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The Critical NexusTone-System, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music$
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Charles M. Atkinson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148886

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148886.001.0001

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(p.234) Epilogue
The Critical Nexus

Charles M. Atkinson

Oxford University Press

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

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