As this database includes the full text of a complete annual cycle of liturgical chant, it can be searched for any word, descriptor or melodic fragment. The full text, the liturgical identifier of each work (the name of the feast, the hour and each item in both Latin and English) and where relevant its number in Réné Hésbert's Corpus Antiphonalium Officii is indexed. Also included is the complete melody of each work, the manuscript source used for the transcription and, when available, its modern editions.
any word or phrase in any liturgical text
The spelling of the liturgical texts has been normalised according to the version in Hésbert (when available) or from modern printed Dominican sources. All abbreviations in the text have been expanded without comment to facilitate searching. In the musical editions the expansions have been italicised to remain as close as possible to the original without the intrusion of unnecessary apparatus: thus Dominu~ will appear as 'Dominum' in the text but 'Dominum' in the edition in modern notation.
any identifier of liturgical items
These may be entered in either Latin or English. The standards for abbreviations are those established by the Cantus project of the Catholic University of America directed by Professor Ruth Steiner (eg Lauds, Vespers, Matins, Nocturn 1, Antiphon, Responsory, Versicle)
or the names of feasts in Latin or English
Feast names are given in both Latin and English. The Latin names have been abbreviated according to the Cantus style: thus the Common of a Confessor will appear as Comm. un. Conf, and the Wednesday of the fourth week of Advent as Fer. 4 Hebd. 1 Adv. Searches are listed in liturgical order, just as they are found in many medieval manuscripts, beginning with Ordinaries, then Advent through to the last Sunday after Pentecost, then the commons and finally suffrages and votive offices
The number assigned by Hésbert in his Corpus Antiphonalium Officii has been entered for each corresponding item. As Hésbert list texts and not melodies, there is no guarantee that the melody used in the Dominican sources is also used in other instances of the same text. A complete list of the manuscripts consulted by Hésbert is to be found at the University of Regensberg Cantus Planus site
the manuscript source
These are given in full, eg Perugia, Biblioteca Comunale 'Augusta', MS 2801; London, British Library, Add. MS 23935. All elements of the manuscript location are indexed, so entering 'Perugia' into the search window will return all the items on the database which are found in Perugian manuscripts. Entering only the number of the manuscript (e.g. 2801) is ambiguous, as this could also be the CAO number. Entering 'MS 2801' will return all the items in that manuscript in the order in which they are found in the manuscript.
References to modern editions of chants are given when available. These may be searched directly by entering their sigla:
any fragment of melody
These may be entered in either letter notation or relative interval into the search window. The letter notation uses UPPER CASE for the lowest octave (the graves), lower case for the middle octave. The relative interval notation uses positive numbers to indicate rising intervals in semitones, negative numbers for falling intervals in semitones. Thus DEFGa in relative interval notation is 2 1 2 2; aGFED is -2-2-1-2; the octave leap Dd is simply 12. Positive intervals must be separated by a space, but there should be no space before the minus (-) indicating the falling interval. Thus the opening of Gaudeamus omnes in letter notation is Cdaba and in relative interval notation 2 7 1-1. Note that the intervals are given in relation to the immediately preceding note, and NOT in relation to the final of the melody or mode. It is also worth bearing in mind that a characteristic of Dominican chant is the avoidance of the flattened b, and even when the b may have been flattened in performance it will not always be indicated in the manuscript. In the letter notation the modern German convention of 'b' representing the flattened 'b' and 'h' the square or 'natural' 'b' has been used. Thus the opening of the Antiphon Canite tuba (CAO1757) will be found as FCDab in letter notation, and -5 2 7 1 in relative interval notation, ie. a falling interval of 5 semitones followed by a whole step followed by a rising perfect fifth followed by a rising semitone. The symbol "@" has been used for Gamma-ut, the lowest pitch in the medieval gamut. Repeated notes are not given in the letter notation; in relative interval notation they are indicated by '0'.
Successful searches will return the number of items on the database which match the search term and a list of each of the items. Clicking on the name of any item will retrieve its manuscript source, full text, full liturgical identity, the first line of a transcription into modern notation with cross references to its first noted appearance in the liturgy and to other modern editions, and a colour image of the folio in The Poissy Antiphonal if it is found there.
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