutions about 4000 years ago.

ms 5105

Published: To be published by Richard Dunnbrill: An Old Babylonian music text, from where the information has been taken.

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7.3 Ancient Greek Music Notation

MS 2260 MS2260
DRAMATIC ARIA, PROBABLY FROM A LOST TRAGEDY, SET TO MUSIC
MS in Greek on papyrus, Egypt, ca. 300, 1 fragment from a scroll, 6x3 cm, part of 1 column, 3 lines in Greek semi-cursive book script, above the text 4 lines in Greek vocal musical notation in the diatonic Hyperionian scale, including the diseme, stigme and hyphen.

Binding: London, 1996-2000, black folding case, together with MSS 2261-2264.

Context: Only 35 Greek papyri bearing texts with musical notation are known. All except the present papyrus are in public collections, extending from ca. 250 BC to ca. 300 AD. One of these, from the 1st-2nd c., is in Oslo, University Library, P.Osl.inv.no. 1413.

Provenance: 1. Professional musician, Egypt (ca. 300);  2. Mohammed Sha'ar, Cairo (1920'es);  3. Issa Marogi Collection, Jerusalem (ca. 1955-1984);  4. Heirs of Marogi family, Bank Collection (1984-1996);  5. Sam Fogg, London, Dec. 1996.

Commentary: The preserved notes extend over the range of an octave, and would suit a tenor voice. The ability to read the musical notation was, we assume, largely limited to professional musicians. The 35 existing papyri were prepared by and for them. The notation fell out of general use in the 4th c. About 600 years older than any other musical MS in private hands, cf. MS 96, Antiphonal leaf, France, 9th c., one of the 3 dozens earliest European music MSS on vellum. The above information kindly supplied by Dr. Martin L. West, All Souls College, Oxford.

Published: E. Pöhlman and M.L. West: Documents of Ancient Greek Music, Oxford 2001, p. 195, no. 60. Papyrologica Florentina, vol. XXXV. Rosario Pintaudi: Papyri Graecae Schøyen. Firenze, Edizioni Gonnelli, 2005 (Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection V: Greek papyri, vol. I), p. 35.

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7.4 Byzantine Music Notation

See also MS 2858 Bible: John, Byzantine Empire, late 10th c.

MS 2033 MS 2033
BIBLE: GOSPEL LECTIONARY
MS in Greek on vellum, Greece, ca. 1100, 10 ff., 26x23 cm, 2 columns (26x17 cm), 25 lines in Greek minuscule, heading and small capitals in red, 19 large decorated initials in red or in brown infilled with blue, red and green, including hands pointing, blessing, holding scrolls, and with birds, dragons, flowers and a fish, all finely drawn, ecphonetic notation in red.

Provenance: 1. Sotheby's 20.6.1995:61.

Commentary: Ecphonetic notation was partly a forerunner of the neumes. It is the use of accents for the cantillation of texts. A system of nine accents existed for Hebrew texts in the 6th c. and subsequently taken up in the liturgical monophonic repertories of the Byzantine, Syrian and Armenian churches. Aland l. 2407, text category 5 (Byzantine recension).

Exhibited: Oslo Katedralskole 850 år, Jubileumsutstilling 10. - 14. March 2003.

See also MS 1982, The Agia Sofia Lectionary, Turkey, 11th c

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MS 1979/07 MS 1979/07
HYMNS FOR THE FEAST OF ST. GEORGE
MS in Greek on vellum, Greece or Sicilia, 13th c.(?), 1 f., 32x23 cm, single column, (25x17 cm), 21 lines in Greek minuscule, staffless Byzantine notation, 3 initials including a fish.

Provenance: 1. Sotheby's 5.12.1994:50/12.

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MS 1897 ms 1897
PAPADIKE, TREATISE ON BYZANTINE CHURCH MUSIC, INCLUDING CITATIONS OF THE WORKS OF JOHANNES GLIKEOS, PETER DANILO, CHRISAPHOS TUNEU, AND PETER LAMPADARIUS

MS in Greek on paper, Serbia, 18th c., 150 ff. (complete), 16x11 cm, single column, (11x8 cm), 18 lines in a late Greek minuscule, headings in red, staffless Byzantine notation with pitch marks in red, 2-to-4-line decorated initials in margins, a half-page circular design of the 8 musical modes.

Binding: Mt. Athos?, Greece, 18th c., blind-stamped leather on wooden boards, sewn on 3 cords.

Provenance: 1. A Monastery of the Holy Mountain, Mt. Athos, Greece? (18th c.); 2. Pavougades and Jonas the priest, Monastery in Macedonia (19th c.); 3. Carla Signorini, Venezia (20th c.); 4. Jeremy Griffiths, Oxford.

Commentary: Johannes Glikeos lived in the 14th c., Peter Danilo in the 15th c., Chrisaphos Tuneu in the 17th c., and Peter Lampadarius in the early 18th c.

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7.5 Metz (Messine) Neumes

MS 096
ANTIPHONAL: OFFICE OF ST. REMIGIUS (1 OCTOBER) ms 096
MS in Latin on vellum, France, late 9th c., 1 f., 18x15 cm, single column, (13x10 cm), 13 lines in a small Carolingian minuscule with Metz linear staffless neumes, initials in red.

Context: Other ff. possibly from the same antiphonal: 2 ff. Harward University, Houghton Library, 1 f. Yale University library and 1 f. University of Virginia.

Provenance: 1. Bernard Rosenthal Collection, San Francisco, I/239 (1976-1987); 2. Quaritch Cat. 1088(1988):31.

Commentary: A rare survival from a very early French musical liturgy, among the earliest extant. Only 3 dozens other European musical MSS from 9th c. are known; none are earlier. Of these only 2 are antiphonals, fragments of late 9th c. with Breton and German neumes. Linear, staffless neumes represent the most primitive stage of notation, without any cue to the pitch of each neume, making performance fully dependent on oral tradition.

Published: The Story of Time, ed.: Kristen Lippincott, with Umberto Eco, E.H. Gombrich. London, Merrell Holberton in association with National Maritime Museum, 1999, p. 219.

Exhibited: "The Story of Time", Queen's House at the National Maritime Museum and The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Dec. 1999 - Sept. 2000.

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MS 1275/19
MISSAL: TEMPORAL, MASS FOR PASSION SUNDAY, WITH READING: BIBLE: HEBREWS 9:15 ms 1275/19
MS in Latin on vellum, France (or Germany?), ca. 950, 1 partial f., 9x12 cm, 1 of 2 columns, (9x11 cm remaining, column width 11 cm), 9 lines in an upright square Carolingian minuscule in 2 sizes, 6 lines of diastematic (heightened) staffless Metz neumes, liturgical headings in red.

Context: Inserted in the Le Moine palaeography handbook, MS 1275/01.

Provenance: 1. Cathedral of Toul, Lorraine (ca. 950-1761); 2. Pierre-Camille Le Moine, archivist and secretary of the cathedral of Toul (1761-1789); 3. M. le baron de Tremont, no. 1253; 4. M. Marchant, Saint-Mihiel; 5. François-Jean Baptiste Noël, Nancy, no 6205 (-1856); 6. Bruce Ferrini, Akron, Ohio.

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7.6 North French Neumes

MS 630 ms 630
ANTIPHONAL: SANCTORAL, THE OFFICE OF ST. PAUL, COMMEMORATION CHANTS FOR THE OCTAVE OF SS. PETER AND PAUL, AND THE OFFICE OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
MS in Latin on vellum, Northern France, mid 11th c., 1 f., 28x16 cm, single column, (22x13 cm), 21 lines in a regular late Carolingian minuscule, North French linear staffless neumes, incipits and initials in red.

Provenance: 1. Gerd Rosen, Berlin (1957); 2. L'Art ancien, Zürich (1957) 3. Bernard Rosenthal Collection, San Francisco, I/48, (1957-1989); 3. Quaritch Cat. 1147(1991):30.

Commentary: Linear, staffless neumes represent the most primitive stage of notation, without any cue to the pitch of each neume, making performance fully dependent on oral tradition.

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7.7 Aquitanian Neumes

MS 658 ms 658
ANTIPHONAL: OFFICES OF ST. PAUL, COMMON OF AN EVANGELIST, OF A CONFESSOR, AND OFFICE OF ST. MARTIAL AT VESPERS
MS in Latin on vellum, Limoges, France, ca. 1030, 1 f., 36x20 cm, single column, (27x17 cm), 12 lines in an elegant Carolingian minuscule, some incipits in red uncials, 12 lines of early Aquitanian neumes on a 1-line ruled F-staff, 4 initials in red or brown.

Context: This Abbey had the richest library of music in France. It was sold in 1730 to the Bibliothèque Royal, now Bibliothèque Nationale de France. However, only one Antiphonal was in the library.

Provenance: 1. Benedictine Abbey of St. Martial, Limoges (ca. 1030-1730); 2. Private Collection, Oxford (until 1990); 3. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd., London.

Commentary: The Abbey of St. Martial de Limoges was founded in 848, secularised in 1535, dissolved in 1781 and demolished in 1792. The scriptorium of the Abbey is arguably the most important for the history and development of liturgical music in France in the Middle ages. A decisive advance in the development of notation was made when the scribe drew a horizontal red line to represent the pitch F, and grouped the neumes about the line. In time a second line, usually yellow, was drawn for C'. This invention of the staff made it possible to note precisely the relative pitch of the notes of a melody, and freed music form its hitherto exclusive dependence on oral tradition. It was one of the most important events in the history of music. (D.J. Grout: A History of Western music. London 1962, pp. 55-56.)

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7.8 Palaeo-Frankish (St Amand) Music Notation

MS 5284/1
MISSAL  

MS palimpsest in Latin on vellum, France, 11th c. & 14th c., 2 ff., 33x24 cm, single column, (31x20 cm); underlying text and music: 8 lines in a rounded late Carolingian script, alternating red and blue initials, palaeo-Frankish (St. Amand) music notation on a single red stave; overlying music: polyphonic setting of the mass in square music notation on a red 5-line staff with F-clef.

Binding: London, 2005, cloth boards by Celia Alberman.

Provenance: 1. Sotheby’s 5.7.2005:2.

Commentary: The present palimpsest was originally written in 11th c. in the rare Palaeo–Frankish, or St. Amand, music notation on a single red staff. In the 14th c. the text and single red staff was kept, while the rest of the music was partly erased and rearranged with the same music, but in a partly polyphonic setting of the mass in square music notation with 4 red lines added. Unusual in showing the change in music notation as well as an early attempt at polyphonic setting. 1 p. was erased but with no new music added.

ms 5284/1
ms 5284/1
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7.9 St Galen Neumes

MS 1664
BREVIARY: SERVICE FOR MONDAYS AT MATINS AND LAUD, WITH ANTIPHONS, CHAPTER, PSALMS (MUCH OF PSALM 36) AND COLLECT ms 1664
MS in Latin on vellum, Germany, ca. 1000, 1 f., 32x21 cm, single column, (26x14 cm), 21 lines in a late German Carolingian minuscule, 7 lines of St. Gallen linear staffless neumes, red capitals.

Provenance: 1. J. Voerster Collection, Stuttgart (-1993); 2. Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London.

Commentary: Linear, staffless neumes represent the most primitive stage of notation, without any cue to the pitch of each neume, making performance fully dependent on oral tradition.

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MS 098 ms 098
ANTIPHONAL: SANCTORAL, OFFICES OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE (30 JUNE) TO ST. PANTALON (7 JULY), AND ST. MAURICE (22 SEPT.) TO ALL SAINTS (1 NOV.)

MS in Latin on vellum, Southern Germany, 1st half of 11th c., 2 ff., 22x16 cm, single column, (17x10 cm), 25 lines in Carolingian minuscule, initials in red, psalm tone differential musical cues in the margins, St. Gallen linear staffless neumes.

Provenance:1. Internationaal Antiquariaat Menno Hertzberger, Amsterdam 22.6.1966:1126; 2. Ludwig Rosenthal, Hilversum (1966); 3. Bernard Rosenthal Collection, San Francisco, I/203 (1966-1987); 3. Quaritch Cat. 1088(1988):35.

Commentary:Linear, staffless neumes represent the most primitive stage of notation, without any cue to the pitch of each neume, making performance fully dependent on oral tradition.

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MS 1574
MISSAL: FERIA I - VI, AND SABBATO, DE APOSTOLIS, MARTIRIBUS, VIRGINIBUS, IN DEDICATIONE ECCLESIE, DE ST. MARIA, MARTA, SANCTO SPIRITUS, CROCE, AFRA, JOHANNE, INNOCENTIBUS, DONAT PER NATALE DOMINI, IN VIGILE EPIPHANIE DOMINI, WITH 2 ADDED OFFICES FOR ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY (CA. 1200 AND 14TH C.), IN DIE SANCTORUM, DONAT PER EPIPHANIA, DONAT II + III, GALLI CONFESSORES, LUCAS EVANGELISTA, IN VIGILE SYMONIS ET JUDE, IN DIE SANCTORUM, IN VIGILE OMNIS SANCTORUM, WITH ADDED OFFICES, PRAYER AND COLLECT FOR ST. BARBARA
MS in Latin on vellum, Lambach area, Austria or Southern Germany, 1st half of 12th c., 8 ff. and flyleaf, 29x20 cm, 1 and 2 columns, (22x17 cm), 21+27 lines in Romanesque book script of medium quality, display capitals/minuscule in alternating red and black, 21 lines of St. Gallen diastematic (heightened) staffless neumes, 33 decorated 3-line initials, 1 decorated 6-line initial with leafy infill in red and mauve with green contour, 1 2-line historiated initial with face infill.

Context: From a grand MS that once contained about 150-200 ff., sewn in quires of eight, of which 46 leaves and 1 flyleaf survive.

Provenance: 1. Antique shop, Linz, Austria; 2. Dr. Fritz Zeileis, Linz, Austria (-1992); 3. Jörn Günther, Hamburg.

Commentary: Diastematic (heightened) neumes, is a first step further from the primitive linear notation. It gives an indication of the relative height among the neumes, but not the exact pitch, as a staff or clef will do.

Exhibited: Oslo Katedralskole 850 år, Jubileumsutstilling 10. - 14. March 2003.

ms 1574
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MS 1670
TONARY ms 1670
MS in Latin on vellum, Germany, ca. 1150, 1 f., 21x16 cm, 2 columns, (19x12 cm remaining), 14 lines remaining in Romanesque book script of medium quality, 11 lines of St. Gallen diastematic (heightened) staffless neumes with C and F clefs indicated for each line, red initials.

Provenance: 1. J. Voerster Collection, Stuttgart (-1993); 2. Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London.

Commentary: The tonary sets the musical modes for the Psalms, Benedictus, Magnificat, and Nunc dimittis.

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