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La Trobe University Library
Medieval Music Database

About the Database:

The Scribe Database:

The Scribe Database is a systematic collection of scores, colour images, texts and bibliographic information of medieval music which can be searched by text or melody and which will return musical information in the form of a modern score, text data and, where available, a colour facsimile of an original manuscript. In contains a complete annual cycle of liturgical chant taken from original medieval sources and complete works of selected composers from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries.

Liturgical Chant

The sources of the liturgical chant used in this database are a fourteen-volume set of corali for Dominican use now in Perugia (1305-1320), the two exemplars on which these were based, London, British Library, Additional 23935 (c. 1272) and Rome, Santa Sabina, Ms XIV L1 (c. 1260) and the Poissy Antiphonal (1335-45), now in the possession of the State Library of Victoria (Ms *096.1 R66A). The Perugian manuscripts have been recently described by Galliano Ciliberti in his Musica e liturgia nelle chiese e conventi dell'Umbria : secoli X-XV: con un Atlante-repertorio dei piu antichi monumenti musicali umbri di polifonia sacra, Perugia : Cattedra di storia della musica, Universita degli studi di Perugia: Centro di studi musicali in Umbria, 1994.
These seventeen manuscripts are closely related to each other, and constitute a reliable source of the state of the liturgical melodies in use in the fourteenth century.To this foundation collection selected other manuscripts are constantly being added: the liturgical chant from Cyprus found in manuscript Turin, Biblioteca Nazionale J. II. 9; the laude from Cortona, Biblioteca Comunale Ms 91; have already been added. Other planned projects include Franciscan chants from thirteenth-century sources, chants proper to San Lorenzo in Florence and all published chants not already found in the Dominican cycle.

Medieval Secular Music

The complete works of important composers such as Francesco Landini (150 works), Don Paolo Tenorista (59 works), and selected works by Jacopo da Bologna, Giovanni da Cascia, Philippe de Vitry and Guillaume de Machaut complement the comprehensive bibliographical data and sound files already available in The 14th Century Music Database.

This music can be printed for performance, in either the original notation or in modern transcription with the original notes presented immediately above the modern edition. It can also be searched for text, melody and liturgical function: the results of the search can be printed out in musical notation.

Integration with other databases

The SCRIBE database. Scores of fourteenth-century material included in The 14th Century Music Database include critical data on sources, editions, facsimiles, scholarly literature and recordings.

Downloadable images

The transcriptions into modern notation have been produced from the data entered into SCRIBE from the original manuscripts. These transcriptions preserve the original notation while providing a familiar modern notation and the fill text of the chants, together with bibliographical and liturgical information. They are available in two forms: as low-resolution JPG images of the first line only of each work, and as PDF files of the complete work. The JPG images are presented along with the essential text. The PDF files are more suited to practical use: they may be printed at any enlargement without detriment to the definition of the notation. These files are available only to clients who subscribe either directly or through the library to which they are affiliated.

Sample PDF files are available for free downloading from Music of the Middle Ages. The images themselves are copyright and may not be reproduced in a publication without the written permission of the author.

Liturgical chant texts may also be searched through Cantus and Relics.

Further information on Catholic liturgy, manuscripts and tutorials on Gregorian Chant are also available.

For further information about transcriptions of chant into modern notation in PDF format and subscriptions please email J.Stinson@latrobe.edu.au