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Inside the OffertoryAspects of Chronology and Transmission$
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Rebecca Maloy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315172.001.0001

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The Gregorian and Roman Offertories

The Gregorian and Roman Offertories

Chapter:
(p.88) 3 The Gregorian and Roman Offertories
Source:
Inside the Offertory
Author(s):

Rebecca Maloy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315172.003.0003

This chapter addresses the historical problem of Gregorian and Old Roman chant by means of musical analysis. Comparative study sheds new light on the relationship between the two dialects and the nature of oral transmission. The Roman verses exhibit a pervasive formulaicism that is lacking in the Gregorian readings. A close analysis of the melodic formulas reveals that the Roman singers respond in consistent ways to features of the text, such as accent pattern and clause length. The close correlation between words and music suggests a reconstructive modal of oral transmission. The findings of this chapter are inconsistent with the traditional view that the Roman versions more closely reflect the eighth‐century state of the repertory. Rather, the evidence suggests that the Roman melodies underwent substantial change during their prolonged period of oral transmission between the eighth and eleventh centuries, becoming increasingly formulaic.

Keywords:   Gregorian chant, Old Roman chant, oral transmission, melodic formulas, chronology

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