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A Path to Consonance: Carolingians, Tonaries, & Modes

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by

Eric Taxier

on 8 September 2014

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Transcript of A Path to Consonance: Carolingians, Tonaries, & Modes

Carolingians, Tonaries, and Modes
Charlemagne (742-814)
Pope Adrian I asks Charlemagne to help expel Lombards (772)
From Isidore (fl. 600) to 800s:
No written theorizing about chants
.

800 CE: Leo III crowns Charlemagne
Union of Frankish empire with Church expected
to bring Earthly and Spiritual realms into
consonance
.
What changed?
Myth-making
Pope Gregory the Great

"A little bird told me"
(590-604)
Why attribute liturgical plainchant to Gregory I?
1. He was the first "monk-Pope."
Unification of mind and spirit in the empire.
Dissimilar things brought together
into harmonious unity.
Education

Charlemagne's
Admonitio generalis
for teachers in
monasteries.

Instituted by Alcuin of York, Master of the Palace School.
Frankish boys’ education (“elementary”) ca. 800
- Psalms
- Written characters (writing)
- Chants
- Calculation
- Grammar
Liberal arts of Antiquity ("advanced")
Trivium
Grammar
Dialectic (logic)
Rhetoric
Quadrivium
Arithmetic
Music
Geometry
Astronomy
[communicated by writers such as Boethius, Cassiodorus, and Martianus Capella]
Dissonance: when individual elements do not mix, they remain in their integrity.
[Concept from Boethius]
Tonaries
Pair
antiphons
with appropriate
psalm tones
WEST
Hellenistic and Latin theory (mainly Boethius)
EAST
Byzantine 8-mode system (octoechos)
Antiphons
are grouped with
psalm verse endings
so that they connect "euphoniously."
Church modes
Protus

Deuterus

Tritus

Tetrardus
Authentic 1


Authentic 3
Plagal 4

Authentic 5
Plagal 6

Authentic 7
Plagal 8
Eventually, modes classified by three things:
Final,
ambitus (octave range),

and

reciting (psalm) tone
.
It's easy to learn hundreds (even thousands) of chants.
But try ordering their consistent use in the liturgical Office!
Plagal 2
Derived, subordinate, smaller range, "pupil" of authentic
Cadence formula =
Differentia
(termination)
E U O U A E
(The leader of the Carolingian Renaissance was
Alcuin of York
. Where's York?)
(given by their beginnings -
incipits
)
final
final
psalm ending
antiphon
incipits
tetrardus
2. He converted the English!
The psalm is usually not "sung" so much as "intoned" (sort of like Koran recitation and Torah cantillation).
In other words, it is syllabic, formulaic, and focuses on a single note, called the
reciting tone
or
psalm tone
.
Remember (NAWM 3 and 4) that
psalm
chants for the daily Office and portions of Mass are preceded and followed by refrains called
antiphons
.
Before moving on, let's remind ourselves about
psalms
and
antiphons
.

A B
[B']
A
Antiphon Psalm
[Doxology]
Antiphon
Full transcript